Mike Ruggeri's Ancient Southwest Magazine

By Michael Ruggeri | The history, culture, religions, iconography, art, archaeology and sites of the Hohokam, Mogollon, Mimbres, Sinagua, Salado, Anasazi/Puebloan, Chacoan, Gallina, Fremont Cultures and the Chaco Meridian and the Puebloan Collapse.

Chaco Canyon’s ancient civilization continues to puzzle

Chaco Canyon is a land of extremes. Summer heat scorches the desert canyon, which is sandwiched between sandstone cliffs nearly two kilometers above …

Anthropology

Prehistoric Native Americans farmed macaws in 'feather factories'

Birds were spiritual emblems in pueblos of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.<p>To ancient peoples of the American Southwest, a macaw’s …

Chaco’s Elites Were Natives of Chaco Canyon, Not Migrants, Their Remains Show

More than a century after the great sandstone monuments of New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon were first studied, archaeologists are finally learning about …

Anthropology

New Evidence Reveals Violent Final Days at Arizona’s Montezuma Castle

It’s one of Arizona’s most famous landmarks: a pair of 900-year-old limestone cliff dwellings whose sudden abandonment centuries ago has proven to be …

Anthropology

Earliest Known Clay Figurines in the Southwest May Be Fertility Symbols, Study Says

Curious clay figurines that have been found in southern Arizona appear to be fertility symbols used by desert farmers as much as 3,000 years ago, …

Archaeology

Turkeys were a major part of ancestral Pueblo life

While the popular notion of the American Thanksgiving is less than 400 years old, the turkey has been part of American lives for more than 2,000 …

Physics

Mummified Bird, Baby Found in Cave Shed Light on Earliest Desert Farmers

Archaeologists called to investigate a cave on a rancher’s property have discovered an unusual burial that’s providing new insights into the ways of …

Archaeology

Salt's secret success in ancient Chaco Canyon

A team of University of Cincinnati researchers had to go deep to uncover brand new knowledge that they say will "shake up" the archaeological field …

Dating the Macaws

Macaw Feathers and Copper Bell on Display at Chaco Visitor Center MuseumOne of the most exciting recent developments in the study of Chaco Canyon is …

Anthropology

The Utah Chocolate Story

Cacao pods growing on the plant, Theobroma cacao. Eco Chocolate Museum, Yucatán Peninsula. Photo: Enrique Pérez Huerta<p>Chocolate, a product of the …

Archaeology

Ice Age Hunting Camp, Replete With Bird Bones and Tobacco, Found in Utah Desert

In the dead-flat desert of northwestern Utah, archaeologists have uncovered a scene from a distant, and more verdant, time.Just a few centimeters …

Anthropology

900-Year-Old Village Recorded in Volcanic Badlands of New Mexico

In the black-rock badlands of northwestern New Mexico, archaeologists have documented a 900-year-old village with unique ties to the Ancestral …

Archaeology

First Evidence of Corn Beer in Southwest Discovered on Teeth From Ancient Burials

The last meals of men and women buried centuries ago in the ancient city of Casas Grandes were dominated by corn, new research has found — from …

Archaeology

Ancient Grave of Teenage Girl May Reveal Secrets of Southwest’s Earliest Farmers

Archaeologists working in the borderlands of northern Mexico have uncovered a camp used by ancient hunters as much as 10,500 years ago, revealing …

Archaeology

Nearly 20 Stone-Tool Sites, Dating Back Up To 12,000 Years, Discovered In Nevada

Along lakes and streams that have long since disappeared, archaeologists working in southern Nevada have found nearly 20 sites used by ancient …

Archaeology

A 2,500-year-old family stroll frozen in time: Footprints left by Native American farmers, children and their dog unearthed in Arizona

• <b>Dozens of barefoot prints were uncovered to the north of Tucson, Arizona</b>• <b><br>They show adults walking through fields as children scamper around them</b></b> …

The early 'gastronomes' of Tucson

Inhabitants of an early irrigated agriculture site in North America ate rabbit, greens and masa made from popcorn.

Archaeology

Nearly 9,000 Artifacts Uncovered in California Desert, Spanning 11,500 Years of History

Archaeologists exploring the remote reaches of a military training base in southern California have uncovered nearly 9,000 artifacts that represent …

Archaeology

Cocoa, Caffeinated ‘Black Drink’ Were Widespread in Pre-Contact Southwest, Study Finds

Stimulating drinks made from exotic plants, like the cocoa tree and a type of southern holly, were consumed much more widely across the prehistoric …

Anthropology

'Winged Monster' Rock Art Finally Deciphered

The mystery surrounding the ancient rock paintings of Utah's Black Dragon Canyon has finally been solved. For decades, researchers and creationists …

Cool Stuff

Scarlet macaw skeletons point to early emergence of Pueblo hierarchy

<b>American Museum of Natural History</b>—New work on the skeletal remains of scarlet macaws found in an ancient Pueblo settlement indicates that social and …

Anthropology

Hundreds of Dice, Game Pieces Found in Utah Cave Shed Light on Prehistoric Gambling

A cave on the shore of Utah’s Great Salt Lake is giving archaeologists a rare glimpse into a seldom-studied aspect of life in the ancient West — …

Archaeology

Mesoamerican ‘Fool’s Gold’ Mirrors Found in Arizona Reveal Ties to Ancient Mexico

Archaeologists exploring the ties between ancient cultures in the Southwestern U.S. and central Mexico have turned their attention to some unusual …

Archaeology

Tuzigoot National Monument

Description - History<p>Cultural History<p>Native Peoples<p>Archeologists regard the Verde Valley as an aboriginal melting pot where at least four prehistoric …

National Parks

Hallucinogenic Plants May Be Key to Decoding Ancient Southwestern Paintings, Expert Says

Dozens of rock art sites in southern New Mexico, recently documented for the first time, are revealing unexpected botanical clues that archaeologists …

Archaeology

Twin 1,300-Year-Old Villages Discovered in Arizona Sand Dunes

Archaeologists exploring the high desert of northern Arizona have found a pair of “matching” villages that date back some 1,300 years, revealing …

Evidence of Hobbling, Torture Discovered at Ancient Massacre Site in Colorado

The site of a gruesome massacre some 1,200 years ago in southwestern Colorado is yielding new evidence of the severity, and the grisly intensity, of …

Archaeology

From Stone Darts to Dismembered Bodies, New Study Reveals 5,000 Years of Violence in Central California

From shooting their enemies with darts and arrows to crushing their skulls and even harvesting body parts as trophies, the ancient foragers of …