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Coming Soon -- FIELD SEMINARS

The primary purpose of the Verde Valley Archaeology Field Seminars is to share the rich cultural history of the Verde Valley with residents and visitors. We use the term “seminar” to highlight the educational component our instructors include in every outing, but there is an equal emphasis on exploration and discovery. Visits to specific cultural sites with a trained field guide provides an educational and preservation-oriented experience. These hikes visit notable locations throughout the prehistory of the Verde Valley, letting hikers walk through the footsteps of history along the same paths that indigenous people once walked.

These seminars visit ancient dwellings. Note that we do not use the term "ruins" since the ancestors of the people who lived in these dwellings believe that the ancestral spirits still reside there. The seminars are designed around specific waterways, the vital lifelines for these ancient residents.

We will offer a unique experience that no one else can. The Verde Valley Archaeology Center is the manager of six archaeological preserves owned by the Archaeological Conservancy. As the manager of these fenced properties we alone have permission to visit. You will see these important but restricted archaeological sites.    

And, unlike area tour operators, we are a nonprofit educational institution.  Your fees support our preservation efforts and a portion is used to support special projects at the National Park Monuments.

Additional information on the seminars, such as required clothing and supplies, can be found in the Details page.

Beaver Creek Dwellings

Wet Beaver Creek is a perennial clear stream that flows all year through a very lush and scenic desert canyon. Flowing on a twisted course through the Mogollon Rim, Wet Beaver Creek meanders through a sheer canyon of Supai sandstone and shale. Beaver Creek flows past the sites visited on this seminar.

The first stop will be the Yavapai-Apache Nation Cultural Center and the monumental sculpture to "The Exodus." The Beaver Creek watershed is sacred to several Native American tribes, including the local Yavapai Apache people.

The second stop will be Montezuma Castle National Monument. The Castle provides visitors with an excellent example of Sinagua architecture.

We will continue to the third stop, Theoney site in Lake Montezuma, an Archaeological Conservancy site. This site is often referred to as "Little Tuzigoot" due to the similarity in architecture.

The Beaver Creek Dwellings Seminar is held on Fridays starting at 9:00 am in the Archaeology Center.

LENGTH: x hours

GROUP SIZE: Minimum of 4; maximum of 10.

NOTE: The hike to the Thoeney Pueblo is moderately difficult and involves an elevation change. This seminar should only be undertaken only by those in good physical condition.


Oak Creek Dwellings

Most visitors to the area are familiar with Oak Creek Canyon. It is a river gorge that runs between the cities of Flagstaff and Sedona.  But Oak Creek continues beyond Sedona for about 10 miles until it reaches the Verde River. It is one of the few perennial streams in the high desert of Northern Arizona. Like Wet Beaver Creek, it spawned many habitation sites along its banks.

This seminar will visit two important archaeological preserves owned by the Archaeological Conservancy that are along Oak Creek.

The first stop will be the Ottens Pueblo. This site, atop Sugarloaf Mountain, is .

The second stop will be the Atkinson Pueblo at the confluence of Oak Creek and the Verde River.  This site has the largest free-standing pueblo wall in the Verde Valley. 

The Oak Creek Dwellings Seminar is held on Saturdays starting at 9:00 am in the Archaeology Center.

LENGTH: x hours

GROUP SIZE: Minimum of 4; maximum of 10.

NOTE: The hike to the Atkinson Pueblo is moderately difficult and involves an elevation change. This seminar should only be undertaken only by those in good physical condition.




Verde River Dwellings

The Verde River is a major tributary of the Salt River that runs through Phoenix. It is one of the largest perennial streams in Arizona. The Verde provides habitat for a diverse array of wildlife species and contains some the most important riparian and associated upland habitat found in Arizona and the Southwest. Little wonder that ancient cultures were drawn to this important source of water and wildlife to build major dwellings.

The first stop will be the Tuzigoot National Monument. Tuzigoot is

The second stop will Hatalacva, an Archaeological Conservancy preserve. Hatalacva is  

The Verde River Dwellings Seminar is held on Sundays starting at 9:00 am in the Archaeology Center.

LENGTH: x hours

GROUP SIZE: Minimum of 4; maximum of 10.

NOTE: The hike to Hatalacva is moderately difficult and involves an elevation change. This seminar should only be undertaken only by those in good physical condition.




All Monument Dwellings

This Seminar is designed to be an all-inclusive study of the two archaeology national monuments here in the Verde Valley.

The first stop will be the Montezuma Castle National Monument. The Monument includes a set of well-preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings. The dwellings were built and used by the Sinagua people between 1100 and 1425. The main structure comprises five stories and twenty rooms, and was built over the course of three centuries.

The second stop will be Montezuma Well, a natural limestone sinkhole that contains Sinagua dwellings. The Well's steady outflow has been used for irrigation since the 8th century. Part of a prehistoric canal is preserved near the park's picnic ground, and portions of the canal's original route are still in use today. 

The third stop will be the Tuzigoot National Monument that preserves a 2- to 3-story pueblo ruin on the summit of a limestone and sandstone ridge. The pueblo has 110 rooms built by the Sinagua between 1125 and 1400. It is the largest and best-preserved of the many Sinagua pueblos in the Verde Valley.

The Monument Dwellings Seminar is a custom seminar that can be arranged in advance.

LENGTH: x hours

GROUP SIZE: Minimum of 4; maximum of 10.

NOTE: The hikes on this course are on developed trails and can involve a modest elevation change. This seminar should only be undertaken only by those in good physical condition.