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Verde Valley Archeology Field Trip – Southern Sinagua Sites

May 6, 2023 - May 7, 2023

$40 – $60

Join the Arizona Archeological and Historical Society for a two-day in-depth tour of Southern Sinagua sites in the Verde Valley. Ken Zoll, director emeritus of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center (VVVAC) will provide an all-day tour event focused on Southern Sinagua sites. On day two, Lucas Hoedal, Montezuma Castle National Monument Archaeologist, will provide a tour of the archeology and recent research at Montezuma’s Castle, Site 3, and Montezuma’s Well another site within a short driving distance.

The tour will begin on Saturday at the VVAC before the center opens to the public for a behind-the-scenes tour. The museum includes an amazing collection of perishables including textiles that still have pigment. Following the museum tour, participants will self-drive to the Crane Petroglyph site, a Southern Sinagua Beaver Creek Community Rock Art site (previously called the V-V) where Ken will provide a tour and discuss research of the site and information in his recent publication of the site.

Following a brown bag lunch, we will visit Atkeson Pueblo located on property owned and managed by the Archaeological Conservancy and not open to the public without an approved tour guide. Atekson Pueblo is a large pueblo with standing walls near the confluence of Oak Creek and the Verde River. Views from the mesa overlooking Oak Creek are picturesque. The site is well preserved and appears nearly the same as when the Smithsonian excavated the site in the early 1900s. The access road to Atekson Pueblo may be slow for sedans and we will work out carpooling from the entrance to the access road to drive to the site. An evening get-together will be arranged at a local winery to socialize and discuss local archaeology.

On Sunday, we will tour the site of Montezuma Castle with park Archeologist Lucas Hoedal who will share new collaborative research findings between the park and tribes traditionally associated with the Castle and Site 3. This new research changes the interpretation of archeology at the site and the reasons why it was vacated. There will be time to self-tour and visit the park store. After our tour at the Castle, we will join Lucas at Montezuma’s Well, a site with Sinagua sites and a prehistoric irrigation canal still flowing today. Lucas will provide a tour of the sites along the rim near the well, as well as the exposed pithouse, and discuss the irrigation canal. The tour will wrap up around lunch. From there, participants may wish to self-tour the site and then enjoy a packed lunch at the picnic tables down the hill near another viewable location of the prehistoric canal.


$40 paid directly to Verde Valley Archeology Center (VVA) to support the non-profit for opening the museum an hour early, the behinds the scene collections tour, and all tours to the Crane Petroglyph site and Atkeson Pueblo located on the Archaeological Conservancy’s property and not open to the public without an approved tour guide. 

$5 Parking fee per vehicle paid at the Crane Petroglyph Site fee kiosk (managed by the Coconino National Forest) unless a participant has an America the Beautiful (National Park Service/ Public Lands Pass) to place on their dash, Senior, or other accepted pass. Any dinner and wine costs at the local winery are the responsibility of the participant.

$10 paid directly to Montezuma Castle for a day use pass per person, unless the participant has an America the Beautiful (Public Lands Pass), etc. The trip is limited to 20 people, and you must be an AAHS member to participate. To register email Alycia Hayes.


May 6, 2023
May 7, 2023
$40 – $60
Event Category:


Alycia Hayes


Verde Valley