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Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(ARCHAEOLOGY.) Archive of photographs of the Bernheimer Expedition to Mesa Verde. 162 silver prints, each 3 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches; minimal wear, intermittent fading, uncaptioned period prints without any photographer's markings. Colorado, 1930
The Mesa Verde archaeological site in southwestern Colorado was inhabited for several millennia, culminating with the famous cliff dwellings built in the 12th century. It was visited by increasing numbers of curio seekers, tourists, and amateur archaeologists from the 1870s onward. Charles L. Bernheimer (1864-1944) led an American Museum of Natural History expedition to the site in May 1930, the eighth and final of the annual expeditions which bore his name. The professional archaeologist on the team was Earl Halstead Morris (1889-1956). Their focus was the Basketmaker III culture which flourished at Mesa Verde circa 400-750 CE. These photographs depict Morris and the other team members at work on the site, as well as some of the artifacts they unearthed, and stunning southwestern scenery. The photographs may have been taken by Merle LaVoy; other photographs from this expedition credited to him have been preserved at the Arizona State Museum. The expedition is discussed in pages 147-159 of Lister & Lister's book "Earl Morris & Southwestern Archaeology," which reproduces one of these photographs. A copy of the book is included with the lot.
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