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 20435 S Old Ellsworth Rd, Queen Creek 85142.  Monthly meetings are free and open to the public. 

We encourage you to pay membership fees directly to the San Tan Chapter by check or cash.  This enables the STC to receive its portion of the dues in a timely manner.  Fees are used for guest speakers, group activities, and our annual potluck.

Click here for Membership Form


************  COMING SOON:  "INVITATION TO ARIZONA ARCHAEOLOGY" ***************************

WE ARE STARTING TO PLAN FOR OUR FIRST ARCHAEOLOGY EVENT TO TAKE PLACE: if you would like to participate/volunteer please contact Marie Britton      (    )


TIME              :    








   FLINT KNAPPING - BY DR. CHRIS LOENDORF ARCHAEOLOGIST AND SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER GILA RIVER                                                                                                       INDIAN COMMUNITY (GRIC)     




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



Source : Imagery (C) 2017  DigitalGlobe U.S. Geological Survey USDA Farm Service Agency. Map data (C) 2017 Google United States


 SE AZ Culture Periods     SW Agricultural Cultures    ASM SW Cultural     AZ 5 Prehistoric Cultures    Pueblo Periods

Quick Content Links:

 Get Out and Enjoy/Experience Arizona

San Tan Chapter Officers

Recommend Books to Read


Old Is New

Chapter Speaker Schedule

Events/Field Trips


October 19, 2019 International Archaeology Day at Pueblo Grande Museum

Saturday 9:00am - 4:00pm

October 22, 2019 "Harvest the Desert"  at the Gilbert Historical Museum

Tuesday 6:30pm - 7:45pm 

Join Native American botanist David Morris for a look at the cultivated and gathered plants used by the Native Americans in the Southwest. Some of these plants have provided food, medicine and spiritual needs for the Sonoran Desert people since prehistoric times. This will be an informative, entertaining and enlightening look at the ethnobotany of the Southwest.

Registration is required.

October 24, 2019 "Turquoise : Jewel of the Southwest"  at the Queen Creek Library 

Thursday 6:30pm - 7:30 pm

Presenter: Jane Przeslica


 If you have ever marveled at the beauty of turquoise, here is an opportunity to learn more about how the stone was used by indigenous communities in ceremonies as well as for jewelry and pottery.

2019 AAS State Meeting - Sedona Arizona October 25 - 27, 2019



"The prehistory of southern Arizona did not exist in a vacuum. Events were happening all over the world at the same time things were going on here. This will give you some idea of the many events that happened during prehistoric times, from about 12,000 B.C. to A.D. 1540.

15,000-12,000 B.C.: People throughout the northern hemisphere hunted mammoth and other large animals. People crossed over the Bering Land Bridge. Mammoths, ground sloths, and dire wolves roamed through the Southwest.

10,000 B.C.: People in Turkey began to grow wheat. The Paleo-Indian big game hunters moved south and moved into the Southwest.

8,000 B.C.: The Ice Age ended, glaciers began to recede, water levels rose around the world,cutting off the Bering Land Bridge. Early farming and town life began in the eastern Mediterranean. Pa leo-Indians hunted big game on the Great Plains and in the Southwest. In the area that is now California, Nevada, and Utah, people began to gather plant foods and hunt smaller game the Archaic culture began.

7,000 to 6,000 B.C.: Around the world, the climate fluctuated a lot; droughts and floods, long,cold winters and hot summers caused problems for plants and animals. Mammoths, sloths, dire wolves, and other animals became extinct. Farming began in Egypt and Greece and cattle, goats,pigs, and sheep were domesticated. The land bridge between Great Britain and France was cutoff, making Great Britain an island. Farming began in South America and possibly in Mexico.The Archaic culture began in the Southwest.

6,000 to 3,000 B.C.: Farming spread as far north as the Netherlands. Horses were domesticated. In Mesopotamia, writing was developed and the first cities were built. Farming began in China. Llamas were domesticated in South America.

3,000-2,000 B.C.: The Sumerians invented cuneiform writing. Hieroglyphics were developed in Egypt. Judaism began. People in the Middle East and India began to work with metal. Village life began in Mexico and Central and South America.

1,000 B.C.-500 B.C.: The great cultures of the Mediterranean and Middle East flourished. Wars became large-scale and mass migrations occurred. Phoenicians developed an alphabet. The Aryan culture was at its peak in India. Buddhism was founded in India. Dynasties ruled feudal towns in China. The Olmec culture arose in Mexico. Corn and bottle gourds were brought into the U.S. Southwest, and people began to farm.

500 B.C.-A.D. 0: Greek culture flourished. Alexander the Great conquered large amounts of territory in the Middle East. Wars were common in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The caste system developed in India. The Great Wall of China was built. The town of Teotihuacan,in the Valley of Mexico, was built. People in southern Arizona began to live in villages.

A.D. 0-300: Christianity originated and spread. Rome ruled the Mediterranean and Europe.Buddhism was introduced to China. The Nazca culture flourished in Peru. Villages developed in Maya country. The Hopewell culture (mound builders) began along the Mississippi. People in the American Southwest began making pottery. The Hohokam, Mogollon, and Anasazi cultures began.

A.D. 300-700: Islam began. Rome was destroyed by Vandals. The black plague spread through Europe. Gunpowder was invented in China. The Hohokam culture spread through the Sonoran Desert region.

A.D. 700-900: The Dark Ages began in Europe. The Arabs were in control of land from Portugal to China. Charlemagne lived. The Vikings attacked much of northern Europe. Mayan civilization flourished in Central America. Effigy mounds were built in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. The Anasazi began to build above-ground structures. Ball courts were built throughout the Hohokam region.

A.D. 900-1000: The Holy Roman Empire was founded. Mayan civilization collapsed. The Anasazi built the pueblos in Chaco Canyon. The Hohokam started to build platform mounds.

A.D. 1000-1100: The Crusades began. Leif Erickson went to Vinland, which was in eastern North America. William the Conquerer invaded England. Sunset Crater near Flagstaff erupted several times.

A.D. 1100-1300: Marco Polo traveled throughout Asia. The Mongols attacked Europe. Many European cathedrals were built and several universities were founded. The Crusades ended.Temple mounds were built in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys. People on the Plains lived in villages and farmed. Chaco Canyon was abandoned. Cliff dwellings and pueblos were built throughout the Southwest by Anasazi and Mogollon peoples. The Hohokam began to build villages with compounds.

A.D. 1300-1539: The European Renaissance occurred. The Europeans began exploring the world, in search of riches. The ancestors of the Apaches moved south onto the Plains, and theUtes became an identifiable group in the Great Basin. The Anasazi and Mogollon (now known as Western Pueblo) congregated in villages on the Hopi Mesas, at Zuni, and in the Rio Grande Valley. The Hohokam culture "disappeared." Columbus "discovered" America. Hernan Cortez and his army conquered the Aztecs in Mexico. Francisco Pizarro and his army invaded Peru and conquered the Incas. The Spanish started to make slave raids into northern Mexico.

A.D. 1539-1540: Prehistory ended when Marcos de Niza, Estevan, and Coronado entered the United States Southwest."




Archaeological Parks and Prehistoric Native American Ruins of Central Arizona

Platform Mounds of the Arizona Desert

Tonto Basin

Passport in Time --      

 Caretaking Kentucky Camp  Arizona Coronado N.F.

"The goal of PIT is to preserve the nation's past with the help of the public. As a PIT volunteer, you contribute to vital environmental and historical research on public lands. Your participation helps us not only to protect and conserve the sites, memories, and objects that chronicle our collective past, but also to understand the human story in North America and ensure that story is told to our children and grandchildren. We cannot do it without you!"

