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 6:30 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

The San Tan Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society hosts classes for members on the identification of types of ancient pottery sherds found in this region. Classes on Wednesday mornings, next Scheduled for: contact Marie Britton

January 18, 2023



                                           studying the past in the present to see the future 

  Archaeology Expo Queen Creek Az 

Date: Saturday April 1, 2023

If you would like to participate contact San Tan Chapter President Marie Britton at



"A Hopi archaeologist reflects on the discipline: Science Moab speaks with Lyle Balenquah about Indigenous perspectives on archaeology"

"How Pottery Offers Glimpses Into Ancient Foodways"

"A Hopi farmer works to sustain corn-growing traditions in the face of a changing climate"


Chapter Officers

 2020 Office  Office Holder Contact Information
President Marie Britton

Vice-President Marie Renner
Treasurer Jim Britton 
Secretary Maggie Dawley

Director1/Program Director Carlos Acuña 

Director2/ Dave Goldman
Director3/Archivist Keith Johanson
Membership Marie Britton

Archaeological Advisor Chris Loendorf

Speaker Schedule




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 6:30 p.m.

We meet at the San Tan Historical Society Museum

(The Historic Rittenhouse School)

Southeast Corner of Ellsworth and Queen Creek Roads




 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

Recommend Books to Read


Old Is New

Events/Field Trips






Archaeological Parks and Prehistoric Native American Ruins of Central Arizona

Platform Mounds of the Arizona Desert

Tonto Basin

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Images of the Past by T. Douglas Price & Gary M. Feinman

" survey of prehistory captures the popular interest, excitement, and visual splendor of archaeology as it provides insight into the research, interpretations, and theoretical themes in the field. "

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Digging into History by Paul S. Martin  Published by: Chicago Natural History Museum 

"Digging into History is a popular account of the excavations of Martin and associates in the Pine Lawn Valley, New Mexico, and neighboring areas.  It is this and more.  A very good account for the layman, it also offers a distillation of Martin's reflections on the social implications of the archaeological data gathered through fifteen years of digging.  It is a thoughtful postscript to a long series of reports.

The contents fall easily into two general parts.  The first contains background information;  the hows and whys of archaeology, and the time and space framework of Southwest Archaeology.  Martin's prologue presents the background for the American Indian cultures.  Migration of Asiatics to America if followed by Southwestern and Mexican occurrences of the Paleo-Indian big game hunters.  The Desert Culture basis of the Cochise sequence, and the importance of its gathering economy in the transition to the agriculture of the Cochise-derived Mogollon Culture are porttrayed."

--- copied from The University of Chicago Press Journals

Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes of Past

"In Archaeology from Space, Sarah Parcak shows the evolution, major discoveries, and future potential of the young field of satellite archaeology. From surprise advancements after the declassification of spy photography, to a new map of the mythical Egyptian city of Tanis, she shares her field’s biggest discoveries, revealing why space archaeology is not only exciting, but urgently essential to the preservation of the world’s ancient treasures.

Parcak has worked in twelve countries and four continents, using multispectral and high-resolution satellite imagery to identify thousands of previously unknown settlements, roads, fortresses, palaces, tombs, and even potential pyramids. From there, her stories take us back in time and across borders, into the day-to-day lives of ancient humans whose traits and genes we share. And she shows us that if we heed the lessons of the past, we can shape a vibrant future."

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"I Am the Grand Canyon is the story of the Havasupai people. From their origins among the first group of Indians to arrive in North America some 20,000 years ago to their epic struggle to regain traditional lands taken from them in the nineteenth century, the Havasupai have a long and colorful history. The story of this tiny tribe once confined to a toosmall reservation depicts a people with deep cultural ties to the land, both on their former reservation below the rim of the Grand Canyon and on the surrounding plateaus.

In the spring of 1971, the federal government proposed incorporating still more Havasupai land into Grand Canyon National Park. At hearings that spring, Havasupai Tribal Chairman Lee Marshall rose to speak. “I heard all you people talking about the Grand Canyon,” he said. “Well, you’re looking at it. I am the Grand Canyon!” Marshall made it clear that Havasu Canyon and the surrounding plateau were critical to the survival of his people; his speech laid the foundation for the return of thousands of acres of Havasupai land in 1975.

I Am the Grand Canyon is the story of a heroic people who refused to back down when facing overwhelming odds. They won, and today the Havasupai way of life quietly continues in the Grand Canyon and on the surrounding plateaus."

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The Mind In The Cave by David Lewis Williams

"Emerging from the narrow underground passages into the chambers of caves such as Lascaux, Chauvet, and Altamira, visitors are confronted with symbols, patterns, and depictions of bison, woolly mammoths, ibexes, and other animals.

Since its discovery, cave art has provoked great curiosity about why it appeared when and where it did, how it was made, and what it meant to the communities that created it. David Lewis-Williams proposes that the explanation for this lies in the evolution of the human mind. Cro-Magnons, unlike the Neanderthals, possessed a more advanced neurological makeup that enabled them to experience shamanistic trances and vivid mental imagery. It became important for people to "fix," or paint, these images on cave walls, which they perceived as the membrane between their world and the spirit world from which the visions came. Over time, new social distinctions developed as individuals exploited their hallucinations for personal advancement, and the first truly modern society emerged.

Illuminating glimpses into the ancient mind are skillfully interwoven here with the still-evolving story of modern-day cave discoveries and research. The Mind in the Cave is a superb piece of detective work, casting light on the darkest mysteries of our earliest ancestors while strengthening our wonder at their aesthetic achievements."

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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

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.  "

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

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Native American Inventions

Projectile Point Analysis of American Southwest


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

Archaeologist discovers Copper Arrowhead in the Yukon Territory

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

Schedule:  September - December 2022  

December: 14, 2022 Dr. Jarrod Burks, PhD, Director of Archaeological Geophysics Ohio Valley Archaeology Inc.


Cancelled : Speaker unavailable due to a business time conflict.
 He would like to reschedule for some other time.

He is currently the President of the Heartland Earthworks Conservancy and conducts the geophysics and remote sensing work.

