Arizona Archaeological Society



Welcome to the Arizona Archaeological Society

The Arizona Archaeological Society (AAS) welcomes you to our web site where you can learn more about archaeology around the state and how to actively participate in learning about and preserving our Arizona heritage.

AAS is a volunteer organization that is over 50 years old with a rich and varied history.  Please click the following link for an overview of the first half century of key moments, activities, projects, and recognition for those involved with our organization, AAS History First 50-Years.

Note:  Members - a complete listing of historical links added to this website are shown on Members-Only page.  Non members - there are 10 Historical Links on the website that you can peruse, not counting the one above.  The text is highlighted with the link for easy identification.  Can you find all of them?    


Interested in Arizona Archaeology?

Honaki, Sedona AZ

     Mesa Grande, Mesa, AZInterest in Archaeology is often sparked by site visitations that are protected and preserved or in various states of preservation such as these at Honaki and Mesa Grande, AZ. 

     For the retired adults volunteering, adults seeking a second career or volunteering, or those seeking a higher education and a career with appeal and opportunity to explain the unexplained archaeology has an overwhelming draw as well as prehistoric preservation.  Job experience is often achieved by volunteering.


Perry Mesa, Evidence of GrindingCordes Junction Hwy Project, AZ     Sometimes our first exposure to the archaeology of an area is through building projects, such as the expansion of the highway and ramps of I-17 through the Cordes Junction area in Arizona.   These remains of a Hohokam structure were on the northern periphery of their known cultural influence uncovered with preservation excavation for knowledge before highway expansion.
     Other times, evidence of prehistoric activity may be more permanent and found on a large boulder surface such as this evidence of grinding activity under Federal protection on Perry Mesa in Arizona.           
V Bar V Petroglyphs, AZ
Anasazi Bowl from Steve Lekson 
     The draw for many people to archaeology consists of a certain appeal for the more artistic endeavors of prehistoric people.  While many artifacts are strictly mono color objects that are utilitarian, other objects are decorated with wonderful pictures and/or mosaic designs.
     The wonderment and interest in "rock art" which might be engraved or painted often seeks to find meaning where no meaning may be obtainable.  Other times, the meaning might indicate clans, solar calendars, hunting stories, or ??????
Moved Pottery Sherds, NM.
Ancient Point, Cave Creek, AZ
     Most people recognize malicious damage to archaeological sites and do not condone it.  Those truly involved with the study of archaeology observe more subtle damage to the prehistoric artifact record. 
     Sherds picked up and collected in small or large treasure piles destroy an archaeological context forever.  In a similar way, points, tools, or other goods surviving hundreds or thousands of years undisturbed are often in collections, drawers, backyards, and garages today.  These archaeological records are lost and a person's heirs often takes items to garage sales or the trash.

While 5 basic prehistoric cultural groups touched Arizona (Anasazi, Hohokam, Mogollon, Patayan, and Freemont slightly), there are other groups that fit within these descriptions as large sub groupings such as: Mimbres, Sinagua, and Solado with further subdivisions often included with Prescott and Perry Mesa cultures.  For most of Arizona, the basic cultural grouping characteristics expressed as traits of Anasazi (Ancestral Puebloan), Hohokam, and Mogollon were sufficient in most original archaeological text to convey differentiating traits.  Also, time periods vary by culture and from location to location (slightly) within any given culture.

 9-Tips for saving sites appearing on Indian Country Today Media Network and comment: Click Here
 AAS 50-Year History 

AAS History 1964-2014 PowerPoint Presentation:  

A brief look at AAS 50-year history and some of its founders with philosophies through the years, as well as thoughts concerning the future and next 50-years.  The original was distributed at an AAS Annual State Meeting in preparation for the 50th anniversary celebration.

The contents are modified to an MP4 format to work with the media player on your computer.  Click the link to engaged your media player and the file should play automatically.  Once the presentation concludes, simply close the media player on your computer.  The Microsoft media player that comes with Windows should be sufficient to enjoy the material and get a sense of AAS history.

Click Here  to enjoy the video.


NOTE:  If you have not used your Windows media player before, just select the "recommended settings" when the screen asks you for a decision.  Testing with three Vista level computers running Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and Windows Vista yields a wide variety of performance levels before the program runs.  The newer the operating system, the faster the loading time.  Newer computer equipment should simply perform well.  Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, so we did not performance check this environment.

Chapter Information

Chapter Membership Contacts:  You can join the Archaeology Society today or attend a meeting and see if you enjoy developing your knowledge of this subject.  Archaeology is unique because you can study and work inside or enjoy activities outdoors.  Many members develop additional interests in geology, botany, osteology, preservation work, surveying, etc.  Select "Chapters" from the menu bar at the top of the screen to find one near you or click the link at the beginning of this paragraph for a contact listing.  If you are an out of state visitor, you can become an "At Large" member.  Go to the "About Us" section of the menu bar and select membership to investigate further and use PayPal, or use this link for an application download the application.  Members can use Paypal
to renew their memberships.  Click Here, for instructions how to renew membership online from AAS website.

