HISTORY OF RESEARCH


Vance T. Holliday, Executive Director
Department of Anthropology and Department of Geosciences
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ
email: vthollid@email.arizona.edu
phone: (520) 621-4734

The Argonaut Archaeological Research Fund (AARF), based in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, is a privately endowed research program focused on understanding the earliest peopling of the Greater Southwest. This field-based endeavor deals primary with Paleoindian archaeology and geoarchaeology in New Mexico, Arizona, southern California, and in Mexico, northern Sonora and Chihuahua. AARF deals with all aspects of Paleoindian archaeology in the region, but is particularly focused on the earliest classical Paleoindian occupations (Clovis and Folsom) and evidence for any earlier human presence in the region.

AARF is one of five archaeological research funds in the United States focused on the peopling of the New World. All are tied to major research universities, are directed by established archaeologists or geoarchaeologists and have a specific geographic focus. The Quest Archaeological Research Fund at Southern Methodist University (David Meltzer, Executive Director) is devoted to the Great Plains and western slope of the Southern Rocky Mountains. The Sundance Archaeological Research Fund at the University of Nevada - Reno (Michael Bever, Executive Director) focuses on the Great Basin; The North Star Archaeological Research Fund at Texas A&M University (Michael Waters, Executive Director) looks to the southeast and eastern United States; and the Odyssey Archaeological Research Fund at the Kansas Geological Survey and University of Kansas (Rolfe Mandel, Executive Director) working in the Central Lowlands and upper Mississippi basin. These projects were established through the remarkable generosity of two people: Joe and Ruth Cramer of Denver, Colorado. Joe Cramer is a geologist, retired from many years in the oil patch. He has had a long interest in archaeology, particularly the contentious issue of when people first arrived in the Americas. He decided to actively address this question beginning in the early 1990s and, as a result of his successes in petroleum exploration, provided funding for the five research endowments specifically focused on Paleoindian studies. The Cramer endowments are the only long-term research programs in the United States focused exclusively on geoarchaeology or Paleoindian archaeology.

 

 

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(This page was created by K. Paraso. Last modified on January 10, 2009 by Shane Miller.)