Crossroads of Culture

Anthropology Collections at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

by Chip Colwell, Stephen E. Nash, and Steven R. Holen

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Copublished with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

"Crossroads of Culture is more valuable than a mere memento, offering an important and accessible introduction not only to a great institution but to a great discipline and a great cultural activity and problem—the acquisition, storage, study, and display of 'culture.'"
—Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database


The hectic front of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science hides an unseen back of the museum that is also bustling. Less than one percent of the museum's collections are on display at any given time, and the Department of Anthropology alone cares for more than 50,000 objects from every corner of the globe not normally available to the public. This lavishly illustrated book presents and celebrates the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's exceptional anthropology collections for the first time.

The book presents 123 full-color images to highlight the museum's cultural treasures. Selected for their individual beauty, historic value, and cultural meaning, these objects connect different places, times, and people. From the mammoth hunters of the Plains to the first American pioneer settlers to the flourishing Hispanic and Asian diasporas in downtown Denver, the Rocky Mountain region has been home to a breathtaking array of cultures. Many objects tell this story of the Rocky Mountains' fascinating and complex past, whereas others serve to bring enigmatic corners of the globe to modern-day Denver.

Crossroads of Culture serves as a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum's anthropology collections. All the royalties from this publication will benefit the collections of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Department of Anthropology.


Chip Colwell is the founding editor-in-chief of SAPIENS and former senior curator of anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He has written and edited twelve books, and his essays have appeared widely, including in The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Atlantic. His TED Talk about the return of sacred objects from museums to Native Americans has been viewed more than 1 million times. He is the recipient of two National Council on Public History Book Awards and the Gordon R. Willey Prize of the American Anthropological Association.

Stephen E. Nash is curator of archaeology and chair of the Department of Anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He has published seven books and two dozen peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the history of anthropology and archaeology, archaeological dating, the history of museums, and museum collections.

Steven R. Holen is a curator of archaeology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

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  • Ebook Price: $10.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $4.99
  • EISBN: 978-1-60732-025-8
  • Publication Year: 2010
  • Pages: 224
  • Illustrations: 123 color photographs, 7 B&W photographs
  • Discount Type: Trade
  • Author: by Chip Colwell, Stephen E. Nash, and Steven R. Holen
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-60732-024-1
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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