"Many of the ancient architectural sites around Ohio have been nearly erased from the landscape at the hands of modern development and agricultural activities. Though their embankment walls may have stood over ten feet high and extended for miles, many are now only barely visible to the unaided eye.

However, these sites are still valuable archaeological resources that can provide science with crucial clues to the nature of the mysterious ancient cultures who built them. Modern archaeological technology can detect the foundations of these structures under ground. The positions of walls and mounds can be precisely located with such instruments as magnetometers, electrical resistance meters, ground-penetrating radar, and LiDAR, without any excavation whatsoever. " taken from Heartland Earthworks Conservancy


Schedule:  January - May  2023

January:  11, 2023   Janine Hernbrode

Topic: Petroglyph Patterns and Bell Rocks at Ancestral O'odham Sites

Janine Hernbrode is an independent rock art recorder and researcher based in and working near Tucson, Arizona. Wary of becoming relentless quantifiers through rock art recording, she and her research partner, Dr. Peter Boyle, worked together to collect and analyze data obtained from their recordings of Tumamoc Hill (a three-year project of the Archaeological and Historical Society and the University of Arizona), the Sutherland Wash Rock Art District (a six-year project for the Coronado National Forest), Cocoraque Butte and Cocoraque Ranch (a five-year project for the Bureau of Land Management, the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society, and the private owner of Cocoraque Ranch). Peter and Janine demonstrate that ethnographic and linguistic information can suggest links to both sacred landscapes and some motifs found in rock art. Janine is the Leader of the Rock Band, a group of volunteer rock art recorders whose work was honored by the State Historic Preservation Office. Janine and the Rock Band currently are working to inventory and record the rock art in the Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park as part of an effort to understand the variety of sites in a portion of the Avra Valley.

photo from University of Arizona

February 8, 2023  Andrew Vorsanger Cultural Resources Team Lead - Phoenix SWCA Environmental Consultants

Topic:  TBD

Andrew has served as a project manager and field director for numerous cultural resource projects throughout the Southwest, including Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. He has worked on projects such as transmission lines, solar farms, telecommunication towers, hazardous vegetation removal, and data recovery. Andrew has conducted more than 100 cultural resource projects (survey, testing, monitoring, and data recovery) requiring compliance under Section 106/110 of the NHPA, applicable state and local antiquity and preservation laws, and regulations pertaining to cultural resources under the National Environmental Protection Act. These projects, primarily conducted for industries such as mining, energy, transportation, and community planning, have provided the opportunity to work with a number of private interests as well as various state and federal agencies including the ACoE, BIA, BLM, BOR, DOD, DOE, USFS, USFWS, and various Native American tribes. He is proficient with multiple GPS platforms and ESRI GIS applications. Previous academic training has included Human and hominin osteological analysis, isotopic analysis of indigenous Madagascar hair samples, and statistical analysis of phytoliths from the Southeast United States.

March 8, 2023     Adrianne Rankin Barry Goldwater Airforce Range (BMGR) Archaeologist

Topic: Prehistoric and Historical Period Agricultural Strategies in the Western Papagueria: Archaeological and O'odham

Adrianne Rankin is an Air Force archeologist with the 56th Range Management Office, which administers the land and airspace at BMGR. "We work closely with 15 indigenous tribes who lived in or crossed through the area. The BMGR East is the ancestral homeland of the O'odham: the Hia-Ced O'odham (Sand People), Tohono O'odham (Desert People) and Akimel O'odham (River People).  Most of the cultural resources on the Barry M. Goldwater Range are prehistoric archaeological sites situated on the desert landscape, rather than historic buildings," Rankin added.  Although the range was set aside for bombing and gunnery practice, the Air Force takes special precautions to prevent damage to culturally and historically significant sites within its boundaries.  "The cultural preservation program manages a range of ongoing projects," Rankin said. "Our overall effort is to look at target arrays and try to identify archeological sites to de-conflict archeological sites and mission needs."

text taken from the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (

April 12, 2023   Dr. David Martinez   Assoc Professor, American Indian Studies Arizona State University

Topic : "My Heart Is Bound Up With Them " : How Carlos Montezuma Became the Voice of a Generation

Carlos Montezuma is well known as an influential Indigenous figure of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. While some believe he was largely interested only in enabling Indians to assimilate into mainstream white society, Montezuma’s image as a staunch assimilationist changes dramatically when viewed through the lens of his Yavapai relatives at Fort McDowell in Arizona.

David Martínez offers a critical new lens to view Montezuma’s biography and legacy. During an attempt to force the Fort McDowell Yavapai community off of their traditional homelands north of Phoenix, the Yavapai community members and leaders wrote to Montezuma pleading for help. It was these letters and personal correspondence from his Yavapai cousins—George and Charles Dickens—as well as Mike Burns that sparked Montezuma’s desperate but principled desire to liberate his Yavapai family and community—and all Indigenous people—from the clutches of an oppressive Indian Bureau.

David Martínez (Akimel O'odham/Hia Ced O'odham/Mexican) is Professor of American Indian Studies. He is the author of Dakota Philosopher: Charles Eastman and American Indian Thought, editor of The American Indian Intellectual Tradition: An Anthology of Writings from 1772 to 1972 , author of Life of the Indigenous Mind: Vine Deloria Jr and the Birth of the Red Power Movement, and author of My Heart Is Bound Up With Them: How Carlos Montezuma Became the Voice of a Generation (The University of Arizona Press, 2023). His publications have appeared in the American Indian Quarterly, the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Studies in American Indian Literatures, and Journal of the Southwest. Currently, Martínez is working on a history of the Hia Ced O'odham, titled Elder Brother's Forgotten People: How the Hia Ced O'odham Survived an Epidemic to Claim a Place in Arizona's Transborder History.

May 10, 2023    Zaro Guerrero from Arizona Humanities

Topic:  Our River Stories: The Gila and the Salt

Join Zarco for a series of stories that share the vibrant and tragic history of water and the River People, over a 2,000 year period. Beginning with the Toltec trade route that brought agriculture and corn to the Southwest. The history of the O’Odham before and after the expansion west is revealed. We learn about the Yaqui Indians who fled persecution and found refuge in Arizona rebuilding the ancient canal system. A descendant of the first Mormon settlers tells his families’ story of finding an oasis in the desert given to them by God and their determination to tame the mighty Salt River. Our story culminates when an endearing elderly woman shares the hope that there still is to protect our water resources and to right the wrongs committed against the land and its River People.

