An important part of the Scottsdale Historic Preservation Program is to identify and protect significant archaeological resources. Archaeological resources include materials from past human activities that are more than 50 years old. There are many different types of resources including rock images (called petroglyphs), houses and other structures, pottery, weapons, tools, clothing, irrigation canals, and basketry. Archaeology is the interpretation of these resources from past civilizations.
In July 1999, the Scottsdale City Council adopted an ordinance to protect archaeological resources. Scottsdale is at the forefront of Arizona communities for its proactive efforts to identify and protect significant archaeological resources within the city borders. In general, the archaeology ordinance requires an applicant for either a public or private development project to hire a qualified archaeologist to survey their property to determine if there are any archaeological resources that could be impacted by the development. The ordinance is implemented by the City Archaelogist with oversight from the Historic Preservation Commission.
- More about the archaeology ordinance
- Applicant Information
- Archaeology Overview (pdf/502kb/19pp)
The overview provides general background information on archaeological resources in Scottsdale, covering several thousand years of civilization in the Sonoran Desert and the place we call Scottsdale today.
- Archaeological Site Etiquette Guide
- Rock Art in the McDowell Mountains (pdf/5mb/38pp)