The Member-Only Section

Member-Only Access:  Click this link for instructions regarding access to the members only section.  Not a member?  No access is possible without joining the Arizona Archaeology Society.  See Chapter Membership Contacts: or become an "At Large" member to access the member-only section on this website.
There is a new page, Planning Committee, in the Member-Only section.  Check this page to see the approved minutes of the Planning Committee meetings, as well as State and Chapter Director meeting minutes.  
Visit the "Archaeological Opportunities" page for listings of current archaeological projects needing assistance or project status.
New: Arizona Archaeologist Number 40 downloadable pdf and MOBI files are now available in the Members-Only section (also AA-4, 19, 21, 29, 38, 39 with pdf format only).

New: An Occasional Paper (#4) is now available as a downloadable pdf in the Members-Only section joining downloadable Arizona Archaeologists as a membership benefit at AAS (OP-4 pdf format only).

Bulletin/Notice Section
Arizona Archaeologists available for purchase on Amazon are 21, 29, 38, 39, 40, 41, and 42 in hard copy.  See publications tab at top of screen or Click Here.  Beginning with the newly released Arizona Archaeologist #40, a Kindle version is now available for purchase from Amazon also.
Note: Submissions for possible publication in the Arizona Archaeologist or questions regarding the Arizona Archaeologist should be directed to the Arizona Archaeologist Editor at
The Petroglyph is now electronic distribution only, except for very special circumstances.  See publications tab at top of the screen or Click Here .

PLEASE NOTE:  New links added to the "Links Page" for Friends of the Agua Fria NM and Friends of the Tonto NF.

Annual Meeting Announcements

News Flash!  2017 Annual Meeting announced in June Petroglyph issue is in a new format and targeted for Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix.  News to follow as details evolve...

New Flash!  See preliminary announcement (a few sections below) for recipient of the 2017 avocational award (Betty Higgins) coming at the 2017 meeting this coming October.

The scheduled 2016 meeting locations and dates were Prescott Valley- November 4, 5, 6, 2016.   November 4th was a Friday evening Directors' Meeting at the Smoki Museum Pueblo, Prescott.  The actual annual meeting was November 5th in the Prescott Club at the Stoneridge Golf Resort, Prescott Valley.   November 6th was setup for field trips on that Sunday.  Go to the "Annual Meeting Tab" under "About Us" or click on the link below to view information about the 2016 annual meeting and in the future, find information about the coming 2017 event occurring later in that calendar year.  There were two significant highlights at the 2016 meeting.  The first was the presentation of the Avocational Archaeologist of the Year to Jim Britton (details under the About Us Tab, select Annual Meeting or Archaeologist Awards).  The second was the winner of the 2015/2016 Quilt Raffle winner, Joan Hood of Tucson.  The net amount donated to AAS from this raffle should be available before end of calendar year and posted here.  

Members, the Directors' Meeting and Annual Meeting minutes are available under the Members-Only tab, select Planning Committee and go toward the bottom of that page or use Fast Link at top of the Planning Committee page.

Annual Meeting   <<<Click Here!




AAS Annual Meeting, Prescott Valley. November 4/5/6, 2016

The Executive Board and Planning Committee of AAS, sincerely thanks the Yavapai Chapter for hosting and arranging the 2016 AAS Annual Meeting. Held this year in the Prescott Club Room of the Stoneridge Resort, the facilities, the excellent catering, the variety of field trips as well as the great book sale and silent auction all contributed to a great weekend.

Thanks to the AAS Planning Committee for great agendas, both Friday and Saturday, and for the arranging of some incredible, wonderful speakers who informed and educated us all. We learned much of the Smoki Organization, the history of the Yavapai Prescott People, in addition to receiving some much needed explanations and information regarding legislative issues pertaining to Arizona archaeology. And our evening speaker, Dr. Aaron Wright of Archaeology Southwest kept us enthralled with his discussion of "Along River Margins".

Thank you again Little Colorado Chapter for the beautiful quilt made and donated by Billye Wilda in 2015 as a fundraiser for AAS,  we thank you again for the quilt and the fundraising concept. We understand approx. $1700 was raised!

And last but not least, thank you to all the members who traveled to Prescott  and participated in the 2016 Annual Meeting.

And so we move on to 2017...




