What Do You Know About The Arizona State Museum?

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What Do You Know About The Arizona State Museum? - Quiz

The Arizona State Museum, the official and largest repository for the state’s archaeological treasures, is celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2013. The museum is also the official permitting agency for all archaeological work conducted anywhere in the state on state lands, averaging 140 permits a year. The museum administers the Arizona Antiquities Act and assists state and federal agencies in enforcing related legislation and repatriation. Take this quiz to test your knowledge, then visit the museum to see its impressive collections for yourself.

(All questions, answers and photographs supplied by the Arizona State Museum. )


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Name the territorial legislator who proposed the 1893 legislation that established the Arizona State Museum? (Hint: He was eventually elected the first governor of Arizona.)

    • A.

      George W.P. Hunt

    • B.

      L.C. Hughes

    • C.

      Anson P.K. Safford

    Correct Answer
    A. George W.P. Hunt
    Explanation
    House Bill 42 was written and introduced in 1893 by Hunt during the 17th Legislative Assembly. The bill created the Arizona Territorial Museum, which ultimately became Arizona State Museum. Hunt served seven terms as governor of Arizona from 1912 to 1933. In 1916 he donated his collection of 85 Western Apache and Pima baskets to the Arizona State Museum.

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  • 2. 

    Where is the Arizona State Museum located?

    • A.

      Phoenix

    • B.

      Tempe

    • C.

      Tucson

    Correct Answer
    C. Tucson
    Explanation
    When established in 1893, the original name of the museum was the Arizona Territorial Museum and it was placed on the campus of the only existing university in the territory at the time (the University of Arizona in Tucson, which was established in 1885). When Arizona achieved statehood in 1912, the name of the museum had to change, naturally, from Arizona Territorial Museum to Arizona State Museum. And that’s how it got a name that sounds to many Tucsonans as if it belongs up the road in Phoenix or Tempe.

    Due to its ever-growing collections, the Arizona State Museum has had many homes on the University of Arizona campus. It has moved from a single room in Old Main (1893–1904) to a shared space with the library in the Douglass Building (1905–14), to Agriculture Hall (1915–29), to quarters in the lower regions of Arizona Stadium (1930–35), to a brand new building in 1936. In 1977, the museum expanded to a second facility — the former UA library building. Today, its two historic buildings are the first to welcome students and visitors as they enter the university's Main Gate.

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  • 3. 

    These Clovis spear points are the oldest North American objects in the Arizona State Museum's collections. How old are they?

    • A.

      2,000 years old

    • B.

      13,000 years old

    • C.

      6,000 years old

    Correct Answer
    B. 13,000 years old
    Explanation
    The oldest North American objects in the museum are the Clovis spear points that Paleo-Indians used to hunt mammoth in a cooler, wetter southern Arizona around 13,000 years ago. (The oldest objects in the collections from anywhere in the world are Lower Paleolithic stone handaxes from South Africa from around 1.5 million years ago.)

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  • 4. 

    How many objects are in the Arizona State Museum?

    • A.

      500,000

    • B.

      1 million

    • C.

      3 million

    Correct Answer
    C. 3 million
    Explanation
    There are approximately three million objects in the museum, both archaeological and ethnographic (i.e., historical and contemporary materials). As Arizona State Museum cares for millions of artifacts in perpetuity, it is home to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections of Southwest Indian pottery (20,000+ whole vessels) and American Indian basketry (25,000+ woven and fiber objects) — both collections designated American Treasures.

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  • 5. 

    Which one of the following is the name of an ancient culture of this region?

    • A.

      Hohokam

    • B.

      Mogollon

    • C.

      Both

    Correct Answer
    C. Both
    Explanation
    Arizona State Museum has collections representing these cultures and others — including Patayan, Paleoindian and Salado — as well as curators and researchers who are among the world’s experts in them.

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  • 6. 

    What was the purpose of this basket?

