Spanish glass Beads were popular trade items with Native Americans.

Searching for de Soto

Fall 2014 Searching for de Soto By Kristin Ohlson: The Atlanta high school girl was in the middle of a solitary stint at the sifting screen, while archaeologist Dennis Blanton and the rest of...
Certain places in the South Mountains captured the attention of Hohokam artisans. Here, petroglyphs of various animal and human forms encircle a spring. The setting provides a panorama of the Salt River Valley, where dozens of Hohokam villages and hundreds of miles of hand-dug canals lie under the asphalt of metropolitan Phoenix.Photo credit: Paul Vanderveen

A Sense Of Place: Hohokam Rock Art

Winter 2016: By Mike Toner Residents of Phoenix long ago recognized something special about the rugged mountains that rise from the desert south of the city. In 1924, this area became one of the largest...
Petroglyph in northern New Mexico shows an anthropomorphic figure with headdress and recurved bow. It is believed that the image was carved sometime between 16th and 18th centuries.

From Atlatls To Arrows

Spring 2015: From Atlatls To Arrows, By Mike Toner. For thousands of years, North America’s ancient people relied on an ingenious spear-throwing device called the atlatl to hunt game and wage war. Then they discovered, and...
Archaeologist Tom Dillehay (in blue shirt and hat, standing) has directed excavations at Monte Verde in southern Chile for years. Recent research suggests the site could be more than 18,000 years old. Photo Credit: Kenneth Garrett.

How Were The Americas Colonized?

Winter 16: By David Malakoff. Two decades ago, when molecular anthropologist Ripan Malhi was a graduate student studying the earliest human inhabitants of North America, he sometimes had to watch his tongue. Malhi and some...
This Late Classic (a.d. 750 - 850) jar likely contained perishable food that the Maya offered to their gods in hopes that the gods would reciprocate with rain. The jar was found in situ in Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave in Belize. Credit: Jaime Awe

A Time Of Desperation: Archaeology of Maya Caves

Summer 2016: By Kristin Ohlson.  In 1989, William Pleitez was hunting near his farm in western Belize when his dog squeezed between some boulders near a hillside and disappeared. Pleitez soon found that the boulders...
The crew excavates in an intertidal zone where the footprint features were found preserved beneath beach sands. Credit: Grant Callegari / Hakai Institute

Stepping Into The Past

Fall 2016: By Tom Koppel. “Footprints have raised ridges,” says Duncan McLaren, as he crouches and scrapes with his trowel at the bottom of the seaside pit. “Here, you can see what we think is...
Book Jacket of Beliefs and Rituals in Archaic Eastern North America

Book Review- Beliefs & Rituals in Archaic Eastern North America

Beliefs and Rituals in Archaic Eastern North America: An Interpretive Guide By Cheryl Claassen (University of Alabama Press, 2015; 408 pgs., illus., $60 cloth; www.uapress.ua.edu) Appalachian State University archaeologist Cheryl Claassen has produced this outstanding guide to...
Newspaper Rock is one of Gold Butte National Monument’s amazing petroglyph panels. Gold Butte, located in Nevada, was recently designated a national monument to protect cultural resources like Newspaper Rock, but some people opposed the designation. Kurt Kuznicki/Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Archaeology Under Attack

Spring 2017: By Tamara Jager Stewart. In the late 1980s, while working in Wisconsin, Lynne Goldstein, now archaeology professor and director of the Campus Archaeology Program at Michigan State University, served on a panel working...
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,...
Craig Lee (left) and his colleagues Jay Kyne and Ben Woods start to drill an ice core. This is the only invasive technique the researchers employ. Photo INSTAAR/ Jennie Borresen Lee.

Archaeology In The Ice Patches

2015: By Tamara Stewart.  In 2007, archaeologist Craig Lee recovered an incredibly preserved, delicately carved birch spear-throwing foreshaft from a melting ice patch north of Yellowstone National Park. The 10,300-year-old shaft, which Paleo-Indian people used...