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 a deity called Salt Woman. This presentation describes the history of a famous salt mine in Camp Verde, Arizona, where prehistoric Sinagua tools used for mining salt were discovered in the 1920s by historic miners deep inside tunnels dug into a thick, fresh-water salt deposit. Numerous photographs are shown of these well-preserved, 700-year old tools to illustrate the story of this unusual discovery. Comparisons are made with other Native American salt mines in the Southwest.
Dr. Todd W. Bostwick has been conducting archaeological research in the Arizona for 38 years. He has a Masters degree in Anthropology and a Ph.D. in History from Arizona State University. Dr. Bostwick was the Phoenix City Archaeologist at Pueblo Grande Museum for 21 years before his retirement in 2010, and was a Faculty Associate at ASU and at NAU for 7 years. He is currently the Director of Archaeology at Verde Valley Archaeology Center. Dr. Bostwick has written and edited numerous articles and books on the American Southwest, including Landscape of the Spirits: Hohokam Rock Art at South Mountain Park, published by the University of Arizona.