Reader Additions and Corrections

The following information was sent in by readers of the web site or the ACRA Edition article. Other feedback has been worked directly into the original essay. If you have similar information that you wish to share, please e-mail it to

Dave Phillips

An October 31, 2003 e-mail from Terry Karschner states:

Edward Rutsch of Historic Conservation and Interpretation, Inc. was one of the earliest firms to provide CRM consulting services in New Jersey. However, his early career was spent as a professor of anthropology at Farleigh Dickinson University. His private company was incorporated in 1973. I do know that he was doing CRM work earlier, but probably not as an incorporated company. ... Sadly, Big Ed passed away this summer.

Another of New Jersey's earliest contract archaeologists was the late Herbert Kraft, anthropology professor at Seton Hall University. Although he was always associated with Seton Hall, Herb did considerable contract archaeology in New Jersey, dating from about 1976 (possibly earlier).

Constance Greiff, of Heritage Studies, established her company in 1970. This is one of the first companies that I know of that was created by someone who was not in an academic institution.

There are a number of others and I have listed those who appear most prominently in the Annotated Bibliography through 12/31/1979: Cultural Resource Survey Reports Submitted to the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office. James Boylan, Dept. of Anthro., Montclair State College Joel Grossman, Rutgers Archaeological Survey Office, Dep. of Human Ecology, Cook College, Rutgers University Susan Kardas and Edward Larrabee, Historic Sites Research Barbara Liggett John Milner Associates (Dr. Alex Townsend, Dir. of Archaeology) Brian Morrell, worked with Rutsch Alan Mounier, Archaeological Surveys & Assessments Ron Thomas, Mid-Atlantic Archaeological Research Budd Wilson, early career with state of NJ at Batsto and in Trenton in SHPO, worked with Rutsch.

This is not all of them, but a selection of the ones with the most CRM work at the time. You can use this if you wish, but I'm sure there are some omissions and errors.

In an e-mail sent the day before, Karschner notes that "Around 1977, the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office began keeping a list of qualified CRM consultants, based on the NPS professional qualification standards of 1977, for th agencies to refer to when they had historic resources to consider."

A June 20, 2005 e-mail from Jim Mueller states:

Referring to the Northeast section of your wonderful history, there is no information from Massachussetts. I was one of those moonlighting, semi-starving professsors (at Bridgewater (MA) State College) who in 1975 took on the Cape Cod highway job as a CRM contract "on the side" so I could buy a color TV for my daughter to watch Sesame Street. Years later, I found that the Cape Cod job was the second CRM/contract job in the Coommonwealth of Mass. It was a kitchen table, Mom and Pop operation and I employed undergraduate students who processed artifacts at their homes. I don't think I charged a profit or an overhead, figuring that my hourly rate was enough income from archeology.

Before Massachusetts, I had come from the University of Arizona and the Museum of Northern Arizona (1968–1970) under Lex Lindsay who taught me all I knew about CRM and the contract world. I always thought of private museums (like MNA above) and colleges as part of the private sector, and, myself as their employee, also in the private sector. Maybe CRM in museums and universities (public and private in separation) could be another historical study in the future.

In e-mails of November 4 and 5, 2003, Brantley Jackson corrected "Rollin" Pangborn to Rolland E. Pangborn. The November 4 e-mail notes, "I ran into Rolland when I was an undergraduate student at the University of Missouri." The next day'ss e-mail adds, "Rolland was a local artifact collector whom Ray Wood recruited and trained on the Pomme de Terre project in the late 1950s.

Missing image: Roger Desautels and colleagues
Roger Desautels, Max Farrar, and Rena Grinnall at a site in the Cuyama River Canyon (Highway 166 Project), February 1971. Photographer unknown. Photograph provided by Max Farrar.

The photograph shown above was sent to me by Max Farrar in June 2009. In an e-mail of February 11 o fthat year, Max describes his memories of Roger Desautels and ARI:

Roger Desautels was one of the most inspirational people I've ever met. I worked for him from the summer of 1967 to the summer of 1971 whenever possible. I had quite a few other things going on, and had to make a living driving [for] Yellow Cab in Oakland, but I was always ready to drop what was doing and go digging with him and Archaeological Research Inc.

I met him by chance the summer after I graduated from UCSC in 1967 and had hitchhiked down to Los Angeles to see my girlfriend. While I was there I stopped in at the Archaeological Survey at UCLA (located in a "temporary" WWII building on Westwood Blvd. just South of where the Student Union is now). I talked to Chester (King?) and he told me about a dig in Orange County that could use a few people. My girlfriend gave me a ride down to Orange County. The site was on a knoll where the Jamboree Road overpass was being built over the future San Diego Freeway.

Roger was a larger-than-life figure. Everyone who met him liked him immediately. Although I never learned the details of his business arrangement with California DOT as CalTrans was called in those days, the important thing was he was paying the people who were digging on the site. This was a novelty in itself. Prior to that I'd only had a field course in Old Sacramento and done some volunteer work for the Nevada State Museum. Aside from helping out Tom Layton and Dave Thomas at Cougar Mountain Cave, that was it.

Over the weeks we excavated on Jamboree Road we all got to know Roger well. That summer, before ARI was formed, he was in some sort of partnership with a former Los Angeles police detective whose name I don't remember [ed. note: see Roberta Greenwood's addendum, below]. Both of them were on site almost every day. I believe Roger commuted by car from his home in Big Tujunga Canyon. (This was before the 405 was extended South of the Orange County Airport, but I think the Santa Ana Freeway was complete.) Eventually we got to know the whole family: his wife Patty and the young boys Randy and Dory.

