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From American Archaeology Magazine

This map was drawn in 1602 by a Wichita Indian who was captured by the Spanish. The circular figures represent native settlements. Etzanoa is depicted by two circles with a diagonal line between them at the top center of the map.Image Credit: General Archives of Maps and Plans, Mexico City

Searching For Etzanoa

Spring 2016: By David Malakoff. In the early summer of 1601, Juan de Oñate, a conquistador who helped establish the Spanish colony of New Mexico, set off on a search to find Quivira, a fabled...
A Cahokia leader (center) greets the rising sun on top of Monks Mound with his priests and attendants around him in this artistic depiction of religious activities. Art by Michael Hampshire.

Religion And The Rise Of Cahokia

Spring 2016: By Alexandra Witze. Some 12 miles east of St. Louis in the midst of Looking Glass Prairie stands a ridge the height of a four-story building. Known as Emerald, it is a natural...
Archaeologists Steve Copeland and Caitlin Sommer document features on the floor of the great kiva.

Searching For The Origins Of Pueblo Culture

Spring 2015: Searching For The Origins Of Pueblo Culture By Tamara Stewart. Dirt flies as archaeologists Caitlin Sommer and Steve Copeland, along with many volunteers, search for the hearth in the Dillard site’s great kiva. Since...
Getting ready for the final photos of the excavation pit at the Paleo through Archaic period Wakulla Springs Lodge site.

Sneak Peak: 15,000 Year-Old Pre-Clovis at Wakulla Springs

Fall 2018 Sneak Peek By Tamara Jager Stewart. 15,000 Year-Old Pre-Clovis Sites Cluster at Wakulla Springs, Florida         Are These Evidence of Mastodon Kill Sites? Great to see old friend and Paleo-Indian archaeologist Dr. Andy Hemmings as I...
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....
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...
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...
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...
Objects from the Carroll House cache included shell discs, straight pins, buttons, two pierced coins, a tiny faceted glass bead, a smooth black stone, and large rock crystals. The collection was covered with an overturned pearlware bowl. Archaeology in Annapolis/ University of Maryland

Unearthing Magic of Slaves and Immigrants

Summer 2015: By Julian Smith In the late 17th century, Annapolis enjoyed a thriving economy as the capital of the Maryland colony. An average of at least 300 slaves were brought in every year between 1695...
Cliff Palace is the largest alcove habitation in Mesa Verde National Park. One of its 23 kivas has a beam that was dated to a.d. 1280, marking it as one of the last sites in the region to be abandoned.

Grappling With A Great Mystery

Summer 2015: By David Malakoff It had seemed like a good idea at the time. In the spring of A.D. 1250, you and your new spouse decided to move away from the hamlet where you were...