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Event Calendar

Upcoming events

    • 26 Sep 2017
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • The Lodge at Cliff Castle, 333 Middle Verde Rd., Camp Verde

    Matthew Guebard, archaeologist for the Montezuma Castle National Monument, will describe new discoveries and Native American traditional knowledge of the Montezuma Castle National Monument. With new testing at the Castle and oral stories of the Apache, a new view of the abandonment of the Castle has been proposed. New evidence suggests that the site was not simply evacuated by its inhabitants, as archaeologists have believed for more than 80 years. Instead, recent research shows that its final days were likely fraught with violent conflict and death — an account corroborated by Native American oral histories of the site’s collapse some 600 years ago.

    This lecture series is open to the public. Admission is free however a $5 donation per person to help defray costs would be appreciated. 

    • 07 Oct 2017
    • 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
    • Verde Valley Archaeology Center
    • 6

    Join experimental archaeologist, Zack Curcija, from Echoes from the Past School of Ancient Technology, to create your own shell frog pendant. 

    In this workshop, you will transform a whole Glycymeris shell into an elegant frog effigy pendant inspired by archaeological examples from Central and Southern Arizona. This workshop will be conducted with metal hand tools, however, stone tools will be available for the ambitious artist.

    This class will take place outside in the shade adjacent to the Center. Tools, aprons, and safety goggles will be provided. Please bring your own outdoor clothing, water, snacks, and/or lunch. We will take a brief break midway through the class.

    Class is limited to eight (8). $85 members: $100 nonmembers. Please register for the wait list if the workshop is filled so we can schedule another workshop if there is sufficient interest.

    Zack Curcija, holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology (Research Archaeology) from Northern Arizona University. He specializes in the prehistoric technology of the Southwest with an emphasis on ornament production.

    • 10 Oct 2017
    • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Lodge at Cliff Castle, 333 Middle Verde Road, Camp Verde

    Eighty years ago a young man disappeared in the Utah wilderness. A large manhunt followed, but all they turned up was his last camp and a couple burros. Numerous historical books have been published that attempt to prove what happened to Everett, but his fate remains one of the biggest mysteries of the southwest. Robert Louis DeMayo will talk about the legends and facts surrounding Everett Ruess, a young vagabond who roamed the southwest in the early 1930s. His novel, Pledge to the Wind, the Legend of Everett Ruess won a Silver for Historical Fiction by the eLit Awards. The introduction to the book was written by his nephew, Brian Ruess.

    Robert Louis DeMayo took up writing at the age of twenty when he left his job as a biomedical engineer to explore the world. Over the coming years he traveled to every corner of the globe, experiencing approximately one hundred countries. He is a member of the Explorers Club and the Archaeological Institute of America. 

    During his travels he worked extensively for the travel section of The Telegraph, out of Hudson, NH. For three years he worked as marketing director for Eos, a company that served as a travel office for six non-profit organizations and offered dives to the Titanic and the Bismarck, Antarctic voyages, African safaris and archaeological tours throughout the world. Following this, Robert worked for three years as a tour guide in Alaska during the summers and as a jeep guide in Sedona, Arizona, during the winter before he decided to write full time. 

    His most recent novel, The Wayward Traveler, won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. Currently he resides in Hollis, N.H. and Sedona, AZ, with his wife and three daughters.

    All lectures are free and open to the public although a $5 donation is suggested per non-member to help defray costs.

    • 21 Oct 2017
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Tuzigoot National Monument, Clarkdale, AZ

    Tuzigoot National Monument is offering monthly demonstrations by Zack Curcija of Echoes from the Past School of Ancient Technology in June. Demonstrations will be from 10am-12pm on the third Saturday of each month through the end of the year.

    Echoes from the Past School of Ancient Technology was created by experimental archaeologist, Zack Curcija, to provide archaeology students and the public with a tangible view of how prehistoric southwesterners interacted with their environment and natural resources. The school's mission is to advance the knowledge of prehistoric southwestern material culture in academia and promote an appreciation for southwestern archaeology among the public. 

    Zack holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology (Research Archaeology) from Northern Arizona University. His primary research interests include the ornaments and perishable material culture of the prehistoric Southwest.

