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The year in paleontology around the American West was full of surprises, and so is Western Digs’ most-read natural history news of 2016. Read on to see the year’s top discoveries about dinosaurs, mammoths and … humans!
#dinosaurs #fossils #paleontology #west #science #news
The year in paleontology around the American West was full of surprises, and so is Western Digs’ most-read natural history news of 2016.
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Glass blades, unusual crescent-shaped tools, and a "shadow dagger" were among the striking finds reported this year by archaeologists around the West. Find out which 5 discoveries became the most popular archaeological stories of the year on Western Digs!
#archaeology #anthropology #western #science #news
Glass blades, unusual crescent-shaped tools, and a
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New research into Arizona’s famous Montezuma Castle cliff dwellings reveals that the site’s final days were fraught with violence and death, an account corroborated by Native American oral histories of the Castle’s collapse 600 years ago. Find out what archaeologists have discovered, and what the implications are for our understanding of the history of pre-contact Arizona.
#archaeology #anthropology #arizona #history #nativeamerican #science #news
The final days at one of Arizona's most famous ancient landmarks were fraught with violence and death, new research shows.
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In a desert cave, researchers have uncovered a strange scene: the naturally mummified remains of an infant, a scarlet macaw, and half of an adult man, buried among a rich array of artifacts. Learn more about this unusual burial and what it’s telling experts about the earliest farmers of the Chihuahuan Desert.
#archaeology #history #science #news
Archaeologists investigating a cave have discovered an unusual burial that’s providing new insights into the ways of some of the earliest farmers of the Chihuahuan Desert.
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A bronze buckle and bead found in Alaska are the first hard evidence of trade between Asia and the North American Arctic, centuries before contact with Europeans, archaeologists say. Have a look at the artifacts and learn more about this ancient intercontinental connection.
#archaeology #alaska #anthropology #history #science #news
A bronze buckle and metal bead found in Alaska are the first hard evidence of trade between Asia and the North American Arctic, centuries before contact with Europeans.
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The grave of a young woman found in downtown Tempe, Arizona, is revealing a touching story about her painful life and the community that cared for her more than 800 years ago. Read about the discovery of Burial 167 — a woman afflicted with scoliosis, tuberculosis, and rickets — and what her death is telling us about the ways of the Hohokam culture.
#archaeology #anthropology #arizona #history #science #news
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I live in Phoenix, A buddy does construction here in the valley. Anytime they are digging in most parts of town They need to have an archeologist on site. So if anything comes up it can be recovered and documented. Even dog or chicken bones will slow down progress. But it's finds like this that make that slow down worth while 
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Experts are at odds over a simple, central question in Southwestern history: How did people in New Mexico’s arid Chaco Canyon manage to grow their food? According to new research, they didn’t. Learn about this latest salvo fired in the ongoing debate over the Southwest's great pre-contact city.
#archaeology #anthropology #history #science #news #newmexico
Recently, researchers have been at odds over a simple, central question in Southwestern archaeology: How did the people of Chaco Canyon manage to grow their food? According to new research: They didn’t.
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A badger-sized animal that prowled the Northern Plains 66 million years ago packed the most powerful bite of any mammal, living or extinct, scientists say. Meet the humble Didelphodon, a small mammal that became a fearsome predator — even in the Age of Dinosaurs.
#fossils #paleontology #montana #northdakota #naturalhistory #science #news
A scrappy mammal that lived alongside dinosaurs packed the most powerful bite of any mammal, living or extinct, scientists say.
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Curious clay figurines uncovered in southern Arizona appear to be fertility symbols used by desert dwellers as much as 3,000 years ago, new research says. See the artifacts for yourself, and learn more about the debate surrounding these ancient objects.
#archaeology #anthropology #arizona #history #sex
Curious clay figurines found in Arizona may be fertility symbols used by farmers as much as 3,000 years ago.
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Some of the earliest known inhabitants of the Northwest lived alongside a now-extinct species of ‘stout-legged’ horse, scientists say. Read on to learn about the fossils found in Oregon’s famous Paisley Caves, and what they can tell us about the history of horses in the American West during the Ice Age.
#fossils #oregon #horses #paleontology #science #news
Some of the earliest known inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest lived alongside a now-extinct species of ‘stout-legged’ horse, scientists say.
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In a Utah cliff dwelling, researchers have found an unusual decoration that’s never been reported before: a stone with dinosaur tracks placed above the front door. Read on to learn more about the site, and this fascinating confluence of natural history and human history.
#archaeology #paleontology #anthropology #utah #dinosaurs #fossils
In a Utah cliff dwelling, researchers have found a decoration that’s never been reported before: dinosaur tracks above the front door.
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On an island off the coast of Ventura County, scientists have discovered an “unusual” mammoth that lived alongside some of the earliest known human inhabitants of Southern California. Read on to learn all about the new specimen, and why scientists are having a hard time finding a place for it in the long, complex history of mammoths in the Channel Islands.
#california #mammoth #fossils #paleontology #nps #science #news
Scientists have discovered the remains of an “unusual” mammoth that lived alongside some of the earliest known human inhabitants of Southern California.
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A science news site that explores the archaeology, anthropology and paleontology of the American West
Introduction
We created Western Digs because we're passionate about exploring the West and examining how science can help us understand history.

All of our content is exclusive -- no reprinted press releases here -- and our reporting and blogging have been cited by NPR, Archaeology Southwest, and MTV, among many other sources.

Our focus is on peer-reviewed research as well as developments in policy, politics and popular culture as they affect the West's natural and cultural resources. We think understanding the past is key to making sense of the present, and making decisions for the future. We hope you enjoy WD and come back soon.
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