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 20425 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




  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



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 ) 

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

Top 10 Archaeology Discoveries for 2016 complied by Heritage Daily ---:) 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


Chapter News

San Tan Chapter 2017

Hello San Tan Chapter members, in 2016 one of our chapter members (Jim Britton) was recognized for his passion and hard work to preserve Arizona Archaeology.  He received the AAS's Avocational Award for 2016.

Congratulations Jim Britton 


The San Tan Chapter meetings are held at the San Tan Historical Society Museum at 20425 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.




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.


Last Month: 

December Meeting :Dec 14, Dr. Todd Bostwick, Exec Dir VVAC; The Dyck Rock Shelter; A Sinagua Habitation Site Overlooking Beaver Creek in Central Az



November Meeting : Nov 9, Matt Guebard, Tuzigoot Ruins Park Supervisor;Cavates in Camp Verde and Montezuma Castle Park.  Matt will provide update on the current research at Montezuma Castle National Monument.

Matt Guebard, who is stationed at Tuzigoot National Monument has worked in the American Southwest for over 13 years. He received his MA in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University in 2006. Matt specializes in the preservation, management and public interpretation of cliff dwellings in Central Arizona. His research interests include prehistoric architecture, cultural resource management and the historical development of National Park Service in the American Southwest.




Feb 8: Harvey Leake: Wetherill Family

March 8: Dr. Nadine Barlow, Director of NAU Space and Astronomy Center, Dept of Physics; Is there Water on Mars?

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

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


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 480-802-8214
Director3/Archivist Keith Johanson
Membership Marie Britton

Archaeological Advisor Gina Gage

Chapter Meetings

The San Tan Chapter meetings are held at the San Tan Historical Society Museum at 20425 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

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





34th Annual Archaeology Expo at Tohono O'odham Nation Cultural Center & Museum on March 11    


Field Trip: On March 19th

Drive up the Apache Trail to the Superstition Mountain -Lost Dutchman Museum and then head on over the Goldfield Ghost Town. 






Chapter Projects

  • 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
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