An Underground (and Virtual) Tour of the Southwest

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The archaeologist, president of Desert Archaeology, and member of the Arizona Historic Preservation Foundation has a long history in underground research. He's worked on the Bureau of Reclamation's Central Arizona Project, the City of Tucson's Rio Nuevo Project, and the community-based concept of a Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area. 

On December 3, he'll tour a small group through prehistoric and historic sites in Tucson, which include a few sites soon-to-be-listed on Virtual Southwest, an online museum of southwestern archaeological sites.

These sites, including Davis Ranch, the slopes of the river valley, and Reeve pueblo, to name a few, will be rebuilt in virtual spaces that house models of pots and artifacts found in the areas. 

While Virtual Southwest developers are still raising money to underwrite and explore more sites (they're hoping to raise $20,000 by the end of the year), the expected launch is in 2012. The data featured in the museum is funded by the National Science Foundation Informal Education Program called "Chaco's Legacy," which focuses on the Center's research on post-Chacoan occupation of the Middle San Juan Basin. 

You can check out the beta-testing phase of the virtual museum here

And if you'd rather see it all in person, tickets for Doelle's tour are free for Preservation Foundation members, $10 for non-members, and are available online. The tour is scheduled from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and limited to 25 participants. More info here.

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