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 7 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. 




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 7 p.m.

We meet at the San Tan Historical Society Museum

(The Historic Rittenhouse School)

Southeast Corner of Ellsworth and Queen Creek Roads



Source : Imagery (C) 2017  DigitalGlobe U.S. Geological Survey USDA Farm Service Agency. Map data (C) 2017 Google United States



FEBRUARY 24, 2018 Saturday :  Archaeology Day at the San Tan Regional Park

MARCH 10, 2018 Saturday : Arizona Archaeology Expo at the Arizona Museum of  Natural History

These 12 Unbelievable Ruins In Arizona Will Transport You To The Past --- compiled by Monica Spencer

 These 12 Trails In Arizona Will Lead You To Extraordinary Ancient Ruins --- compiled by Monica Spencer


Archaeology for the public from the SOCIETY FOR AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY (SAA): 


Visit the SAA web site for information on Archaeology:  

Links available from the SAA web site:

" Archaeology for Kids Online "

" Ancient Egypt "

" Maya Adventure "

Archaeology for Kids - visit the Ducksters Education Site for detail information.


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

From : Doug Craig, Archaeologist Northland Research

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed written by Jared Diamond

Content. Collapse arose as an attempt to understand why so many past societies collapsed, leaving behind ruined or abandoned temples, pyramids, and monuments as romantic mysteries to baffle subsequent visitors and modern tourists. Why did societies that were as powerful as the Khmer Empire, and as brilliantly creative as the Maya, abandon the sites into which they had invested such enormous effort for so many centuries? Archaeological and paleoclimatic studies of recent decades have documented a role of environmental ------- Jared Diamond

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus written by Charles C. Mann

"Riveting and fast-paced ... masterfully assembles a diverse body of scholarship into a first-rate history of Native America" — Publishers Weekly •"A journalistic masterpiece"— New York Review of Books •"Marvelous ... a sweeping portrait of human life in the Americas before Columbus"— New York Times •"A landmark of a book that drops ingrained images of colonial America into the dustbin one after the other"— Boston Globe



Top 10 Archaeology Discoveries for 2017 complied by Heritage Daily ---:) link

Internet Archaeology 

"Internet Archaeology is hosted by the Department of Archaeology at the University of York and digitally archived by the Archaeology Data Service. Internet Archaeology has been awarded the Directory of Open Access Journals Seal in recognition of our high standards in publishing best practice, preservation and openness."

Popping The Corn -

"University of Cincinnati  archaeologist Alan Sullivan is challenging the idea that prehistoric people in the Southwest subsisted on maize. Instead, his research suggests they set ground fires to promote wild foods."

How Aerial Thermo Imagery is Revolutionizing Archaeology -- Dartmouth

UA Research Sheds New Light on Early Turquoise Mining in Southwest -University of Arizona
Tomb of early classic Maya ruler found in Guatemala --Washington University in St. Louis

Chaco Canyon petroglyph may represent ancient total eclipse

Tracing social interactions in Pleistocene North America via 3D model analysis of stone tool asymmerty

University of Leicester develops pioneering X-ray technique to analyse ancient artefacts

The Three Sisters - Ancient Cornerstone of American Farming

'The "Three Sisters" plants as pre-historic Indians grew them corn, squash, and bean. These food sources, were the foundation of so many Indian cultures across North America, including the Hohokam here.  Until the Spanish introduced wheat, and domestic animals, the Three Sisters, supplemented with Mesquite pods, agave, and hunting  game, were all they had to eat.' (source K.Johanson)

 From the New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies :Pottery Typology Project

From the U.S. BLM and the Society of Historical Archaeology : Historic Glass Bottle Identification and Information Website

Maya Sites - Science Museum of Minnesota      ----:)     link

Radiocarbon Dating ( source )      ----:)     link   

The Hohokam  ( source )                ----:)     link

Dating Techniques - e-learning platforms La "Sapienza" University of Rome -:) link 


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

Mapping the Maya: Laser Technology Reveals Secrets of Ancient Civilization to Ithaca Archaeology Professor

Archaeologist discovers Copper Arrowhead in the Yukon Territory

"World's Longest Underwater Cave System Discovered in Mexico May Shed Light on Mayan Rituals"

Ancient water bottle use and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure among California Indians: a prehistoric health risk assessment.

Kent State Archaeologist Explains Innovation of “Fluting” Ancient Stone Weaponry

Downtown Phoenix grocery store construction site yields prehistoric artifacts--Arizona Republic

A 130,000-year-old archaeological site in southern California, USA

ASU scientist finds advanced geometry no secret to prehistoric architects in US Southwest

Dr. Sherry Towers, a professor with the ASU Simon A. Levin Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center, uncovered these findings while spending several years studying the Sun Temple archaeological site in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, constructed around A.D. 1200.

