Troweling Through Time: The First Century of Mesa Verdean Archaeology

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UNM Press, 2004 - History - 288 pages
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There is scarcely a tract on the Colorado Plateau that does not have evidence of human occupation. Many of the richest remains have been found in the Mesa Verde Province, which covers southwestern Colorado and adjacent parts of New Mexico and Utah.

The archaeology of the north edge of the Southwest began in 1849 with the discovery of Chaco Canyon by the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers. By the end of the nineteenth century the form of archaeology known as pot hunting was well under way. InTroweling Through Time, Florence Lister tells the story of the archaeology of the area.

In 1907 Edgar Hewett, director of the School of American Research, recruited three Harvard undergraduates to survey the ruins. These novices, Sylvanus Morley, Alfred Kidder, and John Gould Fletcher, were followed by other field workers whose names are just as legendary today. Lister explains what these people found and what it meant. She traces the story through the twentieth century, during which time archaeology became a science and women gained acceptance in the profession. The story goes through the work of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, which has taken the study of the Southwest beyond archaeology, inviting representatives of the region's modern tribes to offer their perspectives on the past. Lister's presentation will be of interest to professional and amateur archaeologists, tourists, and historians.


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Beginnings Beyond Compare
The Formative Years
Meanwhile Back on the Mesa
Before Rising Waters 127
A Time of Transitions 151
Vistas of Mesa Verdean Past
References Cited
Appendix A Excerpt from Richard Wetherill Diary

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About the author (2004)

Florence C. Lister is a distinguished archaeologist and historian of archaeology who lives in Mancos, Colorado.

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