In 1986, the first issue of the newsletter that became Archaeology Southwest Magazine featured the charter members of the company that became Archaeology Southwest taking a tour of the Romero Ruin. The site is located in Catalina State Park on Tucson’s north side.
Since then, I have spent countless hours exploring the archaeology of the park and enjoying its beauty. The most recent hours occurred over the course of four visits these past two weeks. Daily temperatures well over 100 degrees meant those were three-hour sojourns in the early morning.
Although being outdoors was wonderful, some of the scenery was otherworldly. The recent Bighorn Fire burned a substantial swath through about 40 percent of the Romero Ruin. And, ultimately, the Bighorn Fire burned nearly 120,000 acres between June 5 and July 23.
The fire made key areas visible. This has allowed me to see aspects of the archaeology that were present on the surface, but difficult or impossible to see because of grasses, shrubs, and trees. So, that’s what I focused on exploring.
But there was also time to think. About the massive heat wave. About this and so many other wildfires. About climate change.
Keep climate change in mind as you explore today’s stories. Some precious places highlighted in this edition, like the Grand Canyon and Bears Ears, are public lands that are of deep significance to multiple tribes. Slowing the intense oil and gas development on our public lands and pushing back against poor leadership in the Bureau of Land Management are positive developments.
Wandering a burned landscape has been a vital reminder that there is an urgency in addressing climate change. We’ll visit this topic again (and again). I’m an optimist—but a very concerned one.
Let us know how you’re doing. We’re thinking of you,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
“Then, Now, and Forever: Zuni in the Grand Canyon” Film Released on YouTube
Throughout their history, the A:shiwi people have made a pilgrimage through the Grand Canyon to leave offerings at traditional sites, gather materials for their cultural practices, and visit the place where their ancestors first emerged from the four Underworlds and into the light of day. Follow the A:shiwi rain priests and medicine men as this sacred migration down the Colorado river is documented on film for the first time – from the pueblo at Halona Idiwana’a to shrines and ancient settlements, through canyon walls carved by the petroglyphs of the ancestors. https://youtu.be/wMSLgYb3M8Y
People and Dogs in the Ancient Pueblo World
Dogs have been companions to humans for centuries and played many roles as guardians, pets, hunting companions, and more. University of New Mexico Archaeology student Victoria Monagle has examined these relationships and recently collaborated with associate professor Emily Lena Jones to co-author a chapter in a new book called Dogs: Archaeology Beyond Domestication. The chapter, Dog Life and Death in an Ancestral Pueblo Landscape, examines the relationships between humans and dogs in ancient pueblos. https://bit.ly/3232SSW – University of New Mexico Newsroom
Spotlight on the Taos Pueblo Conservation Corps
The inspiration to develop a Taos Pueblo Conservation Corps began with a group of dedicated young tribal members who had the courage to approach the Pueblo Governor and ask him for support in creating a conservation corps at Taos Pueblo. The youth already knew about Rocky Mountain Youth Corps; they knew about the conservation projects and the paid work opportunities; they knew about the scholarships; and they knew about the training and certifications they would receive if they could develop a program at the Pueblo. https://bit.ly/2E8mywH – US/ICOMOS
Commentary: The Fight for Public Lands and the Antiquities Act
Bears Ears was different. There five Native tribes—Navajo, Hopi, Ute, Zuni, and Ute Mountain Ute—studied the Antiquities Act and surveyed the land of their ancestors to create the proposal that led to President Obama declaring Bears Ears a national monument, the first national monument to fully grow out of the thinking, support, and political power of Native American tribes. The Bears Ears proclamation takes what was best about the park and monument ideals—setting land aside from development and protecting wildlife—and melds it with something better. Bears Ears represented a confluence of the indigenous ideals of respect and worship for the land, of the land’s holiness, with the better motives behind America’s “best idea.” https://bit.ly/2EfrAXQ – David Gessner in The Hill
Related Utah Public Radio interview with David Gessner: https://bit.ly/316A3FL
Continuing Coverage: Oil and Gas Leases near Arches and Canyonlands Pulled from September Auction
Moreover, [Steve Bloch, legal director for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance] charged, “The bureau failed to properly consult with Native American tribes about impacts of leasing and development to culturally significant resources; local communities had been ignored in the rush to lease; and, developing fossil fuels is fundamentally inconsistent with addressing the looming climate crisis.” https://bit.ly/3h8tsQV – Salt Lake Tribune
“This enormous oil and gas drilling plan was a mistake from the very beginning and we’re relieved it has finally been deferred,” said Erika Pollard, associate southwest director at the National Parks Conservation Assn. “This victory will ensure, for now, the spectacular views at Arches and Canyonlands remain unspoiled by industrialization.” https://lat.ms/3hbbk91 – Los Angeles Times
Continuing Coverage: Administration Withdraws Pendley Nomination, Keeps Him as Functional Head of BLM
The nomination was controversial because Pendley, who previously was president of the right-wing Mountain States Legal Foundation, had once urged the sale of federal lands. And at the foundation, he had sued the Interior Department on behalf of an oil and gas prospector, sought to undermine protections of endangered species such as the grizzly bear, and pressed to radically reduce the size of federal lands to make way for development. https://wapo.st/3kR8hFf – Washington Post
Forum: Constructing the Future History
The Ninth Edition of the Forum Kritische Archaeologie (Critical Archaeology Forum) features an open access English-language forum devoted to Lewis Borck’s Journal of Contemporary Archaeology article entitled “Constructing the Future History: Prefiguration as Historical Epistemology and the Chronopolitics of Archaeology.” The forum includes a critical response to Borck’s article by Dr. Cornelius Holtorf, who holds a UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University in Kalmar, Sweden, and subsequent responses by Dr. Trinidad Rico (Rutgers), Dr. Hilmar Schafer (Humboldt-Berlin), and a final response by Dr. Borck. Link to original article: https://bit.ly/2YgbJPQ. Link to forum: https://bit.ly/34bfudl.
