Arizona Archaeological Society



Above Slide Show is from Sears-Kay Field Trip with Scott Wood.

What's New:

February 9 zoom: Dr. Patricia Crown, professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico will present a zoom presentation on

The House of the Cylinder Jars: Room 28 in Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon

In 2009 she discovered residues of cacao in cylinder jars recovered in the 1896 excavation.  In 2013 she supervised the re-excavation of the room where they were found to examine the stratigraphy, collect datable materials, and determine when and why the room burned. This talk will describe the results of this re-excavation.  Interestingly, the room had been backfilled from surrounding rooms, which provided additional broader information on that part of Pueblo Bonito.  Members will receive a zoom link by email.

February 19 trip to Tonto Basin Ruins:  Scott Wood will lead a visit to three intriguing Hohokam and Salado sites in the Tonto Basin area.   These are the Headless Dog and Rye Creek Ruins in the upper Tonto Basin and the Cline Terrace platform-mound site in middle Tonto Basin.  Scott spent a good chunk of his forty-year career as an archaeologist for Tonto National Forest working in Tonto Basin and is thus uniquely qualified to explain the many fascinating sites in this archaeologically rich area.   These ruins include platform mounds, large room blocks, walled compounds, and apparent large market plazas.  Access is by regular automobile on dirt roads to within a short walking distance on relatively level ground.  You must be a current member to attend.

April 16-21 trip to Southern Arizona:  DeGrazia Gallery of the Sun, Kartchner Caverns, Ft Huachuca, Bisbee, Queen Mine tour, Tombstone, Amerind Foundation, Chiricahua National Monument, Ft. Bowie National Historic Park, Holy Trinity Benedictine Monastery, and Gammon Gulch Movie Set.  You must be a current member to attend.

Goat Camp Information, Excavation, and Lab Opportunities

Shoofly Excavation Reports

Fun Things to Do:

Geology, Archaeology, and History Guide to Badger Springs Trail

A group of geologists, archaeologists, and AAS members created the below guide for people who would like to enjoy the outdoors on Agua Fria  National Monument during this pandemic.  It's a 12 page, illustrated guide to a incredible area with a river at the end.

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

Ruins to Work at:  Goat Camp Ruin

Archaeological Sites to Visit (hours may vary due to Covid):

Shoofly Ruin  Tonto National Monument (big file)

Agua Fria National Monument  Sears-Kay Ruin 

Besh ba Gowah Ruin  Verde Valley Sites  Arizona Archaeological Sites

Youtubes: Drone Videos of Ruins in Tonto Basin  Rim County Museum  Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)   

Heard Museum  Sharlot Hall Museum  SAR  Pueblo Grande Museum  Verde Valley Archaeology Center  

Arizona State Museum  AAHS  Archaeology Southwest  Amerind  Crow Canyon  Grand Canyon NPS  Museum of Northern Arizona

Archaeology Zoom Presentations:  Lectures by AIA chapters from all over the world


About our Chapter:

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

the Mogollon Rim.  Meetings generally include a guest speaker presenting

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

Meeting Time and Place:

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


You can join the Rim Country chapter of AAS with a "Single" or "Family" membership.  If you are already a member of AAS through a different chapter, you can add the Rim Country chapter to your membership by selecting "Single" or "Family" after "Dual Chapter".  Contact Treasurer Dennis DuBose for membership information.

2021 Speakers:

Date  Speaker Topic
Due to Covid, presentation zoom links will be emailed to members


2021 Chapter Officers:

Sharon DuBose
Vice President Chuck Eby

Dennis DuBose

Secretary Diane Seago
Board Member

Brent Reed

Board Member Marianne Connors
Board Member Chuck Howell
Chapter Advisor/Goat Camp Excavation Scott Wood
Chapter/Goat Camp Webmaster
 JJ Golio

Past Activities:

January 15 trip to Sears-Kay Ruin:  Sears-Kay is located in the desert foothills along the northeast rim of the Phoenix basin,Sears-Kay close to Camp Creek and Seven Springs.  It is a Hohokam village first occupied around 1050 AD, and includes both pithouse and later masonry surface rooms spread among five room blocks, and culminates with a fortified compound at the top of the hill.  The village was abandoned around 1200 AD.  The developed site is accessed by an easy but occasionally steep loop walking path about a half mile long.  Many of the rooms have been excavated and stabilized, and informative signs along the trail help tell the story.  See the attached site description provided by Friends of the Tonto National Forest for more details.

