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Exhibit, lectures examine art, archaeology of Perry Mesa

Pat Gorraiz's photo of a red deer
March 28, 2011

From the Archaic to the present, people have inhabited Perry Mesa, located in Agua Fria National Monument, and left their mark on the landscape. “Landscape Legacies: The Art and Archaeology of Perry Mesa,” an exhibit at Arizona State University’s Deer Valley Rock Art Center, examines how these marks changed over time through the use of photographs and scientific analysis.

The exhibit opens Saturday, April 9 and features stunning photographs by Pat Gorraiz, which explore what the rock art, architecture and agricultural practices of Perry Mesa tell us about the past.

This exhibit is a collaboration between Agua Fria National Monument, Pueblo Grande Museum and ASU.

The opening day includes two free lectures and a reception. The first lecture, at 1 p.m., by Katherine Spielmann, ASU, is titled “Archaeology of Perry Mesa.”

The second lecture, at 2 p.m., presented by Pat Gorraiz, is titled “Observations and Journals From a Desert Photographer.”

The opening reception begins at 2:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. The exhibit continues through Jan. 31.

The Deer Valley Rock Art Center has the largest concentration of Native American petroglyphs in the Phoenix Valley. Visitors hike a 1/4-mile trail to view more than 1,500 petroglyphs made between 500 and 7,000 years ago. The museum aims to promote preservation, connection and respect for the site and is a destination for families to learn about archaeology in their own backyard. The Center is managed by one of the top archaeology programs in the country – the School of Human Evolution & Social Change, an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – at Arizona State University and is a Phoenix Point of Pride.

The Center is located at 3711 W. Deer Valley Road, two blocks west of 35th Avenue. For more information call (623) 582-8007 or go to