Out there among the bursage and prickly pear, the boulders relay messages from another time, when hardy, sun-browned people took sustenance from the desert. You can see the story they left behind Friday on a twilight tour through hundreds of symbols carved in stone.
Arizona State University’s Deer Valley Rock Art Center, just off Interstate 17, will offer evening tours two Fridays in July and two Fridays in August.
The indoor museum, 47-acre nature preserve and archaeological site is home to 1,571 ancient petroglyphs — the largest concentration of Native American petroglyphs in the Valley. During the hour-long tour, visitors will walk a quarter-mile trail to view the etchings, made between 500 and 7,000 years ago.
You’ll also learn a little about archaeology, Native American cultures and desert plants and animals. Roadrunners, quail, squirrels, cottontail rabbits, javelina, owls, hawks, coyotes, snakes, lizards and bobcats make their home at the preserve.
There’s also an ethnobotanical garden showcasing crops Native Americans may have planted long ago.
Tour reservations are required; call (623) 582-8007.
DETAILS >> 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 13 and 27, and Aug. 10 and 24. Deer Valley Rock Art Center, 3711 W. Deer Valley Road, Phoenix. $7 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children, free for kids 5 and younger. Reservations are required. (623) 582-8007 or http://dvrac.asu.edu.
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