This hike was led and interpreted by Scott Wood, retired Tonto National Forest archaeologist, and now a volunteer with Friends of the Tonto, which maintains the Sears-Kay site.  Scott is an expert on the archaeology of the Hohokam, Salado, Mogollon, and Central Arizona Tradition prehistoric inhabitants of southern and central Arizona.  It's a special treat to have him as our guide, since no one else can bring the dusty remains of a prehistoric village back to life like Scott can, so we hope you can join us for the fun!

December 18, 2021:  Field Trip to Casa Grande National Monument included a guided tour of Casa Grande National Monument including “back country” areas not normally seen by casual visitors.  Casa Grande was the first archaeological reserve in the US (1892) and became a National Monument in 1918.  It is the focus of an extended network of ancient communities and irrigation canals.  The most obvious feature is the “Great House,” a large adobe structure now under a huge protective shelter roof.  Casa Grande is on the north side of Coolidge, Arizona, near Casa Grande, Arizona.

December 8, 2021:  Dr. Jay Franklin Video Conference Presentation- Director of Cultural Resources and a Principal Investigator for EcoPlan Associates, Inc.  Hohokam and Salado Archaeology Along US 60 Near Superior, Arizona

An overview of archaeological investigations by EcoPlan Associates for ADOT along a four mile stretch of US 60 just east of Superior.  He will discuss overall project chronology, culture history, and results of various kinds of analyses particularly to pottery.   Previous work west of this area revealed mostly Hohokam sites, but in this project they found both Hohokam and Salado sites, sometimes at the same location.  This gives an opportunity to examine the transition from the late pre-Classic to Classic periods (AD 900 – 1450) along Queen Creek and to examine the social environments and interaction spheres of Hohokam and Salado populations in the early Classic Period. This work provides new information on the upper Queen Creek corridor between the more intensely investigated Phoenix Basin and Tonto Basin/Globe Highlands.  An email containing the link for the Zoom meeting will be sent to Rim Country Chapter members.  

Jay Franklin received his PhD in Anthropology at the University of Tennessee in 2002. His primary research interests include prehistoric hunter gatherers, cave and rock art, and prehistoric stone tools and pottery.  His archaeological experience spans the southeastern United States, Missouri, North Dakota, Texas, Arizona, and France.

V Bar VSunday, November 14:  Field trip included the V Bar V Heritage petroglyph site, and the nearby Sacred Mountain pueblo ruin.  Ken Zoll, executive director of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center, agreed to interpret both of these Southern Sinagua sites for us.

V Bar V Heritage Site

The V Bar V site, located close to Wet Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Verde River, is the largest and best-preserved assemblage of petroglyphs in the Verde Valley.  The site consists of more than 1,000 individual petroglyphs spread across 13 rock panels, with a major concentration of the rock art on 4 panels.  Zoomorphs (animal figures), anthromorphs (human figures), and geometric designs are all heavily represented on the panels.  This artistry is attributed to the Southern Sinagua, a culture that inhabited the fertile middle Verde Valley from 600 to 1400 AD.  They developed a distinctive rock art stylistic tradition known as the Beaver Creek Style during the 1150-1400 AD period, of which V Bar V is an outstanding example.  The glyph panels are located on land that was part of the historic Taylor Ranch which started in 1900 and later became the V Bar V ranching operation.  The site now belongs to Coconino National Forest, and is managed by Friends of the Forest and the Verde Valley Archaeology Center based in Camp Verde.  There is a small visitors center adjacent to the V Bar V parking area and trailhead, and a nice trail follows Wet Beaver Creek across flat terrain about a half mile to the rock art panels.