Will Reed

PIT National Coordinator

US Forest Service 

These 12 Unbelievable Ruins In Arizona Will Transport You To The Past --- compiled by Monica Spencer

 These 12 Trails In Arizona Will Lead You To Extraordinary Ancient Ruins --- compiled by Monica Spencer


Archaeology for the public from the SOCIETY FOR AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY (SAA): 

 Visit the SAA web site for information on Archaeology:   


Methods of Gathering Data



The methods used by archaeologists to gather data can be applied to any time period, including the very recent past. One archaeologist in the U.S. has become known for his study of the garbage discarded by the people of Tuscon, Arizona in the 1970s! This “garbology” project proved that even recent artifacts can reveal a lot about the people who used and discarded them.

Over the past 150 years archaeologists have developed many effective methods and techniques for studying the past. Archaeologists also rely upon methods from other fields such as history, botany, geology, and soil science.

In this section of Methods of Gathering Data you will learn how archaeologists gather and analyze information by utilizing historical research techniques, field methods for data recovery, and laboratory analyses. 


Links available from the SAA web site:

" Archaeology for Kids Online "

" Ancient Egypt "

" Maya Adventure "

Archaeology for Kids

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Zuni , Selected Writings of Frank Hamilton Cushing

Frank Hamilton Cushing was an American Anthropologist and Ethnologist.  He made pioneering studies of the Zuni Indians of New Mexico by entering into their culture; his work helped establish participant observation as a common anthropological research strategy. Wikipedia

Arrowpoints, Spearheads, & Knives of Prehistoric Times by Thomas Wilson

"A thorough history of the weapons and tools our prehistoric ancestors used to survive, this book reveals a world that will fascinate anyone interested in outdoor skills, ancient weapons or anthropology.  Thomas Wilson explains the many types of arrowheads, spears and knives used by the people of the Paleolithic period across Western Europe and the early days of America.  He details the materials from which these were made, how and where they were manufactured, and the purposes for which they were crafted--from  hunting and cutting to scraping and grindings.  Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of drawings of these tools, including microscopic details of the flint and other stones from which they were crafted, this is a rare look into what seems like mankind's not so-distant past."

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Primitive Technology: A Book of Earth Skills edited by David Wescott

"Have You Ever Longed To Return To A Past Where Humanity's Greatest Concern Was Survival, When Our Hands Created Life's Necessities, When The Land's Raw Provisions Were The Materials With Which We Created Warmth, Shelter, Food, and Tools--A Time Before We Lost Our Bond With The Wilderness? Primitive Technology Helps Build A Bridge Between The Ancient Past and Our Modern Lives, Putting Us In Touch Again With Nature and Ourselves. This Volume--A Selection of Articles Within The Bulletin of Primitive Technology--Portrays The History, Philosophise, and Personal Journeys of Authorities On Primitive Technology, Imparting Skills That Built The Success of Mankind. From Views On Primitive Technology and "New" Archaeology To Making Fire and Tools of Bone, This Book Is Informative and Enlightening--- copied from

Invitation to Archaeology by James Deetz

Archaeology: Window on the Past. A Guide for Teachers and Students. Revised.

written by Gregonis, Linda M.; Fratt, Lee

U.S. Department of Education   /   Educational Resources Information Center ( ERIC )

This guide, a revision of the 1985 manual, Archeology Is More than a Dig, is designed to help teachers use archaeology in the classroom and can be used with several disciplines to integrate learning in the elementary classroom. Designed for fifth-grade students, the lessons can be adapted to fit the appropriate skill level of students. Divided into eight sections, section 1, "Archaeology and Archaeologists," discusses the discipline of archaeology and how and why people become archaeologists. Section 2, "Doing Archaeology," explains how archaeology is done, from survey to excavation to analysis and interpretation. Section 3, "Cultures of the Past," is a summary of the prehistoric and historic cultures in southern Arizona. Section 4, "Teaching Archaeology," discusses concepts that can be emphasized in the classroom. Section 5, " Protecting Our Heritage," discusses the responsibilities of all citizens in protecting the past. Section 6, "Resources," includes an annotated list of suggested reading and audiovisual materials, as well as references used in preparing the text. Section 7, "Glossary," defines archaeological terms. Section 8, "Activities," includes instructions for activities that can be used in the classroom and answers to questions on illustrations for sections 1 and 2. (EH)

Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Learner; Guides - Classroom - Teacher

Education Level: N/A

Audience: Practitioners; Students; Teachers

Language: English

Sponsor: N/A

Authoring Institution: Tucson Unified School District, AS. Cooper Environmental Science Campus.

History of Mankind,  Cultural and Scientific Development, Volume One,  Part I: Prehistory by Jacqueta Hawkes

The Book of the Navajo by Raymond Friday Locke

House of Rain - Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across The American Southwest by Craig Childs


Naturalist and NPR commentator Childs (Soul of Nowhere, 2002, etc.) chronicles his research trips following in the footsteps of a native population that flourished, then mysteriously disappeared, in pre-Columbian America.

His subject: the Anasazi, ancestors of today’s Hopi. These Southwestern hunters and farmers lived in some of North America’s most unforgiving terrain, blisteringly hot and dauntingly arid, yet they developed a rich culture that survived hundreds of years and multiple migrations. The author travels along those migratory routes, pursuing the Anasazi over a period of years with many different companions, including his wife, infant son and stepfather, as well as various archaeologists and a few modern-day desert-rats. He battles fire, infernal summer temperatures, brutal winter cold and wind. Water tends to be either absent or overabundant; at one point, he allows a flash flood to transport him, sans clothes, downstream to his destination. He begins at Chaco Canyon in northwest New Mexico and meanders through Colorado, Utah, Arizona and northwest Mexico, where his quest ends in a recently plowed field choked with potsherds hundreds of years old. The author has interviewed (and frequently traveled with) numerous authorities on the pottery, geology, architecture and agriculture of these enigmatic people. His text is rich in geographical and archaeological detail about raising corn, breeding macaws, beheading turkeys and more. Childs considers conventional thinking, then weighs in with his own theories, earned the old-fashioned way, by walking tough terrain to sites untouched for centuries. Evoking these places where people ground corn, procreated, celebrated and slaughtered one another, he displays surpassing curiosity and profound reverence.  "

The Archaeology of Ancient Arizona by Jefferson Reid and Stephanie Whittlesey

Massacre on the Gila : An Account of the Last Major Battle Between American Indians With Reflections on the Origin of War by Clifton B. Kroeber and Bernard L. Fontana

Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux by John G. Neihardt

The famous life story of the Lakota healer and visionary, Nicholas Black Elk.

Widely hailed as a spiritual classic, this inspirational and unfailingly powerful story reveals the life and visions of the Lakota healer Nicolas Black Elk (1863-1950) and the tragic history of his Sioux people during the epic closing decades of the Old West.  In 1930, the aging 
Black Elk met a kindred spirit, the famed poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt (1881-1973) on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  The Lakota elder chose Neihardt to share his visions and life with the world.  Neihardt understood and today Black Elk is known to all.
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Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage by William Loren Katz
The compelling account of how two heritages united in their struggle to gain freedom and equality in America—now updated with new content!

