Signs are among Desert Archaeology's public outreach products. May 19

Desert Archaeology Public Outreach: Bringing the Past to the Present

Project director and historical archaeologist Homer Thiel showcases the variety of public outreach products created by Desert Archaeology. After the excavations are finished, the artifacts analyzed, and the reports written, what else is left to do? For Desert Archaeology staff members, sharing the results of their work with the public…

May 12

Desert Dissertations: CRM Archaeology and Advanced Academics

Desert Archaeology president Sarah Herr discusses Desert staff members who have earned graduate degrees on the foundations of CRM work. When Desert Archaeology project director Jim Vint successfully defended his doctoral dissertation this week, he became the latest in a long line of Desert staff who have translated their work…

May 5

Construction Monitoring: CRM Archaeology One Trench at a Time

RJ Sliva gets out of the lab from time to time, trading the lithic analyst hat for a construction monitor's hard hat and safety vest. What do archaeologists do? The first answer that probably comes to mind is “Dig!” We do indeed spend a lot of time moving dirt with…

Apr 28

Mark Elson—Heading Off to an Active Retirement

Desert Archaeology founder and vice president Bill Doelle pens a testimonial to principal investigator, archaeologist, and volcano aficionado Mark Elson on his retirement. Mark Elson slipped into Tucson while I was away. I arrived in 1972, and I departed for a little over three years in late 1978. Upon returning…

Historic diet in Tucson Apr 21

What’s for Supper? Exploring Historic Period Diet in Tucson

In December 2015, Tucson was designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, the first in the United States. This honor was given for many reasons, among them Tucson's 4,100 years of agriculture, the interest in preserving heritage crops by Native Seed Search and the Kino Heritage Fruit Tree project, and the…

Desert Archaeology cultural resources management CRM graphics illustration photography services tucson arizona Apr 14

Archaeological Illustration with Rob Ciaccio: Bringing the Past to Life

Desert archaeologist, photographer, and artist-in-residence Rob Ciaccio talks about the archaeological illustration process behind his artistic reconstructions of past lifeways, which have been featured in Desert Archaeology reports and Archaeology Southwest publications, as well as on national monument signage. In the days of my youth, I would find myself imagining…

Ceramic petrography slide at Desert Archaeology Apr 7

Petrography and Archaeology: Microscopic Fun with Pottery

Dr. Mary Ownby writes this week’s blog on ceramic petrography. As the resident petrographer for Desert Archaeology, Inc., I am occasionally invited to give guest lectures at field schools, classrooms, and other public venues. I delight in these experiences, but it also reminds me that what I do is largely unknown…

Desert Archaeology flotation sample analysis Mar 31

What’s in that Bag of Dirt? Flotation Samples and Archaeology

Michael Diehl, Desert Archaeology’s resident paleoethnobotanist, brings us the first installment of an occasional series about the world of flotation samples. Buy a five-pound bag of flour. Dump out the flour. Grab a spade, head out into your yard, and shovel in enough dirt to fill the bag. Fill your…

Desert Archaeology at the SAA meeting Mar 24

Desert Archaeology Participation in the 2017 SAA Meeting

Sarah Herr details what Desert Archaeology will be up to at the SAA meeting this year. Springtime means the SAAs are coming up again. An essential component of our mission is communicating the results of our research to our colleagues working in the Southwest and beyond, so every year we…

Mar 17

How We Ask Questions: CRM Archaeology and the Land Between

This week’s blog is by Sarah Herr, owner and president of Desert Archaeology. What do you imagine when you think of archaeology sites in the Southwest? Cliff Palace and other dwellings at Mesa Verde, silently keeping watch over the canyon? The towering architecture of Pueblo Bonito, oriented with cosmographic phenomena?…