Sacred Mountain Pueblo

This fine example of a Southern Sinagua hilltop pueblo is located less than a mile southeast of V Bar V, just east off Forest Road 618.  Although it was extensively pot hunted in prior decades, there is still much to see, with many exposed walls.  Sacred Mountain was likely occupied from around 1100 to 1250 AD, contemporaneously with Montezuma's Castle, Tuzigoot, and other major Southern Sinagua villages in the area.  A strong Hohokam influence, or possibly even a Hohokam occupation, is indicated by the presence of a ballcourt near the southeastern base of the knoll, visible from the hilltop.  The ruin consists of roughly 60 rooms, in 3 room blocks of around 20 rooms each, and a plaza space.  It also includes probable solar observatory cairns identified by Ken Zoll. The site is undeveloped and has never been scientifically excavated. 

November 10, 2021: Zoom Presentation by Dr. Michelle Rae Bebber, The End of North America’s Copper Age: What Can Experimental Ballistics and Mechanics Tell Us?

North America’s Old Copper Culture (6000-3000 B.P.) is a unique event in archaeologists’ global understanding of ancient metallurgy. For millennia, Middle and Late Archaic hunter-gatherers around the North American Upper Great Lakes region regularly made utilitarian implements out of copper, only for these items to decline in prominence and frequency during the Archaic to Woodland Transition. Could it be factors such as overall tool function may have contributed to the end of North America’s “Copper Age”? Dr. Bebber will discuss the results of her experimental program, which addresses this question via the functional comparison of replicated tools made from native copper versus those made of stone and bone.

Dr. Michelle Bebber is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She has degrees in Biological Anthropology (Ph.D.), Experimental Archaeology (M.A.), Interdisciplinary Anthropology (B.A.), and Studio Art (B.A.).   Michelle specializes in experimental archaeology and co-directs the Kent State University Experimental Archaeology Laboratory.

October 2:  Outdoor member meet and greet.  RCC members gathered outdoors at Rumsey Park, Payson, to discuss plans for 2022.  It was decided that there was insufficient clarity about the future to commit to resuming indoor face-to-face meetings.  And it turns out the three best prospects for such meeting locations are not projected to be feasible until at least Fall, 2022.  It was decided to continue with field trips.  Several members volunteered to help out setting up Field Trips near to Payson.GilaCliffDwellings

October 15-18:  Silver City, New Mexico field trip.  Saturday visited Gila Cliff Dwellings, Spirt Canyon petroglyphs and the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site.  Sunday visited University of New Mexico Museum, including its large Mimbres Culture pottery collection with depictions of mammals, birds, fish, and insects and possibly several Mimbres excavations sites.  Those that wanted to push the weekend visited City of Rocks State Park, Rockhound State Park, or Deming-Luna Mimbres Museum.

October 13 Zoom:  Dr. Aaron Wright of Southwest Archaeology will presented “Hohokam, Patayan, or ?”—Unmixing the Archaeology of the Lower Gila River.

With its varied topography and stark contrast between riverine and desert environs, western Arizona witnessed the flourishing of multiple cultural traditions that followed related yet unique historic trajectories. Archaeologists learned long ago that, in places, the material remains of these distinct traditions overlap on the landscape. This scenario is quite evident along the lower Gila River, where elements of Patayan and Hohokam material culture are often found together or in close proximity.  How to explain the “mixing”? In this presentation, Aaron Wright reviews preliminary findings of a four-year survey and documentation of over 150 archaeological sites in the Dendora Valley and surrounding area that show what the archaeological record looks like when worlds collide.