As a sculptor, muralist, storyteller and performance artist Zarco has dedicated his career to creating positive social change through the arts. Born in Arizona, he has been instrumental in the development of Latino Arts statewide. His art has been exhibited in Mexico and throughout the United States. He has received international acclaim, and awards, such as a National Endowment for the Arts Japan Fellowship, a Governor’s Arts Award, a Zony Award, became the Southwest Folklife Alliance Master Artist, and has been awarded grants for artistic projects by The Doris Duke Foundation, Valley Metro and Arizona Community Foundation. Visit


Schedule:  September - December 2023

September 13, 2023   Thomas O. Mills Manager Hopi Cultural Center 1970 - 19744 years Second Mesa, Arizona Hopi Reservation.  Retired now living in North Carolina.                ---VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION        

Topic : The Hopi Creation Story

Thomas O. Mills had the opportunity to manage the Hopi Cultural Center at Second Mesa, Arizona for four years when it first opened in the early 70's.  He has a deep respect for the Hopi People and believes their Creation Story can be proven.

In his first book, The Book of Truth, A New Perspective On The Hopi Creation Story, he traces the Hopi story back to Egypt and puts new light on the murals, temples, and pyramids from that point of view, a view that rings true today.  If correct, his theory pinpoints to location of many new underground chambers and the tome of Spider-women, the Hall of Records.

In his second book, Stonehenge, If This Was East, Mills uses his knowledge of the Hopi Ceremonial Cycles to find ancient east at a number of unexplained ancient sites around the world.  He then uses this knowledge to find north and compares north to Charles Hapgood's four North Pole locations in the past 100,000 years with amazing results - thus dating the sites and proving the Hopi Creation Story.

" "Who would have thought that we would live to see the day when the polar ice caps would melt; that earthquakes would affect earth's rotation, that Islands would sink beneath the sea's, and that we would fight wars with unmanned drones? Only the Hopi." "


January:  22, 2022

In lieu of a presentation, the San Tan Chapter will host a Meet & Great " event at the San Tan Historical Museum.

Saturday from 12: to 2:00 pm. Potluck, beverages will be available. RSVP and bring a desert dish to share.

February 9, 2022  Dr. Patricia L. Crown Department of Anthropology University of New Mexico. 

                              ---VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

Dr. Crown uncovered the first evidence of chocolate consumption in North America—north of Mexico—in 2009 and her research has received national and international attention. Crown and colleague Jeffery Hurst—at the time a senior chemist for the Hershey Company—have analyzed the identified chemical signature of cacao in three shreds of distinctive cylinder jars from Chaco Canyon, expanding knowledge of trade relationships between Mesoamerica and the US Southwest." unm

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

Patricia L. Crown was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Arizona, Patricia L. Crown is an archaeologist who works in the American Southwest. She has been on the faculty at the University of New Mexico since 1993, where she is the Leslie Spier Distinguished Professor of Anthropology. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2014. Prof. Crown has conducted field investigations in the Ancestral Pueblo, Mogollon, and Hohokam areas of the American Southwest, and has worked in Chaco Canyon since 2005. She is particularly interested in ritual, women’s roles in the past, and how children learned the skills they needed to function as adults. To get at these issues, she studies ceramics. With collaborator Jeffrey Hurst, she identified the first prehispanic cacao (chocolate) north of the Mexican border in ceramics from Chaco Canyon using organic residue analysis. She directed the re-excavation of a room in Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon in 2013, and the results of that study were published in 2020 by UNM Press as a volume, The House of the Cylinder Jars: Room 28 at Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon.

In 1896, excavations in Room 28 in Pueblo Bonito made several extraordinary finds: 173 whole ceramic vessels, including 112 Chacoan cylinder jars, as well as hundreds of ornaments and copper objects. After discovering residues of cacao in cylinder jars in 2009, I supervised the reexcavation of Room 28 in 2013 to examine the stratigraphy, collect datable materials, and determine when and why the room burned. In this talk, I will describe the results of this re-excavation, which helps us understand how the jars were used in the cacao-drinking ritual and why the room was set on fire. Surprisingly, the room had been filled with backdirt from surrounding rooms, giving us additional information on the area of Pueblo Bonito known as the “northern burial cluster.”

March: 2022

No presentation ; mini expo scheduled for Saturday March 26, 2022

Time: 10 am to 2 pm

Location: San Tan Historical Museum 20435 S Old Ellsworth Rd, Queen Creek 85142

April 13, 2022 Ken Zoll and Arizona Humanities present:

Ken Zoll is the Executive Director of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center in Camp Verde, and the Regional Coordinator of the site steward program of Arizona State Parks and Trails, charged with the monitoring of several prehistoric sites in the Verde Valley. Ken is also a volunteer docent at the cultural heritage sites in the Coconino National Forest. His archaeology specialty is ancient astronomy practices and he has conducted many studies within the Coconino National Forest and for the City of Springerville Arizona. He is a certified instructor in ancient astronomical practices with the Arizona Archaeological Society. Ken has authored three books, Sinagua Sunwatcher and Understanding the Rock Art of Sedona and the Verde Valley. All proceeds from the sale of his books go to Verde Valley Archaeology Center. His latest book entitled Heart of the Sky: Ancient Astronomy Practices in Central Arizona describes his astronomy discoveries over the past eight years.

Topic: Star Wounds: Meteorites from Ancient Native American Sites

The occurrence of meteorites on archaeological sites in North America has been known since the early 19th century. From the Hopewell culture in the eastern United States to the Indians in the American Southwest and northern Mexico, meteorites have been found on these ancient sites. Much like meteorite hunters of today, ancient Native American cultures actively engaged in meteorite collecting. Several meteorite fragments from Meteor Crater near Flagstaff have been discovered at ancient dwellings in Central Arizona. This talk will describe these meteorite locations, how they were associated with Meteor Crater and how one of the meteorites, using radiocarbon dating, established its location within a ruin and confirmed the date of the ruin’s destruction.

