Douglas D. Dykeman


Principal Archaeologist


Photograph of Douglas D. Dykeman Principal Archaeologist. One of the foremost authorities on Navajo ArchaeologyDouglas Dykeman is one the foremost experts in America today on Navajo Archaeology, having worked with the Tribe in a variety of capacities over the past nineteen years.  Doug has worked in the field of archaeology continuously since receiving his degree from the University of Colorado in 1974.  Though he has returned to the classroom as both a student to pursue graduate level studies, and as an instructor to teach and mentor new archeologists frequently over the years, his primary interest lies in field work and hands-on research. 

Mr. Dykeman has a B. A. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado (1974) and pursued graduate work in anthropology at Southern Illinois University in 1976 and at Eastern New Mexico University in 1978. He has over thirty years of experience in prehistoric and historic archaeology in North America and since 1983 has assumed the duties of Project Director. Mr. Dykeman has 19 years of service with the Navajo Nation Archaeology Department, working in a several capacities, including Archaeologist, Field Director, and Project Director. He also serves as adjunct faculty member at San Juan College and teaches introductory and Southwestern archaeology courses.

Mr. Dykeman's primary areas of expertise are in the North American Southwest, Great Basin, and Rocky Mountains. He has authored or co-authored five published volumes in the Navajo Nation Papers in Anthropology series that document archaeological excavations and surveys involving Archaic, Anasazi, Mogollon, and early Navajo sites in the Four Corners Area. Dykeman has co-authored cultural overviews of the La Plata Valley (for New Mexico SHPO) and Chuska Slope (for the New Mexico Archaeological Council). He has prepared numerous research designs and data recovery plans for excavation and survey projects both large and small. Mr. Dykeman has presented fifteen papers at professional meetings for the Society for American Archaeology (4), American Anthropological Association (1), Arizona Archaeological Council (1), Anasazi Symposium (2), Pecos Conference (1), Colorado Council of Professional Archaeologists (1) and Fruitland Conference (5). Mr. Dykeman's research interests include prehistoric communities, prehistoric economy and land-use, and social structure. In the past 10 years he has served as project director for excavations at 16 archaeological sites and two large survey projects encompassing nearly 3000 acres of block survey.

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Archaeological Experience

Mr. Dykeman has considerable experience, dating back to 1974, in cultural resource studies in the southwestern United States. The breadth of his experience is remarkable and includes excavation, archaeological inventory, research designs, report preparation, regional overviews, project management, research and public outreach. A summary of relevant experience includes:

Research Designs

Fort Wingate Navajo Ethnoarchaeology Research. Coauthored plan to conduct ethnographic interview and archaeological tree-ring dating of Navajo sites in the Fort Wingate Army Depot

Morris Site 1 Early Navajo Land Use Study. Formulated a set of research goals characterizing early Navajo communities and land-use patterning as the result of community development. Designed a technique that measures confidence of TL dates by comparison with tree-ring results.

Data Recovery

Fruitland Coal Gas Data Recovery. Prepared nearly twenty data recovery plans for a variety site types in the upper San Juan River valley. Directed excavations of 16 sites. Prepared published volumes of results.

Hogan Well Project. Directed excavations at five Mogollon and Anasazi sites located in the Rio Puerco Valley of the west. Prepared a published volume of the results.

Alamito Coal Lease/Bis-sa-ani Community Study. Served as field director for excavations at 41 Archaic and Chacoan Anasazi sites in the San Juan Basin.

Archaeological Survey

Morris Site 1 Early Navajo Land Use Study. Directed archaeological survey of 1400 acres near Gobernador, New Mexico. Block and sample survey techniques were used to characterize an early Navajo community.

LaJara Community Study. Prepared the research design focusing on Anasazi (Piedra Phase) communities in the upper San Juan Valley, New Mexico and supervised a 13% sample survey of the 15000-acre study area.

Chuska Seismic. Directed survey of hundreds of miles of seismic line in the Four Corners area of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona.


La Plata Valley Overview. Co-directed work that describes the archaeology of the LaPlata Valley.

Chuska Slope Overview. Co-authored descriptions of the major Anasazi communities of the Chuska slope.

Recent Publications

Dykeman, Douglas D., editor
2003 The Morris Site 1 Early Navajo Land Use Study: Gobernador Phase Community Development in Northwestern New Mexico. Navajo Nation Papers in Anthropology No. 39. Navajo Nation Archaeology Department, Window Rock, Arizona.

Dykeman, Douglas D., Ronald H. Towner, and James K. Feathers
2002 Correspondence in Tree-ring and Thermoluminescense Dating: A Protohistoric Navajo Pilot Study. American Antiquity 67(1).

Dykeman, Douglas D. and Jeffery T. Wharton
2000 Archaeological Investigations at LA 71781: A Study in Cultural and Ecological Diversity Along the Upper San Juan River, Northwestern New Mexico. Navajo Nation Papers in Anthropology No. 38. Navajo Nation Archaeology Department, Window Rock, Arizona.

Dykeman, Douglas D. and Jeffery T. Wharton
1999 Cultural Adaptation to Upland Environments in the Upper San Juan Basin: Archaeological Investigations at LA 81694 in Northwestern New Mexico. Navajo Nation Papers in Anthropology No. 34. Navajo Nation Archaeology Department, Window Rock, Arizona