MORE PHOTOGRAPHS by JIM HAYS at the bottom of this page.


(If the "slideshow" in this space doesn't start, click on one of the gray circles below and that usually gets it started.)


The Yavapai Chapter, based in Prescott, received its charter from the Arizona Archaeological Society in 1977, although both amateur and professional archaeologists have been active in the area since the late 1800s. From the beginning, chapter members have participated in serious scientific archaeological investigations, beginning with excavation at the Storm Site (located near Watson Lake) from 1977-1979. In total, the chapter has worked on 14 excavations and 5 rock art recordings in the Prescott area. In addition, Prescott has two Sinagua pit houses located at Willow Lake that are supervised and docent-staffed by YCAAS.

To contact us, send an email message to We'll be glad to answer questions or add you to our email distribution list. Or you can send us a note via postal mail at P.O. Box 1098, Prescott, AZ 86302.

General Membership Meetings. Our Chapter meets on the third Thursday of each month (except July, August, and December) at 6:30 p.m. in the Smoki Museum's Pueblo room, 147 N. Arizona Street in Prescott (the entrance is at the rear of the building). Presentations on various topics are provided by a wide range of professional and amateur experts on topics from both prehistoric and historic times. Anyone interested in the archaeology of our area is welcome.

Field Trips. The Yavapai chapter also offers field trips, usually on the Saturday of the week following the general membership meeting. These trips offer outstanding opportunities to learn firsthand more about how prehistoric peoples lived through the artifacts and architectural remnants they left behind.  And that doesn’t even begin to cover the value inherent in experiencing the beauty of Arizona’s backcountry as few ever do. Very often, these field trips require hiking. Read our hike rating guide for details.

Additionally, once or twice a year, the chapter sponsors multiple-day field trips to sites of special interest. Recent extended trips have included excursions to several pueblos in New Mexico, Tonto National Monument, the Hopi reservation, and the Chaco Canyon region. Additional fees are often required for extended trips to offset the costs incurred.

Here are a few of the recent trips that Flo Reynolds has put together for us:

2013 – Hohokam site at Sears-Kay near Cave Creek that was followed by the hike up to the Upper Cliff Dwelling at Tonto National Park. In the fall, southwest and central New Mexico was the destination with visits to the Gila Cliff Dwellings followed by the Three Rivers Petroglyphs.

2014 – Three days were dedicated to exploring many sites at Chaco Canyon and Aztec Ruin.

2015 – Fall 2015, saw intrepid travelers filling four days with memories of Mitchell Springs and Wallace Ruin located near Cortez, Colorado. Both sites are on private property owned by archaeologists who are excavating remarkable Puebloan ruins. Beyond these two sites, Flo led her group to the Anasazi Heritage Center archives, Escalante Ruin, Yellow Jacket (a pristine and protected Anasazi site) and the Lowry Pueblo. The final day was given to the Long House Ruin on Wetherill Mesa in Mesa Verde National Park

2016 - Spring 2016 - Rock Art Ranch, Petrified Forest, and Homolovi.    Fall 2016 - Zuni. We were introduced to the Zuni Pueblo including middle village and A:shiwi A:wan museum, traditional Zuni meal served in the home of Ava Hannaweeke, and Harvest Dance at Ancient Way Festival. We toured Hawikuu and had an introduction to the Zuni creation myth presented by Ken Bowekaty and a visit to the Zuni village of the Great Kivas and its petroglyphs. On our last day there, we traveled to el Morro where we were led up, over, and down the spectacular butte by Ranger Richard Green.     

2017 - Spring 2017 - Gila Bend and the Great Bend of the Gila River with visits to Sears Point, Painted Rock, site of the Oatman Massacre, and the Gatlin Site. Our tour guide was Aaron Wright.    Fall 2017 - Montezuma Canyon, Butler Wash, North Mule Canyon, and Edge of the Cedars Museum.  (Tour Guide Dave Dove and assistants) 

2018 - Spring 2018 - Overnight in Laughlin, NV and a visit to Grapevine Canyon with in-transit stops at Grand Canyon Caverns, Hackberry, and Oatman.                                                                                            

All our field trips are intended for members of the Arizona Archaeological Society and, particularly, of the Yavapai chapter.         However, guests can sometimes be accommodated.

Ready to join the Yavapai chapter? Fill out  YCAAS 2018 MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION.docx  and mail it, along with your dues payment, to the address on the form.

Want to learn more? Contact: Chapter Secretary Charles Stroh to receive our meeting notices and other chapter news via email.

Indian Peak Ruin Report • Dan Fout, Trip Leader

May 19, 2018

Nine members attended this hike to Indian Peak Ruin on May 19th leaving from the Williamson Valley Trailhead at 9 AM and driving in several vehicles to the base of a large hill overlooking Walnut creek approximately 35 miles north of Prescott on the Williamson Valley Road which continues on to Seligman AZ.

After a brisk half hour hike over open terrain we reached the summit topped by a rectangular enclosure which the US Forest Service labels a fortress and pueblo site from the Prescott Culture, Chino Phase period or approximately of 11th century construction.   The exterior walls of this ruin, some parts being 6-8 feet high, are constructed of the typical double wall with interior fill.   Inside this 'fortress' are half a dozen rooms, with one larger room on the outside north wall.  A 360 degree view was much admired by all with no human structures seen except for a ranch complex directly below along Walnut Creek.  Luckily we did not encounter any snakes, a private concern I personally kept to myself.

