Arizona Archaeological Society



Professional and Avocational Awards 


Was presented to Bob & Del Wright, AAS Rim Country Chapter

Entry submitted by Evelyn Christian, President, RCC

 In accordance with the AAS Award Purpose and Criteria, the AAS Rim Country Chapter in Payson, Arizona, recognizes two of our Chapter members as being worthy of this Award. Bob and Del Wright have not previously received this Award. As a couple, they have consistently contributed to our Chapter over a period of more than a dozen years. Bob and Del began searching for and recording unknown Indian Ruins in 1993. Bob and Del together as advocates have contributed much to the archaeological record in the years they have been associated with the Arizona Archaeology Society. They have located, GPS-recorded, and photographed over 8000 sites in Arizona. And they have been Site Stewards for 22 years!

Bob and Del have always performed as a skilled team calling on their athleticism and outdoor experiences to allow them to spend as much time in the field, even at an older age, discovering and surveying remote archaeological sites throughout Arizona, many of which had not been previously recorded by archaeologists. Their typical method of discovery is to trailer in their ATV’s with their Cadillac, jump on the ATV’s when the road is impassible, and finally continue on foot and rope into the final objective when required.

Within our Rim Country Chapter, they have led innumerable hikes following our monthly meetings, and continue to step up to lead hikes on special occasions. Considering that Bob and Del are in their 80s, that is a remarkable achievement. Del has inspired Bob in all athletic events as she is a National Women’s Triathlon Champion, and he himself is a Triathlete. Not only have they led so many of us on so many petroglyph discoveries, but for many years secured Speakers for our Monthly Chapter Meetings in conjunction with the post-meeting hikes. They always display generous spirits as evidenced in their gifts of time, energy, talent and support of our Chapter and its members.

Del once told me that they have a special place in their hearts for us here in Rim Country. They could support other AAS Chapters, but have chosen us, and drive the distance from Fountains Hills each month to be with us, often bringing family, neighbors and friends.

A little about their backgrounds:

Bob served two years in the Army Military Police during the Korean War. He drew duty at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Paris, France. He married Airline Stewardess and Nurse Del shortly after discharge and together they raised 4 children.

Bob received his Mechanical Engineering Degree from Iowa State College on the GI Bill. He spent 30 years in Advanced Technology Rockwell/Collins/Boeing while concurrently managing Technology Groups in Iowa, Texas, California, and Maine. His work involved design of Autopilots, Flight Directors, GPS, and Interconnect Technology. He did a Technical Presentation at a World Interconnect Technology Conference in London, England.

Together, Bob and Del toured the World upon retirement covering 5 Continents and 30 Countries. They have completed 400 Athletic Events including Iron Man - Hawaii, and bicycled the US Coast-to-Coast on an unusual route of 4000 miles in 90 days.


2018 Professional Archaeologist Award

The 2018 Professional Archaeologist Award was presented to Sharon Urban at our 2018 Annual Meeting in Payson, Arizona.

Sharon earned her Associate of Arts degree from Los Angeles Valley College in 1962, her Bachelor of Arts from California State University in 1965, and her Master of Arts from the University of Arizona in 1970. All three of her degrees are in Anthropology/Archaeology.

As an Archaeologist, Sharon was involved with many excavations, surveys, and laboratory projects in California and Arizona. In 1976 she became the Arizona State Museum Public Archaeologist. In this position she managed and curated, while controlling access, use and additions, to the ASM Site Survey File,

Sharon developed strong research interests in the study, recording, preservation, conservation and teaching of rock art including pictographs, petroglyphs, and gravel figures. She has maintained these interest throughout her life.

Since leaving the State Museum in 2002, she has continued to work as an archaeologist for private environmental and cultural resources consulting companies, conducting site file checks of various levels, researching historical features, doing field surveys and feature mapping, monitoring construction projects involving archaeological sites, and writing reports.

Her more than 50 publications attest that Sharon has a broad knowledge of southwestern archaeology and that she is an authority on both rock art and shell artifacts.

--Glenda A. Simmons, 2014/2018 AAS State Chair

AAS Professional Archaeologist Award History  <<<Please click here for Professional Award History.

Note: Belt buckle below is part of the recognition for the AAS Professional Archaeologist of the Year in addition to a plaque.


2018 AAS Avocational Archaeologist Award

The 2018 Avocational Archaeologist Award was present to Nancy Zeno, a Desert Foothills Chapter member, at our 2018 Annual Meeting in Payson, Arizona.

Throughout the years since 1985 when Nancy Zeno first joined the Desert Foothills Chapter, she has been very active in trying to identify and protect archaeological sites under threat of development activities in the Cave Creek and Scottsdale area.

Her efforts at the Chapter and State level include: Chapter President, Treasurer and Membership Chair, Director, Certification Representative, Speaker Chair, Archivist and AAS State Secretary. Nancy has also participated in many AAS DFC archaeological projects and activities including the survey, locating, recording, mapping, collecting surface samples, and conducting test excavations of archaeological sites

She has contributed greatly to the accomplishments and professionalism of the Society, and to the respect that it has earned within the greater archaeological community in Arizona.

--Glenda A. Simmons, 2014/2018 AAS State Chair

AAS Avocational Archaeologist Award History  <<<Please click here for Avocational Award History.


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