    The entrance fee at Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments is $10/person (children under 16 - free), good for both monuments. The national passes are accepted.

    The Verde Valley Archaeology Center is the official nonprofit partner for Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments.

    • 21 Oct 2017
    • 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Sedona Poco Diablo Resort
    • 131

    The Center's annual benefit will again be held at the popular Sedona Poco Diablo Resort, a property of the Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation.

    The theme of this year's event is "Our Future is the Past" to kickoff the Center's building campaign. The "final" design of our future campus will be available along with a scale model.

    Our Special Guest Speaker will be Brian Fagan. British-born and Cambridge University educated Brian is widely regarded as the world’s leading archaeological writer and has an international reputation as an author of influential books about major issues. 

    Brian will take us on a journey through the compelling world of our past, from early human ancestors to ancient cities and the world of the Ancestral Pueblo. He tells us why archaeology is important, indeed essential, in today’s interconnected and industrialized world.

    Dinner Choice of:

    Grilled Salmon 
    or
    Tender Medallions of Beef 
    or
    Vegetable Wellington 

    See the event website for the full bio of Brian Fagan, the full menu description and preliminary list of silent auction items. 

    Tickets are $95 ($45 tax deductible).

    • 28 Oct 2017
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Archaeology Center
    • 12

    Join experimental archaeologist, Zack Curcija of Echoes from the Past School of Ancient Technology, to transform a Yucca leaf into cordage. 

    Join experimental archaeologist, Zack Curcija, of Echoes from the Past School of Ancient Technology, to transform a Yucca leaf into cordage. In this workshop, you will learn how to process a whole Yucca leaf (Yucca bacata) to extract the fibers and spin 2-ply cordage using the hand- and thigh-spinning techniques. Yucca fiber cordage provided the foundation for many Sinagua sandal and textile forms in addition to being used for ropes, nets, snares, looped and twined bags, bowstrings, jewelry suspension cords, sewing thread, and anything else that required a durable cord.

    Class is limited to twelve (12). $35 members; $50 nonmembers. Please register for the wait list if the workshop is filled so we can schedule another workshop if there is sufficient interest.

    Zack Curcija, holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology (Research Archaeology) from Northern Arizona University. He specializes in the prehistoric technology of the Southwest with an emphasis on ornament production.

    • 28 Oct 2017
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Archaeology Center
    • 12

    Join experimental archaeologist, Zack Curcija, of Echoes from the Past School of Ancient Technology, to create an archaeologically inspired stone pendant. In this workshop, you will make your own piece of jewelry starting from a raw piece local argillite, a stone commonly used in Sinagua jewelry. With stone tools, you will transform the raw stone into a piece of jewelry following the methods of production outlined in the archaeological record.

    Class is limited to twelve (12). $65 members; $85 nonmembers. Please register for the wait list if the workshop is filled so we can schedule another workshop if there is sufficient interest.


    Zack Curcija, holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology (Research Archaeology) from Northern Arizona University. He specializes in the prehistoric technology of the Southwest with an emphasis on ornament production.
    • 11 Nov 2017
    • 9:00 AM
    • 12 Nov 2017
    • 2:00 PM
    • Verde Valley Archaeology Center
    • 6

    Come join archaeologist Justin Parks and learn to craft a fully functional bow in the local Sinagua style of archery. The bows you create will follow the same design features and wood species of surviving prehistoric bows of the Verde Valley area. Justin Parks is an experimental archaeologist currently working as a contract archaeologist in the Southwest. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University.

    Participants will:

    - Receive in-depth archaeological knowledge of southwestern archery from the only archaeologist to specialize in the wooden remains of prehistoric bows.

    - Learn from and examine Sinagua bow staves from the Dyck Rockshelter that were still in production.

    - Learn to carve a sapling using the natural shape of the tree, a prehistoric trick to save time and resources.

    - Learn why Sinagua bows look and behave according to design and the natural environment.

    - Learn to tiller a bow to bend properly, store energy, and not break!

    - Learn to shoot the bow in proper southwestern style.

    - Leave with a fully functional bow that looks and feels like the bows carried 1000 years ago, and gain a comprehensive knowledge of prehistoric bows and archery.

