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Fragile Patterns: The Archaeology of the Western Papaguería Named One of the Top Picks of 2008 in Southwest Books of the Year Competition

Of the 165 titles reviewed by the Pima County Library’s Southwest Books of the Year, Fragile Patterns was chosen as one of the 12 “top picks” for 2008. The book contains 31 chapters written by 42 archaeologists, historians, geoscientists, and Native Americans, each of whom has a special relationship with the hot and arid part of the Sonoran Desert known as the Western Papaguería. Fragile Patterns opens with profiles of the pioneers of Southwest archaeology, professional and amateur, who braved this harsh environment and toiled for decades in near obscurity to document the region’s archaeology. The book then presents the findings of a new generation of archaeologists and geoscientists on farming in the desert; native plant use; reservoirs, pottery; regional cultures; rock art, geoglyphs, and rock cairns; and trade and travel. Fragile Patterns concludes by interweaving Tohono O’odham and Hia C-ed O’odham perspectives with those of archaeologists and land managers, providing a rare forum for the voice and passion of the people of the Papaguería.

Click here to read more about the competition and see the other books that were chosen.

Fragile Patterns was also profiled on Arizona Illustrated on January 22, 2009. Watch editors Jeffrey Altschul and Adrianne Rankin discuss their book here.

Read a recent review of Fragile Patterns from the Journal of Archaeological Science here.

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