Verde Valley Archaeology Field Trip

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If you are interested in the rich archaeology of ancient Arizona, join Jeff from Primitive Lifeways and Jeff from Black Flag Expeditions on an adventure to the Mindeleff Cavates!


When and Where?

On Sunday May 2nd at 10:00am we will first meet at the Beasley Flat day use area. This day use area will come up in Google and Apple Maps.



Although this gathering is 100% free to the public, donations are always welcomed and help us to continue to hold free field trips. Any donation at or over $20.00 will receive a free Primitive Lifeways logo sticker.

What to Expect?

Mindeleff Cavates are quite the treat for those interested in Arizona Archaeology. These cavates are named for the visionary archaeologist Cosmos Mindleff, who with his wife Marion conducted the first detailed archaeological surveys of over 50 major sites in the Verde Valley circa 1891. Although heavy looting took place over time and space, the Mindeleff Cavates consists of 90 separate dwellings and a total of about 343 rooms, hand carved out of a layer of soft sandstone. We will discuss the Sinagua time line, prehistoric material technologies used in the Verde Valley, ancient farming practices, and connections to other surrounding cultural traditions. If present Jeff and Jeff will show some of the local pottery left behind by the Sinagua people. All artifacts are to remain where they are discovered.


What to Bring?

The Arizona desert is nothing to take for granted. Having spent over 30 years in a desert environment, Primitive Lifeways recommends you come prepared. As temperatures warm up we have the possibility of coming across rattlesnakes, bees, and wasps. If you are allergic to insect stings we recommend consulting your doctor before attending this gathering. Items to consider bringing include the following:

  • Knife
  • Lots of water (it will be warm)
  • Sack lunch
  • Medications
  • Sunblock
  • Rope
  • Good hiking boots
  • A pair of strapped sandals or water shoes
  • First aid kit
  • Cotton cloth (bandana or shemagh)
  • Life vest if you are concerned with crossing the river
  • Flashlight
  • N95 or KN95 face mask for the caves