Author Archive

Protection for Los Gigantes

Los Gigantes, 2004
Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist May 19, 2015—Archaeology Southwest is very pleased to announce that we’ve recently purchased the Los Gigantes archaeological site from the ranching family in the El Morro Valley of west-central New Mexico who has protected it for generations. This ancestral Zuni site is one of the most important precontact (before the arrival […]



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George McJunkin and the Discovery That Changed American Archaeology

George McJunkin
Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist On August 27, 1908, the small town of Folsom (population ~250) in northern New Mexico was hit by a cloudburst and drenched with a rapid and heavy rain. This storm caused some of the worst flooding ever recorded in the area. First-hand accounts in newspapers describe a harrowing night: water violently […]



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Flooding Down in Arizona

Flooding in Phoenix
Thursday, September 11th, 2014

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   For those of us living in central and southern Arizona, Monday was a record-breaking day of rain. Many parts of the Phoenix metro area received more than 3 to 5 inches within a 24-hour period. To put that in perspective, the Phoenix area typically gets about 9 to 10 […]



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Atari Archaeology and Other Garbage

Atari 2600
Monday, May 5th, 2014

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   If you’ve been following the news over the last couple of weeks, you may have seen a story or two about a documentary film crew and a team of archaeologists heading to the New Mexico desert near Alamogordo to excavate the remains of the legendary Atari graveyard within the […]



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Heighten Your Awareness on March 29

Romero Ruin
Thursday, March 6th, 2014

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   March is Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month for the State of Arizona. Setting aside a month to celebrate archaeology highlights the importance of our shared past, as well as the social and economic impacts of archaeology in the state. Of course, there are tours, events, and lectures on archaeology […]



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Footprints

Footprints outside Avellino Eruption
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   There have been some interesting archaeological news stories in the last couple of months revolving around the discovery of incredibly preserved human footprints. These stories, coming one right after the other, really got me thinking more about other known instances of footprints in the archaeological record, what those footprints […]



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From Durango to Durango and from Las Vegas to Las Vegas, Part 2

Reconstructed Pueblo Grande Dwellings
Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   In my previous post on the 14th biennial Southwest Symposium, I shared what I learned about the Fremont area. A number of other papers at the conference focused on the Virgin River area, which is the subject of today’s post. Sometimes considered a branch of the larger Ancestral Pueblo […]



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From Durango to Durango and Las Vegas to Las Vegas, Part 1

Vegas, Baby
Monday, January 20th, 2014

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   Several of Archaeology Southwest’s staff members attended the 14th biennial Southwest Symposium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, held from January 9 to 11. Because it focuses on current research in the Southwest, this conference is one of my favorites. This year’s theme was “Social Networks in the […]



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Back to Basics, Part 3: Broad Research Themes

Blog Wordle
Thursday, November 28th, 2013

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   The archaeological culture areas I described on Wednesday are really just a means of conceptualizing similarities and differences among people living in different parts of the Southwest. These constructs do not represent cultures in the way we define them today, and regional designations were not static. Other, very important […]



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Back to Basics, Part 2: Archaeological Cultures in the Southwest

El Paso Polychrome
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   On Monday, I wrote about how archaeologists define culture areas, which represent geographic zones in which people were living in generally similar ways and across which people were connected through shared history and practices. Before we look at the three main culture areas of the Southwest, I should say […]



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Back to Basics, Part 1

Map of Southwest Archaeological Cultures
Monday, November 25th, 2013

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   As I reviewed recent posts, I thought we should take a moment to break it down for those who are interested in learning what Southwest archaeology is about, at the most basic level. This week, in three successive posts, I’ll try to summarize a bit about what we know […]



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Red or green?

Chile Ristras
Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   Red or green? It’s the state question of New Mexico—referring, of course, to the color of the chile sauce you want on your dinner. Synonymous with New Mexican cuisine, chile peppers are part of New Mexican identity. Even the road signs welcoming you to New Mexico are marked with […]



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Journeys and Crossroads

Rudd Creek Pueblo
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   Earlier this week, I drove up to Springerville, Arizona, to give a talk at the Casa Malpais Museum hosted by the Little Colorado Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society. My presentation focused on migration and cultural diversity in the Upper Little Colorado region in the centuries before the Spaniards […]



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An Arizona Icelandic Saga

Steam rising near Lake Mývatn
Monday, July 22nd, 2013

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   A little more than a week ago, I was lucky enough to travel with ten other Southwestern archaeologists to the city of Akureyri in northern Iceland. We went there to take part in a collaborative research meeting with a group of climate scientists and archaeologists working in the circumpolar […]



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Of Ancient Networks and Bacon Numbers

Kevin Bacon Networks
Thursday, July 18th, 2013

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   Yesterday afternoon, many of us at Archaeology Southwest gathered around the first box off the truck, grinning over the new issue of Archaeology Southwest Magazine. It’s on its way to our members’ mailboxes now (if you’re not yet a member, join now). This issue is special to me because […]



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Not Just for Sherd Nerds

Cliff Polychrome - Kinishba Pueblo
Thursday, May 30th, 2013

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   Although a holiday, this past Monday definitely was not a quiet day at Archaeology Southwest. The first full day of the Preservation Archaeology Field School kicked off with some introductory lectures and tours. I was fortunate to tag along for a behind-the-scenes look at the Arizona State Museum’s (ASM) […]



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An Archaeology Road Show

Friday, March 15th, 2013

By Matt Peeples, Preservation Archaeologist   A few Saturdays ago, on March 2, 2013, Doug Gann and I traveled up to the Casa Malpais Archaeological Park and Museum in Springerville, Arizona, for a regional Archaeology Road Show. Supported by the Arizona Humanities Council, this event represented our take on the popular PBS program Antiques Roadshow. We invited […]



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