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Conference Details

The 2023 Pecos Conference is hosted by
The Museum of Northern Arizona and the USDA Coconino National Forest


Information about the conference will be updated on this site regularly through August. If you have specific questions or need more information please contact Kim Spurr at 

Conference Dates

August 10 -13, 2023

Conference Location

The conference and camping area will be at the Coconino Hotshot Camp, 10 miles northwest of
Flagstaff, AZ on the Coconino National Forest. Many roads lead into Flagstaff but only one will take
you to the Pecos Conference.

On-Site Camping Info

Tent and RV camping will be available at the conference site at no additional fee. You can select this option when completing your online registration. 

Unlike past years, dispersed camping is no longer allowed on Coconino National Forest lands adjacent to the conference area, per Superintendent’s Order 03-04-08-23-10. Forest law enforcement officers will be patrolling regularly and will issue citations for fines up to $5,000. You must camp in the designated conference camp area or outside the restricted area on the forest; forest travel and camping information is available at Coconino National Forest - Recreation (


2023 Board Candidate Statements

2023 Final Schedule

Thursday, August 10


1:00 pm

Tent and RV Campers may arrive and begin selecting sites. 


5:30 to 7:00 pm

Opening reception at the Museum of Northern Arizona
3101 North Fort Valley Road (between downtown Flagstaff and the conference site). Pick up pre-registration packets or register for the conference. Please RSVP for the reception when you pre-register. The MNA exhibits and gift shop will remain open during the reception. Please use the north entrance to the MNA parking lot (at the Pecos Conference sign) to reduce traffic congestion.


Friday, August 11


8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Presentations, Posters, Silent Auction, and Vendor Tents Open.


During Lunch Break

LGBTQ, Indigenous, and other affinity group meetups. 


8:00 pm - 10:00 pm 

Presentation Tent

Have a stand-up routine about archaeology? Do you have a secret talent for singing? Join us for the Pecos Conference's first-ever Open Mic Night and show us what you've got!


Around Dusk

Star Party with the Arizona State University Astronomy Club, Sponsored by the Society for Cultural Astronomy in the American Southwest and the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration.

SCAAS Sticker.jpg

Saturday, August 12


8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Presentations, Posters, Silent Auction, and Vendor Tents Open.


11:00 am


5:30 pm

Beer from Mother Road Brewing Company 



6:30 pm

Salsa Brava's  famous fajita buffet. Tickets must be purchased in advance. You can add tickets to your registration and select meat or vegetarian at checkout. 


  • All-Natural Chicken Breast and Marinated Skirt Steak with Caramelized Onions

  • Portobello Mushroom Fajitas/ Zucchini/ Tomatoes/ Bell Pepper Medley/ Onion/ Mild Green Chile/ Cilantro

  • Spanish Roasted Corn Rice

  • Hand Smashed Pinto Beans

  • Corn Chips and Seasonal House Made Salsas

  • Hand Stretched Flour and Corn Tortillas

  • Fajita Toppings



8:00 pm

Music by Andy See and His Swinging Jamboree on Saturday night are provided for conference attendees. If you wish to bring non-registered guests, indicate how many extra people will attend at $10 each.


Sunday, August 13


Field trip sign-up will be at the conference Registration table. A list of field trips will be posted prior to the conference.

Fieldtrip #1        Picture Canyon Preserve, Flagstaff

Robert Mark and Evelyn Billo (Rupestrian CyberServices)


This tour will showcase the exquisite petroglyphs and riparian resources protected within Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve, at the eastern edge of Flagstaff on the Rio de Flag, about a mile from the Flagstaff Mall. The preserve is located downstream from the Wildcat Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant, which ensures a year-round source of treated water and provides critical riparian habitat for wildlife and songbirds. Picture Canyon is one of Arizona’s Watchable Wildlife Sites. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places for its important array of cultural resources. This tour will see some of the significant Sinagua petroglyphs and other cultural resources, and explain the site’s historic connection with MNA, local tribes, and the Flagstaff timber industry.


