Record Details

Catalog Search

Sins of the shovel : looting, murder, and the evolution of American archaeology  Cover Image Book Book

Sins of the shovel : looting, murder, and the evolution of American archaeology / Rachel Morgan.


"Rachel Morgan's frank and incisive history begins with Richard Wetherill's "discovery" of Mesa Verde in Colorado in 1888. Subsequent expeditions by amateurs, looters, and budding professional archaeologists abetted the devastation of Indigenous sites throughout the Southwest. These expeditions became the proving grounds for different conceptions of what archaeology should be and how it should be practiced. Ultimately, revulsion at the work of nineteenth-century explorers led to more rigorous and ethical norms, as well as federal regulation, but the core issues of how we ought best to engage with the evidence and people of the past remain live ones today. Morgan, an archaeologist, knows well the field's history of racism and unethical behavior, and she is both unsparing and even-handed in assessing what happened in the Southwest and how it informs relations among people-and with the planet-today"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780226822389
  • ISBN: 0226822389
  • Physical Description: viii, 319 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Publisher: Chicago, IL : The University of Chicago Press, 2023.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Prologue -- A palace in the sky -- Robber baron -- All the world's a fair -- Toward the grand gulch -- Whence and whither -- Bonito, 1895 -- Cacao and turquoise -- Return to the grand gulch -- Trade -- Digging deeper -- Death by committee -- Anni horribiles -- All's fair...St. Louis, 1904 -- An act for the preservation of American antiquities -- Race for the rainbow bridge -- On the borderland of hell -- Where the red rocks run under -- Back to the gulch, again -- New deal, new archaeology -- From potsherds to process -- Grand gulch under fire -- People without names -- Repatriation -- Past -- Epilogue -- Acknowledgments -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index.
Subject: Excavations (Archaeology) > United States.
Indians of North America > Antiquities.
United States > Antiquities.
United States.
Genre: Informational works.

Available copies

  • 2 of 3 copies available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at North Kansas City.


  • 0 current holds with 3 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
North Kansas City Public Library 970.00497 MORGAN 2024 (Text) 0001012536392 Nonfiction New Available -

Additional Resources