Arizona Archaeological Society




The Yavapai Chapter, based in Prescott, received its charter from the Arizona Archaeological Society in 1977, although both amateur and professional archaeologists have been active in the area since the late 1800s. From the beginning, chapter members have participated in serious scientific archaeological investigations, beginning with excavation at the Storm Site (located near Watson Lake) from 1977-1979. In total, the chapter has worked on 14 excavations and 5 rock art recordings in the Prescott area.

General Membership Meetings. Our Chapter meets on the third Thursday of each month (except July, August, and December) at 7:00 p.m. in the Smoki Museum's Pueblo room, 147 N. Arizona Street in Prescott (the entrance is at the rear of the building). Presentations on various topics are provided by a wide range of professional and amateur experts on topics from both prehistoric and historic times. Anyone interested in the archaeology of our area is welcome.

Yavapai Chapter members learn about the Elden Pueblo from Coconino National Forest Archaeologist Peter Pilles. Photo by Yavapai member Ron Robinson.

Field Trips. The Yavapai chapter also offers field trips, usually on the Saturday of the week following the general membership meeting. These trips offer outstanding opportunities to learn firsthand more about how prehistoric peoples lived through the artifacts and architectural remnants they left behind.  And that doesn’t even begin to cover the value inherent in experiencing the beauty of Arizona’s backcountry as few ever do.

Additionally, once or twice a year, the chapter sponsors multiple-day field trips to sites of special interest. Recent extended trips have included excursions to several pueblos in New Mexico, Tonto National Monument, and the Hopi reservation. A trip to Chaco National Historical Park is planned for the fall of 2014. Additional fees are often required for extended trips to offset the extra costs incurred.



Yavapai Chapter member Flo Reynolds closely examines roof work at Pueblo Bonito during a field trip to Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Photo by Yavapai member Ron Robinson.


All our field trips are intended for members of the Arizona Archaeological Society and, particularly, of the Yavapai chapter. However, others can sometimes be accommodated.


Want to learn more? Contact Chapter Secretary Bill Burkett to receive our meeting notices and other chapter news via email.

Yavapai Chapter Advisor Andy Christenson
Receives 2013 Professional Archaeologist Award

 Yavapai chapter advisor and 2013 Arizona Archaeological Society Professional Archaeologist Award recipient Andy Christenson.

In the fall of 2013, the Yavapai chapter’s own Dr. Andrew L. Christenson was selected for the 2013 Arizona Archaeological Society (AAS) Professional Archaeologist Award

Andy's valued relationship with the Yavapai Chapter began in 1998. From the beginning, Andy has graciously dedicated service to the AAS, teaching, supervising projects, performing analyses, authoring reports, leading educational field trips, and contributing in numerous other capacities to the archaeological community. Currently, he works as an independent archaeological consultant and volunteers as curator of the Smoki Museum, in addition to serving as the Archaeological Advisor for the Yavapai Chapter.

Despite the demands of his professional activities, Andy always makes time for the Yavapai chapter, and is consistently helpful with everything from routine questions to major projects. The AAS is grateful to Andy for sharing his knowledge, all he has done, and all he continues to do to promote responsible archaeological activity that contributes to our understanding of the past. We are proud to know him and thankful for his support.

Congratulations, Andy, on this well-deserved recognition!  

Additional Yavapai Chapter Activities

Willow Lake Pit House Refreshes. In 2002 and 2003, as part of the City of Prescott’s development of Willow Lake Park, professional archaeologists investigated prehistoric sites just north of the lake. To protect the structures, uncovered, open-sided ramadas were constructed over the sites. In the decade that followed, dirt and other debris collected in the pit houses.

In the fall of 2013, Yavapai chapter members, with the support of city officials, undertook the task of cleaning and sharpening the definition of the pit houses. While not a new excavation, the project gave chapter members a fresh taste of hands-on archaeological work.

Yavapai Chapter member Dick Shilvock examines a plummet he uncovered while working at one of the Willow Lake pit houses. Photo by Yavapai member Bill Burkett.





Coyote Ruin Excavation and Report. A site northeast of Prescott Valley, dubbed the Coyote Ruin, was one of the first Prescott Culture sites to be investigated. Between 1998 and 2004, Yavapai chapter members surveyed and excavated the site, recorded rock art, and analyzed and wrote about the artifacts and features they found there. Work continued on the full report about the site, which was issued in 2014 as Number 39 in the Arizona Archaeologist series of publications from AAS.






Training and Certification. AAS and other organizations with which it is affiliated offer courses and programs designed to train members in archaeological practices and techniques. Programs that can lead to certification in specialized areas are also available from time to time. Warner Wise is the Yavapai chapter’s certification representative. Contact Warner for more information.


Public Outreach Programs. Two of the Yavapai chapter’s objectives are to "foster interest and research in the archaeology of Arizona and the Southwest" and to “encourage public understanding of and concern for archaeological and cultural resources." Our public outreach programs help accomplish these goals.


For example, chapter members, collaborating with the Smoki Museum, have worked with area Boy Scouts of America organizations to help scouts earn Archaeology merit badges. Scouts attended educational sessions at the Smoki and ventured out to a Prescott-area prehistoric site to see how the knowledge they had gained would be put to work in the field. They even got a taste of traditional food, snacking on pemmican made of nuts, elk jerky, and agave nectar.



YCAAS member Bruce Pack demonstrates how to use an atlatl for Boy Scouts earning their Archaeology merit badges.


Additional public outreach programs have been targeted toward fourth- through sixth-grade students, church groups, ATV riders, and Rotary clubs. Informational booths at local civic events have also served to reach our neighbors in the community.


Chapter Library. The chapter maintains a specialized library of archaeology resources at the Smoki Museum. It is available to members 30 minutes before each monthly general meeting.


Chapter Officers

View the minutes of the most recent Yavapai Chapter board of directors meeting.

Office Office Holder Contact Information
President Barbara Moebius


Vice President Julie Rucker


Treasurer Sue Ford 928-778-5795
Secretary Bill Burkett 928-632-4614 
One-year Director Vacant


Two-year Director Eileen Chalfoun 928-899-1330
Three-year Director Florence Reynolds 928-776-1037
Archivist Vacant

Certification Rep Warner Wise 603-312-3075
Advisor Andy Christenson 928-308-5758

2014 Chapter Meeting Topics

The Yavapai chapter meets at 7:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month, except July, August, and December, at the Smoki Museum's Pueblo room at 147 N. Arizona Street in Prescott (the entrance is at the rear of the building).

Date Speaker Topic
 January 16 Wendy Hodgson Pre-historic uses of agave
 February 20 Peter Pilles  Identifying Yavapai Culture sites 
 March 20 Dr. David Wilcox  Changing Patterns Of Resistance
 April 17 Dr Britton Shepardson  Easter Island
 May 15 Karen Schollmeyer Mimbres Culture & Art
 June 19 Allen Dart Ancient Rock Calendars
 July No Meeting   

Saturday, August 16

No Meeting   
 September 18 Betty Higgins Chaco Canyon: An Overview
 October 16 William Litzinger The ancient raised roadbeds of the Yucatan Mayans
 November 20 Andy Christenson An Essential Relationship: Amateurs & Professionals in Central Arizona Archaeology
 December ?? TBA TBA 

Local Museums

Museum Location Website
Smoki Museum 147 N Arizona Ave
Prescott, AZ 86301-3184
(928) 445-1230
Visitor Center
Sharlot Hall Museum 415 W Gurley St
Prescott, AZ 86301-3691
(928) 445-3122
Visitor Center

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