Arizona: State of History
Arizona is a state with a long and rich history filled with all the intricate diversity that only a state in the south west can offer. From cavemen to conquistadors and rebel soldiers to state hood and citizenship, few places on earth offer such an interesting story of incorporation as the state of Arizona. There have been at least five separate periods in the years leading up to the establishment of the last contiguous state in the union. These five include the Preterritorial Period, the Spanish Period, the Mexican Period, the U.S. Controlled Period, and the Territorial Period.
The Preterritorial Period in Arizona starts before there was is written history. The varying terrain, large population of wild game, abundance of natural resources, and access to water via lakes and rivers made Arizona an ideal location for primitive man to habitate. In places such as the Deer Valley Rock Art Center in Central Arizona,”has the largest concentration of Native American petroglyphs in the Phoenix Valley”.(1) There are petroglyphs here carved into boulders and cave walls that date back as far as 10,000 years. This period of history continued until the the early 16th century. In that time span, native people built cities, created roads, constructed pueblos, and created farming techniques.
Life in Arizona took a drastic change in 1535. A Spanish explorer named Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca shipwrecked on the coast of what is now Texas in what is now the Gulf Of Mexico. Cabeza de Vaca was possibly the first European to ever set foot in Arizona. His reports about the area intrigued the Spanish. Especially the native stories about “the Seven Cities of Cibola”, or the Seven Cities of Gold.(2) Even though there were no cities built of gold, the Spanish continued to explore Arizona. They established outposts and missionaries built missions to help the Native Americans. However the more Spanish that showed...