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Proclamation 7263 of January 11, 2000
Establishment of the Agua Fria National Monument
By the President of the United States of America
The windswept, grassy mesas and formidable canyons of Agua Fria Na- tional Monument embrace an extraordinary array of scientific and historic resources. The ancient ruins within the monument, with their breathtaking vistas and spectacular petroglyphs, provide a link to the past, offering in- sights into the lives of the peoples who once inhabited this part of the desert Southwest. The area's architectural features and artifacts are tangible objects that can help researchers reconstruct the human past. Such objects and, more importantly, the spatial relationships among them, provide out- standing opportunities for archeologists to study the way humans interacted with one another, neighboring groups, and with the environment that sustained them in prehistoric times.
The monument contains one of the most significant systems of late pre- historic sites in the American Southwest. Between A.D. 1250 and 1450, its pueblo communities were populated by up to several thousand people. During this time, many dwelling locations in the Southwest were aban- doned and groups became aggregated in a relatively small number of dense- ly populated areas. The monument encompasses one of the best examples of these areas, containing important archeologica] evidence that is crucial to understanding the cultural, social, and economic processes that accom- panied this period of significant change.
At least 450 prehistoric sites are known to exist within the monument and there are likely many more. There are at least four major settlements within the area, including Pueblo La Plata, Pueblo Pato, the Baby Canyon Ruin group, and the Lousy Canyon group. These consist of clusters of stone-ma-