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. 


Chapter News

San Tan Chapter 2016


February 10thMiles Gilbert, A qualified forensic anthropologist, has worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Public Safety, and the Game and Fish Departments for the states of Arizona, Wyoming, and Missouri.  His field studies, along with numerous locations here in the USA, include time spent in Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru.  Miles has served as field archaeologist for various projects on the Navajo Reservation. 

His topic for our meeting will be:  Archaeology of Jerusalem: New Findings.  Considering how many times Jerusalem has been destroyed it is amazing what significant artifacts were buried, preserved and recovered. 

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The circled area is termed the Ophel in the City of David just downhill from the Temple Mount which does indeed resemble a very large building. The gold medallion and the personal seal came from excavations there. I'll have illustrations of lots more things from elsewhere in Israel. The third picture is a Menorah lamp for Hanukkah just past.

March 9th – Dr. Aaron Wright, “Great Bend of the Gila River” New National Monument 

In March Aaron Wright will present his arguments for Exploring and Protecting the area called the Great Bend of the Gila

Aaron joined Archaeology Southwest’s staff as a Preservation Fellow in August 2006, and completed his Ph.D. in anthropology at Washington State University in 2009. In 1999, he earned a B.A. degree from the Ohio State University, with a major in Anthropology and minors in both Spanish and Folklore. Aaron earned a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Washington State University in 2006, where he used pollen to develop a climatic reconstruction for the Mesa Verde region of southwestern Colorado.

Aaron’s fellowship concerned the rock art at South Mountain near Phoenix, where he guided and trained volunteers in archaeological survey methods and rock-art recording. Aaron used data obtained from these surveys to research Hohokam ritual behavior and landscape utilization.

Aaron has conducted additional archaeological fieldwork in California, Ohio, Washington, Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mexico. His research interests are quite diverse, and include rock art, social complexity, identity, oral history, cultural transmission, and palynology.

He is currently a Research Associate at Archaeology Southwest.

April 13th – John Hall, Statistical Research,“Luke Solar Project; An Extensive Archaic Site in West Phoenix Basin

May 11th – Movie Time: “The Power's War" The Power's War provides a detailed look into one man's silent protest against America's entry into the First World War that led to the deadliest shootout in Arizona's history. Contemporary interviews, archival material, and original artwork come together to tell the story of the first World War that pitted the rights of individuals against the growing power of the federal government. 

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

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







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

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