Gallery:Archaeological mysteries hidden in satellite images by Sarah Parack a 2016 TED Prize winner

13th Century Maya Codex long shrouded in controversy, proves genuine -- Brown University

How Do We Know When a Hunk of Rock is Actually a Stone Tool by Maggie Koerth-Baker ---:) link

Computer Models Find Ancient Solutions to Modern Problems - Washington State University

Inner Workings: Ancient teeth reveal clues about microbiome evolution ----:)     link 

Virus-detected-ancient-pottery ----:)     link 

Montezuma Castle ----:)     link 

Ritual Drinks in the Pre-Hispanic US Southwest and Mexican Northwest ---:)   link

A Secret Tunnel Found in Mexico May Finally Solve the Mysteries of Teotihuacán  ---:)   link

 A Pendant Fit for a King  ---:)   link  UC San Diego

Chapter News

2018                   San Tan Chapter 


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.) They 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 480-390-3491 or Earla Cochran at 489-655-6733.



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


Spring Schedule:  2018       

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.

March 14:                       Matthew Peeples ---    “Migration Skills and Social Networking”

April 11:                          Scott Plumlee  ---        “Lone Butte Wash Project

May 9:                              Steve Huza ---             " Arizona's Greatest Battle"


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.

 ====================================================================================================================          Last Month:                    

Dec. 13: Jim Britton

 Presentation -- Kentucky Camp: Mining camp in southern Az.   Early goldmining in Az and the building architecture.

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.

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.

Oct. 11: Hugh Grinnell, Arizona Humanities Speaker Bureau Program "The Explorations and Discoveries of George Bird Grinnell, The Father of Glacier National Park"

The Explorations and Discoveries of George Bird Grinnell, The Father of Glacier National Park

The great West that George Bird Grinnell first encountered in 1870 as a 21-year old man was shortly to disappear before his eyes. Nobody was quicker to sense the desecration or was more eloquent in crusading against the poachers, the hide hunters, and the disengaged U.S. Congress than George Bird Grinnell, the “Father of American Conservation.” Grinnell founded the first Audubon Society, cofounded the Boone and Crockett Club with Teddy Roosevelt, and led the effort to establish Glacier National Park. Audiences will travel back in time to the 19th century, listening to Grinnell’s own words as taken from his field journals, memoirs, personal correspondence, and newspaper editorials.

George Bird Grinell (36yrs old) and Blackfeet Indian  -- provided by H.Grinell

George Bird Grinell (87yrs old) on the glacier  -- provided by H.Grinell

September 13, 2017 Meeting :  Dr. Charles Adams, Rock Art Ranch to Homolovi; 1300 years of migration in the little Colorado River Valley. 

"Our speaker for Wednesday, September 13th will be Dr. Chuck Adams, Curator of Archaeology at the Arizona State Museum. The title of his talk: From Rock Art Ranch to Homol’ovi: 13,000 Years of Migration in the Middle Little Colorado River Valley.  Six years of research on Rock Art Ranch near Winslow, AZ, by Arizona State Museum archaeologists have documented human use going back to Clovis times. The ranch was also a focus of intensive hunting, gathering, and small-scale agriculture during the Basketmaker II (early agriculture) period from 1000 BCE to 500 CE. During the 1200s Mogollon groups from the south built numerous small pueblos throughout the region and later joined Pueblo groups from the north to build and occupy the large Homol’ovi pueblos along the Little Colorado River. Evidence of this lengthy use is etched in the walls of Chevelon Canyon. This talk traces this fascinating history of population movement that truly made the area a cultural crossroads.  Since 1985, E. Charles (Chuck) Adams has been Curator of Archaeology, Arizona State Museum (ASM) and Professor, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona (UA).

Since arriving at UA, he has directed the Homol’ovi Research Program (HRP) for ASM, which involved extensive survey and excavation of numerous Homol’ovi pueblos in Homolovi State Park. Since 2011, HRP has conducted survey and excavations on and near Rock Art Ranch 25 miles southeast of Winslow with work wrapping up there this summer.  "  marie britton

May 10: Jerry Ehrhardt, AAS Verde Valley Chapter; General Crook Trail or Agriculture in VV-Sinagua Farming Methods.

April 12: Garry Cantley, Regional Archaeologist for Bureau of Indian Affairs; Archaeological Resourches and Crime Prevention.

Garry will discuss the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA), the one of the federal government’s tools against looting of archeological resources on federal and Indian land. Besides giving an overview of the law, he will intersperse the presentation with discussion of previous ARPA investigations.

Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (Pub.L. 96–95 as amended, 93 Stat. 721, codified at 16 U.S.C. §§ 470aa470mm), also referred to as ARPA, is a federal law of the United States passed in 1979 and amended in 1988. It governs the excavation of archaeological sites on federal and Indian lands in the United States, and the removal and disposition of archaeological collections from those sites.[1]

ARPA was launched in the 1970s after the Antiquities Act of 1906 was declared “unconstitutionally vague”. The Antiquities Act was unable to protect historical sites from criminal looting. Several attempts by the federal land-managing agencies and prosecutors to use this act resulted in judges saying that it was unconstitutionally vague making it unenforceable.(Harmon 172) ARPA regulates access to archaeological resources on federal and Indian lands. Uniform regulations were issued by the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Department of Defense. Archaeological resources are defined as "Any material remains of human life or activities which are at least 100 years of age, and which are archaeological interest."(King 252) Also defined is "Of archaeological interest" which is "Capable of providing scientific or humanistic understandings of past human behavior, cultural adaption, and related topics."(King 252) ARPA forbids anyone from excavating or removing archaeological resources from federal or Indian land without a permit from a land managing agency. ARPA also forbids any sales, purchase, exchange, transport, or receipt. Those who violate can face substantial fines and even a jail sentence if convicted. They will also confiscate any object that has been declared as an archaeological resource. 

March 2017 Meeting :    THE SEARCH FOR WATER ON MARS

 Dr. Nadine G. Barlow, Department of Physics and Astronomy,  Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ  86011-6010



Nadine Barlow became interested in astronomy during a 5th grade field trip to a local planetarium. She began her career in astronomy at Palomar Community College in San Marcos, CA, and received both her Bachelor of Science degree (Astronomy with a joint minor in Geology and Chemistry) and her PhD (Planetary Sciences with a minor in Geophysics) from the University of Arizona. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, TX, a National Research Council Fellow at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, and an assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where she also served as the first Director of the UCF Robinson Observatory. She joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northern Arizona University (NAU) in August, 2002, and is now a Professor in the department. She is Director of the NAU/NASA Space Grant Program and an Associate Director of the Arizona Space Grant Consortium. She also serves as Associate Chair for the NAU Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Dr. Barlow’s research interests include the evolution of the impact cratering record throughout the solar system, the geologic evolution of solid-surfaced planets, and determining the distribution of subsurface water reservoirs on Mars, Mercury, and the Moon. Her current research projects include determining the formation mechanism of central pits inside impact craters across the solar system, constraining the timing of the contraction of Mercury, investigating the role of water and ice in the evolution of the Arabia Terra region of Mars, and determining the evolutionary relationships between unusual craters found at high latitudes on Mars. She also has participated in NASA and international working groups on identifying Special Regions on Mars, which are areas where life could exist or where terrestrial microbes could survive. Her research is funded by NASA with additional student research support provided by the NASA Space Grant Program. She is the author of Mars: An Introduction to its Interior, Surface, and Atmosphere, published by Cambridge University Press in 2008, and is currently working on a revision to that book. She also is working on a book about Martian impact craters for Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Barlow’s contributions have been recognized in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who of American Women, and Who’s Who in the World. She was named the American Association of University Women Texas Woman of the Year in 1992, received the University Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award from the University of Central Florida in 2002, was named Palomar College Alumna of the Year in 2003, and received the NAU Research and Creative Activity Award for Most Effective Research Mentor in 2011. Asteroid 15466 Barlow is named in honor of her contributions to the field of planetary science.

February 2017 Meeting :

Feb 8: Harvey Leake: Wetherill Family 

February Speaker, Harvey Leake, will give a presentation titled: "We are particular to preserve: The Wetherills and their Archaeological Investigations on the Colorado Plateau"

Harvey Leake will discuss the activities of his ancestors, the Wetherill family of Mancos Colorado, regarding their archaeological investigations on the Colorado Plateau. Over a span of many decades, the Wetherill brothers and some of their descendants passionately worked to uncover and preserve the prehistory of the region. The speaker will share historic family photographs that illustrate their involvement at Mesa Verde, Grand Gulch, Chaco Canyon, Navajo National Monument, and beyond.

More than thirty years ago, Harvey Leake began researching the history of his pioneering ancestors, the Wetherills of the Four Corners region. His investigations have taken him to libraries, archives, and the homes of family elders whose recollections, photographs, and memorabilia have brought the story to life. His field research has led him to remote trading post sites in the Navajo country and some of the routes used by his great-grandfather, John Wetherill, to access the intricate canyon country of the Colorado Plateau. Harvey was born and raised in Prescott, Arizona. He is a semi-retired electrical engineer.

