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American Archaeology’s Current Issue

Current Issue

The most recent issue of American Archaeology Magazine, FALL 2017, is now available! COVER: This four-hole ocarina depicts an unknown animal. It was found in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, and is now in the collections of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University. Credit: (c) President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. PM# 17-3-20/C8064.

American Archaeology Magazine Fall 2017 is Here!

The most recent issue of American Archaeology Magazine, FALL 2017, is now available! COVER: This four-hole ocarina depicts an unknown animal. It was found in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, and is now in the collections of...
This four-hole ocarina, which came from northwest Costa Rica, is shaped like a mythical animal. (c) President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. PM# 976-59-20/24969.

An Instrument For The Ages

Fall 2017: By Gayle Keck. You might have had one when you were a kid. You might have encountered a magical one while playing a popular video game. You might even have an app on...
An aerial photograph of Serpent Mound taken from a drone. The mound is a National Historic Landmark. Credit: Jarrod Burks.

The Serpent Mound Debate

Fall 2017: By David Malakoff. Anyone who has tried to catch a snake knows the reptiles are elusive. So it only seems appropriate that Serpent Mound, a twisting, quarter-mile long, three-foot-high earthwork in southern Ohio,...
Researchers excavate the middle structure of the three structures that were built on top of each other at Carter Robinson Mounds. Credit: JC Burns.

Life On The Frontier

Fall 2017: By Linda Vaccariello. A few miles east of the narrow gap in the Cumberland Mountains where Daniel Boone and his companions blazed a trail into Kentucky, Maureen Meyers is puzzling over another group...
An aerial view of the excavations on Burial Hill. The grey structure with the black and brick doors is an 1830s burial vault that cuts through the site. Excavations in front of and behind the vault revealed a series of building postholes, trash pits, and many seventeenthcentury artifacts from the original settlement. Native American and English pottery was found in the trash pits, suggesting the use of Native pots in the English houses. Credit: Bruce T. Martin.

Finding The Pilgrims

Fall 2017: By Rachael Moeller Gorman. On a sticky day last June, archaeologist David Landon peered into a rectangular, three-foot-deep excavation unit on the edge of an old cemetery. “That layer they’re coming down on,...
A British soldier shakes hands with a Catawba warrior. A key to the Catawbas’ survival during the Colonial era was the military and economic alliance with the colony of South Carolina. Catawba warriors protected the colony from attacks by natives allied with the French and Spanish and served with the English in their frontier wars. In return, South Carolina granted favored trading status to the Catawba and provided them with firearms, ammunition, and supplies that were critical to their survival. Credit: Carolyn Arcabascio.

Surviving In A Changing World

Fall 2017: By Beth Howard. On a picnic-perfect day in South Carolina’s Lancaster County last June, University of North Carolina (UNC) archaeologist Stephen Davis and his students meticulously scraped loose subsoil and dug, spoonful by...
Writer Linda Vaccariello takes notes while Assistant Professor Maureen Meyers shows U of Mississippi undergraduate Conor Foxworth and UM graduate student Emily Warner how to excavate part of the structure wall. The Mound is in the distance. Credit: Charlotte Smith

Sneak Peak: Covering the Mississippian Frontier at Carter Robinson

Fall 2017 Sneak Peek By Linda Vaccariello. The cell reception is pretty bad at Carter Robinson Mound and Village in Lee’s County, Virginia. Sometimes, if she’s lucky, Maureen Meyers can stand on the top of...

Previous Issues

Writer Linda Vaccariello takes notes while Assistant Professor Maureen Meyers shows U of Mississippi undergraduate Conor Foxworth and UM graduate student Emily Warner how to excavate part of the structure wall. The Mound is in the distance. Credit: Charlotte Smith

Sneak Peak: Covering the Mississippian Frontier at Carter Robinson

Fall 2017 Sneak Peek By Linda Vaccariello. The cell reception is pretty bad at Carter Robinson Mound and Village in Lee’s County, Virginia. Sometimes, if she’s lucky, Maureen Meyers can stand on the top of...
Summer 2017 American Archaeology Magazine Cover

American Archaeology Magazine Summer 2017 is Here!

The most recent issue of American Archaeology Magazine, SUMMER 2017, is now available! COVER: In 1929, Charles and Anne Lindbergh photographed Pueblo del Arroyo, a great house in Chaco Canyon. Credit: Lindbergh Collection, MIAC/Lab...
Canyon de Chelly’s White House Ruin is seen at the edge of the river. The Lindberghs’ pictures may have played a role in Canyon de Chelly being declared a national monument in 1931. Lindbergh Collection, MIAC/Lab MIAC cat# 70.1 / 197

Charles Lindbergh’s Little-Known Passion

SUMMER 2017: By Tamara Jager Stewart. In 1927 an obscure U.S. Air Mail pilot named Charles A. Lindbergh completed the first solo trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris, thereby achieving word-wide fame. Virtually everyone...
An extensive panel of indigenous iconography. These finger-drawn designs span the entire ceiling of this chamber in Cave 18. The motifs and designs reflect the spiritual belief systems of the indigenous population. Credit: Photos by Jago Cooper and Alice Samson.

