Two weeks ago I shared that I, some of our staff, and esteemed partners were intensely focused on Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. I wrote during a lull as we awaited feedback from our authors on their edited articles and our graphics. Author reviews and comments were pretty positive. But during that process, as in all stages preceding it, we revisited all the ways in which everything turns out to be related to something else. And, as detail-oriented archaeologists, we do obsess over the details—as we should.
Although I am 98 percent confident that our edition on the Casa Grande Community has been wrestled to the ground, I still worry a bit about those two percentage points…
Tonight, as those worries subside, I reflect on the fact that we have been publishing our newsletter-that-evolved-into-a-magazine since autumn 1986. The work of this past week reminds me, vividly, about the level of care that goes into each of these publications. (And the real, deep, devoted work and caring has been by Kate Sarther and Kathleen Bader.)
While many of you Southwest Archaeology Today subscribers await the Casa Grande Community issue of Archaeology Southwest Magazine in your mailbox (a benefit of membership with Archaeology Southwest), I would like to share with you the highlights of the past 34 years of our flagship publication, which Kathleen Bader has assembled here. Many, many of these previous magazine issues are free to members and nonmembers. And every single one reflects our lasting commitment to share current information about the Southwest’s enduring cultural landscapes.
I urge you to explore these diverse places of the past as you continue to stay safe. Southwest Archaeology Today is going to take a break next week while a few members of our team go on staycation. We’ll be back on August 12.
Best wishes from your fellow explorer,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
House Passes Amendment to Extend Moratorium on Oil-Gas Development in Chaco Buffer Zone
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the U.S. House Assistant Speaker, along with U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), applauded the House passage of an amendment to protect the integrity of the Chaco Canyon region. Introduced by Luján, the amendment establishes a one-year moratorium on oil and gas drilling on federal lands near the Chaco Culture National Historical Park. https://bit.ly/2P5eoXG – Los Alamos Daily Post
Commentary: The Great American Outdoors Act Passes, and It Is Time for Bold New Vision
Second, past approaches to developing and protecting lands – often dominated by white, wealthy and well-connected men – have resulted in deep racial and economic inequities in how nature’s benefits are distributed in this country. Too often, the sovereignty of tribal nations, the perspectives of people of color, and the livelihoods of working people have been ignored and trampled upon. https://bit.ly/2P1Do2d – Sally Jewell and Ken Salazar in the Guardian
Friends of Cedar Mesa Kicks Off Conservation Campaign
Friends of Cedar Mesa, with generous support from World Monuments Fund, is launching a broad-reaching initiative to create a million-dollar impact benefiting the most at-risk cultural sites in the Bears Ears region. This multi-year project will focus on proactive fieldwork designed to reduce damage caused by increasing visitation, free-roaming cattle, illegal off-road vehicle use, and vandalism. https://bit.ly/39FekaO – Friends of Cedar Mesa
The Pandemic’s Impact on American Museums
Museums seem like immortal places, with their august countenances and treasured holdings. …But the coronavirus was not impressed, and the effects of the pandemic-related shutdown on the country’s museums have been dire, says AAM [American Alliance of Museums] President and CEO Laura Lott. In a survey released Wednesday of 760 museum directors, 33% of them said there was either a “significant risk” of closing permanently by next fall or that they didn’t know if their institutions would survive. https://n.pr/2CNsGdd – NPR
In Memoriam: Marlene Sekaquaptewa
She served multiple times as governor of the village of Bacavi and was a key figure in drafting the Hopi Tribal Constitution in 2012. She recently helped create an assisted living facility for Hopi elders. Ms. Sekaquaptewa was also a renowned quiltmaker whose creations have been displayed in museums around the country. Scholars often consulted her about Hopi culture and traditions. https://nyti.ms/30QrLk4 – New York Times
Portion of Ancestral Lands Returned to Esselen Tribe
A Native American tribe has reclaimed a small part of its ancestral lands on California’s scenic Big Sur coast that were lost to Spanish colonial settlement nearly 250 years ago. The Esselen Tribe of Monterey County closed escrow on 1,199 acres of land, an area slightly larger than San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Located roughly 20 miles south of Monterey and about 5 miles inland from the ocean, the land was part of a $4.5 million deal involving the state and the Western Rivers Conservancy, an Oregon-based environmental group, Paul Rogers of the The Mercury News reported Monday. https://bit.ly/2P1y52N – KQED (NPR)
Thanks to Cherie Freeman for bringing this story to our attention.
Job Opportunity: Executive Director, Chaco Culture Conservancy
Chaco Culture Conservancy (http://friendsofchaco.org/) seeks Executive Director/Fundraiser to enhance the organization’s ability to raise funds in support of its partner parks and to manage the day to day operations of this non-profit organization. Its headquarters is located in Aztec, New Mexico and the successful applicant will need to live close enough to the parks to be able to develop a close working relationship with the local community. The Conservancy is an official partner of Aztec Ruins National Monument and Chaco Culture National Historical Park and engages in a variety of educational and outreach activities that benefit the visitors and help protect the two parks. https://bit.ly/2P6LfLI
Blog: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
One of the virtues of Preservation Archaeology is that it makes you reflect on the impacts you have not only on artifacts and archaeological sites, but also on the people today who identify most strongly with those materials and places. And through my study at Taliesin West, I learned about so many things—archaeology, Frank Lloyd Wright, historic preservation, Hohokam, descendant communities, colonialism, cultural appropriation, and where I fit into all of that. https://bit.ly/3gbMKV4 – Aaron Wright at the Preservation Archaeology blog (includes a link to the article discussed in the post)
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.
New from Archaeology Southwest: Are you new to learning about archaeology in the Southwest? Or are you wanting a refresher on the major concepts, places, cultures, and themes that Southwestern archaeologists are exploring today? Welcome! This guide is for you. Here you will find a compilation of featured Archaeology Southwest Magazine back issues, videos, blog posts, fact sheets, and other Archaeology Southwest online resources, all selected and arranged to help guide you in your learning. https://bit.ly/3hPxVYn
From the California Rock Art Foundation: We are proud to publicly announce our partnership with the Archaeology Podcast Network! CRAF President Dr. Alan Garfinkel Gold has been hosting CRAF’s Rock Art Podcasts and Webinars on our weekly one-hour rock art show for several months, and we now have over 13 hours of FREE interviews, engaging rock art talks, and presentations in the can (as they say in radio land)! https://www.archaeologypodcastnetwork.com/rockart
From the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center: IPCC is home to more than 20 indoor and outdoor murals by great Pueblo artists, with new ones currently in progress. These vibrant works of art vividly illustrate the role of the seasons, dance, harvest, agriculture, and animals in Pueblo life. Prior to the pandemic, we offered the insightful Mural Discovery Tour every Friday at 1 p.m., complimentary with museum admission. We look forward to when we’re able to safely resume the Mural Discovery Tour, and take you on an enlightening journey of art, history, and culture. In the meantime, we’ve temporarily made many of the murals and their backstories available in a digital format. Information: https://bit.ly/2De95mg. Virtual Tour: https://indianpueblo.org/mural/
Reminder: Lewis Borck presents “Breaking Down Cardboard Boxes: How Archaeology Can Erase Histories and How It Can Reveal Them,” for the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Center for New Mexico Archaeology today, July 29, at 6:00 p.m. MDT. https://bit.ly/3gb8lg3 – Santa Fe New Mexican
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/