When is a Village? Defining the Beginnings of Village Life is the Topic of Archaeology Southwest’s Next Archaeology Cafe – Tucson
On March 3, 2015, Dr. Lisa C. Young (University of Michigan) and Dr. Sarah A. Herr (Desert Archaeology, Inc.) will describe what makes a settlement a village. We meet on the patio of Casa Vicente, 375 S. Stone Ave., Tucson. Presentations begin after 6:00 p.m. It is best to arrive before 5:30 p.m., as seating is open and unreserved, but limited. Archaeology Café is free, but guests are encouraged to order their own refreshments from the menu. http://bit.ly/17JcbZu – Archaeology Southwest
New Insights into the Economics of the Development of Cities in Both Ancient and Modern Times
One of the most populous metropolises on the planet, Mexico City, stands atop the ruins of the 15th century Aztec capital Tenochtitlán. The two may not appear to have much in common, but according to a new study they obeyed the same mathematical formula. Scientists have found that—despite major differences in culture, government, and technology—the productivity of both ancient and modern cities grew faster than their populations did. The finding could lead to ways to improve the efficiency of today’s urban centers. http://bit.ly/1Lr7otc – Science
Smithsonian Magazine Examines Pending Development at the Grand Canyon
After nearly three hours, we approach the rim above the confluence. Wilson grows somber—as does her close friend Renae Yellowhorse, whose Aunt Nelly, in her 80s, still lives out here without running water or electricity, still herding sheep. Staring south, Wilson says, “Grandma told us to stay away from the canyon. You don’t throw rocks in there. That’s where the Holy Beings are.” Renae Yellowhorse adds, “My mother was told by my great-grandmother, ‘You don’t go to the rim without a serious reason. You don’t go there just to look. You go there with your corn pollen to pray to the Holy Beings.'” http://bit.ly/1Luwvgx – Smithsonian Magazine
Editorial: BLM Made the Right Decision in Preservation of Cultural Heritage
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has withdrawn 36 of the 53 land parcels planned for a mineral-lease auction next week, a decision that could preserve Utah’s first residences for the benefit of Utah’s future residents. The oil and gas industry is objecting to the withdrawals in the Alkali Ridge, Montezuma Canyon and other culturally sensitive areas, withdrawals they see as symptomatic of the Obama administration’s reluctance to develop energy on federal lands. They’re right about the reluctance, but there is absolutely nothing that should make BLM hurry to offer leases on these lands. http://bit.ly/1DHjCyE – Salt Lake Tribune
Editorial: New Mexico Bill Planning Merger of State Departments of Cultural Affairs and Tourism is a Rather Bad Idea
House Bill 227, which is currently moving through committee, could be far more damaging to the state’s economy than the cost-saving benefits this bill envisions through merging the Department of Cultural Affairs with the Department of Tourism. These two departments have distinctively different and important missions. Cultural Affairs oversees our museums and monuments, archaeological and historic preservation, and New Mexico Arts divisions. With so many important tasks, Cultural Affairs should have its own secretary to grow and protect these assets of our state. http://bit.ly/1DHeLNZ – Santa Fe New Mexican
Chacoan Ceramics in NPS Care Need Rehabilitation
Pieces of New Mexico’s history are falling apart. The glue used to put hundreds of pots found at Chaco Canyon back together is now giving out. The collection of more than 350 prehistoric ceramics, recovered at Chaco Culture National Historical Park, is stored at the Hibben Center at the University of New Mexico. The relics date back about 1,000 to 1,200 years. http://bit.ly/19YABjx – KRQE.com
Protests Continue at Oak Flats
For more than two weeks, protesters have made camp at Oak Flat, the site of a planned copper mine that will result in a massive crater on the sacred site’s surface. “We’re not moving,” said Wendsler Nosie, a former chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and a vocal opponent of the mine. He is the organizer of the protest, which he describes as “Occupy Oak Flat.” http://bit.ly/1D7FRed – Arizona Daily Star
O’odham Graduate Student Weaves Traditional Designs into Nike Shoes
Traditional O’odham imagery, including the iconic Man in the Maze, can now be found on Nike shoes and apparel, thanks in part to a recent University of Arizona graduate. Dwayne Manuel, who received his master of fine arts degree from the UA last fall, collaborated with the sneaker giant to create its O’odham-inspired Desert Journey Collection, a sportswear line that was released in conjunction with the Super Bowl on Feb. 1. http://bit.ly/1MMjaSn – Arizona Daily Star
Video Segment – The Annenberg Foundation on the Repatriation of Hopi Sacred Items
In December 2013, a collection of sacred Native American objects was set to be sold in a private auction in Paris. Many of these objects are considered living beings by the Hopi tribe, and would have most likely been purchased by private collectors. http://bit.ly/1B6kPz1 – Annenberg Foundation
Video Presentation – Archaeology Southwest’s Matt Peeples Presents The Zuni Region across the Lost Century: A.D. 1450–1540
The Zuni region of west-central New Mexico is one of only a few places in the northern Southwest where people continued to live in centuries-old large agricultural villages through the “lost century” and into the historic period. In this talk, Dr. Matthew Peeples summarizes several lines of archaeological and biological evidence to explore the origins, timing and consequences of immigration into the Zuni region and the establishment of the communities de Niza and Coronado encountered. http://bit.ly/1D7DesW – Archaeology Southwest via Youtube
Lecture Opportunity – Coolidge
On Wednesday, February 25, at noon, Lauren Kingston, will present a lecture titled Sister Parks, Casa Grande Ruins and Paquimé at the visitor’s center of the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. The talk highlights the similarities and differences of these two significant historic areas. In 2012, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument and Paquimé Archaeological Zone, located in Northern Chihuahua, Mexico, entered into a formal sister-park partnership. The two sites, although separated by over 300 miles and an international border, share many similarities. Both are federally protected archaeological sites that were inhabited during the same prehistoric cultural period, and both possess monumental example of earthen, adobe architecture. This talk, by Casa Grande Ruins Archaeologist Lauren Kingston, will introduce the site of Paquimé, discuss the similarities and differences between the two sites, and present the purpose and the goals of the sister park partnership.
Lecture Opportunity – Coolidge
Tuesday, March 3, at noon, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument will host Gabriella Furr and Rick Collins, who will offer a one hour program on the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. The talk highlights Juan Bautista de Anza’s year long journey to develop an overland route from Mexico to San Francisco in 1775.
Lecture Opportunity – Coolidge
Wednesday, March 4, at noon, Allen Dart, will present a lecture titled Set in Stone but Not in Meaning: Southwestern Indian Rock Art at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. The talk highlights Ancient Indian petroglyphs and pictographs.
Lecture Opportunity – Durango
Mark Varien, Ph.D., executive vice president of the Crow Canyon Research Institute, will present a Life-Long Learning Series lecture at Fort Lewis College on Thursday, March 5. Varien will talk about the Village Ecodynamics Project, which examines the long-term interaction between Pueblo Indians and their environment, including why the Mesa Verde region was depopulated at the end of the thirteenth century and where Pueblo people went when they migrated from the area. He will answer these questions and explore how Pueblo Indian history is relevant to today’s world.
Lecture Opportunity – Queen Creek
San Tan Chapter of Arizona Archaeological Society is pleased to announce a presentation by Allen Dart entitled Archaeology’s Deep Time Perspective on Environment and Social Sustainability. The talk will be presented Wednesday, March 11, 7:00pm at the San Tan Historical Society Museum, 20425 S. Old Ellsworth Rd., Queen Creek. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in Noble Hall, Room 130.
Thanks to Cherie Freeman and Mike Bartlett for contributions to this week’s newsletter.