January 2017 Meeting :

Jan 11: Doug Craig, Archaeologist Northland Research; Hohokam Sites in Casa Grande National Park area.

January Meeting: The speaker for our January meeting will be Douglas Craig who will be speaking about Casa Grande Ruins in the Hohokam World. He will discuss work in and around Casa Grande and how it fits with current ideas about Hohokam. Dr. Craig has been a professional archaeologist in southern Arizona for more than 30 years and has been employed by Northland Research, a private environmental consulting firm, since 1993.  For the past 15 years he has served as Senior Archaeologist and Principal Investigator for most of Northland’s Arizona projects. Dr. Craig has directed large-scale excavations at prehistoric sites across the southern Southwest, including the Grewe site near the Casa Grande Ruins and the Meddler Point platform mound site in the Tonto Basin. His published studies have focused on Hohokam social and political organization.




Chapter Officers
 2017 Office  Office Holder Contact Information
President Marie Britton

Vice-President open
Treasurer Earla Cochran
Secretary Cindy Kristopeit
Director1/ Carlos Acuna
Director2/Program Director Jerri Freeman 928-587-2410
Director3/Archivist Keith Johanson
Membership Marie Britton

Archaeological Advisor Chris Loendorf

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 480-827-8070  . 

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 participant 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)

January 2017

Field Trip: On Jan. 22nd                  RESCHEDULE FOR FEBRUARY 

Hieroglyphic Trail in the Superstitions located near Gold Canyon AZ.   A medium hike with petroglyphs at the end of the trial.  More details on the trail are available at:


The Phoenix Chapter is inviting the San Tan Chapter to participate in their 1st Field Trip of 2017 (see below).

January Field Trip: On Jan. 28th, Aaron Wright will lead an all-day field trip to Oatman Point (in the Gila Bend area) to see petroglyphs, the village site, and the historic massacre site. 4WD, high-clearance vehicles are required. It will be rough hiking, with no trail, through thorny vegetation; hopefully the snakes will still be asleep. We will carpool (truck pool?) from the Gila Bend area. This is a fantastic site and well worth seeing in spite of the challenges. With Aaron along we will learn a lot - and no test! You must be an AAS member, priority given to Phoenix Chapter members; YOU MUST SIGN UP FOR THIS TRIP. Further details on time and meeting place will be sent to those who sign up. Sign up at the meeting or email Phyllis at


Field Trip:  February 16, 2017  CANCELED


Hieroglyphic Trail in the Superstitions located near Gold Canyon AZ.   A medium hike with petroglyphs at the end of the trial.  More details on the trail are available at:



Annual Archaeology Expo :  The event will be held at the Himdag Ki Museum in Topawa (south of Sells) on March 4, 2017. The Expo is open to the public and is Free.  

 Field Trip:  March 18th 

Adamsville Ruins Field Trip Florence Arizona led by Doug Craig, Archaeologist Northland Research


 MARCH 18, 2017 AT THE WALMART PARKING LOT WEST SIDE 1695 N Arizona Blvd, Coolidge, AZ

"Adamsville is a large Classic Hohokam habitation site, dating from AD 1100 to AD 1450, consisting of a platform, mound, at least one compound, a ball court, and 41 associated mounds of which some still have standing architecture. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is located near the 19th century town for which it is named. It’s the second largest Hohokam housing area along the Canal Casa Grande, second only to the combined communities of Grewe and Casa Grande. The current size of the site is 155 acres of which 126 acres are proposed for addition to Casa Grande National Monument. The site is threatened by encroachment from commercial development and the State of Arizona is not able to provide adequate protection."  --- from the Arizona Preservation Foundation


May 13, 2017
Superstition Mountain Museum located at 4087 N. Apache Trail in Apache Junction.   Demonstration of the Cossak 20-Stamp Ore Mill, mining equipment can be viewed in action on SATURDAY May 13th.


Oct 14, 2017

Rock Art Ranch Joseph City Arizona (928) 288-3260

About 10 miles from Holbrook, AZ, plan to meet at the Love's Travel Stop in Joseph City.  Darlene Brinkerhof will escort our group.  The plan is to meet at the Travel Stop by 10 am on Saturday Oct. 14th.   On Sunday the plan is to travel up to Winslow to visit the Homolovi State Park.  For more information contact Marie at 480-390-3491.





Chapter Projects

  • pottery sherd clean_up and inventory -- tentatively October 17th or 24th of 2017 .  Details to follow

  • 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

© Arizona Archaeological Society
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software