Shannon Cowell is a Preservation Archaeologist working to prevent and respond to archaeological resource crimes in the Southwest. Her current interests and responsibilities include assessing Archaeological Resource Protection Act violations, investigating the scope of cultural resource crime on tribal lands, and understanding how community values inform preservation and stewardship of archaeological sites.
Shannon joined Archaeology Southwest in 2019 with a decade of field experience on cultural resource management projects in more than 20 U.S. states. She earned her master’s degree at New Mexico State University, specializing in the study of ceramics and cuisine to explore gender, ethnicity, culture contact, and identity during the Spanish colonial, Mexican, and American periods in New Mexico.
Alongside her archaeological efforts, Shannon writes fiction and creative nonfiction. Shannon’s essay “Something About A Pipeline” appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Slice, and “Human” was published in the Fall 2019 issue of Spiral Orb as part of a literary inventory of species found in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in southern New Mexico. She is currently working on an archaeologically inspired science fiction novel.