The Legacy of New Deal Programs to Northern Arizona and Southwest Archaeology

Author(s): Jeanne Schofer; Peter Pilles

Year: 2015


During the 1930s, federal New Deal programs financed and supported a number of archaeological projects in northern Arizona. Within National Parks and Monuments, surveys and excavations were undertaken so that people could see archaeological sites, and visitor centers were constructed to display and interpret archaeology for the public. Several major expeditions by the Museum of Northern Arizona were also supported by New Deal programs. Excavations from 1933 to 1939 were directed by professional archaeologists employed by the Museum with laborers and students financed by the U.S. Civil Works Administration, Federal Emergency Relief Administration, and the Works Progress Administration. This work took place during a time when little was known about the prehistory of northern Arizona and the field of Southwestern archaeology was relatively new. The Museum’s excavations formed the basis for numerous publications by Harold S. Colton and his colleagues that greatly influenced the next 80 years of archaeological research and National Park Service interpretation. This paper explores the relationship of archaeological research conducted by the Museum with federal New Deal Programs and its enduring legacy to the archaeological profession and the American public.

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Cite this Record

The Legacy of New Deal Programs to Northern Arizona and Southwest Archaeology. Jeanne Schofer, Peter Pilles. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395058)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;