This week I am celebrating—and indulging in—my addiction. To books.
The celebration is because I am almost done populating my new wall of built-in bookshelves in my home office. It’s wonderful to have the information sources I need just three feet away from my desk.
And the University of Arizona Press pandered to my addiction this past week by offering a 50 percent off summer special on all their books. I put a serious dent in their inventory.
Although I spend a great deal of time reading things on-screen, like the material we help you connect with every week, I am much happier retreating into physical books. My books have been in boxes in my garage since early May while my office makeover was happening.
I hope that all of you are able to find a happy place in your worlds during these unrelentingly troubled times. It’s important to keep tuned in, but it’s also invaluable to step out from time to time for renewal.
So, stay balanced and stay well,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Continuing Coverage: Destruction of Sacred Lands along the Border
Quitobaquito Springs, as the area is known, is one of the only reliable above-ground water sources in the Sonoran Desert. This oasis long provided water to the Hia-Ced O’odham, a tribe indigenous to the area, and records of human use and habitation go back more than 10,000 years. It’s also home to two endangered species found nowhere else in the United States: The Sonoyta pupfish and Sonoran mud turtle. “The spring is regarded as sacred, a living element provided to all from our Elder teacher,” says tribal elder Ophelia Rivas, referring to the O’odham Creator God. https://bit.ly/3ho4ZXm – National Geographic
Continuing Coverage and Commentary: Reactions to NEPA Rules Changes
“If the [Bureau of Land Management] is involved, if the Forest Service is involved, if the National Park Service is involved, then NEPA is triggered,” said Landon Newell, an attorney with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Everything from an upcoming oil and gas lease sale to the land management plans for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments has to go through the NEPA process. The analysis then goes through another review that allows members of the public and conservation groups like Newell’s to comment on it. https://bit.ly/2WKUC8g – KUER (NPR)
The administration’s rewrite of the National Environmental Policy Act is one of their most egregious acts to undermine environmental protections and the public voice. It is an insult to the American people and makes very clear how little this administration cares for our national parks, the resources they protect or their millions of visitors. https://bit.ly/3hsmC8A – National Parks Conservation Association
America does not need the “bold new approach” taken in the new rules; we need and deserve a re-commitment to implementing NEPA using the many technical and conceptual advances that science and management have produced since the current regulations were issued four decades ago. https://bit.ly/2ClPHUd – Archaeology Southwest
Commentary: Repatriation Offers Insights on Reparations
As Americans tussle with the idea of financial and institutional reparations, insight can be gained from other movements that have sought to redress historic injustices. One such injustice was the removal of more than 200,000 skeletons, millions of grave goods, and thousands of sacred objects—stolen from Native Americans. https://bit.ly/3hvplOj – Chip Colwell in Indian Country Today
Spotlight on the Cedar Mesa Perishables Project
Since 2011, the Cedar Mesa Perishables Project has brought scholars to study these artifact collections rarely seen by the public. Most importantly, this latest project involves Native American scholars who are viewing for the first time artifacts their ancestors crafted and used. These scholars are bringing valuable insights and understandings into temperature and humidity-controlled museum storage areas. https://bit.ly/2CXa8qq – Durango Herald
Maintenance Backlogs at New Mexico National Parks and Monuments
“El Malpais National Monument’s temporary visitor center could be replaced with a permanent structure,” said Kevin Dahl, senior program manager for the Southwestern region of the National Parks Conservation Association, an advocate for the park system. “Archaeological sites at Bandelier and Chaco Canyon could receive much-needed stabilization and protection.” https://bit.ly/2WLdUtU – Albuquerque Journal
Sapiens Offers Kits for Teaching Anthropology
SAPIENS brings the world of anthropology to the public. Now we would like to help you bring SAPIENS to your classroom. Below you will find SAPIENS teaching units for anthropology’s four subfields that are crafted for introductory courses. These units offer an opportunity to use SAPIENS content in the classroom, alongside additional resources, to enrich the teaching and learning experience. https://www.sapiens.org/teaching-sapiens/
Call for Nominations for SAA Leadership Positions
The 2021 SAA Nominating Committee invites the names of candidates for the following positions on the January 2021 election ballot: Treasurer-elect, two at-large members of the Board of Directors, two members of the Nominating Committee, and one member of the Findings Verification Committee. Current SAA members are encouraged to submit the names and relevant qualifications of prospects who represent the diversity of the SAA membership. https://bit.ly/3fMrNjb – Society for American Archaeology
Job Opportunity: Utah Public Lands Program Director
The Utah Public Lands Program director, with the Utah Public Lands Program manager and the Utah Public Lands Program associate, envision, prioritize, and implement strategies for the Grand Canyon Trust’s work on Utah’s public lands within the Colorado Plateau. The staff of the Utah Public Lands Program (currently named the Utah Forests Program) work with other staff at the Grand Canyon Trust and other organizations to effectively advocate for management of public lands based on ecological conservation, public process, and respect for Indigenous traditional knowledge. https://bit.ly/2ZSVTMy – Grand Canyon Trust
Publication Announcement: Ancient Southwestern Mortuary Practices
Ancient Southwestern Mortuary Practices, edited by James T. Watson and Gordon F. M. Rakita. University Press of Colorado. https://bit.ly/2BlKds2
Publication Announcement: Fire Suppression Impacts on Fuels and Fire Intensity in the Western U.S.