May 11, 2022   Karen Steelman, PhD - Science Director Dr. Karen L. Steelman is the director of Shumla’s new 14C plasma oxidation laboratory and a key member of Shumla's Research Leadership Team.        --VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

Dr. Karen L. Steelman is the Science Director at Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center. As a principal investigator for Shumla’s NSF-supported Hearthstone Project, Karen works with a team that combines archaeological science, formal art analysis, and Indigenous knowledge to study the rock art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands in southwest Texas.

Karen’s research career has allowed her to blend her two interests – physical science and archaeology. She uses chemistry to identify pigments used by ancient artists and to radiocarbon date ancient rock paintings. Karen received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Dr. Steelman is a leading international rock art researcher with over 40 peer-reviewed archaeology publications.

Topic: The Hearthstone Project:Using Archaeological Science to Study Pictographs

In the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of southwest Texas, hunter-gatherers created large-scale artistic murals to communicate their beliefs and worldview. Today, researchers at Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center are using scientific methods to study the past. With over 30 direct radiocarbon dates, we know that the Pecos River style of painting persisted for over 4,500 years. This presentation will highlight new chemical analyses and radiocarbon dating results for the paintings from our current documentation and research focus – The Hearthstone Project. To conduct this field and laboratory research, we train and work directly with college interns and local high school students. In addition to peer-reviewed publications, our organization has an active social media presence and blog to share our findings with the public.

September: 14, 2022    Retired Ethnobotanist Pueblo Grande

Dave Morris has been a resident of Arizona for over fifty years. A member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma he received a degree in plant sciences from Northern Arizona University. Retired from the Pueblo Grande Museum, David volunteers with the Arizona Site Stewards and the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

Topic :    "Plants and People in the Sonoran Desert"

Join Choctaw Tribal member and botanist David Morris for some stories and a look at several cultivated and gathered plants used by the people in the Southwest. Plants have provided for the food, medicine and spiritual needs of the Sonoran Desert people since prehistoric times. An informative and entertaining look at the ethnobotany of the Southwest.

photo from

October: 12, 2022    Dr.  Mary Ownby, PhD, Petrography Director of Desert Archaeology Inc.

Title: Building Bridges in Clay: Salado Polychrome Pottery in Phoenix

By: Dr. Mary F. Ownby


For decades archaeologists working in the Phoenix area have identified Salado Polychrome (aka Roosevelt Red Ware) in late Classic Period ceramic assemblages. However, most believed these were non-local imports. The application of scientific provenance methods more recently has revealed this is not the case. Petrographic and chemical (NAA) data from 10 sites in the Lower Salt Valley and one site along Queen Creek have revealed patterns of local manufacture. The results indicate several sites were possible producers, including those utilizing Salt River sand, a few locations north of the Salt River, and at least one location to the west of the Superstition Mountains. Such vessels circulated throughout the Lower Salt Valley and even to outlying areas. Their exchange within the valley and beyond shows the importance of these pots in connecting not just immigrant populations but integrating local communities as well. This highlights the significance of material culture in negotiating social change and bridging cultural differences in multiethnic settings.

Dr. Ownby received her PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge (U.K.) in 2010 with a research focus on scientific analysis of ceramics. She completed a MSc in Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials from University College London and a MA in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. Her research utilizes petrographic and instrumental analysis of pottery (and other material types) to examine interregional contacts, technological choice, and ceramic ecology. Studies have been conducted throughout the U.S. Southwest and in Egypt, the Near East, Uzbekistan, and Panama. Dr. Ownby has been an Associate Researcher at the University of Arizona and the Research Petrography at Desert Archaeology, Inc. since 2010.

Novemer:  9, 2022     Dr. Chris Loendorf Senior Project Manager Gila River Indian Community (GRIC)

Topic: Platform Mound Communities along the Middle Gila River


"Extensive archaeological evidence shows that major shifts in settlement patterns occurred over time within the Phoenix Basin, and it appears that population densities along the lower Salt and middle Gila Rivers fluctuated through time, such that periods of high density along one stream correspond with concurrent episodes of low density along the other river. When Platform Mound communities were at their height during the late Classic period, population density appears to have been comparatively low along the middle Gila, with only 12 Platform Mounds at 11 sites compared with 52 Mounds at 31 sites along the lower Salt. In contrast, much larger settlement areas such as Snaketown were present in the same area during the Preclassic period, and data show that during the Classic period many people moved either upstream to the Casa Grande area, or north to the lower Salt River and the Tonto Basin. The middle Gila and lower Salt Rivers have divergent stream flow regimes, which appears to at least partially account for the differences observed in settlement patterns, including the scale of the Platform Mound communities along the two rivers. "


January 13, 2021 @ 7pm (second Wednesday of the month): Annalisa Alvrus, Ph.D.. MESA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Chair, Cultural Science Department; Residential Faculty, Anthropology---VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

Annalisa was born in another hot place (southwest Florida) and soon in life found out she couldn't figure out what she was most interested in studying. Given all that, she opted for anthropology, because of the breadth and depth of expanses of human knowledge that are covered in that field. While working full time as a legal secretary, she accumulated various credits in 3.5 years at community colleges in Florida and Maryland, then finally obtained her Bachelor's degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, graduating summa cum laude. She moved on to graduate study at Arizona State University, earning a Master's in Bioarchaeology, and in 2006, she earned a Ph.D. in Physical Anthropology. She became full time faculty in the Maricopa Community College District in 2005 and has tremendously enjoyed her many semesters spent sharing her love of anthropology with numerous students at the community college.

Topic: Vampires, Witches, and Zombies, Oh My!

For generations untold, humans have utilized religion to help us fathom things that are beyond our immediate understanding, such as death and why we die. One of the goals of anthropology is to "make the strange familiar and the familiar strange" by exploring how people in other cultures (including other cultures across time) have understood and experienced similar human events. This talk will look at the human experience of death and the immediate period after death, to analyze how humans have used belief systems, including religion, to explain phenomena common to all of us.