I don't remember very well what the pay scale was but the amount $2.37/hr has stuck in my mind all these years.

Roger was extremely generous with his time, knew a great deal about archaeology, and inspired friendship and loyalty among the people working for him. (Some people no doubt idolized him.) His vision was to salvage the scant remains left us by the original people of California which were being destroyed by developers and road builders at an accelerating rate; and to do it using public and private funds. He must have realized at some point in his life that it was all going to disappear if sites were sampled and excavated solely by college professors on summer vacation.

I'll throw in here an example from my personal experience unconnected with Roger's work. The four lane wide cut-and-cover tunnel under Customs House Plaza in Monterrey was bulldozed through a midden which is 20 or 30 feet thick. This was done in the winter of 1966-67. Tens of thousands of cubic yards of deposit were loaded into dump trucks and hauled away. It was all gone before the State Archaeologist ever found out.

Roger's background was in public relations and advertising. He enjoyed the process of promoting salvage archaeology and securing donations from businesses. I say this, although he once told me when we were alone that he lost a lot of sleep over the problems of raising funds and would love to get back into a trench and just be troweling and using a whiskbroom instead of constantly having to promote the business.

In one of his presentations Roger sold the AEC on funding some research on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians where there were lots of Native American sites. Very large hydrogen bombs were being detonated at the bottom of wide shafts drilled deep into the island. Developments on the surface and the drill rigs themselves were damaging the archaeological sites. The nuclear testing itself was controversial. Roger's first season on Amchitka was in the summer of 1968, not 1962. Roger was able to found ARI as a business based on the funds received from the AEC for the first year's work on Amchitka. He may have founded it just before that first season or after it.

I was in VISTA in Chicago during 1968, so I missed the first Amchitka season. However, when I returned to California from the Chicago Convention I did lots of volunteer work for ARI in the business premises Roger rented in Costa Mesa. The space was used for offices and an archaeological lab. Roger found enough paid work for us to keep the lights on and the phone bill paid. The AEC was planning more H-bomb test shots and ARI was planning on more seasons of work on Amchitka. I was invited to go with them for the second season.

Roger and his family got an apartment in Costa Mesa and we'd all have dinner together most nights. Roger was a great storyteller and had many great stories. I remember him telling about the old days in Big Tujunga Canyon. Because of the forest fire danger it was not unusual for a family to buy a used fire engine to keep handy for emergencies and at least two families had them. (Only in America!) Roger would have us all rolling on the floor with his tales of what happened during the water fights they used to have up in the Canyon.

The following year the first Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior sailed into the waters around Amchitka and the ensuing publicity over the environmental issues caused public opinion to finally turn against all nuclear testing. Testing was stopped in 1969 and ARI never returned to Amchitka. Instead, Roger got a contract to survey the right-of-way and conduct excavations on the new Highway 166 that Cal DOT was building through the Cuyama River canyon East of Santa Maria. (Alex Madonna, another larger-than-life figure, was the contractor.) This project lasted several years. In 1969, '70 and '71 I worked on this project with Roger's whole crew, doing both surveying and excavation. (If you look in Google Earth you can see both the old twisty Highway 166 and the new straighter one through the bottom of the canyon where the Native American sites were. I don't know why the old one is shown so prominently in Google Earth, because it is abandoned and only used as a farm road by Jean Garcin's son Justy.) I believe Ron May worked on this project also, along with Eric Hardesty, Mike Ellis, Terry the mechanic and many others.

We didn't see much of Roger on the Hwy 166 project because he was in Costa Mesa most of the time negotiating more contracts. In the early 1970's ARI reorganized as Environmental Impact Reports Inc. (EIRI) and broadened the scope of its business with help from Tom Elliot.

I then went to architecture school at UCLA, got involved in Middle Eastern Archaeology and settled in England as a Fortran programmer in the late 70s. I lost touch with Roger during this time. I was shocked and saddened when, years later, I heard from Tom Layton that Roger had died. I wish deeply that he had never been a smoker. Smoking has killed so many people who could have continued contributing to society.

Roger was the first person I'd heard of back in 1967 to apply what he'd learned working in the business world to the essentially academic discipline of archaeology in order to recover more information from the past. According to your study he was THE first one. (That Los Angeles police detective was also in at the beginning but I don't know how involved he was after '67.)

Sadly, I have forgotten the names of most of ARI's staff in the late 60s and early 70s. It would be nice to hear from some of them.

On February 13, 2009, Farrar sent in this addendum:

I have been doing a little research this morning and discovered that the last underground test on Amchitka was Cannikin (4–5 megatons) on 6 Nov. 1971. The AEC abandoned Amchitka due to public pressure in Feb. 1972.

This means that we at ARI were in fact waiting for the AEC to give us money for the second season on Amchitka all during the time we were working on the Hwy 166 project. It seems that Roger did a follow-up site inspection after the Project Milrow (1 megaton) detonation in Oct. 1969 but no archaeological excavations were done that year. As I said in my main statement, I was coming and going at ARI during those years and was not there all the time and seem to have lost track of things. I do not know why there was no archaeology funded before the big one was exploded. Maybe someone else who was there can remember.

My email is: mfarrar45(at) It would be good for us to get together and straighten this out. I am appalled at my faulty memory.

On June 24, 2009, Roberta Greenwood sent in an addendum to Farrar's original statement:

The Los Angeles policeman who partnered with Roger Desautels was George Kritzman, a highly skilled archaeologist. George reorganized the records for some 560 sites on the Channel Islands, and instituted a professional accession and curation system at the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Page last revised on June 24, 2009.
Please report problems to