What was Arizona like during the Ice Age? The glacial environment was cool and moist, and nothing like the hot, dry desert climate experienced in parts of the state today. It was so much wetter that Meteor Crater held a deep, permanent freshwater lake for 40,000 years. Ice Age Arizona was home to an array of animals now referred to as the Rancholabrean megafauna, named after the Rancho La Brea fossil site, AKA the La Brea tar pits. The most awesome predator of this time was not a big cat, it was a giant Ice Age bear, Arctodus simus. Early humans occurred alongside the Ice Age animals. In fact, Arizona has six sites where the remains of the Columbian Mammoth – an extinct Ice Age elephant – are associated with human artifacts.
Join NHI and archaeologist Dick Ryan to learn about Arizona’s glacial environment, as well as the animals and humans it supported during the Ice Age.
Doors open at 6:30pm.
Dick Ryan worked as a field archaeologist in the American Southwest for ten years. He received a Master’s in Archaeology from NAU in 1983, at age 39. As an archaeologist, he worked for Desert Research Institute, the Museum of Northern Arizona, contracted with a number of archaeology companies, and was a government archaeologist with Prescott National Forest in 1987 and 1988. His main area of interest is Ice Age mammoth hunters of the Paleoindian Period. Dick has published in The Journal of the Southwest, The Nevada Archaeologist, Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, and Current Research in the Pleistocene. Recently, Dick has become one of the major promoters of Mata Ortiz Pottery in the U.S., while maintaining an active interest in archaeology.