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WSU Press releases book on leader in southwest archaeology

PULLMAN — Washington State University Press recently released “Tracking Ancient Footsteps: William D. Lipe’s Contributions to Public and Southwest Archaeology”.

Archaeologists, including William D. Lipe, have spent decades unraveling the mystery of why tens of thousands of ancestral Pueblo Indians abandoned their communities around 1300 A.D. to move to areas far to the south and southeast. Colleagues who worked and interacted with him share their experiences in the book and chronicle a life devoted to understanding the human past. 

In the book, contributors recall how, as a graduate student in the late 1950’s, Lipe headed an archaeological team at Glen Canyon in southeastern Utah, just before its flooding.  Two decades later, he helped direct excavations during construction of a reservoir in the Dolores Valley of Colorado, the largest archaeological project in North America at the time.  These experiences with the loss of multiple prime research locations inspired Lipe to champion the public benefits of archaeological study and to passionately promote a resource management approach that protects artifacts and sites, preserving their rich heritage for future generations. This practice, termed Cultural Resource Management, has become a major emphasis in archaeology today.

Lipe has been a faculty member at Washington State University since 1976, currently as Professor Emeritus of Anthropology.  Lipe is also  an enthusiastic educator whose zeal motivated him to help develop the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Colorado where participants learn by working directly with trained researchers.  That same dedication led him to accept key roles in the Society for American Archaeology and other national and regional organizations. He remains intensely involved in his profession, continuing to write and lecture about archaeology.

The book is available in paperback and is 6″ x 9″, 200 pages, and has a list price of $22.95. It is available at bookstores or can be ordered directly from WSU Press by calling 800-354-7360 or by going online to

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