Author Archive

Our Valued Guests

Paul Reed at Chaco
Friday, July 14th, 2017

Stacy L. Ryan, Field School Staff Member (July 14, 2017)—For most of the year, we staff members of the Upper Gila Preservation Archaeology Field School work on a variety of projects that focus on our research interests and areas of expertise. But for six weeks in the summer, we converge in Cliff, New Mexico, with […]

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Paused in the Past Tense: The Importance of Representation in Archaeology Outreach

Archaeology Fair--Emily
Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Emily Tarantini, Mount Holyoke College (July 13, 2017)—This June, I had the opportunity to work with archaeologist Allen Denoyer on a public outreach project at a local library in Bayard, New Mexico. Attendees of the event participated in several experimental archaeology activities such as atlatl throwing and stone pendant carving in an effort to help […]

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How to Strike the Balance

Ashley with a Trimble
Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Ashley Huntley, University of Cincinnati (July 12, 2017)—Before coming to the Preservation Archaeology Field School, I was having a hard time reconciling my love for archaeology and my burgeoning interest in remote sensing and soils. For a long time, I thought I would have to abandon the cause and pursue geology or geography to get […]

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For Posterity

Baking Bread Illustration
Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Johnny Schaefer, University of Missouri (July 11, 2017)—My Intro to Archaeology instructor once told me that an Archaeologist is only as good as the notes he or she takes. (Well, actually, it wasn’t just once.) I have had that statement repeated like a mantra ever since I began my coursework in the field. With no […]

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Experimental Archaeology and Stone Pipe Construction

Tobacco Pipe Replica
Monday, July 10th, 2017

Chris La Roche, Pima Community College (July 10, 2017)—Experimental archaeology is the practice of attempting to recreate items from the archaeological record using materials, techniques, and technologies that might have been used in the period in question. This allows us to better understand the contexts and processes which lead to artifact deposition, as well as […]

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Learning about Preservation in Archaeology

Excavating Bird Bones
Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Taylor Picard, Humboldt State University (July 5, 2017)—Recognizing that archaeological resources are nonrenewable, today’s archaeologists try to preserve as much of the resource as possible, as circumstances allow. Some nondestructive techniques include ground-penetrating radar, remote-sensing techniques, extensive surveying, exploratory trenches, and sample units. At the Preservation Archaeology Field School at the Gila River Farm site, […]

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Exploring and Experiencing Places of the Past and Present

Zuni Rock Art
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Sophia Draznin-Nagy, Mills College (June 27, 2017)—Our recent adventure to northern New Mexico included a visit to the Pueblo of Zuni on June 17. The community was preparing for the first day of a four-day ceremony tied to the summer solstice to bring in the new season. We toured the Village of the Great Kivas […]

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Lost Art

Stone Pendant
Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Susannah Johnson, Utah Valley University (June 23, 2017)—Patience is a virtue that few possess. In a day of here and now, “instant” is our battle cry. With high-speed internet, fast cars, and microwaveable meals we have entrenched ourselves in a state of easy access. As the trend has moved this way, the art or the […]

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Sacred Datura

Sacred Datura
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Karla Glasgow, California State University Los Angeles (June 21, 2017)—Datura. The Devil’s Weed. Yerba del Diablo. Jimsonweed. Nightshade. All of these names refer to a genus of potent medicinal and hallucenogenic plant. When consumed, it can even be fatal or cause paralysis. As this is my first time in New Mexico or the Southwest in […]

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Experimental Archaeology: Basketmaker Atlatl

Atlatl Carving
Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Stephen Uzzle, Cochise College June 20, 2017—One of the best ways to understand how ancient peoples lived is to study experimental archaeology. Experimental archaeology is reconstructing tools made by ancient peoples using the same means they used to create them. The atlatl was a game-changing advancement for ancient people. It was designed primarily for hunting […]

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Watching the Landscape Change

Dylan out on Survey
Monday, June 19th, 2017

Dylan Fick, New College of Florida (June 19, 2017)—Scarcely before we had finished digging our initial trench it was time for me to head out with two other students and a staff member to survey possible new sites for preservation and perhaps later investigation. This let me see a lot more of the land upstream […]

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Mother Bear’s Ears

At the Women's March
Thursday, June 15th, 2017

RE Burrillo, University of Utah (June 17, 2017)—In the summer of 2004, two friends and I traveled from our seasonal home at the Grand Canyon down to Flagstaff to see Ani DiFranco in concert. Ani and I are both from upstate New York, and although I have been a fan of hers since my late teens, […]

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Boats to Trenches

On Board Ship
Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Adam Sezate, University of Arizona and 2016 Preservation Archaeology Field School alumnus (May 9, 2017)—What does a person with a B.S. in History from the United States Naval Academy do after eight years in the U.S. fleet? During the two years before I turned in my uniform, I asked myself this question every day. The […]

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Protecting Native Rock Art: Be a Good Guest!

