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Coconino National Forest ancient village renamed Elden Pueblo Heritage Site

The Coconino National Forest is doing away with its so-called ruins nomenclature for sites on the forest in northern Arizona to better reflect that these places are still significant to folks today.

Forest Service officials changed the name of what was known as the Elden Pueblo Ruins, an ancient village on the east side of the San Francisco Peaks believed to be part of an important millennia-old trade route. The Hopi tribe met with the Forest Service to mirror tribal traditions Tuesday, and the site has been renamed as the Elden Pueblo Heritage Site. 

Coconino National Forest’s archeologist Peter Pilles says forest managers have been asked to work with local tribes to garner better ideas.

"To them, what we would call ruins are actually the homes of their ancestors and traditional people believe that the spirits of the past, of their ancestors, are still present at the sites," Pilles said. 

The V Bar V ranch is also in the process of being re-named. Pilles said the new name will reflect the waterfowl represented amidst the site’s petroglyphs.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.