Windes Was Here

Author(s): Dabney Ford; Wendy Bustard

Year: 2015


Documenting field work has been standard archaeological practice for over a century. Long-term preservation and continuing use of those records has been less standard. Tom Windes’ documentary record of his work in Chaco Canyon is an example of what best practices can achieve. In particular, Windes developed a style of mapping archaeological sites that has proved invaluable in relocating, monitoring, and maintaining Chaco’s World Heritage resources. Standards for archaeological site documentation have changed in the past 45 years, but Windes’ keen sense of the cultural landscape and his ability to interpret surface remains has kept his records relevant. Working in a pre-digital era of hand-written and typed field notes, hand-drawn maps, and (mostly) black and white photography, Windes’ legacy is impressive: at least 50 linear feet of his records have been cataloged into the Chaco Museum Collection. Although paper records pose preservation and access challenges, one of their advantages is the personal touch. Handwritten annotations, comments, and artwork can provide information, insight, and sometimes humor. This personal touch can indelibly link archaeologists with their projects in a way that electronic files cannot.

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Cite this Record

Windes Was Here. Wendy Bustard, Dabney Ford. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395290)


Spatial Coverage

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