Arizona Archaeological Society




Looks like we'll have fine weather for our upcoming field session on Saturday, 4/10. So, as usual, please let me know if you want to join us this weekend and I'll put together a roster by Thursday night. Also, let me know if you might be interested in staying over and doing a little catclaw and weed removal at Shoofly on Sunday (not a requisite for making the roster).  Still under the same restrictions as last time.  Below is the tentative schedule I’ve worked out for Spring:

April 10 and 24             field

May 8 and 22                field

June 5                           field or lab

June 12 and 26             lab

One new opportunity: Friends of the Tonto has taken on maintenance responsibilities for Shoofly. We will have several workdays there this Spring ahead of our planned first Open House there. The dates conveniently coincide with several Goat Camp sessions, so if you’d like to stay over after a day of digging to help cut brush and pull weeds and such, those dates are April 11 and April 25, tentative date for the open House.

So hang in there – we’ll be getting dirty again fairly soon!  As always, please let me know if you are planning to join us so I can put you on the list.  The Covid protocol limit is 10 people on the crew.

Cheers and stay safe,


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

Thursday June 17, 2021: Online
        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
        7 to 8:30 p.m. ARIZONA/Mountain Standard Time (same as Pacific Daylight Time). Free.

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

For more information and to request the Zoom link contact Old Pueblo at or 520-798-1201.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE OLD PUEBLO TO EMAIL YOU A FLYER with color photos about the above-listed activity send an email to with “Send June 17 Third Thursday flyer” in your email subject line.

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.

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           Virus Protocol Rev

Goat Camp 2021 Spring Plan


         SCREENING                                                                            CLEANING ARTIFACTS


© Arizona Archaeological Society
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software