The first paths to freedom taken by runaway slaves led to Native American villages.  There, black men and women found acceptance and friendship among our country's original inhabitants.   Though they seldom appear in textbooks and movies, the children of Native- and African- American marriages helped shape the early days of fur trade, added a new dimension to frontier diplomacy, and made a daring contribution to the fight for American liberty.   --- copied from

Winds From the North: Tewa Origins and Historical Anthropology by Scott G. Ortman 

Winner of the Don D. and Catherine S. Fowler Prize

The “abandonment” of Mesa Verde and the formation of the Rio Grande Pueblos represent two classic events in North American prehistory. Yet, despite a century of research, no consensus has been reached on precisely how, or even if, these two events were related. In this landmark study, Scott Ortman proposes a novel and compelling solution to this problem through an investigation of the genetic, linguistic, and cultural heritage of the Tewa Pueblo people of New Mexico.

Integrating data and methods from human biology, linguistics, archaeology, and cultural anthropology, Ortman shows that a striking social transformation took place as Mesa Verde people moved to the Rio Grande, such that the resulting ancestral Tewa culture was a unique hybrid of ideas and practices from various sources. While addressing several long-standing questions in American archaeology, Winds from the North also serves as a methodological guidebook, including new approaches to integrating archaeology and language based on cognitive science research. As such, it will be of interest to researchers throughout the social and human sciences.          --- copied from

Hidden Scholars:Women Anthropologists and the Native American Southwest by Dr. Nancy Parezo

Women scholars, writers, curators, and philanthropists have played important roles in the study of Native American cultures of the Southwest. For much of the twentieth century, however, their work has been overlooked. The essays in this book, which grew out of the landmark conference known as Daughters of the Desert, help to rectify the appropriation, erasure, disparagement, and invisibility that many women anthropologists have suffered.
A number of essays are biographical or intellectual histories, such as Parezo on Matilda Coxe Stevenson, Hieb on Elsie Clews Parsons, Babcock on Ruth Benedict, Lamphere on Gladys Reichard, and Lange on Esther Goldfrank. Others provide an overview of women archaeologists (Cordell), philanthropists (McGreevy), and popular writers (Tisdale). Still others assess the contributions of women to a particular subfield, such as Sand on the Yaquis and Hinton on women linguists. This volume goes beyond celebration, however, to provide a critical contribution to anthropological history.                                                                                           --- copied from

The Lost World of the Old Ones by  David Roberts

"For more than 5,000 years the Ancestral Puebloans—Native Americans who flourished long before the first contact with Europeans—occupied the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. Just before AD 1300, they abandoned their homeland in a migration that remains one of prehistory's greatest puzzles. Northern and southern neighbors of the Ancestral Puebloans, the Fremont and Mogollon likewise flourished for millennia before migrating or disappearing. Fortunately, the Old Ones, as some of their present-day descendants call them, left behind awe-inspiring ruins, dazzling rock art, and sophisticated artifacts ranging from painted pots to woven baskets. Some of their sites and relics had been seen by no one during the 700 years before David Roberts and his companions rediscovered them.

In The Lost World of the Old Ones, Roberts continues the hunt for answers begun in his classic book, In Search of the Old Ones. His new findings paint a different, fuller portrait of these enigmatic ancients—thanks to the breakthroughs of recent archaeologists. Roberts also recounts his last twenty years of far-flung exploits in the backcountry with the verve of a seasoned travel writer. His adventures range across Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado, illuminating the mysteries of the Old Ones as well as of the more recent Navajo and Comanche.

Roberts calls on his climbing and exploratory expertise to reach remote sanctuaries of the ancients hidden within nearly vertical cliffs, many of which are unknown to archaeologists and park rangers. This ongoing quest combines the shock of new discovery with a deeply felt connection to the landscape, and it will change the way readers experience, and imagine, the American Southwest.  "         --- copied from

Wolfkiller: Wisdom from a Nineteenth-Century Navajo Shepherd

recorded by Louisa Wade Wetherill / compiled by Harvey Leake

"Fascinating history and compelling storytelling make Wolfkiller, the memoir of a Navajo shepherd man who lived in the Monument Valley region of the Southwest, a page-turning epic. In these stories compiled by Harvey Leake, Wolfkiller shares the ancient wisdom of the Navajo elders that was passed to him while a boy growing up near the Utah/Arizona border. Wolfkiller's story was recorded and translated by pioneer trader Louisa Wade Wetherill, an unlikely pairing that came together when she moved to this remote area of southern Utah in 1906. Wetherill recognized that Wolfkiller was a man of exceptional character, with lessons and wisdom of the Navajo that deserved to be recorded and preserved for the benefit of future generations.

Over the course of many years, Wolfkiller told his stories to Wetherill who translated them into English. When the manuscript was completed in 1932, modern society was simply not ready for it. Rejected by publishers, the document languished in the family archives until today, long after Wolfkiller and Mrs. Wetherill were gone, it can now be recognized as a unique and profound book that speaks to modern culture's compulsive rush away from nature.

Included are photographs of Wolfkiller and the Wetherills, all taken from about 1906 to 1926. More than forty other historical photographs are also included.

"If Mrs. Wetherill could be persuaded to write on the mythology of the Navajos, and also on their present-day psychology-by which somewhat magniloquent term I mean their present ways and habits of thought-she would render an invaluable service. She not only knows their language; she knows their minds. . . ." Theodore Roosevelt, after visiting the Wetherill trading post in 1913 " --- copied from

From : Doug Craig, Archaeologist Northland Research

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed written by Jared Diamond

Content: Collapse arose as an attempt to understand why so many past societies collapsed, leaving behind ruined or abandoned temples, pyramids, and monuments as romantic mysteries to baffle subsequent visitors and modern tourists. Why did societies that were as powerful as the Khmer Empire, and as brilliantly creative as the Maya, abandon the sites into which they had invested such enormous effort for so many centuries? Archaeological and paleoclimatic studies of recent decades have documented a role of environmental ------- Jared Diamond

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus written by Charles C. Mann

"Riveting and fast-paced ... masterfully assembles a diverse body of scholarship into a first-rate history of Native America" — Publishers Weekly •"A journalistic masterpiece"— New York Review of Books •"Marvelous ... a sweeping portrait of human life in the Americas before Columbus"— New York Times •"A landmark of a book that drops ingrained images of colonial America into the dustbin one after the other"— Boston Globe

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Native American Inventions

Stone Boiling - The History of the Ancient Cooking Method 

how do you make soup hot without a stove top?

The Full History of Navajo Blankets and Rugs

Aztec Culture and Society - Crystalinks

The High-Tech Future of the Ancient Science of Archaeology

Fresh look at Nasca lines in Peru

Ancient Technology Series - the University of Iowa

Midden - An Archaeological Garbage Dump

Arrowheads: Widespread Myths and Little Known Facts

Interactive Digs- Archaeological Institute of America & Archaeology Magazine

Projectile Point Analysis of American Southwest

Tiny Footprints, Big Discovery: Reptile Tracks Oldest Ever Found In Grand Canyon - University of Nevada Las Vegas

Arizona's Mysterious Clock of Ancient Times  - BBC Travel

Beneath Arizona's Desert Lie Secrets of the Triassic - Discover Magazine

Kiva - Ancestral Pueblo Ceremony Structures

The Hohokam: Canal Masters of the American Southwest by Paul Joseph De Mola

Stone Age Cave Symbols May All Be Part of a Single Prehistoric Proto-Writing System

American Southwest Virtual Museum -- "The American Southwest Museum is a digital repository of photographs, maps, information, and virtual tours of National Park Service units and museums across the Southwest."

How do Archaeologist Count Backward Into the Past?

