Desert Archaeology ground stone use-wear usewear use wear Nov 30

The Tell-tale Art: Recognizing Use-wear on Stone Tools

Dr. Jenny Adams follows up her mano/metate identification blog with a discussion of use-wear analysis on ground stone tools. One of the tools I have in my analysis toolbox is use-wear analysis. Use-wear analysis relies on both macroscopic and microscopic observations to recognize how tools were used. "Wear" is generally…

Oct 13

Tiny Artifacts, Big Questions: More from the World of Disk Beads

Ground stone expert Jenny Adams has more to share about the analysis of disk beads. My previous blog about distinguishing stone from fired-clay disk beads using low-power magnification techniques was just a teaser. There is much more to learn about disk beads—I didn’t even mention the identification of shell disk…

Desert Archaeology ceramic petrography by Mary Ownby Sep 22

It’s Getting Hot Around Here! The 2017 Southwest Kiln Conference

Desert Archaeology ceramic petrographer Mary Ownby writes about the innovations and experimentation inspired by this year’s pottery conference. The annual Southwest Kiln Conference was held in early August in Tijeras, New Mexico. This event brings together a wonderful group of people interested in prehistoric pottery. A number of the individuals…

Ceramic petrography slide at Desert Archaeology Apr 7

Petrography and Archaeology: Microscopic Fun with Pottery

Dr. Mary Ownby discusses 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 outside my little world.…

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 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…