Spirit of the American Southwest: Geology, Ancient Eras and Prehistoric People, Hiking Through Time

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Sunstone Press, 2002 - Religion - 219 pages

Here, in simple, straight forward language, is an exploration of the events and geologic processes responsible for the stunning beauty of the deserts, plateaus and mountains in the American Southwest. After a brief look at the basics of geology and archaeology, the reader is taken on hikes that feature the most interesting geologic structures and the sites inhabited by Paleo-Indians thousands of years before Christ. The twelve hikes range from desert preserves in the middle of Phoenix, Arizona to remote mountains in northern New Mexico. The spectacular scenery tells a story of volcanic forces and ancient seas that sculpted plateaus and drove up the largest of mountain ranges. Five geologically related hikes cover Arizona, three are in New Mexico and one in Utah. The last three hikes, all in New Mexico, focus on geology and archaeology, covering the entry of the first nomadic hunter-gatherers, and their prey, into the Southwest. The book ends with a basic guide to geologic concepts and an introduction to rock identification for those who wish to learn more. * * * * * Tom Prisciantelli spent many years driving and researching the American Southwest and documenting those geologic and archaeological facts he found most interesting and accessible via hiking trails. His first exposure to geology was in the mid-1960s while attending college in New Mexico where he graduated. After a two-year stint in the Army, he moved back and forth between the East Coast and Southwest. Having spent most of his working life in the computer field, he started his own contracting business, eventually leaving it in order to actualize his dream-to travel and learn about the land. This book is a result of that dream and the desire to share it.

 

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Contents

Geology Ancient Cultures Preparing for the Hike
9
The Earths Beginnings and Plate Tectonics
15
Geologic Time and the Southwest
29
Hiking the Geologic and Archaeological Sites
71
Geology Basics
154
Rock Identification
164
Igneous Rocks
171
Sedimentary Rocks
184
INDEX
209
Copyright

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Page 11 - I knew where to go and what to do. It was the Great Western Desert and now something new to dream about.

About the author (2002)

Tom Prisciantelli spent many years driving and researching the American Southwest and documenting those geologic and archaeological facts he found most interesting and accessible via hiking trails. His first exposure to geology was in the mid-1960s while attending college in New Mexico where he graduated. After a two-year stint in the Army, he moved back and forth between the East Coast and Southwest. Having spent most of his working life in the computer field, he started his own contracting business, eventually leaving it in order to actualize his dream-to travel and learn about the land. This book is a result of that dream and the desire to share it.

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