Announcing Arizona Archaeologist High Inventory Issues Opportunity  

Attention: Professional, Avocational, Researcher, Student, Library, and Interested Parties - Times change and distribution methods improve in the digital age, especially with the advent of Print-On-Demand activities such as Amazon type distribution.  The Arizona Archaeological Society is providing rare opportunities with certain select publications of the Arizona Archaeologist.  For a complete listing of high inventory issues, Click Here , or contact the Archivist, Alan Troxel at  Go to the Arizona Archaeologist selection under the Publications tab and look for this logo, if you are fishing for information and a good deal.  Arizona Archaeologist Link for the Publications Tab and Arizona Archaeologist selection for complete listing of publications with this logo indicating items marked for high inventory consideration, as an alternative way to get to the listing of all Arizona Archaeologists.



Announcing Arizona Archaeologist #28—Prehistory of Perry Mesa: The Short-Lived Settlement of a Mesa-Canyon Complex in Central Arizona Ca. A.D. 1200-1450

The latest volume in the Arizona Archaeological Society’s series of research publications, The Arizona Archaeologist, is now available. Members are eligible to receive a copy, in print or electronically, as part of their membership. Others can purchase copies via, once this reprint is available.

This volume, a reissue of number 28 in the long-running series, is titled “Prehistory of Perry Mesa: The Short-Lived Settlement of a Mesa-Canyon Complex in Central Arizona Ca. A.D. 1200-1400” and written by Richard V.N. Ahlstrom and Heidi Roberts with a contribution by Linda Scott Cummings and Kathryn Puseman.  The volume, one of the most popular in the Arizona Archaeological Society’s series of research publications, The Arizona Archaeologist, is once again available. Prehistory of Perry Mesa offers an overview of a small, isolated plateau lying within the mountainous Transition Zone of central Arizona.  During the fourteenth century, the area on and around the mesa was home to a population of Native Americans who built several dozen masonry pueblos, the largest of which are remarkable for their size—100 or more ground-floor rooms, probably two stories high—and, often, for their dramatic settings at the edges of cliffs overlooking deeply incised canyons.  It appears that the people of the Perry Mesa Tradition migrated to this locale, lived there for at most 200 to 300 years, and then moved on.  The mesa preserves an essentially complete Classic period settlement-subsistence system within a bounded environmental setting. 

Note: Members can currently get an AAS reissue of the original Arizona Archaeologist #28 with complete quality interior in the Members-Only section of this website under the sub tab Research Pubs.  Printed copies can be ordered through members' local chapters.  Non-Members watch for Amazon icon insertions next to the listing on the publications page in the future.  Go to the Publications Tab and select Arizona Archaeologist <or> (Click Here).  Non-Members can also (Click Here) while this notice exists to go directly to the Amazon order page.



Early announcement of those receiving recognition by AAS for Professional and Avocational Archaeology in 2017 later this year was made by Glenda Simmons in June.

2017 AAS Professional Archaeologist Award - Alan Ferg

2017 AAS Avocational Archaeologist Award - Betty Higgins

Alan Ferg who amongst his many AAS accomplishments included the selection, the editing and the distribution of the Arizona Archaeologist publication series for many years, is the winner of the AAS Professional Archaeologist Award. The award will be presented to Alan at a later date (to be announced)

Betty Higgins, a member of the Yavapai Chapter, is the well deserved winner of the 2017 AAS Avocational Archaeologist Award. Her award will be presented at the AAS Annual Meeting, October 28, 2017, at the Pueblo Grande Museum, Phoenix, Arizona.

Our thanks and many congratulations are extended to both of these well deserved winners.

Glenda A. Simmons, 2014/2017 AAS State Chair

AAS Chapters sponsoring projects or interested parties mentioned in this heading working on Arizona archaeological projects may want to consider publishing their work in the Arizona Archaeologist.  Submissions for possible publication in the Arizona Archaeologist or questions regarding the Arizona Archaeologist should be directed to the Arizona Archaeologist Editor at  This is an outstanding opportunity for students establishing themselves within the archaeological community or seasoned veterans drawing attention to a worthwhile project.  

PLEASE NOTE:  Some small changes coming to Home Page and other pages over the next few months, eventually creating a newer look/feel and function to our first page that visitors see and the overall pages too....  Thank you for your continued patience, some changes involve several dedicated volunteers completing activities before implementation.  Many pages now contain historical information relevant to the information on that page.  There is blue writing highlighting the link.



Help Us to Help the Environment:  Still take a paper copy of The Petroglyph? Help our society go green and switch to digital delivery. The email version is in color, available earlier than the printed version, and reduces costs to AAS.  To convert to the electronic version, you may use the form on this website ( to sign up or advise your chapter leadership.  Members may also edit their own email selection from within the profile found in the "members-only" area after logon with a password.  Note: as of June 2015, all distribution is electronic unless by chapters for special case distribution.  Eliminating any paper deliveries are the ultimate goal.  Thank you!







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