Shield Petroglyph with Bullet Holes
Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Kirk Astroth, Archaeology Southwest Member and Volunteer (March 3, 2017)—For the past 7 weeks, a team of us (Jaye Smith, Carl Evertsbusch, Fran Maiuri, Lance Trask, and I) have been working under the guidance of Aaron Wright to document the 594 boulders at the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site. I have found the work invigorating, the […]

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Shade, Cultures, and Foxes

Improvised Shade at Painted Rocks
Friday, February 17th, 2017

Carl Evertsbusch, Archaeology Southwest member and volunteer (February 17, 2017)—Gripping a pole lashed to one end of an 8×10 piece of dark plastic, I drift off into scenes of kneeling in dirt making earthshaking archaeological discoveries. With no warning a breeze hits our homemade contraption and threatens to launch my shade mate Jaye Smith (read […]

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Jaye Smith at Painted Rocks
Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Jaye Smith, Archaeology Southwest member and volunteer (February 16, 2016)—Volunteerism—I have thought about this word and its true meaning many times over the past 4 years, and when I originally decided to devote my remaining time on this magnificent planet to volunteer full time in the archaeological sciences. defines volunteerism as “the policy or […]

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Documenting Painted Rock Petroglyph Site

Orange Archaeologist Vest
Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

Fran Maiuri, Archaeology Southwest member and volunteer (February 14, 2017)—We’re in the middle of over 500 boulders with petroglyphs on them and we’re wearing bright orange vests that say ARCHAEOLOGIST. Five of us—Kirk Astroth, Carl Evertsbusch, Jaye Smith, and Lance Trask—are volunteering for Archaeologist Southwest, recording the Painted Rock Petroglyph site. This site is managed […]

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Celebrating a Mammoth Dust-Up in Bluff

Bluff Mammoth of Winter
Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

R. E. Burrillo, University of Utah San Juan County is no stranger to controversy. A divisive and tragic bust of archaeological looters took place in Blanding between 2007 and 2009. In 2014, a group of fed-up locals followed a county commissioner on an illegal “protest ride” through a popular canyon east of Blanding and Monticello that may or […]

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Learning the Secrets

Pinto Polychrome
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Andy Ward, Potter and New Media Consultant (October 27, 2016)—Yesterday afternoon I drove out onto the Willcox Playa, where I dug down about a foot deep and found a rich layer of greenish clay, and now that clay is soaking in a bucket on my back porch. Over the last couple of weeks I have […]

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Notes from a Field Season at Aztec North

Aztec West
Monday, October 24th, 2016

Michelle Turner, PhD Student, Binghamton University Department of Anthropology (October 24, 2016)—The first time I heard about Aztec North was in the summer of 2013. I was a field intern at Crow Canyon, having just finished my first year of graduate school. One day, Shanna Diederichs took us all on a field trip to Aztec […]

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Recapping Stewardship Day 2016 in Utah’s Nine Mile Canyon

Excited for Stewardship Day
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

R. E. Burrillo and Jamie Clark Stott, Project Discovery (October 18, 2016)—Imagine a hunting party on the prehistoric Great Plains. Imagine tense muscles, clenched jaws, fierce and determined eyes. Imagine hearts pounding. A signal is given, arms swing, voices rise in an undulating chorus of battle cries as warriors unleash a volley of missiles at […]

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Decisions in Clay

Mary Ownby Pot
Friday, October 14th, 2016

As International Archaeology Day (October 15, 2016) approaches, we’re celebrating by sharing posts about what we’re working on now—the daily work of archaeology. Today, we have a guest post from Mary, our colleague at Desert Archaeology, Inc. Mary Ownby, Research Petrographer, Desert Archaeology, Inc. (October 14, 2016)—As a newbie poster to Archaeology Southwest’s Preservation Archaeology blog, I should […]

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Bears Ears and the Issue of Ownership

El Malpais Homestead
Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

This post was originally published on September 23, 2016, on the Binghamton University MAPA blog, Re-posted courtesy of the author and with the original blog’s permissions. Kellam Throgmorton, PhD Candidate, SUNY Binghamton University (September 23, 2016)—Howdy! This week I return to our “regularly scheduled programming” and discuss the issue of ownership in relation to archaeology and public […]

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Piecing History Back Together: A Lesson from the Past about the Future of the Bears Ears

Ground Stone Tool
Monday, September 12th, 2016

Ben Bellorado, Archaeologist (September 13, 2016)—Cultural affiliation studies are particularly important tools that Native peoples, anthropologists, and archaeologists use to demonstrate tangible links between people of the ancient past and contemporary societies. These studies are especially significant in the politically charged events presently surrounding the push to designate a national monument around the Bears Ears […]

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Nine Mile Canyon Stewardship Day 2016

Learning about Fremont Rock Art
Monday, August 15th, 2016

Jamie Clark Stott, Program Archaeologist, Project Discovery, Utah (August 15, 2016)—On Saturday, September 17, 2016, Project Discovery will host its third annual Stewardship Day (opens as a PDF) in Nine Mile Canyon, Utah. Project Discovery is a nonprofit education program birthed by education specialist Margie Nash. The program operates on a series of grants and […]

Filed Under: Preservation Archaeology Blog