    First day: Carve bows to shape, and floor tiller (bow begins to bend).

    Second day: Tiller (bring bows to a proper bend, and achieve full draw). Target Practice!

    Class limited to six participants for this two-day workshop. Class will meet from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm each day with a 30-minute lunch break. 

    Members: $225 per person; $250 non-members. Bow Staves and tools will be provided. Participants will use steel woodworking tools.

    • 14 Nov 2017
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • The Lodge at Cliff Castle Casino, 333 Middle Verde Rd, Camp Verde

    Archaeologist Kim Spurr will discuss how prehistoric agriculture in the Southwest is typically equated with corn, beans, and squash. Another important crop was cotton, which provided both food and fibers for weaving. Cotton was cultivated throughout the Southwest, but had limited distribution in central and northern Arizona due to its need for ample water and a long growing season. Recent excavations and genetic studies have expanded our understanding of the role of cotton in prehistoric commerce and society. This presentation will highlight cotton textiles from the VVAC’s Dyck Rockshelter collection, as well as providing a broad background on the uses and cultural significance of cotton in the Southwest.

    Kimberly Spurr is Archaeology Division Director at the Museum of Northern Arizona and Vice-President of the VVAC. For more than 25 years, Kim has worked as a professional archaeologist in the American Southwest and the western U.S. She holds degrees in Anthropology from Colorado College and Northern Arizona University. She is adjunct faculty at Northern Arizona University and spent over a decade training Native American archaeology students in field and lab settings. Her major research interests include pre-ceramic cultures of the Southwest, prehistoric exchange systems, economic development of the historic American West, and the bioarchaeology of prehistoric and historic populations.

    This lecture series is open to the public. Admission is free however a $5 donation per person to help defray costs would be appreciated. 

    • 18 Nov 2017
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Tuzigoot National Monument, Clarkdale, AZ

    Tuzigoot National Monument is offering monthly demonstrations by Zack Curcija of Echoes from the Past School of Ancient Technology in June. Demonstrations will be from 10am-12pm on the third Saturday of each month through the end of the year.

    Echoes from the Past School of Ancient Technology was created by experimental archaeologist, Zack Curcija, to provide archaeology students and the public with a tangible view of how prehistoric southwesterners interacted with their environment and natural resources. The school's mission is to advance the knowledge of prehistoric southwestern material culture in academia and promote an appreciation for southwestern archaeology among the public. 

    Zack holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology (Research Archaeology) from Northern Arizona University. His primary research interests include the ornaments and perishable material culture of the prehistoric Southwest.

    The entrance fee at Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments is $10/person (children under 16 - free), good for both monuments. The national passes are accepted.

    The Verde Valley Archaeology Center is the official nonprofit partner for Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments.

    • 18 Nov 2017
    • 19 Nov 2017
    • 2 sessions
    • Camp Verde and Sedona

    November 18 and 19

    The Verde Valley Archaeology Center with the Verde Valley Sinfonietta are collaborating in a celebrating Native American Heritage Month with a concert of Native American themes.

    The first half of the concert will feature Navajo flutist, R. Carlos Nakai, performing several selections from two of his albums with the Grand Canyon Symphony - Fourth World and Inner Voices on Canyon Records. The haunting flute melodies of R. Carlos Nakai is combined with the richness of a string ensemble in new arrangements of Nakai's melodies. The evocative power of the traditional flute is enhanced by the lush harmonies of violin, viola, cell and double bass in arrangement by two-time Grammy Award winner, Billy Williams. Williams’ arrangements create a tranquil soundscape for the mellow tone of Nakai’s flute that takes the listener on a meditative and peaceful journey into the inner world of memory and dreams.

    The second half of the program will feature  Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, born in Norman, Oklahoma, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. Tate is dedicated to the development of American Indian classical composition. Tate earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University and his Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Composition from The Cleveland Institute of Music. He will perform original compositions with the Sinfonietta. He will also be Artist in Residence and will visit area schools and Native American children.

    November 18, 6:00 pm - Phillip England Center for the Performing Arts, Camp Verde

    November 19, 2:30 pm - Sedona Center for the Performing Arts, Sedona

    Benefactor Members of the Center will receive two free General Admission tickets. Life and Patron Members will receive two free Reserved Seat tickets.

