Arizona Archaeological Society




Apologies for the late notice, but I'm canceling our field session scheduled for 11/27.

It has come to my attention that some people might want to actually prefer to spend more time with their families over the Thanksgiving holiday than to throw dirt with me in Payson. I know, hard to believe, but there you have it. So, in the light of a potentially small turnout (and some whining from my grandson, I must admit), we won't be working this weekend. 

However, to make up for it, we will work both Saturday and Sunday on our last weekend of the season, Dec. 11 & 12, assuming it doesn't snow (yeah, right...).

Now, if you were actually looking for an excuse to get away from your family over the Thanksgiving holiday, don't show them this e-mail. You can always tell them that you have to go work at Goat Camp and then just take the day off and go do something fun.

Anyway, thanks for everything this season and hope to see you at our finale weekend Dec 11-12 before we shut down for the winter. I'll send out another notice for that in two weeks.

Cheers and stay safe,


Scott Wood, retired Tonto archaeologist and Rim Country Adviser, leads the excavations at Goat Camp.  Participants must be current members of AAS.  Scott's contact information

Thursday June 17, 2021: Watch the youtube of this presentation
        Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s “Third Thursday Food for Thought” free Zoom online program featuring “The Goat Camp Ruin Project: Volunteer Archaeology in Central Arizona” presentation by archaeologist J. Scott Wood

Join retired Forest Service archaeologist J. Scott Wood as he tells about the Goat Camp Ruin project he has been conducting for the last 13 years for the Town of Payson in the highlands of central Arizona. Sponsored by the Arizona Archaeological Society, this project eventually will result in this important Northern Salado site being developed for interpretation and incorporated into the Town’s recreational trail system. Goat Camp Ruin began as one of the earliest and eventually largest pre-Classic Hohokam pithouse villages in the area. As it continued its occupation into the Classic Period (1150-1450 CE) it transformed into a smaller masonry village, which is where this all-volunteer project has concentrated its effort. At its height it contained over 20 rooms and has evidence of a later Apache reoccupation. The excavation phase is still ongoing, but will be coming to an end in a year or so as stabilization of structures and preparation of the site for visitation take over. Scott’s presentation will walk you through the highlights of a decade’s worth of excavation, the site’s place in Payson area history, and the fate of the Northern Salado as they were caught up in the Great Drought of the late 13th century.

Getting started on the excavation of Goat Camp Ruin’s
Room 1 eight years ago
, photo courtesy of Scott Wood

Goat Camp Ruin is located in Payson and was occupied from about 750 to 1280 AD.  The site was originally a Hohokam colony that continued to be occupied through the Classic Period.  The Classic Period occupation is called "Payson Tradition" or "Northern Salado".  After several changes in ownership and extensive pot-hunting, the city of Payson took over ownership of the site. The Rim Country Chapter, with Scott Wood’s assistance, proposed creating an archaeological interpretive site as well as a hiking trail for this 6-acre parcel of land, similar to that of nearby Shoofly Ruin. Scott has led groups of volunteers each spring and fall for the past few years excavating and interpreting areas within the overall complex. The goal is not rebuilding or total excavation, but knowledge and public education through an interpretive package.  The Shoofly excavation reports are at the bottom of the Rim Chapter webpage.

Ceramic Checklist                                 First Season Report

Site Map                                                Second Season Report

Master Development Plan             Third Season Report 

Excavation and Stabilization Plan       Fourth Season Report

Goat Camp 2018 Fall Plan           Fifth Season Report   

Goat Camp 2019 Spring Plan                Sixth Season Report

Goat Camp 2020 Spring Plan                Seventh Season Report

Goat Camp 2020 Fall Plan Rev           Eighth Season progress impeded by pandemic         

Goat Camp 2021 Spring Plan                 Ninth Season Report

Virus Protocol Rev


         SCREENING                                                                            CLEANING ARTIFACTS


© Arizona Archaeological Society
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software