Exploring the History of Arizona Through the AZ Archives

Exploring the History of Arizona Through the AZ Archives


Exploring the History of Arizona Through the AZ Archives


Arizona boasts an illustrious past. Unlearn its secrets with help from the AZ Archives.

The Arizona Archives houses both published and unpublished material of enduring historical value, such as manuscripts, photographs, books, microfilm, moving images and more.


The Arizona Archives at the Arizona State Museum in Phoenix houses an extensive collection of artifacts and documents that showcase past histories in this region of southwestern United States and northwest Mexico. With access to over 13,000 years of human culture in this swath of land, visitors will gain a comprehensive view of this historical repository.

People first arrived from Asia approximately 25,000 years ago and settled here during Archaic, Paleo-Indian and Post-Archaic periods.

These people led a nomadic lifestyle, subsisting off seasonal resources such as juniper berries in the fall and pinon nuts during summer. Additionally, they farmed desert plants such as mesquite and agave as well as woodland trees such as yucca, prickly pear and pinyon for food production.

As climate conditions in the Southwest shifted, becoming drier, it became harder for large-game hunters to sustain a lifestyle centered around large game hunting. Archaic groups in this region managed to weather this change by adapting to natural cycles of vegetation growth.

In the desert, they feasted upon fruit from cacti and mesquite trees; in woodlands they collected acorns, pine cones, and juniper berries; finally in spring they would roast agave in rock-lined pits.

They created tools, including ground stones for grinding seeds into flour and scrapers for working hide and wood. Furthermore, they created projectile points which were smaller and cruder than earlier Clovis and Folsom points.

Clovis and Folsom cultures dominated this part of the world from approximately 8000 to 1000 BCE (Before Present), known for their distinctive large lithic spear points which they employed to hunt mammoths, bison, horses, antelopes, and large cats.

Toolmaking was central to their economy; they made stone arrowheads for hunting but were also adept at carving chert, an exceptionally hard and sharp rock used for making weapons and tools. Furthermore, they created intaglios 10 to 100 feet long that depicted snakes, thunderbirds, or other animals with stylized human forms.

By the late Paleo-Indian Period, a new type of society had emerged: still hunter-gatherers but more settled with permanent shelters. Their trade network extended as far south as Mexico to procure corn.

These settlements often revolved around mounds with rock art adorned on them. These mounds were strategically constructed so as to provide easy access to food, water, and wildlife opportunities.

They also created pottery that has become famous. Some pieces can be seen at museums around Phoenix such as the Arizona Museum or even at private homes in Phoenix.

Europeans arrived in North America during the sixteenth century and encountered Native American communities that thrived from hunting and farming activities. Over time, Europeans gradually relocated these Native communities onto reservations located throughout America.

Early Europeans perceived Native Americans to be the dominant people in Arizona; however, there was still strong rivalry between natives and Europeans that led to warfare as well as the establishment of Spanish missions such as San Xavier del Bac.


The Arizona Archives offers access to knowledge and information regarding Arizonans past. From experts in certain subjects to casual readers seeking something interesting to read, this collection will help meet all of your research needs.

Archaic refers to the period between Geometric (9th-8th Century BC) and Classical Periods (5th-4th Century BC), often considered as an initial stage in great art, especially sculpture.

Many of us remember this era from their grandparents or parents' time, yet many changes took place during it. At that time, the Greek world experienced significant political, social, economic, and artistic shifts.

Agriculture was crucial in human civilization as we know it today; without agriculture, people would still be wandering aimlessly across the land in search of sustenance and would never have the chance to settle into an everyday form of life.

Archaic History The Arizona Archives offer a wealth of archaic history information. Their collections feature documents, photographs and records related to Native American cultures in Arizona as well as how they interacted with their environment.

This collection primarily covers the Archaic period; however, there is information regarding other periods as well. This collection comprises archaeological surveys, excavation reports and publications, burial records, site areas maps and correspondence related to the Arizona Archaeology Project.

Archaic period can be broken up into several distinct periods, including the Early Ceramic period and Red Mountain phase. Red Mountain phase was the first time people used large pots to cook food in, as well as decorate their pottery with ornamental designs.

At this time, many people also began using arrowheads for the first time. Hohokam tribe members made use of wood instead of stone or clay in crafting their arrowheads, providing superior durability than their counterparts made of stone or clay.

As time passed, more and more people began using arrowheads as decorative objects and ritual tools. Many different kinds of arrowheads were manufactured during this period.

Some arrowheads were used as spears while others were made into decorative objects, like necklaces or beads. Some even found use on horses and other animals' backs!

Some arrowheads were also made into weapons, like bow and arrows or arrow heads, using wood as their base material and decorated with animal horns or bone decoration.

At this time, people began creating more sophisticated tools. These new creations were more refined than before and had deeper significance, thus becoming more valuable and being used for higher purposes than earlier arrowheads.

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