February 10,2021   :Dr. Michelle Turner    Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Cortez Colorado

                             Topic: Aztec Ruins National Monument---VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

The Archaeology of the Aztec North Great House

Dr. Michelle I. Turner

In 2016, a team from Binghamton University conducted archaeological testing at the previously unexcavated Aztec North great house at Aztec Ruins National Monument. The fieldwork revealed architectural surprises, including unexpected construction methods and remodeling over time, as well as fascinating artifact patterns. I will discuss what we have learned about the site’s chronology, about the architecture, and about people’s daily lives at this site. I will also discuss my ongoing research into the great house’s place in the larger cultural landscape of Aztec Ruins and its relationship to Chaco Canyon and other regions.

Michelle Turner is a postdoctoral scholar at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, where she works on the Northern Chacoan Outliers Project. She received her PhD in 2019 from the Department of Anthropology at Binghamton University (SUNY). This talk grows out of her dissertation research on the Aztec North great house.

March 10, 2021 : Dr. Chris Loendorf Senior Project Manager GRIC-----VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION


Akimel O’Odham Perseverance and Resiliency

Much of what is known regarding Historic period Native American communities is based on the interpretation of documents that were written by non-indigenous peoples. However, archaeological excavations in a portion of the Blackwater Village within the Gila River Indian Community provide another perspective on Native American life ways within south-central Arizona during the late 1800s. The latter 19th century was a pivotal time for the Akimel O’Odham (i.e., Pima) who have long lived within the Phoenix Basin, and they experienced dramatic changes in their subsistence strategies, settlement patterns, craft production, and other cultural practices during this time, which is referred to as the “years of famine” (1880-1920). These recent archaeological investigations demonstrate that the Akimel O’Odham were not passive recipients of Euroamerican culture, and instead they chose to adopt some aspects of non-native practices while at the same time retaining important traditions. As a result, the Akimel O’Odham have successfully maintained their society in the face of tremendous hardships, and Blackwater Village remains a vibrant settlement to this day.

April 14, 2021 : Niccole Villa Cerveny , Ph.D MESA COMMUNITY COLLEGE , Faculty | Geosciences & Topic: Rock Art Conservation: Lessons from the American Southwest and the Jordanian Holy Lands


Brief Synopsis: Join us as we investigate both the natural and human causes of rock decay on cultural stone containing petroglyphs in the deserts of the American Southwest. Utilizing the Rock Art Stability Index, field researchers can quantify the threats to our cultural heritage. We will also explore the contrast between the challenges of our desert geoheritage and the Wadi Rum Desert in the Hisma Basin of Jordan, where similar rock types and climate impact 2000 year old petroglyphs and inscriptions. Lessons from both locations richly inform rock art mitigation decisions and cultural stone management for the sustainability of heritage resources.

Mini-Bio: Niccole Villa Cerveny is a professor of geosciences and sustainability at Mesa Community College who specializes in geomorphology, conservation of cultural resources, and undergraduate research. She obtained her doctorate from Arizona State University. Her research ranges from studying climatic relationships through quartz grain decay to conservation and preservation of rock art. Her work has been published in scholarly journals including Heritage Management, Journal of Geomorphology, Geoarchaeology, and Weatherwise. Although she enjoys engaging in indigenous weaving techniques and other outdoor activities, her current passion involves helping K-12 teachers and students explore impactful field research experiences.

May 12, 2021           : Richard Lange ---VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

                                Topic: Homol'ov | Arizona Archaeologist #43

Homol’ovi II (H2) is one of the two largest ancestral Hopi villages just outside of Winslow in northeastern Arizona. HRP worked there in 1983‐84, from 1991‐1995, and finally in 2013 and 2014. H2, along with 6 other prehistoric villages, clustered along the Little Colorado River for water and intensive cotton production in the late 1200s through the 1300s. H2 was founded about 1360, and like the other villages, was closed as the populations moved to the Hopi Mesas about 1400. The talk will discuss the general history of the Homol’ovi area, what was there before and after the Homol’ovi villages, the founding and evolution of H2 village, and some details about the creation and exchange of Hopi yellow ware pottery that was found in abundance at the Homol’ovi sites.

Rich Lange got his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in 1974 and his MA from the University of Arizona in 1977. Upon completion of the MA degree, he walked across the street and was employed on a contract project for Arizona State Museum. Rich continue working there on other projects, doing state land surveys, and then becoming the Associate Director for ASM’s Homol’ovi Research Program (HRP). For the HRP, Rich directed surveys in the main park area and at Rock Art Ranch to the southeast, participated in excavations at the major Homol’ovi pueblos, and sometimes directed the excavations, such as at Homol’ovi I in the park (Homolovi State Park) and at the Multi‐Kiva Site south of Rock Art Ranch. He has recently completed the report for work done by the HRP at Homol’ovi II.   

Photo : Homol’ovi II near Winslow, of the large kiva there under excavation in 1993.

September 8,2021Dr. Vance T. Holliday Professor  School of Anthropology & Department of Geosciences University of Arizona

Director, Argonaut Archaeological Research Fund

Topic:  "In Search of the First Americans Across the Greater Southwest" ---VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

Vance Holliday attended The University of Texas to study archaeology (BA in Anthropology,1972). By the time he was at Texas Tech for an MA in Museum Science (1977) and to work on the Lubbock Lake archaeological project his interests expanded to soils, landscapes, and geology. At the same time, his work at Lubbock Lake was bringing him into contact with research into the earliest (Paleoindian) populations on the Great Plains. The result of these interests was a PhD in Geology from the University of Colorado (1982). His professional career, which started at the University of Wisconsin (1986-2002), is largely devoted to reconstructing and interpreting the landscapes and environments in which Paleoindians lived, and how these conditions evolved, initially on the Great Plains. This interest culminated in his joining the University of Arizona faculty (2002) to direct the Argonaut Archaeological Research Fund (AARF), which is devoted to research on the geoarchaeology of the Paleoindian people of the Southwest. Since 2002 he has been a professor in both the Departments of Anthropology and Geosciences at the University of Arizona, and Adjunct Professor in Geography & Regional Development. Outside of the Plains and the Southwest his field work has included early sites in Alaska, Argentina, and Chile, and Paleolithic sites in Russia and Ukraine.