Fieldtrip #2          Old Caves Pueblo

Dennis Gilpin (Research Associate, Museum of Northern Arizona)


Old Caves Pueblo (A.D. 1250-1330) rivals New Caves Pueblo as the largest pueblo in the Flagstaff vicinity, and it was the last major Flagstaff pueblo to have been occupied. Located on the south side of the rim of Old Caves Crater a few miles north of Flagstaff, it has a walled plaza, four room blocks (each containing from two to 25 rooms for a total of at least 45 rooms), eight bedrock floors or dugouts, 16 cavate cellars, and 37 cavate dwellings. Professional archaeologists from the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of Ethnology began investigating Old Caves Pueblo in the 1880s, and the site received further attention from the Milwaukee Public Museum in 1922 and the Museum of Northern Arizona thereafter. In 1932, MNA founder Harold S. Colton recommended that the site be declared a national monument, but by 1946, he felt that looters had “wrecked the site.” Since 2019, the site has received renewed attention by Coconino National Forest, MNA, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Rupestrian CyberServices


Fieldtrip #3    Pittsburg Village and Fort, Kaibab National Forest 

Travis Cureton (Logan Simpson Archaeology) and Charlie Webber (Kaibab National Forest)


Visit a large Cohonina village and fort complex located on a cinder hill north of Williams and west of Highway 64, occupied between roughly AD 550 and 1150. The settlement complex, comprised of 26 identified sites located on both the Kaibab National Forest and adjacent private land, was investigated by MNA in 1937 and later by Travis Cureton as part of his 2014 Masters thesis. The hike will pass near the probable location of the 1937 MNA camp. The field trip will look at different aspects of Cohonina architecture and discuss the prevalence of similar architectural features in the Williams area.


Fieldtrip #4     Verde Valley Archaeology Center and Museum

Ken Zoll (Verde Valley Archaeology Center)


The Verde Valley Archaeology Center and Museum is the only archaeological educational and research facility in the Sedona and Verde Valley areas. Founded in 2010 in a 650 sq.ft. storefront, it has grown to its current 10,500 sq. ft. facility with a museum, classroom, repository and laboratory. The museum features galleries on Hopi migration, ceramics, geology, Indigenous cosmology, and three galleries devoted to the Dyck Cliff Dwelling Collection. The Dyck Cliff Dwelling, a pristine dwelling never subject to pothunters, was excavated by the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles in the 1960s and yielded over 50,000 artifacts. There are also art galleries containing the works of Paul Dyck including items on loan from the Tucson Museum of Art and the Scottsdale Museum of the West.


Fieldtrip #5   Beale Wagon Road 

Pete Wisniewski (Coconino National Forest)


The Beale Wagon Road was one of the first transcontinental roads across the western US (circa 1857-1859). Stretching over 1000 miles from Fort Smith, Arkansas to the Colorado River, along the California/Arizona border, it is rare example of a road constructed by the US military after being surveyed and developed by Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale. Beale’s colorful history in service of the US Government during the 1800s also included command of the first and last ever US Camel Corps, utilizing these “Ships of the Desert” to develop the wagon road route. Roughly following the 35th Parallel, the Beale Road was a precursor to the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad (1867-1883) built roughly along the same route and later Route 66. As the era of the wagon came to a close with the arrival of the railroad, the Beale Road was important not only to military operations in the western US but also aided in the wave of westward migration of settlers during the last half of the nineteenth century.


A recent inventory of the road on the Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest revealed still intact, NRHP-eligible segments of the 160+ year old road. This tour reviews intact and semi-intact segments reviewed for the inventory, presents the physical evidence criteria used to review and evaluate segments and addresses the challenges with recognizing and inventorying a historic wagon road. The series of hikes are relatively short and close to Forest Service roads and US Highway 180. A high clearance vehicle is recommended.



Fieldtrip #6  Winona and Ridge Ruin

Don Keller (Museum of Northern Arizona)    


This field trip will visit two sites that form the basis for much archaeological definition of the Northern Sinagua area: Winona Village, and Ridge Ruin. Winona Village consists of several pit house clusters around trash mounds and a ball court. The pit houses excavated at Winona Village and Ridge Ruin in the 1930s are definitive for the Padre, Winona, and Angell phases, AD 1066-1150. Ridge Ruin is a +20 room Elden phase pueblo with two ball courts and is the pre-eminent example of a Sinagua primary site, or “chief village”, where the famous “Magician’s Burial” was excavated in 1939.


