Event Calendar

Upcoming events

    • 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.

    • 22 Dec 2017
    • 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    • V bar V Heritage Site

    The winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. The Sinagua depended on accurate predictions of major astronomical events such as a solstice or equinox to allow them to prepare for important ceremonies, dances and rituals. The task of making accurate astronomical events, such as the summer and winter solstice, was assigned to the Sun Priest. To assist in determining these important dates, tools such as rock art and shadow interactions were created. The V bar V Heritage Site is one of the areas where the Sinagua created a "solar calendar" to mark the winter solstice as well as other important dates.

    On December 22, Ken Zoll, author of "Sinagua Sunwatchers" will give a presentation at the V Bar V rock art panel. The talk will begin at 1:30 with the first sun dagger appears on the ground below the rock art panel at 2:00 pm. About one hour later, a second sun dagger will appear and pierce a "Father Sun" concentric circle on the panel.

    The U.S. Forest Service V Bar V Heritage Site is located 2.8 miles east of the junction of I-17 and SR 179 on FR 618. Watch for the entrance on your right less than one-half mile past the Beaver Creek Campground. A Red Rock Pass or equivalent is required for each vehicle. There is no charge for the program.

    • 16 Jan 2018
    • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Cliff Castle Casino Lodge Conference Center, 333 Middle Verde Road, Camp Verde

    Life and Death at Ironwood Village: An Early Ballcourt Site in Southern Arizona

    Director of Archaeology, Dr. Todd Bostwick, will described excavations in 2014 for a new shopping center that uncovered a Hohokam village in Marana, north of Tucson, on the east side of the Santa Cruz River. This site contained a previously unknown ballcourt, one of the earliest ever constructed by the Hohokam. Surrounding the ballcourt were nearly 100 pit houses and more than 250 burials, which dated to the late Pioneer and Colonial periods, circa AD 650 to 850. Located on a sloping piedmont that supported a dense stand of ironwood trees, archaeologists found artifacts and plant remains at the site that indicate the inhabitants grew corn without irrigation canals, processed Agave plants with tabular knives, and polished wooden objects with specialized polishing stones. Ironwood Village was abandoned soon after the leader of the village died and was buried with a rich array of grave offerings in the middle of the ballcourt. Dr. Bostwick will discuss the results of the excavations and show numerous photos of the artifacts that were recovered from the site.

    This is also the annual membership meeting. A short business meeting will begin the evening, followed by Dr. Bostwick's talk.

    All talks are free and open to the public. 

    • 16 Jan 2018
    • 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Cliff Castle Casino, 333 Middle Verde Rd., Camp Verde

    The VVAC annual meeting will include reports of officers and election of the Board of Directors. There will also be a lecture by our Director of Archaeology, Dr. Todd Bostwick. Topic to be announced.

    • 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).

    • 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.