Honors include the Archaeological Geology Award of the Geological Society of America, the Kirk Bryan Award of the G.S.A., and in 2018 the Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research from the Society for American Archaeology. He authored three books, including Paleoindian Geoarchaeology of the Southern High Plains, and co-edited four others, including the Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology and Plainview: Enigmatic Paleoindian Artifact Style of the Great Plains. He also published numerous journal articles and book chapters on Pleistocene and Holocene geology and soils, on geoarchaeology, and on Paleoindian archaeology.

Vance T. Holliday, University of Arizona

The First Americans, the so-called “Paleoindians” were the earliest hunters and gatherers to settle in the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico. They lived at a time when the climate was substantially different than today; generally cooler and wetter. Rivers carried more water and there were more, and larger lakes scattered across the region. Another significant characteristic of this time was presence of now extinct “megafauna” – large mammals such as mammoth, mastodon, horse, camel, dire wolf, and several big cats and bears. The best-known characteristic of the Paleoindian foragers is their stone tool technology.

Archaeological research shows that the earliest Paleoindian group were makers of Clovis projectile points. Clovis foragers (13,500 – 13,000 cal years B.P.) were not common in the region, but chance discoveries revealed several Clovis kill sites with the remains of mammoth and other extinct megafauna. The presence of younger Paleoindian sites varies considerably across the region. There are few such sites in southern Arizona and Sonora, but they are relatively common on the Colorado Plateau of northern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. They are locally quite dense along the greater Rio Grande valley of New Mexico and southern Colorado. The artifacts of Folsom foragers (13,000-12,000 cal years B.P.), who followed the Clovis people are particularly common in basins of the Rio Grande. By Folsom time most of the megafauna were extinct. The best know survivor was bison, and Folsom people apparently became expert bison hunters. Folsom bison kills are well documented on the Great Plains. None are known in the southwest because buried, intact Folsom sites are very rare and poorly preserved. Younger “Late Paleoindian” sites (12,500-11,000 cal years B.P.) are also known from the Rio Grande region, but they seem to be fewer than Folsom. By late Paleoindian times 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 and use of local resources.

October 13, 2021 : Dr. Aaron Wright Southwest Archaeology---VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

Aaron Wright Preservation Anthropologist, Archaeology Southwest

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.


“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.

source : Archaeology

November 10, 2021  : Dr. Michelle Rae Bebber ---VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

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.) with a focus in ceramics. Michelle specializes in experimental archaeology and co-directs the Kent State University Experimental Archaeology Laboratory. Her research has been featured on the Discovery Channel, NPR, and Gizmodo, as well as several other media outlets, including Science and Archaeology magazine. Her research involves early metal technologies, ceramic production and function, and projectile weaponry. Michelle’s current projects are focused on North American copper use and the human aesthetic experience. Her diverse background, which merges the fine arts and hard sciences, gives her a strong replicative skillset and a unique perspective on past tool production processes, tool innovation, modification, and general usage.

Topic: 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. This decline in copper tools has generally been explained as a result of population growth and increasing social complexity seen in the subsequent Woodland Period. However, could it be that other 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.


Topic: "Hohokam and Salado Archaeology Along US 60 Near Superior, Arizona" ---VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

Presentation: Hohokam and Salado Archaeology Along US 60


... an overview of archaeological investigations by EcoPlan Associates, Inc. for ADOT along a four mile stretch of US 60 just east of Superior. I will briefly discuss overall project chronology, culture history, and results of several kinds of analyses with particular attention to the pottery found. Previous work west of this area revealed mostly Hohokam sites. During this project we found both Hohokam and Salado sites – sometimes at the same location. We have the opportunity to examine the transition from the late pre-Classic to Classic periods (AD 900 – 1450) here 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.

Jay Franklin is Director of Cultural Resources and a Principal Investigator for EcoPlan Associates, Inc. headquartered in Mesa, Arizona. Franklin works in EcoPlan’s Tucson office. He was

 awarded 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. Franklin has more than 26 years of experience in archaeology and cultural resource management. He is certified by the Arizona State Museum as a principal investigator and project director. His archaeological experience spans the southeastern United States, Missouri, North Dakota, Texas, Arizona, and France. He has worked extensively in academia and cultural resource management to design and conduct large and small projects from archaeological surveys to large excavation projects. Franklin has been a professor, archaeology director, project manager. He taught courses in introductory archaeology, human osteology and paleontology, Native American cultures, prehistoric stone tool technologies, Paleolithic archaeology, cultural resource management, archaeological curation, and archaeological ceramics, among others, at East Tennessee State University, the University of Memphis, Pellissippi State Technical Community College, and the University of Tennessee. Franklin’s research has been presented at professional conferences and published in several leading archaeological and scientific journals from state to international levels.


 Schedule: 2020

December 9: Dr. Barbara Stark Professor Emerita ASU---VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

Barbara L. Stark specializes in Mesoamerican archaeology, especially the Gulf lowlands. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1974. Now Professor Emeritus at ASU, she continues her research on settlement patterns, ancient economy, state organization, and ceramics. National Science Foundation-supported excavations and regional survey in the Papaloapan basin have provided new data. She has a monograph in press about settlement patterns and political organization. A new paper about the cotton textile craft provides grist for her San Tan Chapter talk. She has published nine books, 95 chapters or articles, and varied other publications.

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

Cotton is one of the five famous Arizona “Cs” for which the state is known. Cotton fiber and cotton textiles became vital products in ancient Mesoamerica long before. Wild cotton was a plant adapted to the coastal littoral, and the Gulf coast of Mesoamerica is one area where cotton and the cotton textile craft became regionally important and entered into interregional exchanges with regions where cotton could not be grown. This perishable product can be studied indirectly via archaeological ceramic spindle whorls. It’s history in the Papaloapan region of Veracruz involves craft extensification, both geographically and socially. Eventually cotton fiber and textiles were “big business” in Postclassic Mesoamerica.

November 11:  Ramona Klein  ----VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

Topic: Indian Boarding Schools --- "Hear My Voice"

Dr. Ramona Charette Klein is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in Belcourt, ND. Dr. Klein has earned the following degrees from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND:

Bachelor of Science- Elementary Education K-8 ,Master of Education- Special Education SLD, Doctorate of Education- School Leadership with a Cognate of Studies in Special Education.