America's Archaeology Data Keeps Disappearing by Keith Kintigh Arizona State University

Bow and Arrow Hunting - A History of the Technology by K. Krist Hirst

The Atlatl :17,000 Year Old Hunting Technology by K. Krist Hirst

The Concept of the Wheel in Ancient Mesoamerica - by Javier Urcid,  Brandeis University, Massachusetts

Petroglyphs Discovered in India -Prehistoric art hints at lost Indian Civilization

Discovering The Archaeology Of Tattooing --- the ArchaeologicalConservency

Spear Point Study Offers New Explanation of How Early Humans Settled North America -T A&M

Exclusive: Massive Ancient Drawings Found in Peruvian Desert ----National  Geographic

Armed with satellites and drones, archaeologists discover new Nasca lines and dozens of other enigmatic geoglyphs carved into the earth.

Move Over, 'Tomb Raider': Here Are 11 Pioneering Women Archaeologists  

Top 10 Archaeology Discoveries for 2017 complied by Heritage Daily ---:) link

Internet Archaeology 

"Internet Archaeology is hosted by the Department of Archaeology at the University of York and digitally archived by the Archaeology Data Service. Internet Archaeology has been awarded the Directory of Open Access Journals Seal in recognition of our high standards in publishing best practice, preservation and openness."

Popping The Corn -

"University of Cincinnati  archaeologist Alan Sullivan is challenging the idea that prehistoric people in the Southwest subsisted on maize. Instead, his research suggests they set ground fires to promote wild foods."

How Aerial Thermo Imagery is Revolutionizing Archaeology -- Dartmouth

UA Research Sheds New Light on Early Turquoise Mining in Southwest -University of Arizona
Tomb of early classic Maya ruler found in Guatemala --Washington University in St. Louis

Chaco Canyon petroglyph may represent ancient total eclipse

Tracing social interactions in Pleistocene North America via 3D model analysis of stone tool asymmerty

University of Leicester develops pioneering X-ray technique to analyse ancient artefacts

The Three Sisters - Ancient Cornerstone of American Farming

'The "Three Sisters" plants as pre-historic Indians grew them corn, squash, and bean. These food sources, were the foundation of so many Indian cultures across North America, including the Hohokam here.  Until the Spanish introduced wheat, and domestic animals, the Three Sisters, supplemented with Mesquite pods, agave, and hunting  game, were all they had to eat.' (source K.Johanson)

 From the New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies :Pottery Typology Project

From the U.S. BLM and the Society of Historical Archaeology : Historic Glass Bottle Identification and Information Website

Maya Sites - Science Museum of Minnesota      ----:)     link

Radiocarbon Dating ( source )      ----:)     link   

The Hohokam  ( source )                ----:)     link

Dating Techniques - e-learning platforms La "Sapienza" University of Rome -:) link 

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WHAT'S OLD IS NEWS: ( source; various )

Amazonian Tribe Complies 500-page Traditional Medicine Encylcopedia -American Botanical Council

Research Team Discovers Oldest Know Plant Virus at Ancient Settlement - Penn State University

Underwater Archaeologists Find Surprising Artifacts from Major Roman Naval Battle - LiveScience

Mapping the Maya: Laser Technology Reveals Secrets of Ancient Civilization to Ithaca Archaeology Professor

Archaeologist discovers Copper Arrowhead in the Yukon Territory

"World's Longest Underwater Cave System Discovered in Mexico May Shed Light on Mayan Rituals"

Ancient water bottle use and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure among California Indians: a prehistoric health risk assessment.

Kent State Archaeologist Explains Innovation of “Fluting” Ancient Stone Weaponry

Downtown Phoenix grocery store construction site yields prehistoric artifacts--Arizona Republic

A 130,000-year-old archaeological site in southern California, USA

ASU scientist finds advanced geometry no secret to prehistoric architects in US Southwest

Dr. Sherry Towers, a professor with the ASU Simon A. Levin Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center, uncovered these findings while spending several years studying the Sun Temple archaeological site in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, constructed around A.D. 1200.

Gallery:Archaeological mysteries hidden in satellite images by Sarah Parack a 2016 TED Prize winner

13th Century Maya Codex long shrouded in controversy, proves genuine -- Brown University

How Do We Know When a Hunk of Rock is Actually a Stone Tool by Maggie Koerth-Baker ---:) link

Computer Models Find Ancient Solutions to Modern Problems - Washington State University

Inner Workings: Ancient teeth reveal clues about microbiome evolution ----:)     link 

Virus-detected-ancient-pottery ----:)     link 

Montezuma Castle ----:)     link 

Ritual Drinks in the Pre-Hispanic US Southwest and Mexican Northwest ---:)   link

A Secret Tunnel Found in Mexico May Finally Solve the Mysteries of Teotihuacán  ---:)   link

 A Pendant Fit for a King  ---:)   link  UC San Diego

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Chapter News

2019                   San Tan Chapter 


The San Tan Chapter meetings are held at the San Tan Historical Society Museum at 20435 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



           The San Tan Chapter meetings are held at the San Tan Historical Society Museum at 20425 S Old Ellsworth Rd in Queen Creek

Fall Schedule:  2019 

November 13: MOVIE NITE


Episode 1 : From Caves to Cosmos

" From Caves to Cosmos focuses on the deep roots of Native America.  Who are America's First Peoples and how did they create their unique world?  Answers emerge from Hopi Elders on pilgrimage at sacred Chaco Canyon in the New Mexico desert, scientists examining ancient cave painting in the Amazon jungle, Chumash boat builders exploring their tribe's ancient migration legacy off California'a coast, and an archaeologist digging deep below a towering pyramid near Mexico City."

December 11:  Dr. Chris Loendorf Senior Project Manager GRIC

Topic: " Rock Art Conservation Efforts in the Gila River Indian Community "

The Gila River Indian Community Cultural Research Management Program (GRIC-CRMP) is actively involved in the protection and management of the many rock art sites within the community. These locations play a role in ongoing traditions and remain culturally significant to members of the modern community. Because of the sacred and sensitive nature of the extensive prehistoric and historic rock images in the community, GRIC-CRMP efforts have focused on the documentation of areas that are undergoing active vandalism and efforts to stop this destruction. This includes recent and extensive cleaning efforts at several large petroglyph sites within the GRIC. As part of this work, GRIC-CRMP has conducted Energy Dispersive X-Ray Florescence Spectroscopy (EDXRF) analyses of rock art both within the community and in other locations. This research includes both documentation of vandalism for conservation efforts, as well as analyses of prehistoric and historic pigments employed to produce pictographs. For example, one study of livestock brand petroglyphs and pictographs in the GRIC documented evidence for previously unrecognized animal husbandry practices, as well as long term continuity in cultural traditions from the prehistoric to the historic periods. Another example is provided by an EDXRF study of pictographs from Picture Cave in Fort Bliss, Texas. This analysis documented variation in pigments that may be associated with different episodes of painting at the site.


            Prehistoric petroglyph panel with similar designs (e.g. circles) as historic sheep                                brand rock art found in the same area.

Upcoming Fall Schedule:  2020

January 8 : Wendy Hodgson Herbarium Curator Emerita Senior Research Botanist from the Desert Botanical Garden

February 12: Dr. Barbara Stark Professor Emerita ASU

Topic: "King Cotton: It's History in Ancient Mesoamerica"

March 12: 

Topic: TBD

April 8 : Chris Reid 

Topic: "Pearl Hart, the Lady Bandit: Victim or Vixen... or Both?"

Separating fact from fiction is no easy task regarding flamboyant stage coach robber Pearl Hart.  Many conflicting stories abound thanks, in no small part, to Pearl herself.  Using historic photographs and newspaper articles Reid will follow Pearl's modest beginnings in Canada to her notorious Arizona crime, trial, and questionable release from prison. Why does a woman who committed a fairly insignificant crime still garner so much interest that even a Broadway show was created to highlight her life?  Reid will explore Pearl's life as both victimvixen to help shed some light on an Arizona figure surrounded by mystery.            