    Both concerts will be followed by a Backstage Ticket event to meet the artists and Sinfonietta conductor.

    Tickets for the concerts and the Backstage Ticket will go on sale in July at the Verde Valley Sinfonietta website.

    Watch this space for further details and ticket information.

    • 25 Nov 2017
    • 10:00 AM
    • 26 Nov 2017
    • 4:00 PM
    • Camp Verde Community Center, 395 S. Main St.

    In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, we are pleased to host the Annual American Indian Art Show

    November 25  - 10 am - 4 pm
    November 26 - 10 am - 4 pm

    This invitational show and sale include artists from Hopi, Navajoland, Zuni and New Mexico Pueblos. Native American musicians and dancers provide entertainment.

    Public admission to the American Indian Art Show is free.

    • 25 Nov 2017
    • 10:00 AM
    • 26 Nov 2017
    • 4:00 PM
    • Camp Verde Community Center, 395 S. Main St.
    • 65

    In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, we are pleased to host the Annual American Indian Art Show

    November 25  - 10 am - 4 pm
    November 26 - 10 am - 4 pm

    This is a juried invitational show and sale for enrolled Native American artists. Artists interested in participating can apply here by clicking on the REGISTER button in the left column or download an application.

    Single booths are 8' x 8' and we provide one 8' table and two chairs. A double booth is 16" x 8" and we provide two 8' tables and two chairs.

    BE SURE TO READ THE RULES AVAILABLE HERE BEFORE APPLYING.

    Suggested hotels and camping sites will supplied in the acceptance letter.

    • 16 Dec 2017
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Tuzigoot National Monument, Clarkdale, AZ

    Tuzigoot National Monument is offering monthly demonstrations by Zack Curcija of Echoes from the Past School of Ancient Technology in June. Demonstrations will be from 10am-12pm on the third Saturday of each month through the end of the year.

    Echoes from the Past School of Ancient Technology was created by experimental archaeologist, Zack Curcija, to provide archaeology students and the public with a tangible view of how prehistoric southwesterners interacted with their environment and natural resources. The school's mission is to advance the knowledge of prehistoric southwestern material culture in academia and promote an appreciation for southwestern archaeology among the public. 

    Zack holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology (Research Archaeology) from Northern Arizona University. His primary research interests include the ornaments and perishable material culture of the prehistoric Southwest.

    The entrance fee at Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments is $10/person (children under 16 - free), good for both monuments. The national passes are accepted.

    The Verde Valley Archaeology Center is the official nonprofit partner for Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments.

    • 16 Jan 2018
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • The Lodge at Cliff Castle Casino, 333 Middle Verde Rd, Camp Verde

    This is the Annual Meeting with a short business session followed by a lecture. Topic to be announced.

    Archaeologist and ancient technology specialist, Zack Curcija, will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the prehistoric southwestern disc bead industry. In the prehistoric Southwest, artisans manufactured disc beads of unsurpassed quality and quantity in all prehistoric North America. This lecture will review the development of the bead industry, regions of bead production, significant bead assemblages, in addition to the raw materials, toolkit, manufacturing processes, and labor costs required to produce the over 1,000,000 disc beads in the archaeological record. 

    Zack Curcija is an experimental archaeologist with over a decade of experience researching prehistoric southwestern material culture and technology. He holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology (Research Archaeology) from Northern Arizona University. His thesis research experimentally tested hypotheses on prehistoric southwestern bead technology. His primary research interests include the ornaments and perishable material culture of the prehistoric Southwest. Zack is also the founder of Echoes from the Past School of Ancient Technology, an experimental and public archaeology company committed to advancing the knowledge of prehistoric southwestern material culture in academia and promoting an appreciation for southwestern archaeology among the public."

    All lectures of the Verde Valley Field Institute are free and open to the public. A $5 donation per person is suggested to help defray costs.

