Author Archive

Innovative Study of DNA of Domesticated Animals Used to Track Migrations from Mesa Verde

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

Innovative Study of DNA of Domesticated Animals Used to Track Migrations from Mesa Verde The 13th century Puebloan depopulation of the Four Corners region of the US Southwest is an iconic episode in world prehistory. Studies of its causes, as well as its consequences, have a bearing not only on archaeological method and theory, but also […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

New York Times Examines Three Threatened Monuments

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

New York Times Examines Three Threatened Monuments: Bears Ears, UT The archaeologist Benjamin Bellorado, a doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona, has conducted research in this area for 20 years. He led me down the side of a trailless canyon on one bright morning, as we stayed on the slick-rock and off the fragile […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Burning an Early Agricultural Period Pithouse: Documenting the Process

Pithouse Model
Friday, July 28th, 2017

This is the second post in our “Burning Down the (Pit) House” series. For part 1, read Allen Denoyer’s post here. Doug Gann, Preservation Archaeologist and Digital Media Specialist (July 28, 2017)—In experimental archaeology, a common technique for trying to learn about past human activities is to attempt to re-create or replicate ancient behaviors, and […]



Filed Under: Preservation Archaeology Blog

The Pace of Vandalism at Our National Parks Continues to Grow – 7/24/17

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

The Pace of Vandalism at Our National Parks Continues to Grow What can we do as a culture to cut down on incidences of graffiti at our national parks? That’s the question Mesa Verde National Park officials are asking after the park was the recent target of vandals. In a long message posted on their Facebook […]



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Diné and Pueblo Youth Join to Fight Fracking of the Chaco Landscape

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Diné and Pueblo Youth Join to Fight Fracking of the Chaco Landscape “Save the sacredness of our land and our water and our air and our soil. With fracking, all of those components in life are at a threat,” Antonio said. The group recently held a “consent dinner” for the communities of Torreon and Pueblo Pintado, New […]



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Wild Potatoes Were on the Clovis Menu

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Wild Potatoes Were Apparently Consumed by Clovis Era Peoples  A team of archaeologists and anthropologists, led by the University of Utah, has discovered potato starch residues in the crevices of a 10,900-year-old stone tool in Escalante, southern Utah — the earliest evidence of wild potato use in North America. This is the first archaeological study […]



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New Journal for Bioarchaeology

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

New Journal for Bioarchaeology Bioarchaeology is a young but quickly growing field that studies how people from the past lived and died, and is most often described as a combination of biological anthropology, archaeology and social theory. However, this field also faces a problem: There are many different approaches to and even definitions of bioarchaeological […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Objects Sacred to Native Peoples Introduced in Congress

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Objects Sacred to Native Peoples Introduced in Congress Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) reintroduced the bipartisan Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony (STOP) Act, a bill to prohibit the exporting of sacred Native American items and increase penalties for stealing and illegally trafficking tribal cultural patrimony. U.S. Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Tom […]



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Archaeology Is Often the Last Line of Defense for the Places of the Past

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

Archaeology Is Often the Last Line of Defense for the Places of the Past Sometimes I get the feeling that, as a field archaeologist, I am an undertaker for wild places, for I might be one of the last people to see a place before it is chained, leveled, mined, trenched or burned. The thought […]



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The Antiquities Act Turns 111 – Celebrate by Protecting the Law

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

The Antiquities Act Turns 111 – Celebrate by Protecting the Law This Thursday, June 8, is an important day. It marks 111 years since President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law. We at Archaeology Southwest cannot overstate this law’s significance. Through this act, America has protected its singular landscapes and people’s stories therein. Increasingly, the […]



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Department of the Interior Receives Overwhelming Public Support for Bears Ears

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Department of the Interior Receives Overwhelming Public Support for Bears Ears Supporters of Bears Ears National Monument sent a flood of comments to the Department of the Interior urging that the Utah monument be protected, with more than 685,000 messages of support submitted in just 15 days….“Trump and Zinke need to listen to the American […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Burning Down the (Pit) House

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Burning Down the (Pit) House In 2015, volunteers joined me in building a half-scale model of a typical dwelling from the Early Agricultural period (2000 B.C.–A.D. 50) in the Tucson Basin. We built the model near our full-scale replica Hohokam pithouse at Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley, a public preserve where we do Hands-On […]



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How to Protect Our National Monuments

