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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,...

The Truth in the Tree Rings | American Archaeology

The University of Arizona’s Laboratory of Tree Ring Research was founded in 1937 by astronomer A.E. Douglass and is the premiere laboratory devoted to dendrochronology in the U.S.  By Jasmine Demers This is an article excerpt...

SPRING 2019 PREVIEW | A Glimpse Of The First Americans

The following is an excerpt from the Spring 2019 Issue of American Archaeology Magazine.  By David Malakoff COVER IMAGE:  A researcher works at Trail Creek Cave 2 in Alaska, where DNA was extracted from the tooth of...
Rock Art Revelations

Rock Art Revelations?

Summer 2014: When Larry Loendorf decided to hunt for ancient rock art on the southern Great Plains, he went about it methodically. Loendorf, an archaeologist with Sacred Sites Research in Albuquerque, New Mexico, made...
This picture shows a platform mound that was uncovered by excavators with the Works Progress Administration in the late 1930s. That project uncovered evidence of a single palisade surrounding a Mississippian village. Recent investigations have revealed evidence of several more palisades, suggesting that the villagers could have felt threatened. Photo BY CHARLES H. NASH, 1938. WPA/TVA ARCHIVES, PRESENTED COURTESY OF MCCLUNG MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY AND CULTURE, THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, KNOXVILLE. 120MG31/FHM01233.

A Tumultuous Time: On Ancient Hiwassee Island

Fall 2018: By Elizabeth Lunday. During the Great Depression, when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) planned the construction of reservoirs along the Tennessee River, the agency recognized that archaeological sites in the region would be...

Changing Times | American Archaeology

By Julian Smith | When European explorers and missionaries began arriving in the Great Lakes region in the sixteenth century, they found groups including the Huron (also known as the Wendat) and Iroquois (also known...

Counterintuiitive Preservation

By David Malakoff Archaeologists routinely raise shipwrecks from their watery graves. But on a sparkling spring day in Alexandria, Virginia, a team that included two scuba divers was working in reverse: carefully sinking pieces of...
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...
Summer 2019 - Friends followers and retweets S1

SUMMER 2019 | Friends, Followers, And Retweets

The following is an article excerpt from the Summer 2019 Issue of American Archaeology Magazine.  Become a member to subscribe and read the full issue!  By Elizabeth Lunday More than a thousand years ago, women living...
Holy Smoke

Holy Smoke

Holy Smoke - By David Malakoff Summer 2014: When Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Cuba during his first voyage to the New World in 1492, he and his shipmates saw something that baffled them....