Comity In The Caves of Mona Island

SUMMER 2017: By Julian Smith. When Christopher Columbus visited the Isla de Mona, located halfway between Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, in 1494, he found its indigenous residents fishing and farming, part of a thriving Taíno...
The remnants of Fort Stedman at Petersburg National Battlefield are seen here. Confederate forces captured this Union fort in the early morning of March 25, 1865, only to have Union soldiers reclaim it a few hours later.Credit: Buddy Secor.

Summer Travel: A Tour Of Civil War Battlefields

SUMMER 2017: By Paula Neely. By 1860, after decades of discord between northern and southern states over economic policies, state’s rights, and the role of slavery, the United States had become a divided nation. Southern...
A person wearing a virtual-reality headset can view this 3-D, sixteenth-century Iroquois longhouse created by SA Western. Credit: Michael Carter.

Curing The Curation Problem

SUMMER 2017: By Tom Koppel. Tall white steel shelves are gradually filling up with green boxes in a new archaeological repository in Ontario, Canada. Each box is stuffed full of archival plastic bags containing artifacts,...
Sarah Anzick (in red jacket) places dirt in the grave of the Clovis-age child who was reburied in a public ceremony. Credit: Michael Waters, Center for the Study of the First Americans.

The Fates Of Very Ancient Remains

SUMMER 2017: By Mike Toner  To some Native Americans, the repatriation and reburial of very ancient human remains is simple justice. To many archaeologists and other scientists, it’s akin to reburying the Rosetta stone. “Every...
POINT 6 Logo Created by Artist Mathew Hanson-Weller featuring 6 hand drawn points.

The POINT-6 Emergency Preservation Program Begins

The Conservancy is excited to announce the launch of POINT-6, the sixth phase of an emergency acquisition project intended to purchase significant sites in immediate danger of destruction. The cultural remains of America’s prehistoric...
COVER: A feather bundle (upper right), a pair of tapestry-woven yucca sandals (below) and a woman’s yucca-cordage apron with human-hair waistcord are some of the artifacts researchers have reexcavated. Credit: Courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History cat. # H-13338; the Museum of Peoples and Cultures, Brigham Young University cat. #1992.30.1 and .2; the Field Museum of Natural History cat. #165246/Laurie Webster

American Archaeology Magazine Spring 2017 is Here!

The most recent issue of American Archaeology Magazine, SPRING 2017, is now available! COVER: A feather bundle (upper right), a pair of tapestry-woven yucca sandals (below) and a woman’s yucca-cordage apron with human-hair waistcord are some...
COVER: A feather bundle (upper right), a pair of tapestry-woven yucca sandals (below) and a woman’s yucca-cordage apron with human-hair waistcord are some of the artifacts researchers have reexcavated. Credit: Courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History cat. # H-13338; the Museum of Peoples and Cultures, Brigham Young University cat. #1992.30.1 and .2; the Field Museum of Natural History cat. #165246/Laurie Webster

Reexcavating The Collections

Spring 2017: By Wayne Curtis.  In the mid-1890s, a rancher and avid amateur archaeologist from southwest Colorado named Richard Wetherill stood accused of fabricating an entire culture. Digging for artifacts in and around newly discovered...
By around 1680, African American Maroons established communities on islands in the swamp. The woman pictured here is fashioning a tool while keeping an eye on her children. Credit: Carolyn Arcabascio

Life In The Great Dismal Swamp

Spring 2017: By David Malakoff. “I sometimes ask myself why I didn’t do one of those projects where the dig is right next to the parking lot.” Archaeologist Becca Peixotto wasn’t complaining, but she sounded...
The researchers have found several clay figurines, most of which, like this example, depict women. These figurines have hollow areas, mouthpieces, and holes that enabled them to serve as whistles. They were primarily imported from Lubaantun and other inland sites. Credit: Heather McKillop.

A Story Of Salt: Ancient Maya Saltworks

Spring 2017: By Elizabeth Lunday. Salt is a substance so ordinary and inexpensive today that its ready supply is often taken for granted. Yet salt is essential: humans need salt to live and also crave...
Chinese crews lay track for the Central Pacific Railroad along the Humbolt Plains in Nevada in this historical photo. Credit: alfred hart / library of congress, LC-1s00618v

Remembering Historic Achievements: Chinese Railroad Workers in America

Spring 2017: By Julian Smith. On May 10, 1869, a crowd cheered as former California governor Leland Stanford hammered home a ceremonial golden spike at Promontory Point, Utah, marking the completion of the First Transcontinental...
AA winter 2016-17 Cover. Rediscovering the Alamo

American Archaeology Magazine Winter 2016 is Here!

The most recent issue of American Archaeology Magazine, WINTER 2016, is now available! COVER: A researcher operates a ground-penetrating radar machine at the Alamo in search of buried artifacts and features. Credit: Reimagine The...
Tourists look at artifacts on display inside the Alamo. Photo Courtesy: Reimagine the Alamo

Rediscovering The Alamo

Winter 2016: By Richard A. Marini. During a month-long investigation of the old Alamo mission in downtown San Antonio this past summer a team of archaeologists found a portion of a collapsed adobe brick wall....