Inside this approximately 1/4 -1/3 football field size enclosure, eagle eye Irene Komadina first spotted a small 5-6" long prehistoric pestle (igneous) embedded in the south facing wall.  Elsewhere inside this ruin Irene found an agave knife and half a metate (igneous) broken into two pieces.  Various pieces of typical Prescott grey ware could be found as well.

Outside the enclosure and to the north lay a gently sloping terrain with a half dozen (large suitcase sized) stone circles, ranging from 15 to 30 feet in diameter.

Irene believed these to be processing structures for food production, but could also easily be interpreted by the tin foil cap folks as alien circles.  None the less they are mysterious looking structures.    Also to be found in this area outside the fortress were strewn fields with many hundreds of sherds, flakes, and chert core stones.   A few sherds with black on white designs were of particular interest to everyone.

After about an hour and a half at the summit we all carefully retraced our steps down hill where one member found half of an igneous mano stone just a few paces from where we had parked our cars.

Thinking everyone was exhausted and might want to call it a day,  I told them of a small petroglyph site nearby and to my surprise everyone on my van (5 member) elected to drive a few miles away and examine these rock images with the typical three legged lizard men (my interpretation) sheep and geometrical designs.   Again, no 'unfriendlies' were encountered, of the slithering kind that is.

All in all,  a very good hike with everyone returning back to the Williamson Valley trail head by 3 PM.    (Report by Dan Fout.)

Additional Yavapai Chapter Activities

View looking south east. Feature 2 in foreground and Feature 4 above near the top of the image to the right of center.
Feature two is a residence with entry facing east (upper center/left of image). Feature 4 is a smaller storage pit.







Training and Certification. AAS and other organizations with which it is affiliated offer courses and programs designed to train members in archaeological practices and techniques. Programs that can lead to certification in specialized areas are also available from time to time. Warner Wise is the Yavapai chapter’s certification representative. Contact Warner for more information.

Public Outreach Programs. Two of the Yavapai chapter’s objectives are to "foster interest and research in the archaeology of of Arizona and the Southwest" and to “encourage public understanding of and concern for archaeological and cultural resources." Our public outreach programs help accomplish these goals.

For example, chapter members, collaborating with the Smoki Museum, have worked with area Boy Scouts of America organizations to help scouts earn archaeology merit badges. Additional public outreach programs have been targeted toward students, church groups, recreational groups, and service clubs. Informational booths at local civic events also serve to reach our neighbors in the community and the areas. 

In 2017, the Board initiated a form of outreach that results in students who want to become members of YCAAS, being able to apply for a waiver of membership dues. The dues are paid from a fund provided by donations made for this purpose by members.

Chapter Library. The chapter maintains a specialized library of archaeology resources at the Smoki Museum. It is available to to members 30 minutes before each monthly general meeting. The Yavapai Library Network (YLN Libraries) is a resource of linked libraries. Here, you will find the Smoki Museum Research Library listed.


PHOTOGRAPHS by JIM HAYS from San Rafael Swell, Utah.

“Rock Art of the San Rafael Swell, Utah"

The San Rafael Swell, measuring approximately 75 by 40 miles, is a large geologic feature located in south-central Utah about                30 miles west of Green River, Utah. It consists of a giant dome-shaped anticline of sandstone, shale, and limestone eroded into         numerous valleys, canyons, gorges, mesas, and buttes. The swell is part of the Colorado Plateau physiographic region.                   Evidence of Native American cultures, including the Fremont, Paiute, and Ute, is common throughout the San Rafael Swell in the         form of pictograph and petroglyph panels. The rock art is predominantly from the Barrier Canyon Culture and the Fremont Culture.          The area, as are many natural and culturally significant areas in Utah, is at the center of a controversy as to appropriate use;          whether to protect the eco-system and archeological resources or to exploit the area for its oil and gas, allow grazing and open the       area for increased motorized use.

The included San Rafael photos are from the following sites: Buckhorn Wash, Head of Sinbad, Black Dragon, Rochester, Temple     Mountain and Seven Mile Canyon.             (Jim Hays - June, 2018)

Buckhorn Wash pictograph and petroglyph panels from San Rafael Swell - above and six below.



Head of Sinbad pictographs.


Rochester Panel petroglyphs from San Rafael Swell


Intestine Man pictograph from Seven Mile Canyon

Petroglyphs near Intestine Man pictographs at Seven Mile Canyon.

Pictographs near Temple Mountain Campground at San Rafael Swell.

Two pictographs from Seven Mile Canyon.

 Left: Lone Warrior Rock Art.
 Right:  Petroglyphs near Spirit Arch - San Rafael Swell.



 President  Irene Komadina
 Vice President
 Treasurer  Debra Comeau
 Secretary  Charles Stroh
 Archivist  Chris Cone
 Third Year Director
 Bill Burkett
 Second Year Director
 Jim Red
 First year Director
 Dan Fout
 Education Coordinator
 Warner Wise

Prescott Area Museums


 January  01/20/18  Dave Dove
 Tracking Pottery Sources
 February  02/15/18  Kylin Cummings
 Mysteries at the Museum
 March  03/15/18  David Wilcox
 Hohokam Public Architecture
 April  04/19/18  Stewart Deats
 Two Prescott Culture Sites
 May  05/17/18  Kelley Hays-Gilpin
 Kiva Murals
 June  06/21/18  Todd Bostwick
 Camp Verde Salt Mines
 July  Summer Break
 August  Summer Break
 September  09/20/18  TBS  
 October  10/18/18  TBS  
 November  11/15/18  TBS  
 December  12/20/18  Holiday Party

Prescott Area Museums
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