Discovering the Desert / Gaining Understanding



ca. 1933

Prior to 1925, little was known about the archeology or early cultural history of the California deserts. Four years after arriving in the desert, and with the assistance of the Southwest Museum, William and Elizabeth Campbell began working with well-known archeologists of the day by 1928. Their field notes, photographs and archives document the earliest materials found to date, with artifacts currently dated back nearly 10,000 years.

Each page of the notebooks describes an object or group of objects and the site’s setting. A stamped numbering system connects each object to information about the area in which it was recovered, as seen on this open page.

Paper, ink, leather. H 24.5, W 20.5, T 2.3 cm
Campbell Collection
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 28354

Pinto Point

BCE 5,000 — 10,000

Stone. L 2.7, W 1.9, T 0.6 cm
Joshua Tree National Point, JOTR 5997