Ancient Textiles on Display at Camp Verde Museum

One of the Sinaguan textiles now on display at the Verde Valley Archaeology Center. | Courtesy of the museum

A new exhibit at a Central Arizona museum focuses on 800-year-old textiles discovered in a cliff dwelling along Wet Beaver Creek.

The Verde Valley Archaeology Center in Camp Verde last week announced the opening of the exhibit of ancient textiles from the Paul Dyck Rock Shelter, named for the Paul Dyck Ranch, in Rimrock, where the cliff dwelling is located.

Extensive excavations at the cliff dwelling in the 1960s and '70s unearthed more than 10,000 artifacts, including perishable materials preserved in dry midden deposits inside the dwelling. The artifacts include woven materials such as textiles, sandals, skirts, ropes and bags, the museum said.

"The Dyck textiles represent the most extensive and well-preserved collection of Sinagua textiles ever recovered," the center's director of archaeology, Dr. Todd Bostwick, said in a news release. "Some of the 800-year-old textile fragments have retained their color so well, they look like they were woven yesterday."

The fragile textiles are being rotated into and out of display to protect them from deterioration. Among new items recently added to the display is a plain weave (pictured) with a dark brown tie-dye pattern.

The museum is located at 385 S. Main Street in Camp Verde, and its exhibits are open and free to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., although the center will be closed December 23, ahead of Christmas, and December 30, ahead of New Year's Day.

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