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Upcoming events

    • 06 Jan 2020
    • 9:00 AM
    • 27 Jan 2020
    • 12:00 PM
    • VVAC Learning Center

    Do you wonder what types of pottery are found in the Verde Valley? Would you like to be able to identify what you see in the field? Come learn how to identify the types of pottery and how it was constructed and decorated;

    This class is 4 consecutive Mondays 9 to Noon on January 6,13, 20 and 27th. There will also be optional field trip, date to be determined.

    Cost of the class for members is $90.00 and includes textbook.

    Cost for non Center members is $125.00, textbook included.

    Class limited to 14 individuals.

    • 10 Jan 2020
    • 10:00 AM
    • 12 Jan 2020
    • Tombstone/Sierra Vista Environs

    CAVES, KILLS, & CONFRONTATIONS: A (very) long history of thrilling times near Tombstone

    Dates: Friday, January 10 to Sunday, January 12, 2020. This is a three-day, four-night trip.
    Location: Tombstone/Sierra Vista environs

    Download full trip itinerary HERE for a more complete description of the trip.

    $225 per person includes all admission fees. NO CANCELLATIONS due to deposit requirements.

    Day 1 Friday January 10: Kartchner Caverns State Park

    Meet at the Discovery Center at Kartchner Caverns State Park at 10 AM.

    The cave’s existence was discovered in 1974 by two cavers, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts, after hours of crawling revealed a remarkable cavern. Passionate that the extraordinary formations must be preserved, the cave’s existence was kept secret until 1988, when the Arizona State Parks purchase of it was approved. Many precautions have been put in place to preserve the cave’s near pristine condition. The tours are limited to 15 to 20 people maximum. We will learn about the importance of water, the cave fauna, the varied formations and the ongoing scientific research.

    We start at 10:45 AM with a 1 ¾ hour guided tour of the Big Room, where we will see the world’s most extensive formation of brushite moonmilk, and the first reported occurrence of turnip-like structures.

    After a break for lunch at the Bat Cave Café (open 10 AM to 3 PM), we assemble at 1:00 PM for a 1 ½ hour tour at 1:20 PM of the Rotunda/Throne Room, where we will see the Kubla Khan column, the tallest and most massive in Arizona, as well as one of the world’s longest soda straw stalactites.

    We can return to our lodgings or hike some of the nearby trails after the caverns tours.

    Day 2 Saturday January 11: Amerind Museum and Tombstone

    Meet at 10:00 AM at the Amerind Museum, to explore for about 2 hours a collection of Native American ethnographic objects, from the Mimbres to the historic, view contemporary Native artistic works, see a film on chocolate, plus visit many interesting exhibits. Our very own Hopi VVAC Heritage Gardener, Gerry Quotskuyva, and Hopi potter friend, Rachel Sahmi, have current shows. The museum is about 50 miles from Sierra Vista, 40 miles from Tombstone.

    After lunch at the nearby Triangle T Saloon, we will caravan about 40 miles to Tombstone, just in time to witness the confrontation between the Earp brothers, Doc Holliday and the outlaws, likely the most famous gunfight in the Old West! Afterwards, feel free to explore the old town on your own, book a silver mine tour, or have dinner there in Tombstone or Sierra Vista (20 miles away).

    Day 3 January 12: Murray Springs/Lehner Mammoth Kill Clovis sites, Millville Ruins and Petroglyph Trail with Archaeologist Al Dart

    Meet at 8:30 AM at the Walmart Supercenter, 500 N Highway 90 Bypass, in Sierra Vista, and caravan to Murray Springs site, the location of a Clovis hunting and processing camp, and one of about a dozen 13,000-year-old Clovis sites within a 50-mile radius within the San Pedro River valley. Archaeologist Allen Dart will guide us into the Murray Springs site and discuss how mammoth and other megafauna remains were excavated there, along with projectile points, other stone tools and tool-making debris. The largest number of Clovis artifacts in the entire Southwest have been found here. From Murray Springs, we will caravan to a roadside location where Al will point out and discuss the Lehner site, another Clovis mammoth and bison kill area.

