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Archaeology Society to discuss Battle of Maricopa Wells


CAVE CREEK – One hundred fifty-eight years ago, the Battle of Pima Butte, or the Battle of Maricopa Wells, was fought just south of Phoenix. At their May 11 meeting, the Arizona Archaeology Society – Desert Foothills Chapter will host a presentation on this historical battle, detailing how it affected Arizona history.

Archivist Steve Hoza, author of Arizona’s Greatest Battle, will offer a presentation regarding the events surrounding this significant Arizona battle and details of the battle itself. Yuma, Mohave, Apache, and Yavapai warriors fought the Maricopa (Piipaash) and Pima (O’Odham) at a Maricopa village called Secate in one of the largest battles in Arizona's history. This battle represented the last major battle between Native Americans in North America and the last major battle fought by the Yuman people. The Maricopa and Yuma peoples had a history of conflict and disagreement for eras before the attack on the village.  The first attack on the village was successful, but the attackers rested with their spoils after the initial struggle. Nearby Pima warriors joined the Maricopa warriors for a later successful counterattack.  Apache, Yavapai, and some Mohave warriors left after the original attack. The Yuma and remaining Mohave warriors suffered a devastating defeat during the counter attack. The killed or wounded probably numbered near 200 for the village’s initial attackers. Today, the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community share a reservation of the east side of the general Phoenix Valley.

Hoza has worked in Arizona museums for nearly 30 years. He has written two books on World War II history in Arizona and consulted on many other publications. Hoza currently works at the museum on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community as the Archivist and is working on a publication for this obscure but important Native American historic battle. Hoza has lived in the Tempe/Phoenix area all his life and graduated from Arizona State University.

The Archaeology Society will be held on May 11, with refreshments available at 7 p.m. and the meeting beginning at 7:30 p.m. Meetings are held in the community building at The Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, located at 6502 East Cave Creek Road, in Cave Creek.

For more information on the Arizona Archaeology Society – Desert Foothills Chapter, visit