Arizona Archaeological Society




This page shows upcoming events by the State organization, our chapters or of archaeological interest.

Upcoming events

    • 09 Feb 2016
    • 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
    • V Bar V near Camp Verde

    Trip to V Bar V Heritage Site




    9:30AM TO 11:30AM






    This is a 2.5 mile hike with some bushwhacking and narrow slippery shale rock areas.  Please know you hiking limitations.  Good hiking shoes are a must and walking sticks suggested.  Ken is showing us the main calendar panel and continuing onward to two additional panels that are not open to the general public.  To minimize environmental impact the hike is limited to 12 members.

    After the trip, we will take a tour of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center (Admission is free, donations accepted and welcome).  There are places to eat lunch in Camp Verde prior to our tour of the “Center” and picnic tables are available in the area.

    **A Red Rock Pass in needed or any America the Beautiful Interagency Pass, Golden Age, and Golden Access cards are accepted and honored in lieu of the Red Rock Pass for Forest recreation in Red Rock Country.  This also includes admission to the very popular Red Rock Country Heritage Sites: Palatki Ruins and Rock Art site, Honanki Ruins site and V-Bar-V Heritage site.  These passes are available for purchased at many commercial vendors, government offices, and/or machines throughout the area.

    • 10 Feb 2016
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Foothills Community Foundation (Holland Community Center) 34250 North 60th Street, Building B, Scottsdale AZ 85266 (just south of Carefree Highway)

    NOTE: Revised location due to Ash Wednesday at normal church community room location!

    Tales from the Dark Side: Cave Archaeology in Western Belize and its Implications for the Decline of Maya Civilization by Dr. Jaime Awe. 

    In Maya cosmology, few locations were (and are) considered more sacred or ritually charged than caves.  Representing portals to the netherworld and places of origin, these dark subterranean sites also served as the abode for important, powerful, and often capricious deities.  The Maya further believed that the spirits of deceased ancestors descended to the watery underworld where they could eventually be reborn.  Caves were thus places of death and creation because of their sacredness both the ancient Maya and their descendants visited and visit these sites to conduct rituals.  Until recently, intensive scientific investigations of cave sites are rare.  In an effort to address the latter bias, the Western Belize Regional Cave Project embarked on a multi-year research program designed to ascertain the nature of Maya cave utilization.  By combining ethnographic and ethnohistoric information with data from archaeological investigations, this presentation provides evidence which suggests that the Maya visited caves in an effort to communicate with particular gods or ancestral spirits and the primary focus of their ritual activities were directed toward sustenance and agricultural fertility, and that intensified cave ritual in the ninth century A.D. was intrinsically related to factors that led to the decline of Maya civilization.

    Reception and socialization at 7:00 pm, program begins approximately 7:30 pm.

    • 09 Mar 2016
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Community Building (Maitland Hall) at The Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331 (near the Dairy Queen)

    Dr. Deni Seymour presents The Great Battle of 1698: A Historical Turning Point for the O'odham and Apache on March 09, 2016.  Perhaps, the greatest historical event to have occurred in this region happened along the San Pedro River in the vicinity of Fairbank on Easter Day in 1698.  This was the battle at Santa Cruz de Gaybanipitea, when 500 Apache and their allies attacked the still-sleeping Sobaipuri-O’odham village of 80.  This village was visited by the Jesuit Father Eusebio Kino in the 1690s.  Against all odds, the Sobaipuri-O’odham won the battle.  The story is remembered because it was retold and recorded by a number of Spaniards, including by Padre Kino, but fresh understandings are now available that make the story even more important.  Seymour corrects the historical record with new translations of historic battle-related documents.  She moves beyond what the Spanish conveyed about the battle to include results of archaeological excavations and analysis with application of O’odham-specific cultural information that explains a number of problems including why Kino was delayed in his inspection of the battlefield.  The reasons for the battle are discussed and long-held questions are answered including the role of the Spaniards, routes of retreat, evidence of ritualized site cleansing, how we can be certain about the correct location, and where specifically the Sobaipuri went after the battle.  A newly identified battlefield signature is discussed based on projectile point breakage patterns.  Projectile points also provide important indicators of the various ethnic groups involved: the Jocome, Jano, Manso, Suma, and Apache.

    Reception and socialization at 7:00 pm, program begins approximately 7:30 pm.

    Further reading:

    2015 Behavioral Assessment of a Pompeii-Like Event and Its Battlefield Signature. Chapter 2 in Explorations in Behavioral Archaeology, edited by William H. Walker and James M. Skibo, pp.8-21. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.

    2014    A Fateful Day in 1698: The Remarkable Sobaípuri-O’odham Victory Over the Enemies of the Sonoran Province. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.

    2011    Where the Earth and Sky are Sewn Together: Sobaípuri-O’odham Contexts of Contact and Colonialism. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.

    2010    Archaeological Insights into the 1698 Victory of the Sobaípuri O'odham over the Enemies of the Sonoran Province. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center Bulletin 64:1-11.


    • 12 Mar 2016
    • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • Spur Cross Conservation Area, Cave Creek area

    Join us for the 2016 SPUR CROSS FAIR

    When:  Saturday, March 12, 2016

    Time:  9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

    Where:  Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area*

    What:  Learn about the archaeology of the Cave Creek/Spur Cross area through hikes, booths, guest speakers and live demonstrations!

