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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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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2016 Field School Wrap-Up

Leslie Excavating
Monday, July 18th, 2016

Leslie Aragon, University of Arizona, and Field Director, Preservation Archaeology Field School (July 18, 2016)—Now that the field season has drawn to a close, I’ve had a little bit of time to reflect back on all we accomplished at the Gila Farm site in the short 5 ½ weeks that we were together for the […]



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The Durability of an Ancient Technology

On Survey
Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Alyssa Kyper, Eastern New Mexico University (Posted on July 13, 2016)—Today was an excellent day on survey with Evan, Karen, and Jon. We spent the cool, crisp morning showing Karen an array of check dams and terraces on a bench above the Gila River we had surveyed earlier in the season, double-checking the area to […]



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A Room Revealed

Mapping Manos
Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Stacy L. Ryan, Teaching Assistant, Preservation Archaeology Field School (July 12, 2016)—Field school provides an opportunity to spend weeks getting to the bottom of a feature, and interpretations of what we encounter along the way can shift during the process. We proceed with patience and the desire to learn more about how people lived at […]



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Community Outreach in Archaeology

Karen Gives Site Tours
Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

Peter Babala, Santa Rosa Junior College (July 3, 2016)—A huge part of what initially attracted me to the field of archaeology was the sense of connection I get when I learn little more about the places I have lived and where the roots of my ancestries lie. It is a gift to have been given […]



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The Importance of Floors: A Case Study of Feature 300

Adobe Room
Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Jonathan Alperstein, Vassar College (June 29, 2016)—Whether you are working in a pit house or a pueblo room block, one of the most exciting parts of an excavation unit to work on is the floor fill. This year, while excavating the pueblo room we labeled Feature 300, we removed a grueling number of buckets of […]



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Understanding the Landscape They Lived in

Burro Cienega
Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Evan Giomi, Survey Director, University of Arizona (June 27, 2016)—Archaeological survey is the activity of locating, identifying, and recording archaeological sites to build a record that can be later used by archaeologists looking to put shovels in the ground or monitor any damage to the sites by vandalism or natural processes, like erosion. Although it […]



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Adobe Walls

Excavation unit
Monday, June 27th, 2016

Conner Awayda, SUNY–Buffalo (June 27, 2016)—Protecting from wind and rain, allowing cool temperatures in the summer, and heating in the winter, adobe makes up the walls of past homes. A mixture of sand and clay, adobe is made from earth and water. By mixing in water until the soil is the right consistency to be […]



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The Archaeology of Looting

Looted Archaeological Site
Friday, June 17th, 2016

Elissa McDavid, Hendrix College (June 16, 2016)—Before arriving at field school, I had imagined well-preserved sites disturbed by nothing more than a few animal burrows, adobe walls and floors that behaved nicely, and no looting. (Blame National Geographic glamour and the fact that no one really wants to publish the holes—literal or figurative—in our sites […]



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Leave-No-Trace Archaeology

Historic Can
Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

 Lexie Bennicas, University of Hawaii (June 14, 2016)—When my turn at archaeological survey came, Evan led us past rattlesnakes and through thick brush into the valley of the Gila to a hill on the outskirts of the floodplain. Within minutes of approaching the hill we found artifacts ranging from ancient ceramic sherds to historic glass […]



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Survey Says…

Cholla in Full Bloom
Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Adam Sezate, Graduate of United States Naval Academy (June 8, 2016)–Under our survey supervisor, Evan Giomi, my partners and I had the opportunity to help the Nature Conservancy survey their land along the Gila River. My team and I were in search of any clues of past human settlement in an area several miles upriver […]



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Kickoff of Our 2016 Field School Blog Series

2016 Field School Crew
Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Karen Gust Schollmeyer, Preservation Archaeologist (June 7, 2016)—The 2016 field season brings several exciting changes for the Preservation Archaeology Field School. One of the biggest changes for us is a new excavation site. We finished our fieldwork at the Cliff phase (A.D. 1300–1450+) Dinwiddie site last summer, and have moved a few miles northeast to […]



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Deep Roots and Archaeological Obsession

Paul Reed at Rowe, 1984
Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Between now and October 17, 2015, Archaeology Southwest is participating in the Archaeological Institute of America’s celebration of International Archaeology Day (10/17/15) by sharing blog posts about why—or how—we became archaeologists. Today we feature Paul Reed, Preservation Archaeologist and leader of Archaeology Southwest’s efforts to address oil and gas exploration in the Greater Chacoan Landscape. […]