Ramona is the first woman from her tribe, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, to earn a doctorate degree. Since Ramona earned a doctorate many others have followed in her footsteps earning college degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Ramona has taught students from Kindergarten through Post Graduate work. She has worked in Bureau of Indian Education, public, private and Tribal education in k-12 schools and higher education. She has served on local, state, regional, national and international boards that educate and support children and youth. Ramona continues to work in education through her business, Eagle Consulting, Inc. She has worked in all fifty states. Ramona enjoys meeting people and learning about their cultures.

Ramona is the fifth of eight children of john and Stella Charette. At the age of six (6) Ramona attended A Bureau of Indian Education Boarding School in Fort Totten, North Dakota. Ramona’s father, John Charette also attended Indian Boarding School as a young child. Ramona will share her story of the Indian Boarding School experience.

October 14: Dr. Chris Loendorf Senior Project Manager GRIC-----VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

Gila River Indian Community (GRIC)

Topic: "Arrow Point Reworking: An Experimental Study of Projectile Point Use Life"

This paper reports the results of controlled experiments in which flaked stone arrow points were fired at four different uniform target media with varying elasticity. The points were made from four materials that varied substantially in impact toughness. Our results show that when impacting inelastic materials such as bone, damage to arrow points was generally catastrophic, especially for low fracture toughness materials including obsidian. Furthermore, in those rare instances when broken arrow tips could be reworked, they did not perform as well as the initial artifact. Our results suggest that contrary to a common assumption, conditions of use are such that fired points can only occasionally be reworked, and reworked arrow points in archaeological collections are more likely artifacts that were damaged in the quiver or otherwise accidentally broken. This conclusion is supported by multiple lines of data including physical constraints that indicate why used arrow points were rarely reworked.

Our work has many implications for understanding lithic assemblages, and it shows that a number of common assumptions are incorrect.

September 9:  M. Kyle Woodson, Ph.D., ------------VIDEO CONFERENCE PRESENTATION

Topic : The Impact of Flooding on Hohokam Irrigation Agriculture

Kyle Woodson has served the past eight years as the Director of the Gila River Indian Community’s Cultural Resource Management Program in Sacaton, Arizona. Kyle received his Ph.D. in Anthropology at Arizona State University in 2010. His research focuses on southern Arizona and includes Hohokam canal irrigation agriculture, community organization, and ceramic production and technology, as well as Ancestral Puebloan migrations and other topics. Kyle has authored or co-authored a number of recent publications including: an article on granary pedestals in Classic Period Hohokam platform mound sites (with Brian Medchill and Chris Loendorf) in the Journal of Arizona Archaeology (2019); an article on the sourcing of hematite paints oh Hohokam red-on-buff ceramics (with Sunday Eiselt, John Dudgeon, Andy Darling, E.N. Paucar, and Michael Glascock) in Archaeometry (2019); an article on an experimental study of projectile point reworking (with Chris Loendorf, Thatcher Rogers, Theodore J. Oliver, Brian R. Huttick, and Allen Denoyer) in American Antiquity (2019); an article on Blackwater Village at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (with Chris Loendorf, Craig Fertelmes, David H. DeJong, and Barnaby V. Lewis) in Kiva (2018); an article on the development of prehistoric irrigation studies in Arizona under the National Historic Preservation Act (with Jerry Howard) in the Journal of Arizona Archaeology (2018); an article on reconstructing ancient Hohokam irrigation systems in the Middle Gila River Valley (with Tian Zhu and Maurits Ertsen) in Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Journal (2018); a book chapter titled “Preclassic Hohokam” (with Doug Craig) in The Oxford Handbook of Southwest Archaeology (2017); a book entitled The Social Organization of Hohokam Irrigation in the Middle Gila River Valley, Arizona (2016) published as part of the Gila River Indian Community Anthropological Papers series; an article on the formation of irrigated soils in Hohokam canal irrigated fields (with Jon Sandor, Colleen Strawhacker, and Wesley Miles) in Geoarchaeology: An International Journal (2015); a book chapter titled “The Impact of Flooding on Hohokam Canal Irrigation Agriculture” in Traditional Arid Lands Agriculture: Understanding the Past for the Future (edited by Scott Ingram and Robert Hunt, 2015); an article on ritual drinks in the pre-hispanic US Southwest and Mexican Northwest (with Patricia Crow, Jiyan Gu, W. Jeffrey Hurst, Timothy J. Ward, Ardith D. Bravenec, Syed Ali, Laura Kebert, Marlaina Berch, Erin Redman, Patrick D. Lyons, Jamie Merewether, David A. Phillips, and Lori S. Reed) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2015); and an article on flaked-stone point design for warfare and big game hunting (with Chris Loendorf, Lynn Simon, Daniel Dybowski, R. Scott Plumlee, Shari Tiedens, and Michael Withrow) in Antiquity (2015).

Kyle will present a lecture entitled, “The Impact of Flooding on Hohokam Irrigation Agriculture.” In this talk, I examine the impact of flooding on Hohokam canal irrigation agriculture, with a focus on the large riverine floodplain of the middle Gila River Valley in south-central Arizona. I examine our assumptions about what we know about floods, their effects on floodplains and canal irrigation agriculture, and the human responses to flood impacts. My objective is to expose the weak points in our chain of reasoning and to identify gaps in our knowledge of floods and flood impacts. I describe why we need to know more about flooding and flood impacts on prehistoric irrigators. I make suggestions about how we can know more about these topics, including re-thinking some of our current concepts and building upon the strongest foundations in future research. Lastly, I describe the signatures of flooding and flood impacts that might occur in the archaeological record and provide examples.

May 13: Dr. Aaron Wright Southwest Archaeology ------------CANCELLED

Topic: "Life of the Gila: The Patayan World

AARON WRIGHT, Ph.D., is a Preservation Archaeologist at Archaeology Southwest. His research is focused on the Hohokam and Patayan traditions across southwestern Arizona. He is specifically interested in the cultural landscape of the lower Gila River, which is renowned for a unique mixture of Patayan and Hohokam settlements, dense galleries of world-class rock art, and numerous enigmatic geoglyphs. Wright is the lead researcher on Archaeology Southwest's long-term goal of establishing a Great Bend of the Gila National Monument. In that effort, Aaron has collaborated on a cultural resource study of the area's significance, as well as a cultural affiliation study outlining the ethnohistory and contemporary tribal connections to this remarkable landscape.