    • 13 Feb 2018
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • The Lodge at Cliff Castle Casino, 333 Middle Verde Rd, Camp Verde

    In this Verde Valley Archaeology Field Institute presentation, Justin Parks examines the function and role of the bow and arrow in the prehistoric Southwest through the perspective of experimental archaeology. Justin examined the surviving components of prehistoric bows and compared the artifacts to replica bows to better understand the performance the southwestern bow can achieve as well as important differences between artifacts. His findings highlighted discrete differences between artifacts that likely reflect historic descriptions of rabbit bows and war bows.

    Justin Parks is an experimental archaeologist currently working as a contract archaeologist in the Southwest. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from Northern Arizona in May of 2017.

    His thesis focused on experimental archaeology to replicate prehistoric wooden bow and arrow components to better understand the significance of southwestern archery.

    All lectures of the Verde Valley Archaeology Field Institute are free and open to the public. A $5 donation per person is suggested to help defray costs.

    • 23 Feb 2018
    • 08 Mar 2018

    The Center is again offering a well-paced archaeology, history and natural history tour in 2018. The tour will include the Tabasco and Chiapas regions of Mexico, the Peten region of Guatemala and the western hills and valleys of Honduras and El Salvador from February 23 through March 8, 2018 (14 days/13 nights). For more information visit the Center's Activities page.

    • 17 Mar 2018
    • 10:00 AM
    • 18 Mar 2018
    • 4:00 PM
    • 395 S. Main St., Camp Verde

    The annual Verde Valley Archaeology Fair is a Signature Event of the Arizona SciTech Festival.  

    March 17-18 - 10 am - 4 pm

    Within the Community Center will be demonstrations and exhibits related to archaeology.

    Access to the Community Center is free.



    • 10 Apr 2018
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • The Lodge at Cliff Castle Casino, 333 Middle Verde Rd, Camp Verde

    Dennis Gilpin is a professional archaeologist specializing in the anthropology, archaeology and history of the Four Corners region. He will discuss his current research on the study of the architecture of Awatovi Pueblo (A.D. 1300-1700) in northeastern Arizona, based on the excavations at the site by the Harvard Peabody Museum from 1935 to 1939.

    Dennis received his BA in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma and his MA in anthropology from the University of Arizona. He worked for the Navajo Nation Archaeology Department from 1978 to 1992, for SWCA Environmental Consultants from 1992 to 2008, and for PaleoWest Archaeology since 2008. He is best known for his discovery of early maize at sites in northeastern Arizona, his research on Chacoan outliers, his investigations of late prehistoric sites in northeastern Arizona, and his studies on Navajo archaeology and history. As a research associate at the Museum of Northern Arizona, he completed a study of the architecture of Atsinna Pueblo (A.D. 1275-1350) at El Morro National Monument, west-central New Mexico. 

    All lectures of the Verde Valley Field Institute are free and open to the public. A $5 donation per person is suggested to help defray costs.

    • 08 May 2018
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Cliff Castle Casino, 333 Middle Verde Rd, Camp Verde

    A Colorful Past: Turquoise and Social Identity in the Late Pre-Hispanic Western Pueblo Region, A.D. 1275-1400.

    Turquoise is synonymous with the U.S. Southwest, occurring naturally in relative abundance and culturally prized for millennia. As color and material, turquoise is fundamental to the worldviews of numerous indigenous groups of the region, with notable links to moisture, sky, and personal and familial vitality. For Pueblo groups in particular, turquoise and other blue-green minerals hold a prominent place in myth, ritual, aesthetics, and cosmology. They continue to be used as important offerings, deposited in shrines and decorating objects like prayer-sticks, fetishes, and adornments. Archaeological occurrences of turquoise in contexts such as caches, structural foundations, and burials demonstrate its important, perhaps ritually oriented role in prehispanic Pueblo practices.

    Saul Hedquist, PhD, addresses the myriad uses of turquoise and other blue-green minerals in the late prehispanic Western Pueblo region of the U.S. Southwest (northeastern Arizona and western New Mexico, A.D. 1275–1400). Multidisciplinary research, including archaeology, geochemistry, and ethnography inform upon the role of turquoise in ancient social identification. I will outline stylistic variation in ornaments and painted items, patterns of placement in archaeological deposits (ritual offerings, for example), and regional patterns of mineral acquisition and exchange. 

    All lectures of the Verde Valley Field Institute are free and open to the public. A $5 donation per person is suggested to help defray costs.