Archaeology Magazine

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2,500-Year-Old Footprints Discovered in Arizona

Friday, January 22, 2016

Southwest Footprint Arizona TUCSON, ARIZONA—Preparations for road construction near Tucson, Arizona, revealed the 2,500-year-old fields and footprints of farmers, children, and dogs. The field and prints were well preserved by a nearby creek that flooded its banks and covered them with a mica-rich sediment that formed a mineralized crust. Archaeologist Dan Arnit of Innovative Excavating was able to follow the movements of specific individuals around the field. One set shows where a large adult walked diagonally across the field, stopped to work on a berm or open a weir to let in water, and then returned across the field and over a ditch on a different path. Another farmer was probably being followed by a dog, whose paw print was found inside a foot print. The field still has depressions where the farmers had placed their plants. “So we’ve excavated a number of these planting depressions and will run samples for pollen and phytoliths to get a sense of what was being grown,” Jerome Hesse, project manager for SWCA Environmental Consultants, told Western Digs. “We’re doing everything we can to document the footprints, because they are smack-dab in the middle of the road,” added Suzanne Griset of SWCA. To read more about Southwest archaeology, go to "Who Were the Anasazi?"

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