Aaron Wright is a Preservation Anthropologist with Archaeology Southwest, a Tucson-based non-profit organization dedicated to studying, protecting, and respecting the Southwest’s rich archaeological landscape. He is author of Religion on the Rocks: Hohokam Rock Art, Ritual Practice, and Social Transformation (University of Utah Press, 2014) and editor of the forthcoming Sacred Southwestern Landscapes: Archaeologies of Religious Ecology.

October 2:  RCC Outdoor Member Meet & Greet  Members gathered at Ramada 4 Rumsey Park, Payson, to renew acquaintances, snack, and decide where we go from here.

September 18 & 19 Springerville Field Trip:  Saturday morning visited Casa Malpais Archaeological Park, including an astronomical calendar, a great kiva, ancient stairways and rock art. Saturday afternoon visited the Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area to view petroglyphs and wildlife.  Sunday morning tour of Archeological Conservancy site the sixty-room Amity Pueblo, guided by a local AAS Little Colorado Chapter member.

September 8:  Dr. Vance T. Holliday, School of Anthropology & Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, will present In Search of the First Americans Across the Greater Southwest.  His research specialty has been the Paleoindian people of the Southwest and Southern Plains.  He is author of the book Paleoindian Geoarchaeology of the Southern High Plains.  “Paleoindians” were the earliest hunters and gatherers to settle in the southwestern U.S.  The climate was generally cooler and wetter back then about 13,000 years ago.  Large mammals such as mammoth, mastodon, horse, camel, dire wolf, and several big cats and bears were common. The best-known characteristics of the Paleoindian foragers is their stone tools.   Chance discoveries revealed Clovis kill sites with the remains of mammoth and other extinct large animals.  Later Folsom forager sites are particularly common in the Rio Grande basin.  Folsom bison kills are well documented on the Great Plains.  Still younger “Late Paleoindian” sites seem to be fewer than Folsom. The climate was significantly warmer and drier than Clovis or Folsom times and human adaptive behavior was likely shifting toward more sedentary “Archaic” lifestyles with increased focus on plant gathering after 11,000 years ago.

June 3 & 4, 2021:  Homolovi and Rock Art Ranch Field Trip  Archaeologist Rich Lange led this Field Trip near Winslow, Arizona.  The tour of Homolovi State park began with a brief survey of the pithouse village near the Visitor Center, then over to Homol’ovi III.  This was followed by visits to Homol’ovi II and Homol’ovi I.  The tour continued to the hilltop site Homol’ovi IV and some rock art on the west side of the river.  The tour of Rock Art Ranch visited some of the sites there including a visit to the deep canyon rock art panels.

May 21, 2021:  Risser Ruin, Rim Country Museum, and Zane Grey Cabin Field Trip  Jim Britton guided a tour of Risser Ruin in Payson.  Jim participated in the excavation and stabilization of this site.  Risser Ruin artifacts are on display in the Rim Country Museum, which owns the site., as are many local historical artifacts.  The adjacent Zane Grey Cabin is a faithful replica of the original cabin furnished with actual Zane Grey artifacts, equivalent contemporary items, or replicas, all set up to match historic photographs.

April 23, 2021:  Rim country Chapter and San Tan Chapter sponsored a field trip to Several historic and prehistoric sites in Globe and Miami, Arizona.  Here is a field trip summary.

April 14, 2021:  Summary of San Tan Chapter Zoom Presentation by Dr  Niccole Cerveny Mesa Community College on the topic "Rock Art Conservation: Lessons from the American Southwest and the Jordanian Holy Lands."  It was an interesting account of how Rock Art degrades due to weathering and other causes along with a cost effective method to evaluate the current status and likely future path of individual panels.  Dr Cerveny illustrated her talk with a variety of photographs of Arizona and also Middle East panels.


February 10, 2021:  Zoom presentation by Dr Michelle Turner about the findings of some excavations at the Aztec North Ruin in northwest New Mexico.Hieroglyphic

February 5, 2021:  Rim Country Chapter and San Tan Chapter jointly sponsored a Field Trip Day Hike to San Tan Regional Park.  Here is a photo summary of the hike that includes some supplementary information about what we saw there.