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A Long and Winding Road

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Between now and October 17, 2015, Archaeology Southwest is participating in the Archaeological Institute of America’s celebration of International Archaeology Day (10/17/15) by sharing blog posts about why—or how—we became archaeologists. Today we feature Leslie Aragon, frequent collaborator, Ph.D. student at the University of Arizona School of Anthropology, and Field Director of the Preservation Archaeology […]



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The Sirens

Desert Sunset
Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Dushyant Naresh, Vassar College Eyelids slowly wilt as the soothing hum of the car engine lulls me to sleep. The rising sun casts a golden glow across the endless landscape, with subtle magentas, yellows, and blues fusing together the feathery clouds. Desert grasses and prickly pear cacti blanket the soil, stretching into the distance as […]



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Learning the Landscape

Recording a Site
Monday, July 13th, 2015

Barry Price Steinbrecher, Survey Director, Preservation Archaeology Field School The 2015 survey component of the field school primarily focused on surveying land on the Pitchfork Ranch in the Burro Mountains south of Silver City. The ranch owners generously hosted us as we hiked our way through the rolling hills of their ranch, scaling the terraces […]



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Connecting the Past to the Present

Making Paint
Friday, July 10th, 2015

Anna Porter, State University of New York at Buffalo The first thing that comes to mind when you think about archaeology is not usually involvement in modern society. Archaeologists study things that happened thousands of years ago—how could this be relevant to today? What I learned at this field school, however, is that community is […]



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What We’re Doing at the 2015 Field School

Measuring Adobe Room
Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Karen Gust Schollmeyer, Preservation Archaeologist As you can tell if you’re following Archaeology Southwest on Facebook, our 2015 field season is off and running! This year, as in the past, students are rotating through experiences in excavation, archaeological survey, field laboratory analysis, and experimental archaeology. Our twelve undergraduates and two graduate students have come together […]



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Building Blocks for Understanding the Past

Shaping a Digging Stick
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Andrew Finn, Preservation Archaeology Field School Student Throughout my time here at the Preservation Archaeology Field School, I have vastly expanded my knowledge of preservation archaeology and archaeology as a whole. I have always been very interested in the technology used by the ancient groups that we are learning about, and through the experimental archaeology […]



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The Interpretive Process: A Student’s Perspective

Puddled Adobe Experiment
Monday, July 7th, 2014

Aaron Trumbo, Preservation Archaeology Field School Student At this year’s Preservation Archaeology Field School, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to excavate within a pueblo room block that is currently threatened by a road cut. The road has already destroyed much of this pueblo, but we are digging within two never-before-excavated rooms that are […]



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Archaeology in the Southwestern and Eastern United States

Excavations at the Dinwiddie Site
Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Alex Covert, Preservation Archaeology Field School Student I participated in a field school in Virginia last summer, and that experience was quite different from the one I’m having in New Mexico this summer. Through these two experiences, I have realized that archaeology varies greatly depending on where one is working. In Virginia, the program took […]



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Even the Smallest Piece

Perforated Plate Sherd
Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Will Russell, Field Supervisor     One of the highlights of teaching is the look of discovery and excitement on a student’s face. Recently, I was wiping sweat from my eyes and filling out paperwork amidst a cloud of dust shaken from the screens when I heard Andrew say, “Hey, Will, take a look at this!” […]



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Rusty American Dream

Religious Statue in a Basin
Friday, June 13th, 2014

By Lewis Borck, Preservation Archaeology Fellow   Ahhhhhhh, the scent of green chiles, sage, piñon, dust, ponderosa…and a vehicle full of sweaty, tired folk who have lost all sense of societal norms. It must be field school season again. This year, my job is to lead the survey portion of the Preservation Archaeology Field School. […]



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Slow and Steady, the Ancient Way

Digging the Foundation Trenches
Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Riley Duke, Preservation Archaeology Field School Student Hello, Archaeology Southwest blog readers! So far, my time at the Preservation Archaeology Field School has been nothing less than fantastic. I have spent the majority of my time either in the field excavating or with staff members working in experimental archaeology. My excavation group and I are […]



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