In “Digging in Yucatan”, Ann Axtell Morris describes the archaeologist’s three “absolutely necessary tools: “ the spade, the human eye, and imagination­. Without imagination, she writes, the relics that archeologists dig up are “nothing but dry bones and variegated dust…Imagination enables them to rebuild the walls of fallen cities… visualize trade roads stretching across the world filled with curious travelers… Of course, “it must be carefully controlled by such facts are available…and measured out with the care of a chemist who compounds a life-giving drug.”
In the America 1920-30s , Ann Axtell Morris developed methods to document architecture, petroglyphs and landscapes. On her giant Clipboard she loved to paint and draw to capture information better than black and white photographs could do at this time, into cave or narrow galeries.
While overlooked in life, Ann Axtell Morris contributed to a growing understanding of the lives and culture of ancient Native Americans and Indigenous Mexicans whose complex societies had them too been overlooked.
She is widely credited with helping open the field to other women and inspiring generations of readers with a passion for archaeology.

Read “Digging in the Yucatàn” (1931)

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