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American Archaeology’s Current Issue

Current Issue

The most recent issue of American Archaeology Magazine, SUMMER 2018, is now available! COVER: Kin Kletso is one of Chaco Canyon’s great houses. Evidence indicates that gambling could have played an important role in the lives of Chacoans. CREDIT: James Q. Jacobs

American Archaeology Summer 2018 is Here!

The most recent issue of American Archaeology Magazine, SUMMER 2018, is now available! COVER: Kin Kletso is one of Chaco Canyon’s great houses. Evidence indicates that gambling could have played an important role in...
Gambling artifacts have been found at Chetro Ketl, a great house in Chaco Canyon. Credit: ANDREW KEARNS

When The Gambler Came To Chaco

Summer 2018: By Alexandra Witze. Navajo oral histories tell of a Great Gambler who had a profound effect on Chaco Canyon, the Ancestral Puebloan capital located in what is now northwestern New Mexico. His name...
This illustration of numerous shell mounds at the Turner River Shellworks site in Ten Thousand Islands, Florida, is based on archaeological evidence.Credit: MARTIN PATE, COURTESY MARGO SCHWADRON, NPS

Rethinking Shell Middens

Summer 2018: By David Malakoff In the fall of 2005, Hurricane Wilma, a powerful storm packing 120-mile-an-hour winds, smashed into the Ten Thousand Islands, a fifty-mile-long maze of mangrove-ringed islets on the Florida’s southwestern coast....
Cherokee lifestyles and history are on display at Oconaluftee Indian Village. Credit: EBCI DESTINATION MARKETING

A Tour Of Western North Carolina’s Rich Archaeology & History

Summer 2018: By Andrea Cooper. We rounded a corner in the Rankin Museum of American Heritage in Ellerbe, North Carolina (population 986), when my husband burst out laughing with delight.  Behind glass cases is a...

Rich Man, Poor Man

Summer 2018: By Wayne Curtis. In the first half of the first millennium A.D., Teotihuacan in central Mexico was the largest city in the western hemisphere. At its peak, it had about 125,000 residents and...
This LiDAR image of the center of Caracol reveals pyramids, plazas, agricultural terraces, roadways, and other features. Credit: COURTESY OF ARLEN AND DIANE CHASE, CARACOL ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROJECT, UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS.

A Revolutionary Technology

Summer 2018: By Linda Vaccariello. Arlen Chase’s recent field season at Caracol, the large Maya site in western Belize that he and his wife, archaeologist Diane Zaino Chase, have been investigating for more than thirty...

Previous Issues

The most recent issue of American Archaeology Magazine, SPRING 2018, is now available! COVER: Researchers carefully position a 3-D scanner on the fragile steps of Copán’s Hieroglyphic Stairway. The scans are used to reproduce the stairway. Credit: Barbara Fash

American Archaeology Magazine Spring 2018 is Here!

The most recent issue of American Archaeology Magazine, SPRING 2018, is now available! COVER: Researchers carefully position a 3-D scanner on the fragile steps of Copán’s Hieroglyphic Stairway. The scans are used to reproduce...
This portrait painted in 1710 shows the extensively tattooed Mohawk leader Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pleth Tow. Credit: Mezzotint by John Simon, after painting by John Verlest

Discovering The Archaeology Of Tattooing

Spring 2018: By Gayle Keck. In old Western movies, Indians were invariably depicted galloping into the scene whooping and streaked with war paint. At least one aspect of that cliché is true. Native Americans did...
COVER: Researchers carefully position a 3-D scanner on the fragile steps of Copán’s Hieroglyphic Stairway. The scans are used to reproduce the stairway. Credit: Barbara Fash

The 3D Past Reproduced

Spring 2018: By Elizabeth Lunday. In 1885, when British scholar Alfred Percival Maudslay and his wife Anne Cary Morris Maudslay first explored the ruins of the Maya city Copán, Morris Maudslay described the unexcavated site...
An artist’s depiction of the Hohokam gathered at one of their ballcourts. Credit: Artwork by Rob Ciaccio, Courtesy Archaeology Southwest.

The Mystery Of Hohokam Ballcourts

Spring 2018: By Alexandra Witze. From the Olmec to the Maya to the Aztec, ballgames were one of the defining activities of Mesoamerican cultures. Beginning some time before 1200 B.C., competitors kicked and whacked rubber...
This aerial photo of the Nunalleq site was taken by a drone in 2017. Credit: Sven Haakanson

The Story Of Nunalleq

Spring 2018: By David Malakoff. When Russian fur traders began exploring southwestern Alaska in the early 1800s, they met native Yup’ik people who told horrific tales of violence and revenge. In one common but unverified...
Tooru Nakahira (left) and Anna Shishido (center), two former internees at Amache, point to a diagram of the barracks where they were once confined. The barracks have been reconstructed (background) based on historical and archaeological evidence. Credit: Nancy Ukai

A Case For Collaboration

Spring 2018: By Julian Smith. In 2016, Bonnie Clark of the University of Denver was running an archaeology field school at the Granada War Relocation Center, a Japanese American internment camp in southeast Colorado, when a...

American Archaeology’s Ten Most Interesting Articles Of 2017

As editor, I chose these amazing archaeology stories from the pages of American Archaeology magazine because each of them stood out for 2017 in some way—from the highly-disputed contention that humans occupied southern California...
American Archaeology Magazine winter 2017 is Here!

American Archaeology Magazine Winter 2017 is Here!

The most recent issue of American Archaeology Magazine, WINTER 2017, is now available! COVER: Shumla researchers Jerod Roberts (on ladder) and Karen Steelman use a portable x-ray fluorescence instrument to identify the elemental composition...
These anthropomorphic figures are part of a Pecos River-style mural known as Rattlesnake Canyon. This represents only about one-tenth of the enormous mural, which is more than 100-feet long and ten-feet high.

Saving An Ancient Library

Winter 2017: By Richard A. Marini. Having scrambled about the shallow, open-air rock shelter known as the Wiley site in southwest Texas, six archaeologists took inventory of the many iconographic figures painted on the shelter...
Germán Ramírez Jiménez (left) excavates a brick inside a structure as Lane Fargher looks on. Credit: Lizzie Wade.

The Lost History Of Tlaxcallan

Winter 2017: By Lizzie Wade. Climbing up a hillside away from the heart of Tlaxcala, Mexico, it doesn’t take long to leave behind the well-maintained churches and immaculate plazas of this colonial city. The road...
In consultation with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, archaeologists from the University of Florida, the National Park Service, and the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research teamed up in March of 2013 to salvage a 4,500-year-old cemetery of thirty-two individuals at McClamory Key.

A Tale Of Prehistoric Climate Change

Winter 2017: By Julian Smith. Florida, with an average elevation of six feet above sea level, tops the list of states at risk of flooding due to climate change. Over three-quarters of the Sunshine State’s...
A team of archaeologists and volunteers excavate the site in March. Credit: Mütter Research Institute

Whistling Past The Historic Graveyard

Winter 2017: By Tamara Jager Stewart. On January 26, 2017, Kimberlee Moran, the director of forensic science at Rutgers University-Camden in New Jersey, and Anna Dhody, a forensic anthropologist and director of the Mütter Research...

Sneak Peek: Saving An Ancient Library

Winter 2017 Sneak Peek By Richard A. Marini Hanging out with smart, talented people is one of the best parts of being a journalist. When they’re also fun to be with, it’s a bonus. That’s what...
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...