Across the deserts of the American southwest are one of the largest concentrations of geoglyphs outside of Peru’s Nazca Lines. These ancient Native American works of earthen art can be up to hundreds of feet long, and yet are often invisible until viewed from above. Before drones, GPS, or GoogleMaps, photographer Harry Casey began a unique archaeology project. Armed with nothing more than topographic maps, 35mm film cameras, and his beloved Piper J3 Cub aircraft, Casey spent thirty-five years documenting the region’s geoglyphs before natural erosion and human intervention could destroy these fragile sites. Here, for the first time, is a visual record of these beautiful and mysterious, little-known features.
About the Authors
Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Anne took her lifelong love of history and turned it into a career by attending Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, to get a Masters in Library and Information Science, focusing on archives. She was hired as the Head Archivist/Curator at the Imperial Valley Desert Museum in Ocotillo, California, and promptly fell in love with the desert around her. While working at the IVDM Anne met Harry and Meg Casey and what began as an archival project on Harry’s nearly 10,000 aerial images became a friendship and partnership as she helped edit Harry’s original manuscript into a published book.
The eldest of three sons born into a farming family east of Brawley, California, Harry has always been interested in flying, photography, and desert archaeology. These interests led him to take classes from noted archaeologist and historian Jay von Werlhof at the Imperial Valley College in El Centro, California. During these classes he met his future wife, Margaret, and made a lifelong friend in Jay. For the last thirty-five years Harry has flown over the Colorado and Mojave Deserts, documenting the little known geoglyphs of the American Southwest.
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