Verde Valley Archaeology Center receives conservation qualification

The Verde Valley Archaeology Center has received a major endorsement of its conservation efforts and abilities in a Conservation Assessment report from staff of the Arizona State Museum.

The mission of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center is to preserve archaeological sites and collections, to curate the collections locally, and to foster a deeper understanding of prehistory and American Indian history in the Sedona/Verde Valley area. Since its founding in 2010 it has grown to over 360 members. It is located in Camp Verde with a small museum, research laboratory, curation space, Children's Archaeology Adventure area, and a classroom.

This past July, the Center received the prestigious Governor's Award in Public Archaeology that recognized the Center for its work in artifact and site preservation, for providing support for volunteer efforts, and for public education programming that aids in the preservation of Arizona's heritage resources.

Earlier this year, the Center received a grant from the National Institute for Conservation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to conduct an assessment of its facilities, policies and practices in the conservation of artifacts and museum management. Dr. Nancy Odegaard was contracted to conduct this assessment.

Dr. Odegaard is lead conservator and head of the preservation division at Arizona State Museum in Tucson. She is also a professor in the University of Arizona's School of Anthropology and Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Nancy holds a Ph.D. in applied science through the conservation and cultural heritage science studies department of the University of Canberra, Australia.

Dr. Odegaard was accompanied by Arizona State Museum Conservation Lab Coordinator Gina Watkinson, a Post Graduate Fellow from the University of Delaware and a Graduate Intern from the University of California - Getty. This team spent two days providing a general conservation assessment of the Center's collection, environmental conditions, policies and practices. The final report of the assessment was received on Aug. 15. Dr. Odegaard noted that the "professionalism in the activities of the museum staff is very evident. The report concludes that the Center "is well qualified to be an archaeological collections repository for Federal, State, Town or private collections in Arizona." This is a major accomplishment for such a new organization.

Dr. Todd Bostwick, the Center's Director of Archaeology, stated that the "results of our conservation assessment have shown that the Verde Valley Archaeology Center is adhering to the highest standards and thus is qualified to accept archaeological collections from both public and private land. This is another milestone in the short history of the VVAC." Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick wrote to the Center stating: "I am thrilled that the Verde Valley Archaeology Center has been recognized for the preservation and educational work that has such an impact on our Camp Verde community and across the State."

One of the outcomes of this assessment is to provide recommendations on how to improve processes and procedures even further. As expected, a list of recommended curatorial items was included in the final report. The Center will be seeking grants to meet this need to bring its services to an even higher level.

For additional information about the Center or this report, contact the Center at (928) 567-0066 or by email at


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