An important part of Scottsdale’s Historic Preservation Program is to identify and protect significant archaeological resources. Archaeological resources include materials from past human activities that are over 50 years old. There are many different types of resources including rock images (called petroglyphs), pottery, houses and other structures, pottery, weapons, tools, clothing, irrigation canals, and basketry. Archaeology is the interpretation of these remains 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’s borders. In general, the archaeology ordinance requires applicants for both public and private development projects to hire archaeologists to survey their property to see if any significant archaeological resources are on the property that could be impacted by the development. The ordinance is implemented by the Preservation Division 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)