Archaeological Society Neither Dead, Nor Buried

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The Rim Country Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society is still active, although their artifacts and books are stored since losing their building lease in 2007.

The Church of the Holy Nativity donated the chapter three buildings.

"The church and Reverend Lowell Andrews have been supportive of us and we appreciate it," RCCAAS member Monte McCord said.

The Archaeological Society's artifacts are carefully packaged and stored in two buildings.

A third building, members cleaned out and repainted to use as an office and library.

In addition to holding board meetings in the office, the Rim Country chapter uses it to conduct member trainings required by the state.

"We have certification programs for various aspects of working with an archaeological site. We teach members how to do site stabilization and classification of rock art and artifacts," McCord said.

The Rim Country chapter was the only one of several dozens state chapters who had a museum and, they hope to re-open in the future.

To wit, an interim board of RCCAAS members is in the process of forming the Center for Rim Country Archaeology Foundation.

"The foundation is a completely separate entity from the archaeological chapter," McCord said.

"The primary purpose of the foundation is to acquire a building, or funding for that purpose, in order to provide a permanent home for the museum," he said.

As a repository for artifacts and books, the museum would be open to the public. School children could visit it on educational field trips.

McCord, as the interim-chairman of the foundation, and other foundation members are in the process of writing articles of incorporation and bylaws. The state and federal governments require these documents before the foundation obtains nonprofit, 501(c)(3) status.

Then, the foundation can host fund-raising events, seek gifts and apply for grants.

"Eventually we will have a regular, permanent board which we hope will include shareholders from the Tonto Apache Tribe, the town and possibly the forest service," McCord said.

The Archaeological chapter meeting is at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 15 at the Holy Nativity fellowship hall on 1414 Easy St. The meeting is open to the public, and members of the foundation's interim board will be available for questions and comments.

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