Fieldtrip #7         Easton Collection Center, Museum of Northern Arizona 

Tony Thibodeau (Director of Research and Collections, Museum of Northern Arizona)


In June of 2009, the Museum of Northern Arizona dedicated its Easton Collection Center, named in honor of the facility’s donors, Betsy and Harry Easton of Flagstaff and Sedona. This 17,000 square foot building symbolically represents the importance of collections to MNA’s mission by its construction in the heart of the Museum’s historic Harold S. Colton Research Center. The Collection Center was designed to provide a stable and secure environment for a significant portion of MNA’s collections including anthropological (archaeological and ethnographic), biological, fine art, and archival collections.


The Collection Center is registered through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program and embodies the best principles of environmentally sustainable design. Perhaps one of the structure’s most innovative features is an extensive living roof, planted with native grasses and wildflowers, and designed to provide a high degree of insulation for the structure and to slow run-off from the building onto the surrounding landscape. The building was designed with input from local Native American tribes, to insure culturally-appropriate storage of collections. Tour participants will enjoy a trip through the entire facility and see some of the vast collections that MNA protects, with a focus on archaeological and ethnographic objects.


Fieldtrip #8   Anderson Mesa: The Pershing, Piglet, and Pollock Sites 

Peter Pilles (Coconino National Forest)


Pershing Site  (NA7207, 05-62)

The Pershing site in Anderson Canyon, ca. 40 mi. southeast of Flagstaff, was excavated in 1958-1960 by John McGregor, as part of his larger study of Anderson Mesa, the southern frontier of the Northern Sinagua. It is a large pre-eruptive site consisting of 17 pit houses and two possible community houses. It was established in the A.D. 700s with major occupation between ca. 1000 and 1175.


Piglet  Site (NA4315, NA19,692, 05-210)

The Piglet Site, “around the corner” from the Pershing Site, is a large Elden phase complex, A.D. 1150-1250, contemporaneous with Walnut Canyon, Elden Pueblo, and Wupatki. It is unusual for the number of diverse features within its boundary: several 1-2 room pueblos, a 5-10 room pueblo, a probable kiva or community pit house, a possible reservoir with ditches, and extensive agricultural terraces. 


Pollock Site  (NA1214, NA4317, 05-48)

Dating to 1250-1325, the Pollock Site is one of the six large pueblos on Anderson Mesa that represent the end of the Sinagua sequence as it transitioned into the ancestral Hopi and Zuni. The pueblo is a compact block of 40+ rooms, most of which were excavated by McGregor in 1953-1955. It is divided into several small courtyards, dominated by a Hopi style, rectangular kiva with benches along its sides, a raised platform with a large masonry deflector,  and a flagstone paved floor. The Pollock Site is at the center of a wide-spread community consisting of several smaller pueblos, field houses, and extensive field systems.


Surfer Petroglyph Site  (05-828 )

Time permitting, we’ll visit one or two of the numerous petroglyph sites that are spread along the rimrock of Anderson Mesa. One of the more interesting of these, the Surfer Site, is named for anthropomorphs with rayed headdresses and raised arms that appear to be “surfing” across the face of one of the site’s 147 panels.

Silent Auction

One Archaeologists' Junk,

Another Archaeologists' Treasure


Support our event and the Cordell Powers Scholarship by donating your new and pre-cherished treasures for an always exciting silent auction, which takes place during the event. The most popular auction items include art, mineral specimens, jewelry, pottery, textiles, gift certificates, books, y mas. 



Hats, Shirts, and Water Bottles

The hats are one-size-fits-most and are available in a green khaki. The Shirts are available in long-sleeve and short-sleeve in a tan "sand" color. The logos will be embroidered on both the hats and shirts. The water bottles are orange and made out of aluminum.  

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