Roos, C.I.; Rittenour, T.M.; Swetnam, T.W.; Loehman, R.A.; Hollenback, K.L.; Liebmann, M.J.; Rosenstein, D.D. Fire Suppression Impacts on Fuels and Fire Intensity in the Western U.S.: Insights from Archaeological Luminescence Dating in Northern New Mexico. Fire 2020, 3, 32. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire3030032
Podcast: Collecting Oral Histories in Indian Country
On this months’s podcast we have Aaron Brien (Apsáalooke), a member of the Night Hawk Dance Society and faculty in Salish Kootenai College’s Tribal Historic Preservation and Native American Studies programs and Dr. Shandin Pete (Salish/Diné), Director of the Indigenous Research Center at Salish Kootenai College. We talk briefly about how the two got connected and the development of the Indigenous Research Center, but mostly we chat for two of the three segments about collecting oral histories. What roles do they play in culture, how can you collect them in the best way, and how should you best prepare yourself? https://www.archaeologypodcastnetwork.com/heritagevoices/41
Essay: Studying the Human Place in Food Webs
Humans have been integral parts of global environments for at least the past 125,000 years, yet often modern ecological studies remove humans from ecosystems. This act denies the rich history of the ways that humans and ecosystems have co-evolved over generations. Further, studying ecosystems in this way removes the ability to understand the ways that humans have incorporated Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) into the ways they interact with and within ecosystems. https://bit.ly/3hrvew9 – Stephanie Crabtree and Evan Holt at National Park Service Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Blog: Google Won’t Save You Here
Ultimately, I think one of the most crucial skills that you can learn in field school is to relearn how to learn. Learn to pay attention to collecting information, learn to ask questions, and learn how to rely on one another’s strengths and weaknesses to figure stuff out in the hot summer sun. https://bit.ly/2CS91bz – Kelsey Hanson at the Preservation Archaeology blog
Video: Dendrochronology at Mesa Verde
Trees have written a record of climate right under their bark! They can reveal patterns of drought and water abundance that give us clues to human stories as well. The science of dendrochronology uses tree core patterns to unlock those stories. They are also useful in archeology to establish timelines for construction in sites that utilize wood. Learn more about how these secrets are revealed with Ranger Jill in this short video (opens at Facebook). https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=273495810566497
Online Resources, Events, and Opportunities to Help
Please keep sharing these with us, and we will keep helping to get the word out. Our inbox is firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project: On Friday, August 14, at 2:00 p.m. MDT, Chat with the Archaeologist will cover “Exchange, Trade, and Feasting in the Southwest.” This event will stream on our YouTube channel, and Chester Liwosz will take questions in the comments section. https://youtu.be/NJszLq0vQCc
From the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum: We are expanding our online presence in these difficult times. Our new blog will feature articles about the archaeology and history of downtown Tucson, as well as events involving the Museum. It will be updated about twice a week. https://tucsonpresidio.blogspot.com/
From Wenner-Gren and Sapiens: On July 23, at 4:00 p.m. EDT, join us for “As the Statues Fall: A Conversation about Monuments and the Power of Memory,” a webinar hosted by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and SAPIENS in collaboration with the Society of Black Archaeologists and the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies. https://bit.ly/30zuD4N
We’re happy to help get the word out. Please submit news, publication announcements, and other resources to this link for consideration: https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/submit-to-sat/