January 16, 2021:  Rim Country Chapter joined with San Tan Chapter for a field trip to Hieroglyphic Canyon.


December 19, 2020:  Rim had a field trip to Dixie Mine near Fountain Hills.  Besides the mine, there were numerous petroglyphs in the area and some remains of former ranching operations.  A second Field Trip was held to accommodate more members who wanted to go.

November 21, 2020 The Rim Country Chapter and San Tan Chapter jointly sponsored a field trip to Tuzigoot National Monument withVVAC National Park Service Archaeologist Matt Gruebard as Guide and Speaker.  The Field Trip continued with a visit to the Verde Valley Archaeology Center Museum in Camp Verde.  Here are additional photos and a text summary of the outing.

October 17, 2020:  Field trip held at Montezuma Castle National Monument led by Matt Guebard, National Park Service Archeologist.  Matt Guebard gave a presentation and short walking tour highlighting recent research at Montezuma Castle National Monument. This included the discovery of colored wall decorations indicating rooms with special community functions as well as the use of cutting edge scientific techniques to evaluate the age of rooms at Montezuma Castle and the nearby Castle A site.

Two papers by Matt Guebard:

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

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

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

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

The Rim Chapter's January 4, 2020 speaker was Jim Krehbiel, Chair and Professor of Fine Arts at Ohio Wesleyan University.  His presentation, Site Lines and Sight Lines, Recent Discoveries in Southeast Utah, was about astronomical research at Ancestral Pueblo sites in southeast Utah.  It was a lesson in astronomy and a tour of remarkable sites in the Bears Ears Cedar Mesa area.  Photos of structures including intact kiva roofs were amazing.  When we see a ruin around here, well, it is a ruin.  Jim described a different approach to Archaeology, looking out rather than looking in, looking at the landscape instead of at the mortar, looking at the horizon instead of at the petroglyph.  Much Archaeoastronomy is indirect, looking at where sunlight slivers or shadows fall on rocks, glyphs, and niches.  Direct Archaeoastronomy involves viewing from such markers outward to the celestial bodies themselves.  Jim Krehbiel illustrated this approach with photos of horizons viewed from isolated structures, kivas, and petroglyph panels towards peaks, notches, prominent boulders, and cliff faces on the horizon.  Then he overlaid sight lines showing the points of rising and setting sun, moon, and certain stars and constellations at the times of various astronomical events such as solstices, equinoxes, cross quarters, lunistices, and major & minor lunar standstills.  Especially impressive were time lapse photo sequences of sunsets on these points at the times of solstices, leaving no doubt that the viewing point was chosen for this reason.X-rayFlourescenceObsidianArtifacts6.pdf

Visit Shoofly

Shoofly Excavation Reports:

Volume 1National Register Nomination    1984 Perimeter Survey    1984 Excavation Summaries

Volume 2:  1985 Excavation Summaries    1986 Excavation Summaries

Volume 3:  1987 Field Season    1987 Excavation Summaries    Archaeomagnetic Report    Magnetometer Survey

Volume 4:  Cranial Deformation    Crystals, Minerals, Shell, Ornaments    Decorated Ceramics    Surface Subsurface Ceramic Ratios

                   Plain Ware Ceramics    Ceramic Hardness Testing    Ceramic Figurine Fragments

Volume 5:  Archaeobotany    Plant Food Occurance Using Floatation   Faunal Analysis     Faunal Remains   

                   Appendix Body Part Codes and Bone Element Frequencies

Volume 6:  Use-Ware Lithics    Intra-Site Lithic Analysis    Groundstone Distribution    Groundstone   

                   X-ray Flourescence Analysis of Obsidian Artifacts    Projectile Point Analysis    Morphological Study of Projectile Points

Volume 7:  Masonry Walls    Surface Subsurface Correlation    Wall Materials    Room Function    Room Function and Social Behavior

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