Learn about Arizona’s pioneer women archaeologists at Feb. 14 meeting

Dr. Theresa Russell – pictured at Stanford University in 1915 – is one of Arizona’s early female archaeologists, She and other groundbreaking women will be discussed during the Feb. 14 meeting of the San Tan Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society. It will take place at the San Tan Historical Society Museum, 20425 S. Old Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek. (Photo credit: Arizona Archaeological Society)

Much has been written about men who conducted early archaeological explorations in Arizona, but what about the women who accompanied them or who explored on their own?

Dr. Nancy J. Parezo will talk about pioneering women archaeologists of Arizona when she is the guest speaker at the Feb. 14 meeting of the San Tan Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society.

The gathering will start at 7 p.m. at the San Tan Historical Museum, 20435 S. Old Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

Dr. Parezo is a professor of American Indian studies and anthropology at the University of Arizona. She also is an associate curator of ethnology at the Arizona State Museum.

Among the women she will discuss are:

•Matilda Coxe Stevenson, renowned for her ethnographic work among the Zuni and Zia. She was a member of the first government survey of Canyon de Chelly in 1882 and later conducted archaeological surveys locating sites her whole career;

•Dr. Lucy Wilson, who excavated at Otowi and had to have her husband get the excavation permits because women archaeologists were not allowed to have them;

•Emma Mindeleff, who surveyed ruins in the Verde Valley in the 1890s; and

•Dr. Theresa Russell, who helped her husband excavate at Awatovi in 1900 on her honeymoon.

Dr. Nancy J. Parezo

Members of the public also have the opportunity to dine with Dr. Parezo and her husband, Richard Alstrom, prior to the meeting. The couple and members of the local AAS chapter will meet at 5:30 p.m. at Serrano’s Mexican restaurant, 22701 S. Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek.

Reservations are necessary as it takes place on Valentine’s Day. Guests will be responsible for their dinner check.

To reserve a spot, call AAS Chapter President Marie Britton at 480-390-3491 or e-mail her at mbrit@cox.net, or call Earla at 480-655-6733.

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