Coming Home: Mesa Verde Repatriation
The remains of 20 Native people and 28 funerary objects will be returned to the tribes with relations to Mesa Verde, the White House announced on Wednesday. The announcement comes after a repatriation agreement was reached between the United States and Finland. Hopi Chairman Timothy L. Nuvangyaoma says he was excited to hear the news about the return. He was interviewed Thursday. “I know these individuals, these Hopi senom, have probably been wandering around lost and have not been to complete their journeys back to their families… it is a big step forward,” says Chairman Nuvangyaoma. http://bit.ly/2LXYdL1 – Indian Country Today (article at link has video footage of the Chairman’s interview)
The Hopi and Navajo are among 26 tribes that will see the return of ancestral remains from Finland, where the items have been held in a museum after being taken from Colorado almost 130 years ago. The repatriation, announced Wednesday during Finnish President Sauli Niinistö’s visit to the White House, follows years of cooperation between the tribes and the National Museum of Finland to identify the objects and link them to specific tribes. They include more than 600 items of ancestral remains and objects taken from an area that is now part of Mesa Verde National Park. They include the remains of 20 individuals, as well as 28 funerary objects, or items buried with the individuals. Tribal leaders welcomed the return of these items, but lamented that much work remains to be done to recover items from other countries. http://bit.ly/2OyH24j – High Country News
The news has been lauded by Native American tribes, who can finally put to rest their ancestors who were disturbed all those years ago. And, it sends a message of hope that other remains out there, scattered across the globe, can one day return. Bernadette Cuthair, director of planning and development for the Ute Mountain Ute tribe, said news of her ancestors coming home hits hard. For years, people have been looting and grave robbing her ancestors’ homes, an act she said her people refer to as a “spiritual violation.” But finally, it feels like there’s a push to put right mistakes in the past. http://bit.ly/33e19c9 – Durango Herald
Continuing Coverage: Pueblo Governors Reaffirm Commitment to Bears Ears in Bluff, Utah
The All Pueblo Council of Governors, which represents the 20 Governors of the Pueblo nations of New Mexico and Texas, reaffirmed its strong support and commitment to protecting sacred lands in the broader Bears Ears region and decried the rapid leasing of culturally sensitive lands for potential oil and gas development during a historic meeting in Bluff, UT. “Friends of Cedar Mesa considered it a true privilege to host the Council, and we were honored leadership accepted our invitation to meet in Bluff, marking the first time the Council has formally gathered on these ancestral lands in Utah to discuss issues relating to the region,” said Josh Ewing, Friends of Cedar Mesa Executive Director. http://bit.ly/2pT71Jv – Friends of Cedar Mesa
Continuing Coverage: Off-Road Vehicles in Utah National Parks
On Sept. 26, the superintendent who oversees Utah’s Southeast group responded with a memo that doubles down on her previous determination that ORVs present a new use that cannot be squared with the park service’s mission to conserve park resources and cultivate a quality visitor experience. “The propensity of these vehicles to be driven off-road even where prohibited is well established in research,” wrote Kate Cannon, a veteran park service official who oversees Arches and Canyonlands. The park service will continue to strictly prohibit off-road use, but Cannon fears that it would be impossible for rangers to properly enforce that if ORVs are allowed in her parks. http://bit.ly/2Izno4m – Salt Lake Tribune
Project Documents Historic Inscriptions at Aztec Pueblo
A Colorado historian is leading a team to survey inscriptions left by settlers and others on the ceilings of 900-year-old ruins in northwestern New Mexico. Fred Blackburn and his team will study the lengthy messages, or graffiti, left at the Aztec Ruins National Monument to gain insight on how others saw the engineering marvel, the Farmington Daily Times reports. Some of those who left inscriptions were white settlers who tried to make sense of the structures, Blackburn said. Blackburn emphasized he isn’t interested in trying to shame anyone into returning any artifacts their ancestors may have removed from the ruins before the site fell under the protection of the American Museum of Natural History and the National Park Service. He wants information, not relics. http://bit.ly/33cYtf0 – Albuquerque Journal
Exhibition: “Women in Archaeology,” Santa Fe NM
Women have played an important role in unveiling New Mexico’s history, but their contributions were not always recognized or respected. An exhibit opening at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe this month will celebrate their work in archaeology. Exhibit co-curator C.L. Kieffer Nail said male archaeologists have not always welcomed or respected their female counterparts. Their contributions, she said, were often downplayed or not taken seriously. To put the exhibit together, Nail scoured books, journals and even obituaries for information about the women. http://bit.ly/33do4Ex – Albuquerque Journal
Job Opportunity, University of Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Archeological Survey at the University of Oklahoma is pleased to announce an opening for a 12-month faculty appointment within the College of Arts & Sciences. We seek an archaeologist with a specialization in Archaic to Historic archaeology of Native peoples of the North American Plains or surrounding regions with a specialization in plant use, diet and health, and environmental change. Ideally, the candidate will focus on paleoethnobotany. We will also consider candidates who focus on ancient pollen studies, bioarchaeology (human skeletal remains) with a focus on climate and population health, or other related specializations. Following the mandate of the Survey, the research faculty member will conduct their primary research on archaeological sites within Oklahoma. For more information, or to apply, go to: https://apply.interfolio.com/68427
Job Opportunity, Desert Archaeology, Inc., Phoenix AZ
We are hiring experienced excavation crew for a Hohokam project in central PHX, starting today and running through the end of October. Send resume and cover letter to email@example.com.
