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. 




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



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.)

>>>>>> Check out the Fifth Season report under "stabilization with San Tan Chapter member Jim Britton heading up the part of the Goat Camp Project.



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


The Archaeology of Anciet 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.
--- copied from

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



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 


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

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

Chapter News

2018                   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 480-390-3491



           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:  2018   ANNUAL HOLIDAY POTLUCK IS DECEMBER 12, 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 



Upcoming Spring Schedule:  2019 

Jan 9 : Scott Wood -- Archaeologist

Topic: Perry Mesa

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

Topic: East Pueblo Blanco - Pre Ball-court from 600 to 900 BC

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

Preservation Fellow of Archaeology Southwest

Topic: Hohokam Ball-courts

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

Topic: El Camino Del Diablo

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

Former Head of Fort Apache Heritage Foundation

Topic: Q Ranch Pueblo, Kinishba, Grasshopper, Forestdale, & Tundastusa Ruins

A Hopi and Zuni Colonization below the Mogollon Rim

 Last Month: 

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. 

"Our speaker for Wednesday, September 13th will be Dr. Chuck Adams, Curator of Archaeology at the Arizona State Museum. The title of his talk: From Rock Art Ranch to Homol’ovi: 13,000 Years of Migration in the Middle Little Colorado River Valley.  Six years of research on Rock Art Ranch near Winslow, AZ, by Arizona State Museum archaeologists have documented human use going back to Clovis times. The ranch was also a focus of intensive hunting, gathering, and small-scale agriculture during the Basketmaker II (early agriculture) period from 1000 BCE to 500 CE. During the 1200s Mogollon groups from the south built numerous small pueblos throughout the region and later joined Pueblo groups from the north to build and occupy the large Homol’ovi pueblos along the Little Colorado River. Evidence of this lengthy use is etched in the walls of Chevelon Canyon. This talk traces this fascinating history of population movement that truly made the area a cultural crossroads.  Since 1985, E. Charles (Chuck) Adams has been Curator of Archaeology, Arizona State Museum (ASM) and Professor, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona (UA).

Since arriving at UA, he has directed the Homol’ovi Research Program (HRP) for ASM, which involved extensive survey and excavation of numerous Homol’ovi pueblos in Homolovi State Park. Since 2011, HRP has conducted survey and excavations on and near Rock Art Ranch 25 miles southeast of Winslow with work wrapping up there this summer.  "  marie britton

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.

Dr. Barlow’s research interests include the evolution of the impact cratering record throughout the solar system, the geologic evolution of solid-surfaced planets, and determining the distribution of subsurface water reservoirs on Mars, Mercury, and the Moon. Her current research projects include determining the formation mechanism of central pits inside impact craters across the solar system, constraining the timing of the contraction of Mercury, investigating the role of water and ice in the evolution of the Arabia Terra region of Mars, and determining the evolutionary relationships between unusual craters found at high latitudes on Mars. She also has participated in NASA and international working groups on identifying Special Regions on Mars, which are areas where life could exist or where terrestrial microbes could survive. Her research is funded by NASA with additional student research support provided by the NASA Space Grant Program. She is the author of Mars: An Introduction to its Interior, Surface, and Atmosphere, published by Cambridge University Press in 2008, and is currently working on a revision to that book. She also is working on a book about Martian impact craters for Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Barlow’s contributions have been recognized in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who of American Women, and Who’s Who in the World. She was named the American Association of University Women Texas Woman of the Year in 1992, received the University Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award from the University of Central Florida in 2002, was named Palomar College Alumna of the Year in 2003, and received the NAU Research and Creative Activity Award for Most Effective Research Mentor in 2011. Asteroid 15466 Barlow is named in honor of her contributions to the field of planetary science.



Chapter Officers
 2017 Office  Office Holder Contact Information
President Marie Britton

Vice-President open
Treasurer Jim Britton 
Secretary Mari Townsend
Director1/ Carlos Acuna
Director2/Program Director Jerri Freeman 928-587-2410
Director3/Archivist Keith Johanson
Membership Marie Britton

Archaeological Advisor Chris Loendorf

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 480-827-8070  . 

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:    2018          







November:  San Tan Regional Park will restart the Recon Hikes on Wednesday November 28.   For details contact Marie Britton at 440.390.3491.



Field Trip:    2019



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






Chapter Projects

  • pottery sherd clean_up and inventory -- tentatively October 17th or 24th of 2017 .  Details to follow

  • 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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