May 13: Dr. Annalisa Alvrus  Maricopa Commuity College Cultural Science

Topic: TBD


October 9:  Steve Hoza

Topic:  German POW Camp

A Phoenix native, Steve attended Glendale Community College before double-majoring in History and German at ASU. After graduation Steve worked for 4 years as assistant conservator at the Arizona State Archives in the Arizona State Capitol complex. Later he was a curator, exhibit technician and conservator for 13 years at the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Papago Park. For the past 11 years, Steve has worked at the Huhugam Ki Museum as an archivist and paper, photograph, and book conservator. In his spare time he also runs the official website of the Wallace and Ladmo Show,

September 11:  Jim Britton   

Topic:  Tonto Basin

Jim Britton will give a presentation entitled "Tonto Basin Archaeology".  In 1989 the Bureau of Land Reclamation funded an 8 year archaeology research project in the Tonto Basin.  The research was made necessary by plans to raise Roosevelt Dam 77 feet.  Archaeological sites that might be impacted by the rising waters were to be studied.  Jim will show some detail of four of the sites.  One of the sites is Cline Terrace which the San Tan Chapter is schedule to visit on a field trip in October.

Jim Britton :  Received the AAS Avocational Archaeologist Award In 2016. Joining AAS in 1988, Jim has completed many AAS certification classes. His area of expertise is adobe and lime mortar preservation and stabilization. He organized and presented stabilization workshops during 1997 for the Phoenix chapter. From 1994 to the present day he has coordinated and supervised the monthly mud-slinging at Pueblo Grande Museum with both AAS and SWAT member participation. For the Q Ranch Pueblo Project (1991-2008), he assisted with excavation in the early years and supervised stabilization with Dr. John Hohmann. In 2010-2011, Jim worked as Crew Chief with Dr. Charles Adams on the AAS project for stabilization of Homolovi I and II.  Jim has organized and supervised the on-going stabilization of the Rim Country Chapter’s Risser Ranch Ruin and Goat Camp Ruin projects in Payson. He is also currently coordinating the stabilization and restoration of the Desert Wells Stage Stop in Queen Creek, Arizona.

May 8: Dr. John Welch Professor of Applied Science Simon Fraser University

Former Head of Fort Apache Heritage Foundation

Topic: "Ancient Forts of the Upper Salt River"

John Welch is a social archaeologist with research interests grounded in broad questions about how culture- and place-based communities define, protect, use, and sustain their biophysical and cultural heritage: How do cultural and historical factors influence whether and how we carry forward places, objects, and traditions? How do heritage-related values and preferences influence governance in general and indigenous sovereignty(s) in particular? What lessons about sustainability and other forms of recommended policy and practice emerge from collaborations with indigenous and place-based communities?

Dr. Welch employs community partnerships as the bases for research, training, and outreach initiatives. The diverse collaborations formalize and advance community agendas to explore what archaeology can do—how archaeological sites, methods, perspectives, and data can enhance land and place histories, stewardship practices, indigenous community capacities, and intercultural reconciliation. The ultimate goal of the work is to harmonize local community, academic, and societal interests relating to landscapes, places, objects, and intangible associations that provide people with orientation, identity, and vitality, as well as food, shelter, and other ecosystem services.

Dr. Welch has worked for and with the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Arizona for three decades and continues to serve as an adviser on the protection of sacred sites and the redevelopment of the Fort Apache and Theodore Roosevelt School National Historic Landmark. Dr. Welch is a member of the Steering Committee for the SFU-based Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Project. Research and outreach partners in British Columbia include the Tla’amin, Katzie, and Stó:lō First Nations.

Apr 10: Charles "Butch" Farabee Retired National Park Service Superintendent

"Charles R. "Butch" Farabee grew up in Tucson, was very active in Scouting and the out-of-doors, graduated from Tucson High School and then the University of Arizona, in 1965. He has a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and a Master of Arts in Public Administration and is a graduate of the FBI Academy. He spent 3 years with the Tucson Police Department and then 35 years with the National Park Service as a field ranger and then superintendent in 10 different national park areas including, Sequoia, Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon, Lake Mead, Death Valley, Yosemite and Washington, DC. He has had five books published about 'park ranger stuff,' but is mostly just the proud father of two sons and their families. Butch has driven this remote, four-wheel-drive road seven times, and will give us a part-history, part-travelogue, and part-informational overview of this fascinating but humbling area."

Topic: "El Camino Del Diablo, The Devil's Highway"

"Early travelers on El Camino, on foot, horseback, and wagon until the first automobile in 1915, often began in Caborca, Sonora, forty miles south of the border. Leaving this then-frontier village and its permanent little river, they encountered only one more certain source of water between there and the Colorado River. If lucky, however, they could find water further on, standing in a handful of granite and volcanic rock tanks, hidden at the base of nondescript mountains along the next 125 miles. The most important of these life-sustaining pools was the Tinajas Altas. Hundreds of bedrock mortars, as well as numerous petroglyphs, pictographs and related evidence, testify to the long use of this area. Graves, possibly numbering in the hundreds, were once scattered along the El Camino but are now mostly gone, obliterated by time, wind, sand, and often, man. In Arizona, The Devil's Highway, now used mainly by U.S. Border Patrol, traverses Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, and the Barry M. Goldwater Bombing Range, with little sections of land owned by the State of Arizona and the U. S. Bureau of Land Management, thrown in."

Mar 13: Leslie Aragon - Graduate Student from the University of Arizona

Preservation Fellow of Archaeology Southwest

Leslie D. Aragon is a Preservation Archaeology Fellow at Archaeology Southwest and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. She has worked as a professional archaeologist for over 10 years and has experience across the Southwest, the Northeast, and the Near East. Leslie’s primary research interest is looking at long-term dynamic human social networks and group identities through material culture.

Topic: Hohokam Ballcourts

The Hohokam Ballcourt World encompassed much of the middle Gila River watershed from around A.D. 800 to 1100. The widespread ideology that many archaeologists associate with the use of ballcourts correlates with an expression of group identity that manifests itself in the archaeological record as the suite of traits that mark the Hohokam pre-Classic period. Despite the fact that archaeologists commonly define groups based on their material culture, these groups are not static. Parts of identity within them are often fluid, changing with the prevailing socioeconomic tides, while other parts of identity are more persistent. My current research combines several material classes to look at multiple scales of identity during an important period in the Hohokam pre-Classic, when a new religious ideology —the Hohokam Ballcourt World— developed, spread, and eventually declined.

Feb 13: Eric Cox -- Principal Investigator for Northland Resources

Topic: Traditions and Community: Hornos and Communal Feasting among the Hohokam

Mr. Cox joined Northland in November of 2008 after several years of working for another cultural resource management firm in Arizona, and for the San Juan National Forest in Colorado prior to that. Mr. Cox has been doing archaeological work in the American Southwest since 1995 and is a permitted Principal Investigator for the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California and Texas. He has directed numerous archaeological projects in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Texas and on the Navajo Nation, The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, The Ak-Chin Indian Community, The Tohono O'odham Nation, and The Chemehuevi Indian Reservation. Mr. Cox has served as a Principal Investigator or Project Director for over 200 different archaeological projects including multiple large-scale cultural resources surveys and numerous testing and data recovery projects. Mr. Cox is a member of the Arizona Archaeological Council, the Society for American Archaeology, the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society and is a past professional advisor for the San Tan chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society. He is also a Registered Professional Archaeologist and meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Standards for archaeology.

