Aug 9

The Hohokam of Fort Lowell: The Hardy Site

Homer Thiel talks about the Hardy Site and what the structures and artifacts recorded there teach us about Hohokam lifeways in the eastern Tucson Basin. The word Hohokam refers to the archaeological culture that existed in the Sonoran Desert from about AD 500 to 1450. The Hohokam are well known…

Jun 3

Shining a Light on Optically Stimulated Luminescence

Desert Archaeology crew chief Caleb E. Ferbrache explains how electrons trapped in rock can be used to date archaeological deposits--and why, unlike the more familiar carbon dating, OSL allows dating in the absence of preserved organic material. Most people know that archaeologists regularly use carbon-14 (also called radiocarbon) to date…

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…

Nov 23

Suppertime at the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson

Historical archaeologist Homer Thiel starts off the fall/winter feasting season with a look at the foods prepared by residents of Tucson during the Presidio era. It's that time of year when residents of Tucson sit down for big meals at various holidays. We go to our local supermarkets or farmers…

Oct 31

Historical Archaeology Halloween: The Burials under the Bank

Homer Thiel presents the story of two forgotten burials from the abandoned Court Street Cemetery north of downtown Tucson. In 2012, Desert Archaeology was contracted by the City of Tucson to examine a parcel of land located at the southwest corner of N. Stone Avenue and W. Speedway Boulevard. At…

Jul 10

Think of Me.

Today marks historical archaeologist Homer Thiel's 25th anniversary at Desert Archaeology. In a special blog entry, he thinks back to two key finds that encapsulate his career. The phone in my Tempe apartment rang on July 10th, 1992. "Hello, this is Bill Doelle of Desert Archaeology in Tucson..." Bill was…

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…