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Archaeology Southwest’s President and CEO on How to Protect Our National Monuments On April 26, 2017, the President issued an executive order requiring the Department of the Interior to review national monument designations since 1996 that are greater than 100,000 acres.This order assails the fundamentally American concept—certainly present in 1891 Durango—of preserving culturally and naturally […]



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The Antiquities Act Is Challenged

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Trump Calls for Review of 28 National Monuments, Revocation of Bears Ears President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday calling on the Department of the Interior (DOI) to review “all Presidential designations or expansions of designations under the Antiquities Act made since January 1, 1996.”  Why would a new president with so much on his […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

International Tourism at Places Such As Mesa Verde in Decline

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

International Tourism at Places Such As Mesa Verde in Decline It should go without saying that any U.S. travel ban will reduce incoming travel. That, after all, is the point. But when the Trump administration moved, so far unsuccessfully, to restrict travel from predominately Muslim nations it believed were terrorism risks, the reaction was swift: Potential […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Congress Takes Aim at Bears Ears

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Congress Takes Aim at Bears Ears In January, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, called the recently designated Bears Ears National Monument in his state a “travesty.” Hatch vowed to work with President Donald Trump to reverse the December 2016 designation, a stance that many other Utah Republicans have taken in recent months. Utahns like Hatch say the […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

The Antiquities Act Is Threatened

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

Editorial: The Antiquities Act Is Threatened The heart of the Antiquities Act of 1906 is a mere two sentences. But a good argument can be made that this brief law — which authorizes the president to protect “objects of historic or scientific interest” on federal lands as “national monuments” — has done more than any […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Fire Adds Richness to the Land

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Fire Adds Richness to the Land The Jemez Mountains are “the poster child” of wildfire problems in the Southwestern U.S. Residents recall too well the evacuations of Los Alamos during the 2000 Cerro Grande and 2011 Las Conchas Fires. They also recall the enormous plumes of smoke rising over our mountains, the loss of hundreds […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

The Bears Ears Report

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Tribal Commission on Bears Ears Declares Revocation of Monument Status Would Be Tragic Members of a newly formed tribal advisory commission for the Bears Ears National Monument reminded Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a letter Friday that his agency must partner with them, and warned him that rescinding or shrinking the monument would be “absolute […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Editorial: Interior Secretary Zinke’s Visit to Utah Likely a Defining Moment

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Grand Canyon Trust Profiles Forest Service Archaeologist Connie Reid The words culture, conservation, and commitment all begin with the letter C. And so does the name of Connie Reid, the archaeologist for the North Kaibab Ranger District on the Kaibab National Forest. The Trust has been working with her for the last decade to survey […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

600 Boulders?

Rock Art Model
Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Doug Gann, Preservation Archaeologist and Digital Media Specialist (February 28, 2017)—”Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” the old saying goes. In this case, to paraphrase another idiom, my eyes were definitely bigger than my computer’s hard drive. Photoscan of Painted Rocks, Gila Bend, AZ The image above is a fully interactive 3D model. […]



Filed Under: Preservation Archaeology Blog

Identification of a Powerful Matrilineal Descent Line at Pueblo Bonito

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Identification of a Powerful Matrilineal Descent Line at Pueblo Bonito They believe that power and influence in Chaco Canyon was hierarchical, belonged to this small group of people and was passed down through a female line between 800 and 1130 A.D. “At the center of Chaco is an elite matriline,” said Douglas J. Kennett, an […]



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“Kennewick Man” Repatriated

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

“Kennewick Man” Repatriated Less than 24 hours after they were inventoried in Seattle, the remains of the Ancient One — also known as Kennewick Man — were laid to rest at a private ceremony at an undisclosed location Saturday, according Colville tribal chairman Michael Marchand.  The repatriation of the bones, which were found near the Columbia […]



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Archaeology Southwest’s Paul Reed on Protecting Chaco Canyon

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Editorial: Archaeology Southwest’s Paul Reed on Protecting Chaco Canyon Our public lands were at the center of many celebrations this past year. The centennial of the National Park Service allowed Americans across the country to celebrate what makes America so special: our public lands, cultural sites and natural wonders. This year, New Mexicans also were […]



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Utah Legislature Protests Bears Ears Designation

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

Utah Legislature Protests Bears Ears Designation Star-filled nights and natural quiet, deafening silence. Pinyon-juniper woodlands, blackbrush, rabbitbrush, bitterbrush. Mule deer, coyote, porcupine, skunk. Diversity of soils, aka dirt. These are some of the many natural features highlighted in former President Barack Obama’s recent proclamation designating Bears Ears National Monument, setting aside 1.3 million ares of public […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today