    We will then caravan to the Millville ghost town, where we will walk a 2-mile roundtrip trail to view ruins of historic buildings and minimg-related features, and to have Al point out and discuss the vicinity’s pre-European petroglyphs and archaeological features. The trail crosses a broad, shallow wash, which is usually dry, but be prepared to wade if it’s running. After this, you are free to continue on your own to visit Bisbee, explore Tubac or return home.

    We suggest booking lodging in Tombstone or Sierra Vista. Best rates may be available via Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Orbitz.com, or Reservations.com rather than booking direct with the facility:

    Tombstone— Tombstone Grand Hotel 520-457-9507

    Sierra Vista— Days Inn Wyndham 520-458-8500

    Fairfield Inn Marriott 520-439-5900

    Gateway Studio Suites 520-458-5555

    • 13 Jan 2020
    • 6:00 AM
    • 16 Jan 2020
    • 5:00 PM
    • Catalina Inn - Catalina, AZ
    • 6

    Join the Center on a guided excursion to Northwest Chihuahua, Mexico .  This four-day trip includes the United Nations World Heritage site of Paquimé, the most important archaeological site in northwest Mexico and the American Southwest., the pottery village of Mata Ortiz, the Mormon settlements of Colonia Juarez and Colonia Dublan, and a side excursion  to the cliff dwelling of Olla Cave in the Sierra Madre Occidental.  This non-tourist part of Mexico offers a rich cultural mix of Mexicans, Mormons, and Mennonites and the spectacular landscape of the Chihuahuan Desert.  

    Trip Dates:   January 13-16, 2020

    Cost per person: $650 double occupancy; $720 single occupancy ($300 nonrefundable if cancelled) includes all transportation, tours, hotel in Mexico, entrance fees, and tips.

    Limited to 10 participants. Click HERE for a trip flyer.

    Day 01—Depart Catalina Inn, Catalina, Arizona at 6:00 a.m., to the great  archaeological site of Paquimé.  After touring the museum and ruins, check into the Nuevo Casas Grandes hotel and have dinner.

    Day 02—Breakfast in the Hotel Hacienda followed by a tour of the Mormon community of Colonia Juarez, and a discussion of Mormon settlement patterns and the agricultural economy of this part of Chihuahua.  The rest of the day will be spent in the pottery village of Mata Ortiz, visiting the homes of many artists to learn how the pots are made, painted, and fired.  

    Day 03—After breakfast in the Hotel Hacienda drive to Olla Cave, one of dozens of cliff  dwellings in this part of the Sierra Madre.  This site is particularly unique because of the large adobe structure used by the prehistoric inhabitants to store grain.  T

    Day 04—After breakfast and check-out, tour one of the most beautiful neighborhoods of Colonia Dublan and then begin the return journey to the Catalina Inn arriving about 5:00 p.m.  

    Rooms at the Catalina Inn on January 12 and January 16 are NOT included if desired.

    • 21 Jan 2020
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Camp Verde Community Library

    2020 Annual Membership Meeting 


    The annual meeting of the VVAC membership will start this evening with a business meeting of about 30 minutes that will include a report by the President, Executive Director and Treasurer, plus the election of members to the Board of Directors. Following the business meeting will be a presentation by our Director of Archaeology, Dr. Todd Bostwick.

    Exploring the Chaco Phenomena: The Rise and Fall of the Chacoan Culture

    Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico has a short growing season, long and cold winters, and limited rainfall for an agricultural lifestyle, yet this desolate area was a major ceremonial center for ancestral Pueblo people. The presentation examines various ideas about the functions of their multi-story Great Houses and their enigmatic road network, sophisticated farming systems, astronomical markers, extensive trade networks, and the sacred landscape in which they lived. Questions about how the Chaco Culture originated and what caused its decline after more than three centuries are addressed.

    • 11 Feb 2020
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Camp Verde Community Library

    Topic to be announced by

    Dr. Jaime Awe
    Northern Arizona University

    Jaime Awe is a Belizean archaeologist who specializes in the ancient Maya. He is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University, and the Director of the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project.