Salt has been a valuable trade item throughout human history. Native American salt procurement in the Southwest involved dangerous journeys across sacred landscapes associated with the deity Salt Woman. This presentation focuses on the prehistory of a famous salt mine in what is now known as Camp Verde. In the 1920s, miners discovered prehistoric salt-mining tools deep inside tunnels dug into a thick, fresh-water salt deposit. These were the mining tools of the prehistoric Sinagua culture. Numerous photographs of these well-preserved, 700-year old tools, along with photos of other Sinagua artifacts, will be shared so as to illustrate the story of this unusual discovery.
Todd Bostwick has conducted archaeological research in the Southwest for 35 years, and was the Phoenix City Archaeologist at Pueblo Grande Museum for 21 years. Bostwick is currently the Senior Research Archaeologist for PaleoWest Archaeology in Phoenix and Director of Archaeology for the Verde Valley Archaeology Center in Camp Verde. He has an M.A. in anthropology and a Ph.D. in history from Arizona State University, and has taught classes at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. Bostwick has published numerous articles and books on Southwest history and prehistory and has received several awards, including the Governor’s Award in Public Archaeology in 2005.