Arizona Archaeological Society




The San Tan Chapter formed in May 2008 and was formally chartered as a member of The Arizona Archaeological Society on October 4, 2008. The Arizona Archaeological Society is an independent nonprofit corporation. Members are eligible to participate in field trips, excavations, surveys, lab work, and other areas of archaeological interest. Each member also receives a copy of the annual publication of the Society, The Arizona Archaeologist, together with the monthly newsletter, The Petroglyph. The San Tan Chapter meets at 7 PM, the second Wednesday of each month September through May, at the San Tan Historical Museum located at 20425 S Old Ellsworth Rd, Queen Creek 85142.  Monthly meetings are free and open to the public. 




Join one of our meetings for a closer look at:

San Tan Chapter of the

Arizona Archaeological Society

Learn about Arizona Prehistory!

Meet Professional Archaeologists! Participate in field trips and classes

Meetings are free and open to the public

The Second Wednesday of each month

September through May, meetings start at 7 p.m.

We meet at the San Tan Historical Society Museum

(The Historic Rittenhouse School)

Southeast Corner of Ellsworth and Queen Creek Roads




Chapter News

San Tan Chapter 2016

Hello San Tan Board members and others. I just wanted to alert you all that Jim has received AAS's Avocational Award. It will be presented at the Annual State Meeting held this year on Nov 3/4/5, in Prescott Valley.

Please mark your calendar's to come and cheer for Jim as he receives his award.

Marie Britton

Congratulations Jim Britton 


We hope all our members have an enjoyable and relaxing summer! See you in the fall!

The San Tan Chapter meetings are held at the San Tan Historical Society Museum at 20425 S Old Ellsworth Rd in Queen Creek (on the corners of Queen Creek Rd and Ellsworth Loop Rd.) They are held the second Wednesday of each month from September to May. The presentation begins at   7 PM. For more information on our chapter, contact Marie Britton at 480-390-3491 or Earla Cochran at 489-655-6733.



September 14th  - Doug Wolf, Director; White Mountain Dinosaur Exploration Ctr “Geography of the Zuni Plateau: Road to Zunceritop”


Last Month:

May 11th

At the San Tan Chapter’s last meeting before summer, we presented a movie for our members and the public. Director Cameron Trejo’s documentary film, POWER’S WAR, provides a detailed look into one man’s family and the issues he faced trying to settle into southern Arizona’s wilderness. It documents his ambitions to mine in the Galiuro Mountains. Painstakingly researched, this movie included locations where the events happened and features interviews with family members on both sides, and well-spoken historians. Trejo uses’ sweeping panoramas and the touch of a graphic novelist to tell the stories of the Power family and of Arizona’s deadly past.


Chapter Officers
 Office  Office Holder Contact Information
President Marie Britton

Sylvia Lesko
Treasurer Earla Cochran
Secretary Cindy Kristopeit
Director1/Archivist Keith Johanson
Director2 Carlos Acuna
Director3/Program Director Jerri Freeman 480-802-8214 
Membership Marie Britton

Archaeological Advisor Gina Gage

Chapter Meetings

The San Tan Chapter meetings are held at the San Tan Historical Society Museum at 20425 S Old Ellsworth Rd in Queen Creek on the corners of Queen Creek Rd and Ellsworth Loop Rd. Use the access road just south of the Queen Creek Rd (it goes east) then turn north on to Old Ellsworth Road.  Monthly meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month from September to May.  The presentation begins at 7 PM.  For more information on our chapter, contact Marie Britton at 480-827-8070  Park on Old Ellsworth in front of the museum.  Monthly meetings are free and open to the public. 

Please Note: ONLY Members of AAS can participant in Workshops and Field Trips. Field Trip participants will be required to sign an AAS Liability Release Form.

Memberships run on the calendar year.

Upcoming events

Events  ( must be a current AAS member)


 PINAL CITY FIELD TRIP     WHEN: Saturday February 27,2016



The San Tan Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society participated on March 05 at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument EXPO.  Visitors to the STC table enjoyed pottery puzzles and a prehistoric hand drill.  Also on display was a pit=house diorama.


Verde Valley Archaeology Center (VVAC) & Tuzigoot FIELD TRIP     WHEN: Sunday May 15,2016 

To end our spring season Marie Britton hosted a field trip north to the Camp Verde area. We started our tour at the Verde Valley Archaeology Center and then on to the Tuzigoot Classic period Ruins site in Clarkdale. A great time was had by 20 members from the San Tan, Phoenix and Rim Country Chapters! Our thanks go out to Jim and Diane Graceffa for a super presentation of how the VVAC has grown into a noted and distinguished Museum with a state of the art repository along with a laboratory for analysis. Our second stop was to the ruins of Tuzigoot. Thanks also go out to Skip Larsen, Park Ranger extraordinaire! Skip, whose wife is president of AAS Verde Valley Chapter, gave our tour an in-depth explanation of the area and how it was used by the mines and is now returning to the natural beautiful area it once was




Chapter Projects

  • Desert Wells Stage Stop - stabilization and repair of rock walls.

The Arizona Stage Company, operating after 1868, is believed to have used this old Andrada homestead as a respite from the Arizona Territory heat until approximately 1916.      

The early settlers described it as a simple one room building about ten foot square, constructed of rock with a mud and thatched roof.  There was a trough running around three of the sides, which was used for watering the horses, a porch on the south side and a well with windmill close by to keep the trough filled.  It had one four-foot door on the south side, and small gun ports instead of windows.

The site was a rest area and watering stop for the horses and mules used by freight wagons and the stage line that came from Florence via Olberg, and continued through the gap in the San Tan Mountains to Mesa, Arizona.

Even though this was a small spur stop, it holds a significant role in Queen Creek’s history and folklore, and is treasured by the community. If your interested in volunteering for this project please email us at

  • Stabilization of the San Tan Historical Museum. 

The historic Rittenhouse Elementary School, home to the San Tan Historical Society & Museum, was placed on the Arizona Historical Registry in 1990 and accepted by the National Registry of Historic Places in 1998. To donate your time or services to this ongoing restoration project, or to volunteer as museum interpreters please contact us:  The Museum is open every Saturday from 9am to 1pm and is open to the public, free of charge.  

The three-room, U-shaped building was named after Charles Rittenhouse and was used for classes from 1925 to 1982. The school is constructed of Arizona red brick with white trimmed transommed windows. Two roll-down dividers separated the three rooms, and a small stage was equipped with an abbreviated fly loft. Over time, changes were made to accommodate the needs of the growing community.

Some of the original playground equipment is still available for viewing. Antique farm equipment rests in the school yard north of the schoolhouse, reflecting a time when the local economy was based on agriculture. There are many new displays, pictures and historical information inside the classrooms. Please visit the historic Rittenhouse School now called the San Tan Historical Museum For more information visit our webpage at

Other: Cultural Sites Nearby





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