Aug 24

Under the Floors: Archaeology inside the Brown House

The C. O. Brown House in downtown Tucson is now dwarfed by the new concrete-and-steel buildings that have sprung up on either side of it in recent years. But how long, exactly, has this tenacious adobe house been hanging on to the middle of its block on Broadway? Homer Thiel…

Aug 17

The Ancestors Around Us

Homer Thiel discusses the procedures followed when encountering human remains in Arizona--on an archaeological excavation or while digging up your garden. People have lived in Arizona for perhaps 12,000 years or more. Hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, have died within the modern political boundaries of our state.…

Aug 10

Early Agricultural Period Shell Ornaments in the Tucson Basin

Desert Archaeology shell specialist Chris Lange provides a blog-friendly version of a poster she presented at the 91st annual Pecos Conference (August 9-11, 2018) in Flagstaff, Arizona. Recent excavations at Early Agricultural period sites in the Tucson Basin have produced a number of marine shell ornaments.  Sites dating to the…

Jun 15

Downtown Historical Archaeology: The Tucson Sampling Works

Homer Thiel tells the story of a 19th-century ore assayer whose office was unearthed during archaeological work near the historic train depot in downtown Tucson. Arizona has long been marketed as the land of “5 Cs”:Climate, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus, and Copper. In the last quarter of the 19th century and…

Desert Archaeology historic arrow points Mar 12

Historic Native American Arrow Points in Southern Arizona

Homer Thiel and R.J. Sliva discuss Historic-era arrow points, with photos from recent research in Tucson. Native Americans in Arizona have used projectile points for at least 12,000 years for hunting and warfare. Large, heavy points that tipped darts (long, compound spears) were utilized for much of this time. The…

Feb 16

Soledad Jacome: Historical Archaeology and a Rediscovered Life

Historical archaeologist Homer Thiel shows how the artifacts we excavate are used to fill in details of lives that are otherwise lost to the passage of time. Life in Territorial-era Tucson was often difficult. In 1873, Soledad Jacome's common-law husband, Juan Siqueiros, disappears from the documentary record. He may have…