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.





Dec 14, Dr. Todd Bostwick, Exec Dir VVAC; The Dyck Rock Shelter; A Sinagua Habitation Site Overlooking Beaver Creek in Central Az



Last Month:  

November Meeting : Nov 9, Matt Guebard, Tuzigoot Ruins Park Supervisor;Cavates in Camp Verde and Montezuma Castle Park.  Matt will provide update on the current research at Montezuma Castle National Monument.

Matt Guebard, who is stationed at Tuzigoot National Monument has worked in the American Southwest for over 13 years. He received his MA in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University in 2006. Matt specializes in the preservation, management and public interpretation of cliff dwellings in Central Arizona. His research interests include prehistoric architecture, cultural resource management and the historical development of National Park Service in the American Southwest.

October Meeting: On Oct. 12th, Arizona Humanities speaker Eric Berg will present Eagles and Archaeologists:

The Lindberghs’ 1929 Southwest Aerial Photographic Survey. Famous aviator Charles Lindbergh is best known for his pioneering

1927 flight across the Atlantic Ocean in his airplane, “The Spirit of St. Louis.” Few people realize that Charles, and his wife Anne, also

played an important role in southwest archaeology. During the summer of 1929, a newlywed Charles and Anne worked with noted

southwest archaeologists Alfred Kidder and Earl Morris to conduct one of the first systematic aerial surveys of prehistoric sites and

geologic features in the Four Corners area. Over the space of several weeks, they took over 200 aerial images of such landmarks as

Chaco Canyon, Canyon del Chelly, Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater. Eighty years later, these remarkable photographs give a rare view

of the Colorado Plateau in the 1920s and provide unique insights into a wide range of changes that have occurred at the sites since.

We look forward to this very informative and exciting history of this important time period.    

    Award-winning historian and writer Erik Berg tells the exciting tale of the Lindberghs’ southwest adventures

and discusses a recent project to re-photograph these historic images. The presentation will include many rarely seen images from the

Lindbergh survey.  Erik has a special interest in the early 20th century southwest and the impact of science and technology. A past-president

of the Grand Canyon Historical Society, Berg lives in Phoenix where he works as a software engineer for Intel Corporation.

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

Our Sept. 14th speaker, Doug Wolfe, gave our group a really great talk about his work on the Zuni Plateau region of western New

Mexico.  He is a geologist who evolved into a paleontologist. He says that paleontologists must know the geology of earth to figure out

where to find the remains of the dinosaurs living in the Pleistocene period.   Doug introduced us to the recently discovered Zuniceratops,

which was discovered on the Zuni Plateau area (not on tribal lands).   The Zuniceratops lived about 100 million years ago, and survived

about 10 million years before the other ceratopsian dinosaurs. (Yes, we learned some new words!) This dinosaur has not been found

found in other parts of the US, but its ancestors are found in Mongolia. It is thought to have either originated either here in the

southwest, or migrated from Asia when the Earth contained only one continent, Pangaea.  These fossils can be seen at the White

Mountain Dinosaur Exploration Center in Springerville. They are also looking for volunteers; tours are available. Can you imagine going

on a dinosaur dig? Sign me up.



Jan 11: Doug Craig, Archaeologist Northland Research; Hohokam Sites in Casa Grande National Park area.

Feb 8: Harvey Leake: Wetherill Family

March 8: Dr. Nadine Barlow, Director of NAU Space and Astronomy Center, Dept of Physics; Is there Water on Mars?

April 12: Garry Cantley, Regional Archaeologist for Bureau of Indian Affairs; Archaeological Resourches and Crime Prevention.

May 10: Jerry Ehrhardt, AAS Verde Valley Chapter; General Crook Trail or Agriculture in VV-Sinagua Farming Methods.


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  . 

Parking is behind the museum; enter via the front door. The road into the museum has been redesigned, leaving only 3 spaces in front to park.  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





Informative Web Sites 




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