    • A.

      It was used to store grain.

    • B.

      This basket was used to hold small animals.

    • C.

      It was a decorative item.

    Correct Answer
    A. It was used to store grain.
    Explanation
    This is a granary basket used to store grain. It was found in McEuen Cave, Arizona during a 1934 expedition and is the oldest basket in the collection of Arizona State Museum, dating circa 1500 B.C. to A.D. 550.

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  • 7. 

    This 165-foot long net, which is on display in the Arizona State Museum's "Basketry Treasured" exhibition, is made of yucca fiber cordage and what other material?

    • A.

      Horse hair

    • B.

      Human hair

    • C.

      Javelina hair

    Correct Answer
    B. Human hair
    Explanation
    This net is mostly made of knotted human hair with yucca fiber cordage and was used by a Hohokam community to corral and hunt jackrabbits. It is from Black Hills Rock shelter, Cerro Prieto Wash, Pima County, Arizona, and dates from circa A.D. 1300 to 1450. Rabbits — cottontails and jackrabbits — were an important source of food for ancient Southwestern cultures. In addition to their food value, rabbit skins were used to make blankets and clothing. In a study of 136 Hohokam culture sites, rabbits account for more than half of all animal remains found.

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  • 8. 

    What people are depicted on this Santa Cruz red-on-buff pottery jar?

    • A.

      Hohokam

    • B.

      Seri

    • C.

      Yaqui

    Correct Answer
    A. Hohokam
    Explanation
    These are depictions of Hohokam people carrying burden baskets, a common theme on Hohokam pottery. In later O’odham culture burden baskets are made of saguaro stick frames with agave fiber cord lace coiling. A strap carried the weight on the forehead, while a pad protected the back. This vessel dates to circa A.D. 850-1000 and comes from Four Mile Site, Painted Rock Reservoir, Maricopa County, Arizona. It is on display in the Arizona State Museum’s Wall of Pots. The museum's collection of Southwest Indian pottery includes more than 20,000 whole vessels, which are housed in a large, climate-controlled vault. The oldest pot in the collection is a seed jar, or "tecomate," which dates back to A.D. 50-150. It was found at the Stone Pipe Site, near the Interstate 10 frontage and Prince roads in Tucson.

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  • 9. 

    In addition to impressive pottery and basket collections, the Arizona State Museum also has more than half a million photographic prints, negatives and transparencies. Name the famous Native American in this photograph.

    • A.

      Cochise

    • B.

      Geronimo

    • C.

      Sitting Bull

    Correct Answer
    B. Geronimo
    Explanation
    This portrait of Geronimo, the leader of the Apache Bedonkohe, was taken in Carlisle, Pa., in 1905. The photographer is Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), a controversial photographer who took hundreds of posed photographs of Native American people at the beginning of the 20th century. The Arizona State Museum will open an exhibition in November 2013 of Curtis’ photographs, focusing on how he perceived and translated his experiences with Native people in Arizona, and how these images were, and are still today, received by both Native and Anglo audiences.

    Other important items found at the museum include: a collection of more than 600 Mexican masks; and ancient Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Near Eastern and Egyptian objects. One interesting item is a clay tablet with cuneiform writing that is a court record of the failure to deliver barley to the threshing floor of a local Sumerian ruler, circa 2100-2000 B.C., at the site of ancient Umma in Iraq.

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  • 10. 

    The Arizona State Museum has a Conservation Laboratory with a professional staff that works to preserve the museum's collections. Which toxins are these conservators actively working to remove from the collections?

    • A.

      Arsenic

    • B.

      Mercury salts

    • C.

      Both

    Correct Answer
    C. Both
    Explanation
    Some natural science specimens and ethnographic artifacts in museums were treated years ago with arsenic and mercury salts to prevent insect infestations. Today, conservators are attempting to remove these toxins from collections for the protection of anyone handling the objects, as well as for the environment.

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