Where the Wild Things Are

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Sam Banderas, Riverside Community College (August 1, 2017)—On the first and fourth of June I went on a hike down to the San Francisco River as part of an experimental archaeology group with Allen Denoyer. We parked at the beginning of the hiking trail, shouldered on our gear, and began our trek down. Near the […]

Filed Under: Preservation Archaeology Blog

More Mud!

Susie and Johnny
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Allen Denoyer, Preservation Archaeologist and Ancient Technologies Expert (July 26, 2017)—By the end of last year’s field school, we had started two walls, and one was up to about six layers high. We mixed the mud with our hands in basin-shaped pits and placed it onto the wall in blobs. Then we smooshed the mud […]

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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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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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Senses of Place

My daughters exploring a rock art site at Saguaro National Park, developing their own local sense of place.
Friday, June 16th, 2017

Karen Schollmeyer, Preservation Archaeologist (June 16, 2017)—Our 2017 Preservation Archaeology Field School is off and running! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring posts by our students and staff members about all the things we’re seeing, learning, and experiencing together in the field. We begin the field school each year with two very busy […]

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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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Celebrating National Park Week

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Karen Gust Schollmeyer, Preservation Archaeologist (April 19, 2017)—Happy National Park Week! This week, April 15–23, is a nationwide celebration of these public lands and the cultural and natural heritage they protect. Many of us here at Archaeology Southwest spend a lot of time in national parks (and monuments too). Our work takes us to beautiful […]

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I Took My Dremel to Vancouver

Bathroom Lab
Friday, April 7th, 2017

Karen Gust Schollmeyer, Preservation Archaeologist (April 7, 2017)—Last week, several of us from Archaeology Southwest attended the Society for American Archaeology annual meetings in Vancouver, BC. Thousands of archaeologists migrated north and flocked to the Vancouver Convention Centre to spend five days seeing posters, forums, and 15-minute talks on virtually every archaeological topic imaginable. We […]

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The Fornholt Retrospective: An Introduction

Fornholt fieldwork, 2008
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Katherine Dungan, Preservation Archaeologist (December 6, 2016)—The archaeological site that we call Fornholt sits on a ridge overlooking the grassy, well-watered valley that surrounds Mule Creek, in southwestern New Mexico. Today, the most visible parts of the site are the two architectural mounds—the remains of masonry room blocks that likely date to sometime between the […]

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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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Cliff Valley Sherds
Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

As International Archaeology Day (October 15, 2016) approaches, we’ll celebrate by sharing posts about what we’re working on now—the daily work of archaeology. Please don’t hesitate to comment or ask questions! Katherine Dungan, Preservation Archaeologist (October 5, 2016)—One of the things I like most about working in archaeology is the variety. By that I mean the huge […]

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Where Most Research Happens

Lab Research
Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Katherine Dungan, Preservation Archaeologist (August 19, 2016)—Odds are good that when you think of archaeology, you’re thinking of an outdoor activity, whether that’s a bunch of dust-covered researchers poking around in square holes or just you, experiencing a place on the landscape with a deep human history. Protecting those kinds of places is absolutely at […]

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It’s Complex

Chacoan Window
Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Daniel Agudelo, University of Michigan (Posted July 13, 2016)—On Saturday June 18 and Sunday June 19 we had the awesome pleasure of visiting Chaco Canyon and learning about Chacoan culture. Getting to Chaco was a trip in itself—over 10 miles of unpaved, hilly, and bumpy roads! I am so glad that this location as well […]

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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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Chasing the Past

Field School Students
Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Lindsay Romo, Cochise College (June 11, 2016)—Advancing knowledge of past people’s lives, beliefs, and practices for future research is one of Preservation Archaeology’s main goals. Leaving parts of the past for future excavations ameliorates the process of understanding what really took place within a site. We only have so much knowledge at this present time, […]

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Antelope Creek Obsidian

Bag of Obsidian
Monday, July 11th, 2016

Kaitlyn Cometa, University of Delaware (July 12, 2016)—What is the first thing you think of when you hear someone refer to the obsidian at a specific source as “bomb” obsidian? Probably that you don’t want to be near it when it blows up. I however, was drawn to the idea of the “bomb” obsidian and […]

Filed Under: Preservation Archaeology Blog