Earth ovens (hornos) have been documented at many sites across the Hohokam region of south-central Arizona. These features were commonly used to cook large amounts of food at public gatherings. They were part of a long-standing tradition of communal feasting that served, among other things, to promote social solidarity. Excavations by Northland Research at two Hohokam village sites in the Phoenix Basin contribute to a fuller understanding of the role of communal feasting in the emergence of the regional ballcourt system. I will examine horno usage at the two sites just before the appearance of ballcourts, ca. A.D. 700-800, and just after, ca. A.D. 800-900. Similarities between Hohokam communal feasting and the living tradition of communal feasting among members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community are also discussed.

Jan 9 : Scott Wood -- Archaeologist

Topic: Perry Mesa

"J. Scott Wood worked for Tonto National Forest for 40 years, retiring as Forest Archaeologist in 2015.  During that time he worked extensively with volunters promoting public archaeology and the importance of incorportating citizen scientists in archaeological research.  Scott held found the Arizona Archaeological Council and the Arizona Site Stewards Program Foundation.  Scott continues to pursue research interest in central Arizona through volunteer projects in association with FOTNF, Arizona State Universtity, the Arizona Archaeology Society, including the excavation and interpretive development of Goat Camp Ruin for the Town of Payson which he has been directing for nearly 10 years"        --- source Arizona State Historic Preservation Office

Perry Mesa a Vistor Guide written by Scott Wood National Tonto Forest, 1999

The talk is called " Perry Mesa Antecedents Archaeological Survey Project."

Perry Mesa, an hour north of Phoenix, was a densely populated area in the AD 1300s. Today it is a desolate, treeless, and windswept plateau with little to recommend settlement, but at that time it was home to several thousand people. The talk will discuss recent and ongoing work on and around Perry Mesa to determine when people settled up there, where they came from, and what factors may have been in play to draw them to such an unusual landscape.

A large part of the project, a joint professional and volunteer effort by ASU, Friends of the Tonto, Friends of the Agua Fria, and AAS, is focused on the identification and distribution of phyllite tempered Wingfield plain pottery as a temporal marker and locator of potential geographic origins for migrant populations that contributed to the Perry Mesa population boom.


Fall Schedule:  2018  

December 12:          Dr. Chris Loendorf Senior Project Manager GRIC

THE HOHOKAM TO AKIMEL O’ODHAM CONTINUUM: The Transition from Prehistory to History in Phoenix Basin of Southern Arizona

By the time Spanish missionaries arrived in the 18th century, the middle Gila River was one of the few places in southern Arizona where sedentary irrigation farmers still lived. Agricultural societies were much more widely distributed prior to AD 1500, and the relationship between the prehistoric populations (Hohokam) and the Historic people (Akimel O’odham or Pima) has long been debated. Despite centuries of argument, this issue remains unresolved. However, ethnographic and archaeological research completed in the Gila River Indian Community has provided ample evidence for continuity in cultural practices over time. Although the Akimel O’odham have lived in the Hohokam core area since the first visit by Europeans, their stories about the past have been extensively ignored or misunderstood. While many changes occurred between prehistory and history in southern Arizona, these changes are part of a much longer cycle of episodic variation that is described in Akimel O’odham traditions. The many close parallels between their stories and the archaeological record indicate they are the direct cultural descendants of the Hohokam.


Image of Akimel O’Odham (Pima) basket makers that were commissioned from Rob Ciaccio. It is a reconstruction that uses a variety of techniques, and the people in the foreground are members who are all Akimel O’Odham.

November 14:    Dr. Karen Schollmeyer Preservation Archaeologist at Archaeology Southwest -- topic Archaeology and Hunting in Southwest New Mexico    

Karen Schollmeyer grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and earned her undergraduate degree at Stanford University and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Arizona State University. She has worked on archaeological projects in the Peruvian highlands, the Ethiopian desert, and throughout the American Southwest.

Karen’s research interests include zooarchaeology, long-term human-environment interactions, and food security and landscape use. She is also interested in how archaeologists’ long-term insights can be applied to contemporary issues in conservation and development. She has done research and fieldwork (including teaching multiple field schools) in southwest New Mexico for 15 years, and is especially interested in the “edges” of the Mimbres-Mogollon area along the Rio Grande and the Upper Gila.

Archaeology and Hunting in Southwest New Mexico

Karen Gust Schollmeyer, Archaeology Southwest

Understanding how people maintain long-term access to animals for food and other uses is important to archaeology and may also have implications for contemporary societies’ access to animal resources. I examined animal bone data from over 70 archaeological assemblages in the Mimbres area over the centuries from AD 200 to 1450. Although many important animal species were negatively impacted by the altered environments associated with increasing human populations and less frequent movement over time, some species were quite resilient, and many were able to recover during periods of lower human population. Ancient farming strategies in the Southwest helped this recovery in some ways, as do aspects of traditional farming in areas where wild game remains an important food source today.


October 10:  Dr. Steve Swanson Cultural Resource Director  Environmental Planning     Group  -- topic Recent Findings in the Queen Creek Area 

Dr. Steve Swanson

Adjunct Faculty, Arizona State University

Principal, Environmental Planning Group

Steve has been doing archaeology in the Southwest since 1993 in the Mimbres and Hohokam culture areas. Originally from Washington state, he received his PhD from ASU in 2009, and since then has been working with a private consulting firm as well as ASU conducting archaeological survey and excavation in Arizona and New Mexico. Recently, he has conducted several research projects in the Queen Creek area to meet the demands of ongoing development.


There have been several development projects in Queen Creek in the last few years with some very interesting results at large Hohokam/Salado sites such as Massera Ruin, Sonoqui Pueblo, and other areas. Steve will present an overview of archaeology in the Queen Creek area and discuss some of the recent findings of projects conducted at large sites in Queen Creek, which are changing our understanding of Queen Creek’s ancient past.

September 12:       Dr. Richard Ahlstrom Retired Prof University of Arizona 

                               TREE-RING DATING IN PUEBLOAN ARCHAEOLOGY

Tree-ring dating, or dendrochronology, applies in the most direct sense to biological events in the lives of trees, specifically, to their laying down of annual growth rings, rather than to events in human history. How, then, do archaeologists use tree-ring dates to demonstrate that a pithouse reconstructed in Step House Cave on Mesa Verde was built in the AD 610s-620s? That this event occurred as part of a building boom that began in the Mesa Verde Region around 600? That, in the 1080s, rooms were being constructed at Lowry Ruin, located to the west of Mesa Verde, in an architectural style that had originated some decades earlier in Chaco Canyon. Or that the eventual abandonment of the Mesa Verde Region by Pueblo peoples took place from west to east, being well under way by the late 1260s on Cedar Mesa in southeastern Utah, but not until a decade or so later on Mesa Verde? Issues relating to these kinds of interpretations of tree-ring, or “dendro-archaeological” evidence will be discussed, with reference to archaeological sites that, along with being of individual interest, are in many cases available to be visited by members of the public and, more often than not, “take a good picture” as well.

Richard Ahlstrom received a BA in Anthropology from Yale University in 1973 and a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1985. He gained experience, early on, participating in the Cedar Mesa, Dolores, and Black Mesa archaeological research projects, but has spent most of his subsequent professional career working on contract projects, located throughout Arizona, southern Nevada, and southern Utah—while also maintaining a research interest in issues relating to archaeological chronology and, in particular, the interpretation of archaeological tree-ring dates.

