Cave Creek Museum opens 47th season with rare pottery exhibit

Ancient pottery on loan from the Cave Creek Unified School District. (submitted photo)

Ancient pottery on loan from the Cave Creek Unified School District. (submitted photo)

The Cave Creek Museum reopened for its 47th season on Oct. 1, offering visitors a chance to view new exhibits and participate in new programs.

Located at 6140 Skyline Drive, the museum features an extensive collection of prehistoric and historic artifacts that describe the lives of Native Americans, miners, ranchers and pioneers, according to a press release.

One of the highlights of this year’s season is a new exhibit in the Archaeology Wing featuring pottery on loan from the Cave Creek Unified School District.

“This is a significant collaboration that came together over the summer, and we gladly accepted the 31 rare pieces of prehistoric pottery into our collection,” said Evelyn Johnson, Cave Creek Museum executive director, in the release.

“This collection had been on display in the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center, which is being renovated, and we’re thrilled to showcase it along with our other historic artifacts.”

The stars of the collection are the few pieces of Hohokam red-on-buff pottery.

These were produced by the Hohokam of the Salt and Gila Rivers at the apex of their civilization, roughly 800-to 1000-years-ago. The collection includes pieces from other cultures as well black-on-white bowls from Ancestral Pueblo peoples, numerous corrugated designs, and plain wares that vary from rugged to elegant.

“You’ll find these special pieces of pottery on display in the rear of the Archaeology Wing in new cases obtained with the help of a matching grant from the Arizona Historical Society,” Ms. Johnson said in the release.

Volunteers who participated in getting the exhibit ready include Sue Mueller, Nancy Zeno, Rory Alexander, Alan Troxel, Gwen Harwood and Kristin Lewis.

“We’re very grateful to Evelyn Holbrook, business manager of the district’s Education and Community Services, and also a Museum board member, who facilitated the loan,” Ms. Johnson said in the press release. “Superintendent Dr. Debi Burdick also was instrumental in working out the details of this long-term loan.”

In addition, visitors will be able to see the historic 1880 “Golden Reef Mine Stamp Mill” in action at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 as volunteers crush hard rock ore in search of gold that can be separated and saved.

Also on that day, guests can hear museum board member, volunteer and author Kraig Nelson present “What the Flock!” from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

On Sunday, Oct. 9, the museum will present its first Family Fun Workshop, “A Political Time,” from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The museum hours will be1-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Fridays. Entrance fees are $5 for adults; $3 for seniors; and $2 for students. Children 12 and under are free.

For information, call 480-488-2764 or visit

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