Who We Are

The Archaeological Conservancy is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring and preserving archaeological sites discovered on private land.


What We Do

We identify, acquire, secure, and manage the archaeological site as part of a long-term preservation plan. We also engage with and educate the general public about the preservation of our cultural heritage.


How We Do It

We depend on donations, gifts and grants for the funding needed for preservation. As a supporter, you become a member of the Conservancy and receive a subscription to American Archaeology Magazine.



Our Magazine

Published quarterly, American Archaeology a popular magazine devoted to the excitement and mystery of archaeology in the U.S. & North America – including Canada and Latin America. 


From 'American Archaeology' Magazine

Viva La Belle: Reconstructing La Salle's Ship.

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The recent issue of American Archaeology Magazine, Spring 2015 , is now available. COVER: Peter Fix (foreground) and Jim Bruseth reassemble the hull timbers of La Belle, the ship of the French explorer Robert Cavelier, Sier de La Salle Credit:  George Ramirez. Members automatically rece...
The excavation of La Belle took place inside a steel cofferdam with the seawater removed.

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Spring 2015: Vive La Belle, By Elizabeth Lunday. In the spring of 1684, a team labored to assemble a ship in the port town of Rochefort in southwest France. They fastened timbers using iron bolts and wooden pegs and raised three masts over the single deck. That summer the vessel, christened La Be...

Featured Conservancy Sites

The mound in the background and Western Regional Director Cory Wilkins on the left, avocational archaeologists Don Hendricks in the middle, and Western Field Representative Deanna Commons on the right.

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The Western Region recently acquired the remaining portion of the Mound Spring Site in Pahrump, Nevada.    The mound is bisected by a property line that basically splits it in half.  The Conservancy acquired the northern portion of the mound in 2002 and ever since worked to acquire the remaining sou...
All incised bird-effigy pipe. This is one of several effigy pipes found at the site of Queen Esther's Town.

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The Queen Esther’s Town Preserve is located in Milan in northeast Pennsylvania. The site, which is more than 92 acres, sits along an expansive floodplain near the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chemung Rivers. After working for over a decade to acquire the property, the Conservancy finally signed...


Explore the Wonders of the Past

00mayaFrom the remote jungles of Honduras to the pristine rivers of the American Southwest, our archaeological tours promise exciting adventure. Whether you like touring Maya temples or learning about North American rock art, you’ll be sure to find a Conservancy tour that fits your interest. For more than 20 years, the Conservancy has conducted tours ranging in length from four days to two weeks. Expert guides always accompany our tours, providing unique insights about the places we visit. Tour regions include the American Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest, as well as Mexico and Central and South America. Click here to see all our tours >>

April 26 – May 3, 2015 Info

MtVernonJoin us as we spend a week exploring the Chesapeake Bay’s rich 17th and 18thcentury culture. Our exciting journey will take us from the colonial capitals of Annapolis, Maryland and Williamsburg,   VA, to the first permanent English colony in North America at Jamestown, to George Washington’s   home at Mt. Vernon.

June 6-13, 2015  Info

DSC_0520Join our adventure in the heartland of the Anasazi world. From land and from the vantage point of Utah’s San Juan River, you’ll experience one of the most scenic regions of the Southwest. We’ll begin our adventure with two full days of site visits on land, then we’ll board our boats and float down the San Juan River for four days, stopping often to visit Anasazi ruins accessible only by river.  At night we’ll camp under the inconceivable Southwestern sky. David Grant Noble, noted author (his books include Ancient Ruins of the Southwest), will be our guide.

June 5-8, 2015 Info

SerpentMoundHundreds of years ago in what is now part of southern Ohio, a complex culture of moundbuilders flourished.  Extensive earthworks, some towering more than 50 feet high, are the legacy of the Hopewell and Adena people. The Conservancy’s tour offers an opportunity to discover more about the Hopewell and Adena cultures with visits to some of their most awe-inspiring mounds and earthworks.  Throughout the tour, expert archaeologists will offer their insights into the mysterious world of the moundbuilders.

September 12-20, 2015 Info

DSC_0522 FB Chaco KIvaExplore the vast cultural system of Chaco Canyon and the extensive network of outlying communities that developed in northwestern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado from A.D. 800 to 1140.  We’ll visit Pueblo Bonito and other spectacular great houses in Chaco Canyon as well as the great kiva at Casa Rinconada.  We’ll also have the unique opportunity to visit many of the most important outlying communities that are integral parts of the entire Chacoan complex still being uncovered by researchers.  Scholars are still struggling to understand how this vast system developed and operated, and why it suddenly collapsed in about A.D. 1130.  To complete the experience, we will tour the modern day Pueblo of Acoma and spend two memorable nights camping in Chaco Canyon.  Some of the leading Chaco experts will join us.

September 17– 27, 2015 Info

DSC_0791They rank among the most amazing archaeological sites anywhere: walls and windows, towers and kivas, all tucked neatly into sandstone cliffs.  More than 700 years ago, the Anasazi and Sinagua cultures of the Four Corners region called these cliff dwellings home.  Today, amidst the scenery of Arizona and Colorado, our tour presents the most famous of the region’s cliff dwellings, as well as modern-day pueblos and several Conservancy preserves.  Archaeologists well-versed in the region’s prehistory will accompany the tour.

October 24 – November 3, 2015  Info

Oaxaca_slide_03Join us in Oaxaca, Mexico, during one of the most unusual festivals anywhere – the Day of the Dead.  On this day, people prepare home altars and cemeteries to welcome the dead, who are believed to return to enjoy the food and drink they indulged in during life.  Not at all a morbid occasion, the town is filled with celebration. Oaxaca lies in a semitropical valley surrounded by the peaks of the Sierra Madre del Sur.  The city’s architecture reflects its rich Spanish Colonial and modern history.  Vast ruins of the Ancient Mixtecan and Zapotecan civilizations lie just outside the city.

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Latest From the Blog

Regional Director Paul Gardner checking on a site.

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Introducing  Our Midwest Regional Director, Part 2 of  the Midwest Regional Office Blog By Paul G...