The Southwestern Anthropological Community Remembers Bernard “Bunny” Fontana
Bernard “Bunny” Fontana, a renowned scholar and prolific author in the field of Southwestern history and archaeology, died early Saturday. He was 85 years old. Fontana’s career stretched six decades. He was a cultural anthropologist, field researcher, archaeologist, historian, writer and co-founder of Patronato San Xavier, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration of Mission San Xavier del Bac. He helped create the Southwestern Mission Research Center at the University of Arizona in 1965 to support borderlands research and education. That led Fontana and others, beginning in 1974, to organize tours of Spanish colonial missions in Sonora, Mexico, following the Pimería Alta trail of Jesuit missionary explorer Eusebio Francisco Kino. http://bit.ly/1V2UIBP – Arizona Daily Star
Boom and Bust in the Ancient Southwest
Funded by the National Science Foundation, Kyle Bocinsky, WSU Regents Professor Tim Kohler and colleagues analyzed data from just over 1,000 southwest archaeological sites and nearly 30,000 tree-ring dates that served as indicators of rainfall, heat and time. Their data-intensive approach, facilitated by climate reconstructions run at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, gives a remarkably detailed picture of year-to-year changes. This is particularly important as droughts of just five or ten years were enough to prompt major shifts in the small niches where Pueblo people grew maize, their major crop. The niches, said Kohler, were “woven together with a web of ceremony and ritual that required belief in the supernatural” to ensure plentiful rain and good crops. When rains failed to appear, he said, the rituals were delegitimized. http://bit.ly/1Y937le – Heritage Daily
Washington State University Research Points to Drought as a Major Factor in the Boom-and-Bust Cycle
Time and again, drought was the final straw that disrupted complex ancestral Puebloan societies in the Southwest and shifted the cultures, according to a new study. “Those societies took a long time to build and a very short time to collapse,” said Washington State University anthropologist R. Kyle Bocinsky, one of the study’s lead authors. “We think those collapses were tied to slightly worse-than-normal climate challenges that undermined leadership and social consensus.” Pueblos and villages around Mesa Verde rose to prominence beginning in A.D. 1145. By 1285, they were completely abandoned, following several years of drought, in one of the great mysteries of the Southwest. http://bit.ly/1osSEVE – The Taos News
Fantastic Survey of Wupatki Rock Art Now on Display at the Museum of Northern Arizona
It took nearly 85 years for archaeologists to figure it out, but an inscribed cliff face in Arizona‘s Wupatki National Monument turns out to be a kind of 800-year-old timepiece, whose only moving parts are the orbit of the Earth and the wheeling of the sun through the sky. First recorded in 1931 by anthropologist Harold Colton, the petroglyphs found along a landform known as Horseshoe Mesa remained poorly understood for much of the 20th century. “The original 1931 records that Harold Colton created consisted of a 3-by-5 index card with one or two sentences ‘describing’ the site,” said David Purcell, a supervisory archaeologist at the Museum of Northern Arizona who’s leading a new re-investigation of the site. http://bit.ly/1N4lHp4 – Western Digs
National Parks Foundation Grant to Provide for School Field Trips to Mesa Verde
Officials at Mesa Verde National Park are hoping to involve more local schools in visits to the park. The park received an $8,000 “Ticket To Ride” grant from the National Park Foundation that reimburses schools for costs for field trips to the park for third- to eighth-grade students. Disney also supports the grant program. About 600 students from Cortez, Dolores and Mancos are scheduled to visit the park as part of the program before through May, when the funding ends, said Mesa Verde education coordinator Jill Blumenthal. http://bit.ly/1X9GBsm – Cortez Journal
Radio Interview: Paul Reed on Digital Technology and the Archaeological Record at Salmon Pueblo
The primary topic for my radio chat with Scott was Archaeology Southwest’s SPARC (Salmon Pueblo Archaeological Research Collection) project. The project is funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The project will preserve and make accessible incomparable legacy data from the important excavations at Salmon Ruins in the 1970s. Collaboration among four institutions—theSalmon Ruins Museum, Archaeology Southwest, the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia—created SPARC. http://bit.ly/1ZX1qsQ – Archaeology Southwest
Video Link: The Friends of Cedar Mesa Provide Some Tips on Teaching Kids Respect for Ancient Cultural Sites
Although they aren’t playgrounds, archaeological sites can be great places for families to enjoy together, learning about our past and gaining inspiration for the future. https://vimeo.com/159289894 – Friends of Cedar Mesa via Vimeo
Dillinger’s Tommy Gun – Is Possession Nine-Tenths of the Law?
