Skip to main content

Lecture to look at ancient landscapes of the Southwest

October 07, 2010

Arizona State University’s Deer Valley Rock Art Center will host a free lecture by Wayne Ranney at 1 p.m., Nov. 6 titled “Ancient Landscapes of the American Southwest.”

The American Southwest is world-renown for its colorful rocks and spectacular landscape features like the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the Superstition Mountains, and the Petrified Forest.

But how did these wonders come to exist and what can ordinary rocks tell us about their ancient history?

Audiences will be amazed to learn that the Southwest was once the site of warm, tropical beaches; shifting dunes in sandy, Sahara-like deserts; coastlines stalked by large dinosaurs; and rivers that once flowed towards the present-day site of the Rocky Mountains.

These long-lost and surprising scenes from the past come alive in newly created maps that are visually stunning and scientifically accurate. Travel backward and forward in time with scientist Ranney, author of numerous award-winning books on Southwestern geology.

Ranney has worked and lived in the bottom of the Grand Canyon, traveled to both the North and South Poles, and visited more than 75 countries. He takes listeners on a fascinating journey through time in the American Southwest and across the globe.

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 at Arizona State University and is a Phoenix Point of Pride. It is located at 3711 W. Deer Valley Road, two blocks west of 35th Avenue.

This program is made possible by the Arizona Humanities Council.

For more information, contact Kim Arth, (623) 582-8007, or