    There are booths from the Desert Foothills Chapter of AAS, Cave Creek Museum, Desert Awareness Group, Desert Foothills Land Trust, Sonoran Art League, Verde Valley Archaeology Center, Liberty Wildlife, Pottery and Gold Panning demonstrations, and much more.  There are other children’s activities and crafts as well as the opportunity to view and hold prehistoric artifacts from the area.  Come help celebrate Arizona Archaeology Month.  Bring the whole family and have fun while learning about this beautiful state.  See you there!

    HIKES:  Include First Mesa, Jewel of the Creek, and Rock Art.**  Our speaker is Scott Wood retired Tonto National Forest Archaeologist. 

    *From Cave Creek road, turn North on to Spur Cross Road.  Spur Cross Conservation Area is 4 ½ miles north.  Although the Expo is free, there is a $3/adult park entrance fee.  Children under 16 and those with Maricopa County Park or Spur Cross passes are free.

    **Hikers should be prepared for desert walking with appropriate footwear, hats, snacks, and an adequate supply of bottled water!

    Spur Cross Fair


    Saturday, March 12th, 2016


    At 9:00 am join us for a hike to First Mesa along with archaeologist Mark Hackbarth to prehistoric Hohokam dwellings.  This is a moderate 2.5 mile hike with some uphill walking.  Allow a minimum of two hours.


    At 9:30 am join the Desert Foothills Land Trust staff and docents on a journey through history at the Jewel of the Creek.  This is a 1.0 mile hike with a steep trail down to the creek and requires crossing the creek twice.  Allow a minimum of 1 ½ hours.


    At 10:30 am join us for the Rock Art of Spur Cross hike to see some of the petroglyphs found in Spur Cross.  These petroglyphs were created hundreds of years ago by the Hohokam influenced people.  This is a moderate hike and allow a minimum of 1 ½ hours.


    At 11:00am join the Desert Foothills Land Trust staff and docents on a journey through history at the Jewel of the Creek.  This is a 1.0 mile hike with a steep trail down to the creek and requires crossing the creek twice.  Allow a minimum of 1 ½ hours.



    Spur Cross Fair

    Speaker Event

    Saturday, March 12th, 2016




    At 1:30pm join Scott Wood, retired Forest Archaeologist /Heritage Program Manager Tonto National Forest, for his talk on the Prehistory of the foothills areas and how it all relates to both the Salt River Valley and Perry Mesa.

    • 16 Mar 2016
    • 8:00 AM
    • 19 Mar 2016
    • 6:00 PM
    • Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

    Chaco Canyon Trip

    Dr. Doss Powell is our guide for this extended field trip and learning opportunity. The actual visitation days are March 17th and 18th with travel necessary on March 16th and 19th unless you extend your trip beyond these parameters for personal activities.  The cost is $160.00 per AAS member only attending with a trip limitation of 12 individual slots available and Desert Foothill Chapter members having priority.  Funds for the trip must be received by February 29th with no refunds possible after that date.  March 16th and 17th in Chaco Canyon are spent touring sites and hiking on uneven ground and gravel with some climbing – please consider your capabilities.  You are responsible for your own accommodations, food, transportation, fees etc. as well as your own Hotel or Camping Reservations.  There are “no” hotels within the park, only limited reservation required camping.  To sign up and/or for more information the only contact is Mary Kearney at  Please do not hesitate, interest is anticipated to be high and waitlist status is probable.

    • 13 Apr 2016
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Community Building (Maitland Hall) at The Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331 (near the Dairy Queen)

    DFC-AAS: April 13th – Hugh Grinnell

    Hugh Grinnell, an Arizona Humanities speaker, presents The Explorations and Discoveries of George Bird Grinnell, The Father of Glacier National Park.  The great West that George Bird Grinnell first encountered in 1870 as a 21-year old man disappeared before his eyes in a very short amount of time.  Nobody was quicker to sense the desecration or was more eloquent in crusading against the poachers, hide hunters, and a disengaged U.S. Congress than George Bird Grinnell, the “Father of American Conservation.”  Grinnell founded the first Audubon Society to save non-game birds from extinction due to feather collections used in ladies hats, cofounded the Boone and Crockett Club with Teddy Roosevelt an important friend, and led the effort to establish Glacier National Park as well as lobbying for other parks.  George Grinnell discovered the Grinnell Glacier in 1887.  He was a frequent contributor of articles to the Forest and Stream newspaper which he eventually purchased after graduating from Yale.  This presentation travels back in time to the 19th century by listening to Grinnell’s own words taken from his field journals, memoirs, personal correspondence, and newspaper editorials.

    Hugh Grinnell received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Arizona.  Since his retirement in 2004, Grinnell has studied the history of the great American West.  After discovering an old Great Northern Railway (GNR) passenger car named “Grinnell Glacier,” he researched the origin of the car’s name.  The GNR Grinnell Glacier was named in honor of George Bird Grinnell a naturalist and explorer, a distant cousin of Hugh Grinnell.  Grinnell continues to carry on his research of George Bird Grinnell (“the man called Bird”) and the Grinnell family, writing articles and producing DVDs.  In 2010, he presented “Saving the Great American West” at the annual convention of the GNR Historical Society and 100th anniversary of the establishment of Glacier National Park, held in Glacier National Parke.

    Reception and socialization at 7:00 pm, program begins approximately 7:30 pm.

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