Spirit of the Wilderness Survey: Archeological Inventory at Petrified Forest National Park

Author(s): Christopher Corey

Year: 2008


The Spirit of the Wilderness Archeological Survey in Petrified Forest National Park was a three year long cultural resources inventory of more than 9,000 acres of the Petrified Forest National Park wilderness begun in July, 2003 and concluded in June of 2005. Identification and recording

of previously undocumented sites was conducted in four separate field sessions, each lasting for three or four weeks. In total, 6,735 acres were surveyed in the Rainbow Forest Wilderness Area. In the Painted Desert Wilderness, 2,287 acres were surveyed for a total survey coverage of 9,038 acres. This survey constitutes the largest, contiguous block survey undertaken in the park to date.

Sixty-three sites were recorded; 56 date to the Pueblo II and Pueblo III time periods. Sites were generally situated on sandy bluffs overlooking the deeply eroded badlands areas and are mainly concentrated in the Rainbow Forest Wilderness where the greatest concentration of high-quality petrified wood is found. With few exceptions, the sites appear to be relatively small, with no more than an estimated ten to twenty inhabitants. Ceramics and rock art cover a span of occupation from Basketmaker to Pueblo IV, indicated by a range of ceramics from the undecorated Adamana Brown to Zuni glaze wares and various orange wares. Rock art, although less temporally diagnostic, also indicates a long span of occupation. A single Basketmaker rock art element was recorded during this survey. Most of the rock art recorded has Pueblo II through Pueblo IV traits.

All but three of the sites recorded during the wilderness survey are recommended eligible to the Naitonal Register of Historic Places under criterion D. In addition, the rock art sites are eligible under criterion A. In the event of any undertaking in the vicinity of these sites compliance with

section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act will be necessary.

Cite this Record

Spirit of the Wilderness Survey: Archeological Inventory at Petrified Forest National Park. Christopher Corey. Publications in Anthropology ,105. Tucson, Arizona: Western Archeological and Conservation Center. 2008 ( tDAR id: 4374) ; doi:10.6067/XCV808638F

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 200 to 1450

Spatial Coverage

min long: -109.979; min lat: 34.771 ; max long: -109.575; max lat: 35.181 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contributor(s): Susan J. Wells; Craig E. Skinnner; Jennifer Thatcher

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