Publication Announcement: The Casa Grande Community
Archaeology Southwest Magazine Vol. 33, No. 4, “The Casa Grande Community.” Issue editor: William H. Doelle. https://bit.ly/323SlH1
Blog: Remembering Quintus Monier and Brickyard Workers
So who was Quintus Monier, and what did he do? I was fortunate to stumble across that question in 1995, entirely by accident, and to have the opportunity to chase down an interesting story about Monier, a brickyard (that I excavated in 1995, 2001, and 2005), and the people who worked at the brickyard to make the bricks that made Tucson. This is their story. https://desert.com/brickyard – Mike Diehl at the Field Journal
Blog: Societal Change in the Past
So, what does life during the Polvorón phase have to do with our current situation and alarms about a failed state? Those people were, after all, living in very different conditions than our current society—how many people do you know who are solely dependent on the food they grow and collect? Nevertheless, the farmers living along the lower Salt River during this transition experienced not only the erosion of established social norms and cultural identities, but also the replacement of those norms and identities with new ones. https://bit.ly/2Q5NG1y – Chris Caseldine at the Preservation Archaeology blog
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 the Amerind Museum: From now until September 30, 2020, we are featuring “From Above: Images of a Storied Land.” Adriel Heisey is a legendary photographer whose work has been published by the Smithsonian and National Geographic. His work is greatly admired by the archaeological community for his amazing ability to capture the beauty and wonder of ancient communities. Courtesy of the nonprofit organization Archaeology Southwest, Amerind has borrowed 15 large-format aerial photographs of historical landscapes located in the southwestern US and northwestern Mexico. These breathtaking images include many ancient communities well known to Amerind’s guests: Paquimé in Chihuahua, Reeve Ruin in the San Pedro valley, the ancient fields of Safford, and many others. Come see these important places in a whole new light. https://www.amerind.org/
From the Arizona State Museum: New on our YouTube channel: “The Wall of Pots at the Arizona State Museum.” Patrick Lyons (Director) and Diane Dittemore (Associate Curator of Ethnology) team up to give you a detailed overview of the vessels in the Arizona State Museum’s Arnold and Doris Roland Wall of Pots. https://youtu.be/qJvTWDR4LZk
From the Bears Ears Education Center and Friends of Cedar Mesa: Do you see us frequently mention our Visit with Respect Ambassador program but you’re unsure what it’s all about? It’s a great way YOU can help protect Bears Ears, and you don’t have to live here to take part. Join us for a free, casual informational webinar next Tuesday, August 25, at 4:00 p.m. MDT. Our field manager, Ryan, will give an overview of the Ambassador program and share why it’s more important now than ever! https://www.facebook.com/events/395613258068373/
From the Four Corners Lecture Series: On Thursday, August 20, at 4:00 p.m. MDT, Genevieve Woodhead will present “What Can We Learn from Coiling & Corrugation in Southwest Ceramics?” Prehispanic corrugated pottery sherds are ubiquitous in the northern US Southwest. And yet, corrugation seems unique to this part of the world. From the 900s to the 1200s, corrugated pottery was popular throughout portions of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. This presentation describes how prehispanic potters constructed corrugated vessels and how these vessels resemble and differ from historic and contemporary Pueblo pots. Registration: https://bit.ly/2FCMn8w.
From the Gilcrease Museum: On Friday, August 21, at noon CDT, we will host “What is the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act?” Join us for a conversation between Sarah O’Donnell, NAGPRA Coordinator for the Osage Nation, and Laura Bryant, Anthropology Collections Manager and NAGPRA Coordinator for Gilcrease Museum. The two will give an overview of NAGPRA and discuss the importance and impact this law has had on museums and tribes. https://www.facebook.com/events/596922834350998/
From Heritage Voices: On this month’s podcast, we have LT Kayla F. DeVault (Shawnee and Anishinaabe), Engineer and Project Manager at Indian health facilities. Kayla’s wide ranging experience and education has centered on Anthropology, STEM, and Indigeneity. She is the host of the YouTube channel “Sovereign Stories,” which breaks down Indigenous-themed topics into easy-to-understand and fun short videos. https://www.archaeologypodcastnetwork.com/heritagevoices/42
From Old Pueblo Archaeology Center: On September 17, at 7:00 p.m. MST, as part of Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s Third Thursday Food for Thought series, archaeologist Bill Gillespie will present “Camp Rucker: Apache Wars Outpost in the Chiricahua Mountains.” The U.S. Army established Camp Rucker (originally Camp Supply) in 1878 as a base for Indian Scouts who helped subdue the Chiricahua Apache. Named after an Army officer who drowned there, Camp Rucker was used sporadically for over 20 years including during the Army’s 1886 campaign against Geronimo. Registration: https://bit.ly/2Q5s5qa. Call 520-798-1201 or email email@example.com for more information.
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/