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New Book Documents Only Geoglyphs In US

Photo credit: Sunbelt Publications, Inc.

The cover of “Geoglyphs of the Desert Southwest: Earthen Art as Viewed from Above.”

An archaeological project has been taking place in the southwestern U.S. desert — and much of the research happened in the sky.

Over 35 years, pilot and archaeology enthusiast Harry Casey took aerial photographs to document geoglyphs, enormous ground drawings created by ancient cultures that can be found in southeastern California and southwestern Arizona. Casey undertook the project because the geoglyphs are the only ones in the U.S. and he wanted to document them before they disappear.

Anne Morgan, former head archivist of the Imperial Valley Desert Museum in Ocotillo, worked with Casey to compile the photos in a new book, “Geoglyphs of the Desert Southwest: Earthen Art as Viewed from Above.”

"They represent the almost-incomprehensible art form of ancient cultures," Morgan wrote in the book. "Rock alignments were constructed with locally available stones, arranged to create complex designs and long, sinuous lines."

Morgan will be speaking about the book at the Colorado Desert Archaeology Society on Friday.

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Pilot and archaeology enthusiast Harry Casey documented the geoglyphs, or ground drawings in southeastern California and southwestern Arizona, with aerial photographs taken over 35 years. These geoglyphs are the only ones in the U.S. and Casey wanted to document them before they disappear.

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Aired: April 15, 2019 | Transcript

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