How Archaeologist Uncover History with Trees 


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Spring 2018: 

May 9:                              Steve Hoza ---             " Arizona's Greatest Battle"

A Phoenix native, Steve attended Glendale Community College before double-majoring in History and German at ASU. After graduation Steve worked for 4 years as assistant conservator at the Arizona State Archives in the Arizona State Capitol complex. Later he was a curator, exhibit technician and conservator for 13 years at the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Papago Park. For the past 11 years, Steve has worked at the Huhugam Ki Museum as an archivist and paper, photograph, and book conservator. In his spare time he also runs the official website of the Wallace and Ladmo Show,

Arizona's Greatest Battle

It was the biggest single battle ever fought in Arizona. It happened 160 years ago and lasted only half an hour. It is largely unknown in the annals of Arizona history, yet it was perhaps the most important battle ever fought by the O’Odham (Pima) and Piipaash (Maricopa) people. The Battle of Pima Butte (also called The Battle of Maricopa Wells) was also the last large-scale native-against-native skirmish in American history. Come find out the who, what, where and why of this important battle.

It is the subject of the book Massacre on the Gila: An Account of the Last Major Battle Between American Indians With Reflections on the Origin of War by Clifton B. Kroeber and Bernard L. Fontana.

April 11:                          Scott Plumlee  ---        “Lone Butte Wash Project

Scott Plumlee was born in Prescott, Arizona. He received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona, and a M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. In his 16 years as an archaeologist, he has worked across Arizona, from Kingman, and the Grand Canyon, to Tombstone and Yuma. For the last eight years he has worked for the Cultural Resource Management Program of the Gila River Indian Community, where he is currently employed as a Field Director. A generalist, fate has conspired to give him far more experience with non-irrigation agriculture, historical archaeology, and especially privy pits than he would have ever guessed he would have, when he was back in school, choosing a career.

His talk is titled “Archaeology of the Lone Butte Wash” This presentation gives a brief overview of the cultural history of Lone Butte Wash. Though the two water courses do not connect on the surface Lone Butte Wash represents the western extent of Queen Creek. The upper reaches of Lone Butte Wash were watered by both the reemerging waters of the Queen Creek Delta, and occasional floods from Queen Creek proper. These waters provided an environment of grass lands and mesquite bosques that has been used by humans since at least the Middle Archaic period.

 March 14:            Matthew Peeples --- Networking Your Way to Success in the Ancient Southwest  

MATTHEW A. PEEPLES is an assistant professor of anthropology and the research director of the Center for Archaeology and Society in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. His research is focused on applying social network methods to archaeological data, in particular in the U.S. Southwest. He also conducts field and lab projects focused on the Zuni/Cibola region of New Mexico and Arizona.

Networking Your Way to Success in the Ancient Southwest

The late pre-Hispanic period in the Southwest (ca. A.D. 1200-1540) was characterized by a dramatic regional scale upheaval including the depopulation much of the northern Southwest, the migration and resettlement of tens of thousands of people, and the establishment of increasingly large, diverse, and complex settlements in the areas where large populations remained. Numerous past studies have demonstrated that these demographic changes coincided with dramatic shifts in the geographic scale and structure of social interactions. In this talk, using a large database of settlement distributions, ceramic frequency data, and artifact chemical characterizations from the western Southwest, I draw on formal methods and models from social network analysis to track changes in population movement and interaction across this tumultuous period. These analyses demonstrate that social distance and spatial distance are not always correlated and that the dynamics of migration and network processes are closely intertwined. I end this talk with a brief discussion of ongoing collaborations to expand these efforts.  


February 14:    Dr. Nancy Parezo 

  A Boot in the Door: Pioneer Women Archaeologists of Arizona

The men who conducted early archaeological explorations in Arizona are legends in the history of the region and of anthropology. But what about the women who accompanied them or who explored on their own? Matilda Coxe Stevenson, renowned for her ethnographic work among the Zuni and Zia, was a member of the first government survey of Canyon de Chelly in 1882 and later conducted archaeological surveys locating sites her whole career. But following her death in 1915 another anthropologist took her data records and incorporated them into his own so that she was never given credit for her extensive surveys. Dr. Lucy Wilson who excavated at Otowi had to have her husband get the excavation permits because archaeologists were not allowed to have them. Emma Mindeleff surveyed ruins in the Verde Valley in the 1890s while Dr. Theresa Russell helped her husband excavate at Awatovi in 1900 on her honeymoon and later locate and name Hohokam sites in 1901-1902. All of these ground-breaking women are given little or no notice in “official histories” or archaeology. It is time to get to know them and their contributions.

Dr Theresa Russell teaching at Stanford University in 1915

Matilda Coxe Stevenson searching for ruins 1906

Nancy Parezo is professor emerita of American Indian Studies and Anthropology at the University of Arizona, where she taught for almost 40 years. In addition to these positions she has served as curator of ethnology at the Arizona State Museum from 1983 to 2017 and has had formal affiliations with a wealth of museums such as the Smithsonian Institution, Chicago’s Field Museum, the Denver Art Museum, and the Museum of Northern Arizona. Dr. Parezo is a well-known scholar who has written over 260 publications, including 8 books and edited volumes, on a variety of topics from grantwriting to the history of science, anthropology and museums. Since the early 1980s she has studied women anthropologists who have worked in the American Southwest. This research has resulted in works such publications as Daughters of the Desert, Hidden Scholars and On Their Own Frontier. She is currently finishing a manuscript with her colleague Dr. Don D. Fowler, on the 1900 archaeological honeymoon of Drs. Theresa and Frank Russell about whom she will speak tonight. In the course of her research she has uncovered and analyzed the many barriers that women encountered as they strove to conduct research on and with Native Americans as well as the opportunities they created for themselves to become professionals, even if they were not recognized or rewarded for their efforts at the time. Her talk on Wednesday February 14, 2018 will concentrate on one effective strategy—working as a husband and wife archaeological team in eras where women were not even allowed to secure excavation and survey permits due to their gender. She will also discuss how women like Matilda Coxe Stevenson, Theresa Russell, and Ann Morris took their skills as popular writers, illustrators and artists and used them effectively in their scholarship. Her work is dedicated to the hundreds of women who have worked in the past, allowing us the opportunity to work in the present.

A dedicated Southwesternist, Dr. Parezo has worked with Navajo singers and artists, and published Navajo Sandpainting: From Sacred Act to Commercial Art. She is also currently working with the Hopi Tribe to locate the thousands of articles that were collected by individuals such as missionary Henry Voth in the 19th and early 20th century.

January 10:  Interpreting the Nazca Lines: Enigmatic Images of the Peruvian Desert--Todd W. Bostwick, PhD, RPA

Dr. Todd Bostwick has been conducting archaeological research in the Southwest for 38 years. He was the Phoenix City Archaeologist for 21 years at Pueblo Grande Museum and is currently the Director of Archaeology at the Verde Valley Archaeology Center in Camp Verde. Dr. Bostwick has an MA in Anthropology and a PhD in History from Arizona State University (ASU), and taught classes at both ASU and Northern Arizona University for seven years. He has published numerous books and articles on Southwest archaeology and history, and has received awards from the National Park Service, the Arizona Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission, the City of Phoenix, the Arizona Archaeological Society, and the Society for Cultural Astronomy of the American Southwest.

The mysterious lines and figures sketched onto the desert floor of southern Peru, one of the most arid regions of the world, have long intrigued archaeologists and explorers. Various theories concerning the origins and purpose of these geoglyphs have been proposed, from wild speculation that they served as runways for alien spaceships to more believable but nonetheless controversial ideas that they are related to ancient astronomy. This talk will provide a detailed examination of the culture which created the geoglyphs, will show aerial photographs of the more famous geoglyphs, and will discuss the various researchers who have worked in Nazca and the results of their studies. Studies have shown that the Nasca people developed an ingenious underground water system that allowed them to survive in the harsh desert environment, and excavations have revealed a ceramic tradition that incorporated colorful and bizarre scenes painted on their vessels.

