Author Archive

A Dream Comes True

Pinedale Polychrome Bowl
Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Deb Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist   When I was a kid growing up in the Denver area, I loved going to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS). There, I could see fantastic nature dioramas, rooms full of dinosaur skeletons, and Egyptian mummies. Now that I’m back in Colorado, my son and I frequent the […]



Filed Under: Preservation Archaeology Blog

Student Research at the Dinwiddie Site: Raw Material Sources

Tour of the Mule Creek Obsidian Source
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Deb Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist   Students attending the 2013 Archaeology Southwest/University of Arizona Preservation Archaeology Field School completed several interesting and valuable research projects covering a wide range of topics, from experimental ceramics and flaked stone studies to magnetometer surveys. A course requirement, these projects contribute to our long-term research in the Upper Gila region […]



Filed Under: Preservation Archaeology Blog

Open Pueblo

Screening for artifacts
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Deb Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist   On Saturday, August 10, around 100 visitors—including journalists, archaeologists, and local community members—took advantage of relatively cool temperatures and toured excavations in progress at Goat Spring Pueblo. Located in the mountains near Magdalena, New Mexico, on the Cibola National Forest, this ancestral Piro village (also known as Bear Mountain Pueblo) […]



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Student Post: Wrapping up the Season

Mac, Kelly, and Tom
Friday, July 6th, 2012

By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist   Nathan Thrapp summarizes this season’s field school: With the field school coming to an end today, I thought a short summary of our shared experiences at Mule Creek would be fitting. Starting our journey in Tucson, Arizona, eleven strangers were put together to accomplish a task. We broke […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Student Post: Road Trip!

The crew at Pueblo Bonito
Thursday, July 5th, 2012

 By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist   Sarah Griffith shares her impressions of our recent field trip: This past weekend, the crew and staff packed up and headed out for a fun-filled weekend. Little did I know how incredible our road trip would be. First, we stopped at Zuni Pueblo in western New Mexico. We […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Student Post: Time Well Spent

First day in the field
Monday, July 2nd, 2012

  By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist   Emily Kvamme reflects on the past month: I came to this program not knowing whether I would enjoy doing archaeology. Now I know that I do—thoroughly! Over the past month, I have learned so much by working with different supervisors and seeing how their methods differ slightly, […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Student Post: Reaching Out, part 2

Examining a carbonized corn cob
Friday, June 29th, 2012

  By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist Elizabeth Newcomb describes our second community outreach event: I had expected that I’d be doing a lot of different things at the Preservation Archaeology field school, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that our assignments included two outreach events. My background experience includes outreach and public […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Student Post: For the Love of Obsidian

Obsidian outcrop
Monday, June 25th, 2012

  By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist Jordan Taher’s encounter with the Mule Creek obsidian source has been a pilgrimage of sorts: One of the main reasons I wanted to attend the Archaeology Southwest-University of Arizona Preservation Archaeology field school at Mule Creek was the nearby obsidian source. Now, I’m kind of a rock fanatic—though, […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Student Post: Reaching Out

Andy and Madeline
Thursday, June 21st, 2012

  By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist Andi Sei understands why we must share what we are learning with the community: Archaeology isn’t just for the academic. Public education is vital for the community and the archaeologist. This past Saturday, our field school held this season’s first public outreach event for the youth of the […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Student Post: Reading the Dirt

Beginning Excavations
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

  By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist Kelly Sweeney and her crew are learning to “read the dirt”: It is always exciting to start a new unit and uncover what lies beneath the soil. When I first arrived at the Fornholt site, I felt this exact sentiment. My crew’s goal was to uncover the pit […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Student Post: The Importance of Field Training

Students Excavating
Thursday, June 14th, 2012

  By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist Field training is proving invaluable to student Madeline Weinberger: If you have any doubts about the importance of field training in archaeology, let me end them. Attending a field school is incredibly important. After talking to other students and faculty members, I learned that field school training is […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Student Post: Expectations

Discussing Geomorphology
Monday, June 11th, 2012

  By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist Our student Mac Mattingly discovers the reality of archaeological fieldwork: So much has happened over the past week, it’s hard to know where to begin. When I first heard about this field school, I had no idea what to expect. Maybe what I really envisioned was something out […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Student Post: Blissfully Disconnected

