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?…

Desert Archaeology illustration answering the question what is a pithouse Mar 9

Answering Archaeology Questions: Pithouse Architecture

Homer Thiel explores pithouse architecture and how the most common prehistoric dwellings in southern Arizona changed over time. The illustration at the top is by Robert Ciaccio. For several thousand years people have been constructing pithouses in the Sonoran Desert. Desert Archaeology employees are frequently asked "What is a pithouse?"…

Mar 2

Desert Archaeology in Downtown Tucson: Telling Their Stories

Homer Thiel is Desert Archaeology's historical archaeology expert. He writes this week about our work uncovering the history of Block 91, now the eastern gateway to downtown Tucson, and how the everyday items we found illuminate the lives of the ordinary people who lived and worked there at the turn…

Feb 24

Artifact Curation and Archaeological Research: Keep Everything

R.J. Sliva is Desert Archaeology's senior flaked stone analyst. One of the first questions people usually ask archaeologists—after “What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever found?”—is “Where does all the stuff go?” The short answer is “to the museum,” which is our shorthand for “artifact curation facility.” Curation is a hot…

The 2013 Guevavi Field School participants standing in front of the Guevavi chapel. Feb 10

Desert Archaeology-Partnered Field School Wins Diversity Award

Homer Thiel reports this week on recognition for the Guevavi field school. The Gender and Minority Affairs Committee was established to foster diversity and equity within the Society for Historical Archaeology and promote consideration of issues relevant to under-represented groups. The field school competition awards programs that increase participant diversity and/or…

Desert Archaeology UAV aerial photogrammetry by Michael Brack Feb 3

Desert Archaeology Cartography & the UAV Photogrammetry Revolution

This week's blog is by Mike Brack, Desert Archaeology's mapping director and licensed UAV airman. I am fascinated with the technological change I have witnessed over a 25-year career of archaeology, cartography, and land surveying. From plane table and alidade to transit to electronic total station to the modern standard…

Desert Archaeology cultural resources management CRM graphics illustration photography services tucson arizona Jan 20

Transitions: Sarah Herr is New Desert Archaeology President

Incoming president Sarah Herr writes this week's blog. The featured image (top) is a reconstruction of the native settlement near the Spanish mission and mission garden at the base of A-Mountain in Tucson, by our own Rob Ciaccio. On Tuesday, I became majority owner and president of Desert Archaeology, Inc.…

Knights of Pythias cemetery announcement in the Tucson Citizen, 1915 Jan 13

Tucson’s Abandoned Court Street Cemetery

This week's blog is written by Homer Thiel, Desert Archaeology's historical archaeology expert. Hidden beneath the streets, sidewalks, homes, and businesses of an eight-block area located across the street from downtown campus of the Pima Community College in Tucson is the historic Court Street Cemetery. It opened in 1875, after…

Pit dug for corn-roasting experiments at Desert Archaeology Jan 6

Experimental Archaeology: Learning by Doing

R.J. Sliva, who has done the compulsory lithics graduate student curing-hides-with-brains experiment, recounts the more informative experimental archaeology conducted by Desert staff.  Some men simply want to watch the world burn... particularly when it advances archaeological knowledge. Traditional technologies expert and long-time Desert associate Allen Denoyer led the team that…