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.
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
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
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
Additional Yavapai Chapter Activities Willow Lake Pit House
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
View the minutes of the most recent Yavapai Chapter board of directors meeting.
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
| January 16
||Pre-historic uses of agave
| February 20
||Identifying Yavapai Culture sites
| March 20
||Dr. David Wilcox
||Changing Patterns Of Resistance
| April 17
||Dr Britton Shepardson
| May 15
||Mimbres Culture & Art
| June 19
||Ancient Rock Calendars
Saturday, August 16
| September 18
||Chaco Canyon: An Overview
| October 16
||The ancient raised roadbeds of the Yucatan Mayans
| November 20
||An Essential Relationship: Amateurs & Professionals in Central Arizona Archaeology
| December ??
||147 N Arizona Ave
Prescott, AZ 86301-3184
|Sharlot Hall Museum
||415 W Gurley St
Prescott, AZ 86301-3691