Scientists rushing to save Canyon artifacts

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Excavation begins amid fear tribal pieces may wash away.

Archaeologists are excavating sites along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon in hopes of saving artifacts before they wash away.

Although the National Park Service typically leaves such artifacts alone, about 60 sites are being undercut by water, or unearthed by wind, topography and a lack of sand, which is largely blocked from getting into the canyon by Glen Canyon Dam upriver.

National Park Service archaeologists and the Museum of Northern Arizona are working to uncover nine of the sites, which are mostly about 1,000 years old.

The artifacts will ultimately end up on display at the South Rim.

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