The Deer Valley Rock Art Center is a part of Arizona State University. Overseen by the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, this unique site has a rich history.
In the 1970s, severe flooding in the Phoenix area prompted an extensive flood control project in the Agua Fria and New River watersheds. A number of dams and canals were planned, including Adobe Dam across Skunk Creek. The site selected for Adobe Dam was within one-quarter mile of the Hedgpeth Hills Petroglyph Site. A 1976 agreement to limit the dam’s impact on the site was signed by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, the Flood Control District of Maricopa County and other governmental agencies.
The Hedgpeth Hills Petroglyph Site is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is only the second archaeological site to be listed on the Phoenix Historic Property Register.
In 1980, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sponsored archaeological fieldwork (carried out by the Museum of Northern Arizona) to record the petroglyphs and to develop a plan for protecting the site. The archaeologists’ report recommended the development of a small museum and controlled access to the site. (Copies of these reports, M.N.A. Reports #27 and #28, are in the center’s library.) The Corps agreed, recognizing the project as an opportunity to promote archaeological research and education in one location. The Deer Valley Rock Art Center thus became the first public education and curation facility established by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In addition to offering public access to the Hedgpeth Hills Petroglyph Site, the center houses some of the artifacts recovered during the investigations that preceded the construction of Adobe Dam, New River Dam and Cave Creek Dam. The center is also home to the American Rock Art Research Association’s library and archives.
The U.S. Corps of Engineers coordinated and funded the planning, design and construction of the Deer Valley Rock Art Center. Architect Will Bruder designed the building. The land and the building are the property of the Flood Control District of Maricopa County. And in 1984, Arizona State University’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change was selected to operate and maintain the facility.
The museum is located at 3711 W. Deer Valley Road, approximately 2 miles north of Highway 101 and 2 miles west of I-17.
October through April: 9 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday
12 pm – 5 pm Sunday
May through September: 8 am – 2 pm Tuesday to Sunday
Adults $7 Seniors (62+) $4 Students $4 Children (6-12) $3 Children (5 & younger) and Museum Members Free
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