Arizona Archaeological Council

Douglas B. Craig

07/17/2020 08:04 | AAC Admin (Administrator)

Republished with permission from AAHS, 2020 Glyphs 71(1):6-7. July 2020.

Written by Suzy Fish and Maren Hopkins

His many friends and colleagues will greatly miss Douglas B. Craig, who passed away on May 14 at the age of 64 after an extended illness complicated by COVID-19. Doug and his wife, Rebecca Craig, shared their unique, artisan-built home in the desert near Marana, Arizona throughout their 34 years of marriage. Their life together was full of good food, good music, artwork, and dogs! 

Doug came to Tucson and Hohokam archaeology following a 1978 Harvard University B.A., received a 1982 Anthropology M.A. from the University of Arizona, and later returned to complete his Ph.D. in 2004. Doug was staff archaeologist at Pima Community College’s Centre for Archaeological Field Training in the early 1980s and thereafter was project director for Desert Archaeology, Inc. on the Roosevelt Community Development Study. Joining Northland Research, Inc. in 1993, he served as project director and principal investigator for the rest of his notably productive career. 

Doug was the consummate field archaeologist, with expertise in the Phoenix, Tonto, and Tucson Basins and surrounding areas. He had the foresight and on-the-ground skills to design, execute, and bring to full publication a series of projects that advanced central Hohokam issues and cutting edge approaches in regional archaeology. Investigations at the Grewe site near Casa Grande Ruins provided the basis for Doug’s dissertation and combined many of the innovative intellectual pathways he so successfully pursued. These interests included the role of architectural visibility in population estimates, households and community development, duration of courtyard groups, Gila River streamflow in relation to population dynamics, agent-based modeling, and Hohokam applications of house society concepts. His creative inquiries into the rise of Hohokam inequality addressed labor estimates for public architecture, prominent courtyard groups’ sponsorship of feasting and ballcourt affairs, differential investments in domestic architecture, and the formation of corporate descent groups, property, and wealth.

  In addition to his exemplary cultural resources management (CRM) publications, Doug was a prolific academic author and valued collaborator. His individual and co-authored contributions have appeared in Archaeology, American Antiquity, Journal of Field Archaeology, The Kiva, Journal of Arizona Archaeology, Archaeology Southwest, Oxford Handbook of Southwest Archaeology, and numerous chapters in thematic edited volumes from academic presses.  

Doug generously supported archaeological organizations and public outreach. He served as preservation advocate and as President of Friends of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, President of the Arizona Archaeological Council and co-guest editor of two initial issues of its Journal of Arizona Archaeology, on the Editorial Board of American Archaeology Magazine, in officer and editor positions for Old Pueblo Archaeology, and on the Marana Cultural Preservation Board. Audiences enthusiastically responded to Doug’s lively presentations in countless public talks, site visits, and tours.

Suzy Fish will remember her experience as Doug’s doctoral advisor when she gained a lasting colleague along with new perspectives on Hohokam archaeology. In a final collaboration at University Indian Ruin, we admiringly recall how field school students eagerly responded to Doug as pied piper, drawing them into the intellectual intricacies and adventure of investigating platform mounds.

Maren Hopkins will remember Doug as a loyal friend, mentor, and colleague who taught her how to be bold, stick to her guns, and own her ideas. Doug was a timeless person, full of energy, joy, and curiosity. His integrity, creativity, and intelligence will never be forgotten.   



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