Mule Creek campsite
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

  By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist Field school student Megan Smith settles in to the rhythm of camp life: I often feel that I have lost sight of what is really important in my life as I scramble to meet deadlines and constantly focus my views so narrowly on stressful and pointless details. Am […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Student Post: First Days at Mule Creek

Arriving to Mule Creek
Monday, June 4th, 2012

  By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist Our first student blog post comes from Tom Sprynczynatyk: As we drove up to the field school camp, I couldn’t help but feel some trepidation. Leaving Safford, about 50 miles southwest from Mule Creek, I could see smoke from the Whitewater-Baldy Fire on the horizon. As we drew […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Counting Down the Days

Rob Jones supervises a student crew member at the Fornholt site.
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

…to the 2012 Preservation Archaeology Field School!   By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist It’s nearly here, and our staff is busy making final preparations for the 2012 Archaeology Southwest/University of Arizona Preservation Archaeology Field School at Mule Creek, New Mexico. Soon we’ll be loading up the vehicles and heading to our field camp! We […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Salado polychrome pottery, part 2

Tonto Polychrome jar
Friday, April 6th, 2012

  By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist A major part of our research at Mule Creek—and in the Upper Gila region in general—is to identify compositional and stylistic variability in Salado polychrome pottery (also known as Roosevelt Red Ware) through time and across space. We are using these data to track processes of migration, population […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Salado polychrome pottery, part 1

Cliff Polychrome and Gila Polychrome
Friday, March 23rd, 2012

  By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist A major part of our research at Mule Creek—and in the Upper Gila region in general—is to identify compositional and stylistic variability in Salado polychrome pottery (also known as Roosevelt Red Ware) through time and across space. Identifying compositional variability means looking at what the pottery is made […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Catching Up, continued

Henry Foote
Monday, March 5th, 2012

  By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist Here are a few more updates from our field school students and staff. From Meaghan Trowbridge (2010 Volunteer and 2011 Field Supervisor): “Since last August, I have worked for Statistical Research, Inc,. doing cultural resource management (CRM) work in various contexts. I have excavated kivas for a highway-widening […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Updates from Our Students and Staff

Jake Mitchell
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

 By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist I thought I’d share a series of updates about what some of our former Mule Creek field school students and staff members have been doing lately. Here is the first installment: From Jake Mitchell (2011 Field School, Hendrix College): “In October I started working for a CRM firm called […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Fruitful Discussions at the Southwest Symposium

Friday, January 27th, 2012

By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist, with Katherine Dungan, Research Associate A few weekends ago, several Archaeology Southwest staff members had the opportunity to attend the 13th Biennial Southwest Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This year’s symposium title was “Causation and Explanation: Demography, Movement, and Historical Ecology.” Presenters were asked to explore causal explanations for […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Learning from Pottery, Part 2: Migration and Trade

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist A few weeks ago, I wrote about how decorated pottery is helping us determine when the various large sites we have investigated in the Mule Creek area were occupied (see Learning from Pottery, Part 1: Dating). We can also use pottery to understand phenomena such as long-distance trade and […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Learning from Pottery, Part 1: Dating

Friday, November 18th, 2011

By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist When an archaeologist says that a site was inhabited, say, during the late 1200s A.D., how does he or she know that? There are many methods used to date archaeological sites. Some, like radiocarbon dating of materials like burned wood or corn, measure the age of a sample directly […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

What does a nuclear reactor have to do with prehistoric pottery?

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist Every once in a while, my research requires me to do something a little out of the ordinary. For example, this spring I spent several days at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) in Columbia. I was there to analyze ceramic compositional data collected at the MURR Archaeometry […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground

Preservation Archaeology in Action

Deb Huntley measuring a burned packrat midden.
Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist What can be learned about an archaeological site without digging? Quite a lot, it turns out, especially if that site has been kept in pristine condition. I recently visited such a site that is managed by the National Park Service (NPS). Although this large pueblo has been documented and […]



Filed Under: Mule Creek Underground