 ===============================================================================================          2017                 

Dec. 13: Jim Britton

 Presentation -- Kentucky Camp: Mining camp in southern Az.   Early goldmining in Az and the building architecture.

Jim Britton :  Received the AAS Avocational Archaeologist Award In 2016. Joining AAS in 1988, Jim has completed many AAS certification classes. His area of expertise is adobe and lime mortar preservation and stabilization. He organized and presented stabilization workshops during 1997 for the Phoenix chapter. From 1994 to the present day he has coordinated and supervised the monthly mud-slinging at Pueblo Grande Museum with both AAS and SWAT member participation. For the Q Ranch Pueblo Project (1991-2008), he assisted with excavation in the early years and supervised stabilization with Dr. John Hohmann. In 2010-2011, Jim worked as Crew Chief with Dr. Charles Adams on the AAS project for stabilization of Homolovi I and II.  Jim has organized and supervised the on-going stabilization of the Rim Country Chapter’s Risser Ranch Ruin and Goat Camp Ruin projects in Payson. He is also currently coordinating the stabilization and restoration of the Desert Wells Stage Stop in Queen Creek, Arizona.

Nov. 8: Jerd Smith, Tempe Historical Museum, "New Data on Historic Tempe"

Jared A. Smith is originally from Pennsylvania. He moved out West with his family in the early 1980s when his Dad was stationed at Camp Pendleton. Jared received a degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona and then spent a number of years as an archaeologist, working on historic and prehistoric sites throughout the Southwest. Next, he completed a master’s degree in history from Arizona State University. In 2000, he began working at the Mesa Historical Museum where he was in charge of the museum’s collection of artifacts, archives, and research materials. He also served as the museum’s historian and helped to curate many exhibits, including Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience. After leaving that museum, he hired on with the Tempe History Museum in late 2010. As that museum’s history curator he researchers and writes exhibits, assists researchers, and works on a variety of other projects related to Tempe history. Jared is also involved in historic preservation groups locally, including the Mesa Preservation Foundation and the restoration effort with the historic locomotive in Pioneer Park in Mesa.

Presentation:   A Splendid Country: Building Tempe from the Ground Up

What towns do you think of when you think "Old West" - Dodge City, Virginia City, Tombstone, Silver City, Kansas City and all those other cities perhaps? How about Tempe? Although rarely thought of as an "Old West" town, Tempe was just that. Not known for infamous shootouts like Tombstone, Tempe had its share of gunplay and unwanted moments of "Wild West" mayhem nonetheless. Far more important than occasional outlaw behavior was Tempe's place as a major agricultural producer, shipping hay, wheat, and flour around the region and sending thousands of cattle to market around the country every year by the late 1800s. The fact is that long before Tempe was a "College Town" it was a "Cow Town."

Dyer Bird’s-Eye View of Tempe. Created in 1888 by C. J. Dyer to promote Tempe’s economic boom after the railroad arrived the year before.

Oct. 11: Hugh Grinnell, Arizona Humanities Speaker Bureau Program "The Explorations and Discoveries of George Bird Grinnell, The Father of Glacier National Park"

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 was shortly to disappear before his eyes. Nobody was quicker to sense the desecration or was more eloquent in crusading against the poachers, the hide hunters, and the disengaged U.S. Congress than George Bird Grinnell, the “Father of American Conservation.” Grinnell founded the first Audubon Society, cofounded the Boone and Crockett Club with Teddy Roosevelt, and led the effort to establish Glacier National Park. Audiences will travel back in time to the 19th century, listening to Grinnell’s own words as taken from his field journals, memoirs, personal correspondence, and newspaper editorials.

George Bird Grinell (36yrs old) and Blackfeet Indian  -- provided by H.Grinell

George Bird Grinell (87yrs old) on the glacier  -- provided by H.Grinell

September 13, 2017 Meeting :  Dr. Charles Adams, Rock Art Ranch to Homolovi; 1300 years of migration in the little Colorado River Valley. 

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

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

Garry will discuss the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA), the one of the federal government’s tools against looting of archeological resources on federal and Indian land. Besides giving an overview of the law, he will intersperse the presentation with discussion of previous ARPA investigations.

Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (Pub.L. 96–95 as amended, 93 Stat. 721, codified at 16 U.S.C. §§ 470aa470mm), also referred to as ARPA, is a federal law of the United States passed in 1979 and amended in 1988. It governs the excavation of archaeological sites on federal and Indian lands in the United States, and the removal and disposition of archaeological collections from those sites.[1]

ARPA was launched in the 1970s after the Antiquities Act of 1906 was declared “unconstitutionally vague”. The Antiquities Act was unable to protect historical sites from criminal looting. Several attempts by the federal land-managing agencies and prosecutors to use this act resulted in judges saying that it was unconstitutionally vague making it unenforceable.(Harmon 172) ARPA regulates access to archaeological resources on federal and Indian lands. Uniform regulations were issued by the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Department of Defense. Archaeological resources are defined as "Any material remains of human life or activities which are at least 100 years of age, and which are archaeological interest."(King 252) Also defined is "Of archaeological interest" which is "Capable of providing scientific or humanistic understandings of past human behavior, cultural adaption, and related topics."(King 252) ARPA forbids anyone from excavating or removing archaeological resources from federal or Indian land without a permit from a land managing agency. ARPA also forbids any sales, purchase, exchange, transport, or receipt. Those who violate can face substantial fines and even a jail sentence if convicted. They will also confiscate any object that has been declared as an archaeological resource. 

March 2017 Meeting :    THE SEARCH FOR WATER ON MARS

 Dr. Nadine G. Barlow, Department of Physics and Astronomy,  Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ  86011-6010



Nadine Barlow became interested in astronomy during a 5th grade field trip to a local planetarium. She began her career in astronomy at Palomar Community College in San Marcos, CA, and received both her Bachelor of Science degree (Astronomy with a joint minor in Geology and Chemistry) and her PhD (Planetary Sciences with a minor in Geophysics) from the University of Arizona. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, TX, a National Research Council Fellow at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, and an assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where she also served as the first Director of the UCF Robinson Observatory. She joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northern Arizona University (NAU) in August, 2002, and is now a Professor in the department. She is Director of the NAU/NASA Space Grant Program and an Associate Director of the Arizona Space Grant Consortium. She also serves as Associate Chair for the NAU Department of Physics and Astronomy.



Chapter Officers
 2017 Office  Office Holder Contact Information
President Marie Britton

Vice-President open
Treasurer Jim Britton 
Secretary Maggie Dawley

Director1/ Carlos Acuna

Director2/Program Director Jerri Freeman
Director3/Archivist Keith Johanson

Membership Marie Britton

Archaeological Advisor Chris Loendorf

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Chapter Meetings

The San Tan Chapter meetings are held at the San Tan Historical Society Museum at 20435 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  . 

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)

     Field Trip:    2019


 February:  Archaeology Day February 23, 2019, 9am-noon at the San Tan Mountain Regional Park.

March 24:  Casa Grande Ruins field trip to the back country.

October 12: Tonto National Monument and the Cline Terrace

Future Trips:

1. Huhugam Ki Museum

2. ASU Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve

3. Basha Art Museum 


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Chapter Projects

  • AAS San Tan Chapter pottery sherd clean-up and inventory.
  • 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 









Crow Canyon Archaeology Center 

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

© Arizona Archaeological Society
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