Field Seminar, Canyonlands Field Institute
Canyonlands Field Institute will host a 3½-day field seminar with guest archaeologist Jonathan Till from Oct. 17 to Oct. 20. Based in Bluff, Utah, travel with a small group on day outings, to learn about Till’s research as well as findings from the Comb Ridge Initiative Project field study. Visit familiar sites in the greater Bears Ears area with Till, an established local expert and engaging teacher. Learn about Chaco-era phenomena such as great houses, great kivas, prehistoric roads, solar alignment features and shrines. Appreciate rock art from many eras, geological formations and cottonwood fall colors. For fees, more details and to register, visit www.cfimoab.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (435) 259-7750. Group size is limited and registration closes Oct. 11. http://bit.ly/2MuLIFM – The Journal
Event Opportunity, Mimbres Cultural Heritage Site NM
The Mimbres Cultural Heritage Site will celebrate its History Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 12 in Mimbres at 12 Sage Drive, one block off highway 35, almost at mile marker 4. The event is sponsored by the Imogen F. Wilson Education Foundation, a 501(c)3. The museum at the site will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free admission. In addition to other events and activities, a guided walking tour of the Mimbres Heritage Site will begin at 1 p.m. Marilyn Markel will present “Life Along the River – plants and animals used by the Mimbres Indians.” http://bit.ly/2M1zKop – Deming Headlight
Archaeology and Anthropology Book Sale, Tucson AZ
Huge used book sale sponsored by the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society to benefit the Arizona State Museum Library. Reasonable prices. Hard-to-find archaeology and anthropology books as well as many other topics including art, biography, history, Native American, fiction and non-fiction. This year we have a large donation of books on textiles both historic and prehistoric. Sale hours from 11 to 5, October 18, and 10 to 4, October 19. http://www.az-arch-and-hist.org
Walking Tour: The Dead of Downtown, Tucson AZ
On October 27 at 10:00 a.m., archaeologist Homer Thiel leads a tour of downtown Tucson focusing on some of the people who have lived and died there. Hear how the treatment of the dead has changed through time. Learn about some dramatic events that occurred in the heart of downtown Tucson. Meet at Presidio San Agustin del Tucson Museum, 196 N. Court Avenue Non-member price, $35; Tucson Presidio member-price, $25. All proceeds benefit the Presidio San Agustin del Tucson Museum. https://tucsonpresidio.com/
Lecture Opportunity, Albuquerque NM
Professor W. H. “Chip” Wills will launch Maxwell Museum’s Celebration of International Archaeology Day with the presentation Chaco Canyon and The University of New Mexico: 90 Years of Discovery. He’ll discuss the ongoing exploration of researchers from The University of New Mexico at Chaco Canyon National Historical Park on Thursday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Anthropology Lecture Hall 163. The presentation is free and open to the public. Anthropology Lecture Hall 163 is located in the north side of the Anthropology/Maxwell Museum building on the northwest part of the campus, near the intersection of University and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevards. http://bit.ly/30ZHcob – UNM Newsroom
Lecture Opportunity, Santa Fe NM
The Santa Fe Archaeological Society (SFAS) is pleased to present “Missions, Missionaries and Native Americans” by Maria Fatima Wade, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Anthropology, who will discuss Missions established for different type populations and how those differences affected Missionaries and Native Americans. The lecture will begin at 7:15 on Tuesday, October 15, at Pecos Trail Café (back room), 2239 Old Pecos Trail.
Lecture Opportunity, Tucson AZ
On October 26 at 2:00 p.m., archaeologist and historian Homer Thiel discusses “E. J. Smith, Territorial Tucson’s First Professional Undertaker,” who arrived in Tucson in 1878. His arrival marked a dramatic change in how deceased people in Tucson were treated. Dusty Monk Pub at La Cocina, 201 N. Court Street.
Lecture Opportunity, Tucson AZ
From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on November 13, archaeologist Allen Dart will present “The Antiquity of Irrigation in the Southwest” at Dusenberry-River Library, 5605 E. River Rd #105, Tucson. This presentation, made possible by Arizona Humanities, provides an overview of the earliest irrigation systems in the Southwest and discusses irrigation’s implications for understanding social complexity. For more information, visit https://pima.bibliocommons.com/events/5d30e503be54fa39004a0ff7 or call 520-594-5345.
Editors’ note: Special thanks to our many friends who reached out to SAT to make sure we got the word out about the repatriation from Finland. Like you, we are truly glad that the tribes and families can finally welcome their loved ones and their heritage home.
We’re happy to help get the word out, but we’re not mind readers! Please submit news, book announcements, and events at this link for consideration: https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/submit-to-sat/