Fall Book Sale Set for Sept 15 & 16

The annual Used Book sale will be held at the Arizona State Museum on Friday afternoon, Sept 15 and Saturday, Sept 16th. Mark your calendars for this not to be missed event.

Presidents Message

The President's State of the Society Annual Report

As my first year as President, I want to provide you, our membership, with a report on the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society’s (AAHS) accomplishments and struggles. AAHS is a non-profit coming to the end of its 101st year. We are run by an all-volunteer board and a number of standing and ad-hoc committees.

I’d like to start off by offering a HUGE THANK YOU to three current board members who are rotating off the board. Mary Prasciunas (6 years) and Steve Swanson (3 years) have been dedicated and energetic members-at-large, and Michael Boley (9 years) has served as both a member-at-large and a Society Officer, serving as Recording Secretary. Each offered unique strengths to the board and the Society and will all be missed! Michael is not only leaving the board, but he, and his wife Charlotte, and their family are heading to France, so we will doubly miss them!

As a result of the recent elections, Kirk Astroth, Patricia Gilman, Sharlot Hall and Karen Schollmeyer will be joining the Board. After the ballots were printed and mailed out, Lewis Borck, who ran for the VP for Membership, was offered a position at the University of Leiden, and so will be unable to be on the board. Under the Society’s bylaws, the board is able to appoint someone to fill a vacancy; since this is an officer position, we felt it was important that an existing, and elected, board member fill this position. Barbara Montgomery has agreed to become the VP for Membership, and we are very thankful to her. In the coming month or two, the board will work with the Nominations Committee from the recent election cycle to appoint someone to the open member-at-large board seat. These incoming board members are talented folks who will complement existing board strengths. THANK YOU to our former, new, and continuing board members who will help lead the Society in the coming year!

So – what have we accomplished this year as a Society? One of our top priorities is to support the Arizona State Museum (ASM). Through the Library Committee, we have continued our book sales (note: we are again looking for donations) in support of ASM and have raised over $6,000 through sales for the ASM library. The Society continues to support the ASM school bus program to help support students visiting the museum. This is one way we try to connect diverse groups of children to the study of Southwest history, as the board continues to think about diversity of membership and how to reach underrepresented groups.

Our Research Grant Committee has been hard at work this year, evaluating two different rounds of grant competitions. The inaugural Carryl B. Martin Award had strong competition and awarded $5,000 to Aaron Wright for his reexamination of the records and artifacts from an early 1950s excavation of a Patayan walk-in well near Bouse, Arizona, and ultimately publication of a final, synthetic report on the Bouse site, AZ S:1:33 (ASM). In addition, $8500 was awarded this year in Research and Travel Grants to 15 deserving grantees from 11 institutions, who were detailed in the May issue of Glyphs. Look forward to hearing more about the results of these grants in the future!

The Field Trip Committee has taken members on 13 field trips across Arizona this past year to see amazing archaeological and historical resources. Highlights included Homolov’i and Rock Art Ranch, Ventana Cave, and the Petrified National Monument. I just saw the tentative list for this coming year and it also looks fantastic. Field trips are a big draw for membership and it takes hard work from a committed cast of volunteers to offer these each month! Related to this, we continue to have each month terrific speakers (including avocationalists, students and professors, professional historians and archaeologists, and tribal members) on a wide variety of topics related to archaeology and history of the American Southwest and beyond. Attendance has been great with an average of 75 people per lecture.

The Publications Committee has been busy as usual with a wide variety of tasks. It oversaw the judging of the Hayden Student Paper Prize and awarded it to Kristina Whitney for her paper on the origins of flat-backed canteens in the American Southwest. The peer-reviewed journal Kiva, under the editorship of Deb Martin, continues to be a success. I checked with JSTOR recently and during the calendar year 2016 Kiva articles were accessed over 25,000 times! While scholars in the U.S. continue to be the most interested in Kiva, scholars, students, and other interested people in 77 countries accessed articles in Kiva in 2016. Those numbers are to me a real indication of just how well-respected and popular the journal is. Members continue to look forward to our newsletter, Glyphs, delivered in digital and print formats, for timely information about the Society. The committee also judged the (relatively new) subvention award competition and the board voted to award the grant to help offset publication costs of a volume edited by Pat Gilman and Steve LeBlanc entitled Mimbres Life and Society at the Mattocks Site in the Mimbres Valley of Southwestern New Mexico (University of Arizona Press).

The Awards Committee has continued to work hard during the year and awarded the Byron Cummings Award to Karen Adams and Tom Sheridan and the Victor R. Stoner Award to Jeff Altschul and Al Dart. The board also gave Appreciation Awards to the hardworking volunteers on the Fort Mason Project. In addition to the Cummings and Stoner Awards, the board recently voted, at the recommendation of the Awards Committee, to create a third award, entitled the Alexander J. Lindsay, Jr. Unsung Heroes Award; we’re looking forward to presenting these three awards at the Pecos Conference in August, or at the regularly scheduled September lecture and meeting. We welcome your nominations.

Our Finance Committee continues to keep on top of our endowment and investment funds. These funds have grown substantially during the time I’ve been on the board and recently reached the $500,000 mark! Using up to four percent of the various funds each year, and continuing to grow the principal, allows us to continue to support Society programs.

The Society sponsors several research projects and have funded various aspects of them. The Cocoraque Butte rock art project continues to document rock art and associated features northwest of Tucson and has already published some of its results in the journal American Indian Rock Art. Expect a talk on this work in the future. The Desperation Ranch project completed its excavations in 2014and is in the process of analysis. Results of this work have been picked up by organizations like Western Digs (http://westerndigs.org/unexpected-3000-year-old-bison-hunting-site-discovered-in-southern-arizona/) and the researchers continue to give talks and prepare publications on this important work. Finally, the Fort Mason project has just about completed processing of material and is gearing up for analysis and report writing. This project, run in connection with ASM, expects to have a report complete in the next several years.

In board housekeeping, we worked hard – and recently received – a new insurance policy for the Society to continue to help protect it for the future. This is a very mundane, but important, item.

In sum, I think it’s clear that the Society, and all of its over 600 members, are doing really impressive and interesting research and outreach in the American Southwest and northwest Mexico. Thank you to all of you for supporting this work through your generous donations of money and time to help ensure the next 100 years (and more!) of the Society are as successful as they have been to this point.

 -John Douglass

Upcoming Lectures

Just Published

New In Press and On Line

Kiva 83(1), a special issues on Chacoan Roads, is hot off the press, in your mail boxes and on-line. Remember as a benefit of membership AAHS members can access Kiva on-line with no charge.

AAHS nyoutubeow has it’s own YouTube Channel where we will be broadcasting videos of our lectures. Just uploaded  Creating Community in Colonial Alta California  by John Douglass.

Current Projects



Only AAHS members can participate in our field trip programs, and current members receive our Glyphs newsletter and may subscribe to Kiva, the Journal of Southwestern History and Archaeology.

Click here to learn more about membership categories and to apply or renew your membership on line

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