A small Indiana town is asking Tucson police to hand over a Tommy gun taken from notorious outlaw John Dillinger more than 80 years ago. Tucson police confiscated the Colt Thompson submachine gun when they arrested Dillinger on Jan. 25, 1934. The weapon is now stored behind display glass at Tucson police headquarters on South Stone Avenue. Peru, Indiana, officials told the Kokomo Tribune they are convinced Dillinger and his gang took the gun from Peru police during a brazen robbery in late 1933. http://bit.ly/1pHUC5p – Arizona Daily Star
The Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission is sponsoring its 29th annual “Awards in Public Archaeology.” The Awards are presented to individuals, organizations, and/or programs that have significantly contributed to the protection and preservation of, and education about, Arizona’s non-renewable archaeological resources. These awards can include the following categories of individuals or organizations that are worthy of recognition for their public service/education endeavors. Please find the nomination forms and instruction on the Historic Preservation Conference website – https://azpreservation.com/awards.html. The nominations are due on April 15, 2016.
On April 5, 2016, Maren Hopkins (Anthropological Research LLC) will present “Collaborative Research with Native Communities.” Hopkins will share her work, which focuses on the relationship between Native American traditional cultural beliefs and practices and places on the landscape. 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. http://bit.ly/1WSqkbd – Archaeology Southwest
Lecture Opportunity – Taos
The Taos Archaeological Society is pleased to present Phil Addritt, Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at University of New Mexico-Taos who will lecture on “Excavation at High Rolls Cave, New Mexico” on Tuesday April 12, 2016 at 7 pm at the Kit Carson Electric Board Room, 118 Cruz Alta Road, Taos. Contact Rebecca Quintana @ 575-770-7460 for questions or further information.
Lecture Opportunity – Tucson
The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society (AAHS) is pleased to present Dr. Raymond H. Thompson on Monday, April 18th at 7:30 pm in the University Medical Center’s Duval Auditorium (1501 N Campbell Ave, Tucson 85724), who will discuss, “Arch & Hist Ancestors.” Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information please visit the AAHS website: http://www.az-arch-and-hist.
Lecture Opportunity – Tucson
On April 21, Royce Manuel (Akimel O’odham) and his wife Debbie (Navajo) present Himdak doo IIna: A Way of Life. How Societies Shape Culture for Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s 6-8:30 p.m. “Third Thursday Food for Thought” dinner at Dragon’s View Asian Cuisine, 400 N. Bonita Ave., Tucson. The Manuels will discuss how Arizona tribes often illustrate their balance between patriarch and matriarch societies through symbolism, using O’odham “Man in the Maze” and Navajo basket designs as examples. No entry fee. Guests may purchase their own dinners. Reservations required before 5 p.m. Wednesday April 20: 520-798-1201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lecture Opportunity – Winslow
The Homolovi Chapter of the Arizona Archaeology Society will meet Wednesday, 13 April, at 7 p.m. Our speaker will be Miles Gilbert, with Tales of the Buffalo Hunters, an aspect of recent archaeology/history. Miles is an interesting and entertaining speaker, so it should be good. The meeting is at the Winslow Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center (Historic Lorenzo Hubbell Trading Post), 523 W. Second St, Winslow, AZ. You can also join us for dinner at 5 p.m. at the Historic La Posada Turquoise Room (on your own tab). We meet the second Wednesday of every month. For more information, please call Sky at 928-536-3307.