April 8:  Chris Reid   ------------CANCELLED 

Topic : Pearl Hart, The Lady Bandit: Victim or Vixen... or Both?                                                                      Separating fact from fiction is no easy matter regarding flamboyant stage coach robber Pearl Hart.  Many conflicting stories abound thanks, in no small part, to Peal 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 created to highlight her life?  Reid will explore Peal's life as both victim & vixen to help shed some light on an Arizona figure surrounded by mystery.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    March

March 11: Jacob Butler Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Commuity (SRPMIC)

Mr. Butler is from SRPMIC's Cultural Resources Department (CRD ) Community Garden Program.

Topic:     “The SaltRiver Pima Maricopa Indian Community Garden”

The power point will describe what we do and how we work with our people within the SRPMIC, to reintroduce traditional foods through home gardens and garden related activities. I will have some examples of the traditional seeds we are keeping in our seed bank and a few other material examples to show during the presentation. Our garden is a little different from most community gardens. The garden was created and managed by the community and utilized as a venue to promote traditional activities with an emphasis on growing food.

Jacob Butler is a member of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, he is Onk Akimel O’odham.

Mr. Butler works in many art mediums, ranging from traditional art forms like Paddle and Anvil Pottery and Shell etching to more contemporary forms of expression like Painting and sculpture. Jacob’s most notable works are in Shell and Pottery. His creations represent traditions that have been practiced for time immemorial.

Jacob continuously strives to improve, incorporating new dimensions to his work to create pieces that are contemporary and original, with reflections of the rich cultural heritage of his people.

A few notable projects Jacob has completed are:

  • Jacob was selected as an N.M.A.I. artist leadership Program Awardee by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014-2015
  • Two clay murals at the Casa Grande National Monument Visitor Orientation Center in partnership with a fellow community artist
  • Shell work ornamentation was also commissioned for the Casa Grande Visitor Orientation video and can be seen in the short film
  • The Odysea Aquarium in Scottsdale showcases twelve super graphics Jacob created, they were commissioned to reflect the beautiful culture of the community, people and the waters ways we are associated with.
  • Currently Jacob is working with the Tonto National Monument on a series of new visitor interpretive videos. Jacob was filmed constructing a paddle and anvil pot, showing how to create ornamentation from shell and will be seen implementing and explaining briefly the agricultural traditions of the ancient southwest.
  • In 2018 Jacob was commissioned to create etched shell and traditional tools of the O’odham and their Ancestors for display at Gateway airport in Mesa Arizona
  • 2019 Jacob was part of “Team Continuum” three O’odham artist to receive a Water Public Art Challenge prize to install “Waters story” a temporary art installment at the Hayden Flour Mill
  • Jacob has designed the exterior of a future Holiday Inn and supplied Graphics for use at the future Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale
  • Jacob is currently working with the Pueblo Grande Museum on a number of signage and other art projects for the Museum

Jacobs work can be found on display or in collections throughout the southwest, like the inlayed firebird on display at Montezuma’s Castle National Monument. His work has also traveled as far away as Sweden in the Kiva Gallery.

February 12: Monica King Gila River Indian Community (GRIC ) -Huhugam Heritage Center (HHC) Education Curator 

Topic:  Gardening project revitalizes traditional plants for basket weavers" , 'Akimel O'otham Basket Weaving'

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

Topic: Pre-Columbian Agaves in the Southwest United States:Discovering Lost Crops among the Hohokam and other Arizona Cultures.        Wendy C. Hodgson and Andrew Salywon

Researchers have long recognized the importance of agaves to Mesoamerica and its cultures, the plants providing food, fiber and beverage. However, their significance to these cultures has overshadowed and distorted the plants’ role for indigenous peoples north of the U.S. – Mexico border. Pre-Columbian farmers grew no less than six and possibly as many as eight or more domesticated agaves in Arizona dating to at least A.D. 600. Because of their longevity and primarily asexual reproduction, relict agave clones have persisted in the landscape to the present, providing an opportunity to study pre-Columbian nutrition, trade, migration and agricultural practices. Additionally, the remnant clones present a rare opportunity to examine domesticates virtually unchanged since they were last cultivated within a prehistoric cultural context. DNA sequence data, in addition to plant morphology, suggests that at least three may have originated in Arizona, suggesting this state as a secondary center of domestication. These discoveries underscore the necessity of viewing landscapes and some plant species from a cultural, rather than “natural,” perspective that may help discern potential cryptic species veiled by traditional taxonomic treatments. Understanding these plants and their ecological/cultural roles requires interdisciplinary collaboration between botanists and archaeologists.

Wendy Hodgson is herbarium curator emerita and senior research botanist at the Desert Botanical Garden. She has personally collected some 32,000 of the DBG herbarium’s 92,500 specimens. Initially hired as an illustrator, Wendy first came to the DBG in 1974, with a ASU bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology. Early in her career at the DBG Wendy was encouraged to go out into the field and collect plants for the herbarium. These adventures led to her pursuing and receiving a master’s degree in botany in 1982. Presently she is also an adjunct professor of conservation biology at ASU and has authored “Food Plants of the Sonoran Desert” (2001, University of Arizona Press) which won a Klinger Book Award given by the Society of Economic Botany. More recently in conjunction with fellow curator and researcher Andrew Salywon, she has been instrumental in discovering several new species of domesticated agaves in Arizona cultivated and domesticated by early Native American cultures. Wendy also studies and documents Grand Canyon’s diversity of plants as well as Southwest’s cacti, yuccas and plants important to Sonoran Desert’s indigenous people.



Fall Schedule:  2019 


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.

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."

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                 

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.


Chapter Meetings

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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 participate 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:    2022

Future Trips:

1. Huhugam Ki Museum

2. ASU Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve

3. Boyce Thompson Arboretum


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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

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