Arizona Archaeological Society



FALL 2020 Update:

Due to Covid, we will not be having our regular monthly chapter meetings this fall.  Our meeting place at Payson Senior Center is still closed and not planning on opening anytime soon.  In an effort to keep our club viable through the fall, we have planned some Ranger led field trips to some of our National Monuments.  We chose the National Monuments, as they seem to be a safe option and to overcome the high-clearance and carpooling issues that come up with most of our field trips.  The drive to the Monuments, are all paved roads, and have plenty of parking so no need to carpool.  These will be all outdoor trips.  These trips are only for members.

Our October 17th field trip was held at Montezuma Castle National Monument led by Matt Guebard, National Park Service Archeologist.  Matt Guebard gave a presentation and short walking tour highlighting recent research at Montezuma Castle National Monument. This included the discovery of colored wall decorations indicating rooms with special community functions as well as the use of cutting edge scientific techniques to evaluate the age of rooms at Montezuma Castle and the nearby Castle A site. So many members wanted to attend that a second Montezuma Castle outing is being planned.

Tentative plans for the November 21st meeting will be at Tuzigoot National Monument.  Again, Matt Guebard has agreed to lead this tour.  And for December, a tour of the Upper Ruin at Tonto National Monument is being planned.

Two papers by Matt Guebard:

Two to Four Inches of Lime Dirt:  Public Archaeology and the Development of Old and New Interpretations at the Castle Site, Montezuma Castle National Monument

During the Migration Time:  Oral History, Violence, and Identity in the Prehistoric Verde Valley

Something fun to do during the pandemic:

A group of geologists, archaeologists, and AAS members created the below guide for people who would like to enjoy the outdoors on Agua Fria National Monument during this pandemic.  It's a fun guide to a nice area with a river at the end.

Geology, Archaeology, and History Guide to Badger Springs Trail       More on Agua Fria National Monument

Archaeology TV by the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA):

Archaeology Zoom Presentations:

Lectures by AIA chapters from all over the world


The Rim Country Chapter of AAS is located in Payson, AZ, at the base of

the Mogollon Rim.  Meetings generally include a guest speaker presenting

an archaeological related subject. Refreshments are served. An outing to an archaeology site is normally scheduled for the afternoon following the general meeting. The RCC, under the guidance of Archaeologist Scott Wood, is participating in the excavation of the local Goat Camp Prehistoric Ruins Site. The completion of the excavation project will likely take several years, (Note: participation in the excavation, after meeting outings, and field trips is open only to current members of the Arizona Archaeological Society.) 

Meeting Time and Place:

The Payson Senior Center is currently closed due to the pandemic.  Meetings are normally held the third Saturday of each month, (except June, July, & August.) We meet at 10 a.m. in the Payson Senior Center at 514 W Main Street Guests are always welcome.  Meeting Location Map


You can join the Rim Country chapter of AAS with a "Single" or "Family" membership.  If you are already a member of AAS through a different chapter, you can add the Rim Country chapter to your membership by selecting "Single" or "Family" after "Dual Chapter".
2021 Membership Form

2020 Speakers:

Date  Speaker Topic
Jan 4 Jim Krehbiel

Site Lines and Sight Lines, recent discoveries in southeast Utah

Feb 1 Ralph Burrillo
The Anthropology of Paleontology: A Quick Look at Native American Depictions of the North American Fossil Record
March 7 Janine Hernbrode 

Patterns in Petroglyphs: Hints of the Hohokam Cosmology on the Landscape

Apr 4
May 2


 No Meeting
 No Meeting
 No Meeting
Sep 5
Oct 17

Matt Guebard

Montezuma Castle National Monument  (Meeting on site, Members only)
Nov 21 Matt Guebard Tuzigoot National Monument  (Meeting on site, Members only)
Dec 19 TBD

Upper Ruin Tonto National Monument (Meeting on site, Members only)

2020 Chapter Officers:

                                                           Questions?  Comments?  Email


On March 7, 2020, Janine Hernbrode presented  Patterns in Petroglyphs: Hints of the Hohokam Cosmology on the Landscape. Fifteen years of rock art recording on four major petroglyph sites in Southern Arizona has enabled the assembly of motif details, drawings and photographs of more than 16,000 glyphs located in landscapes with similar characteristics. This collection of images records the belief systems of its creators. There were no scenes of everyday life, of grinding corn, or plans for constructing pit houses. The images recording their belief system are interwoven into lines and circles and more complex images carefully placed on the landscape. By applying the scientific method to the patterns observed, by working with ethnographic accounts and linguistic analysis by others, and by consulting with indigenous people, we have gained some understanding of, and identified threads of continuity between, Native American belief systems and rock art motifs.

The Rim Chapter's February 1, 2020 speaker was Ralph Burrillo.  His presentation was titled, The Anthropology of Paleontology: A Quick Look at Native American Depictions of the North American Fossil Record.  The study of how Indigenous people articulate with the fossil record can offer researchers a tremendous wealth of insights about those cultures and their relationships with the land, as well as offer opportunities for further scientific and cross-cultural collaboration.  Yet this topic remains woefully overlooked by anthropologists.  A quick look at the archaeology of Native American depictions and interpretations of the North American fossil record reveals just how intricate, exciting,and sophisticated Indigenous paleontology can be. 

The Rim Chapter's January 4, 2020 speaker was Jim Krehbiel, Chair and Professor of Fine Arts at Ohio Wesleyan University.  His presentation, Site Lines and Sight Lines, Recent Discoveries in Southeast Utah, was about astronomical research at Ancestral Pueblo sites in southeast Utah.  It was a lesson in astronomy and a tour of remarkable sites in the Bears Ears Cedar Mesa area.  Photos of structures including intact kiva roofs were amazing.  When we see a ruin around here, well, it is a ruin.  Jim described a different approach to Archaeology, looking out rather than looking in, looking at the landscape instead of at the mortar, looking at the horizon instead of at the petroglyph.  Much Archaeoastronomy is indirect, looking at where sunlight slivers or shadows fall on rocks, glyphs, and niches.  Direct Archaeoastronomy involves viewing from such markers outward to the celestial bodies themselves.  Jim Krehbiel illustrated this approach with photos of horizons viewed from isolated structures, kivas, and petroglyph panels towards peaks, notches, prominent boulders, and cliff faces on the horizon.  Then he overlaid sight lines showing the points of rising and setting sun, moon, and certain stars and constellations at the times of various astronomical events such as solstices, equinoxes, cross quarters, lunistices, and major & minor lunar standstills.  Especially impressive were time lapse photo sequences of sunsets on these points at the times of solstices, leaving no doubt that the viewing point was chosen for this reason. 

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