Hopefully you have been feeling in need of a map. Because today I am going to indulge my love of maps and share some of the fun several of us at Archaeology Southwest have been having recently.
I have been undertaking some fairly standard archaeological mapping of ancient agricultural terraces at Catalina State Park with a handheld GPS unit. And for our most recent magazine issue on the Casa Grande Community, we worked with Barnaby Lewis, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Gila River Indian Community, and our go-to mapmaker, Catherine Gilman of Desert Archaeology, to at least begin the process of returning O’Odham names to the map of the greater Casa Grande landscape.
Recently, we ran across a 2018 video titled “Counter Mapping.” It features Zuni farmer Jim Enote’s rich concept of cultural mapping that he has been promoting among Zuni citizens for a long time. Inspired by Enote’s comments on Zuni map art, Kathleen Bader, our Marketing and Design Director, shared Joaquín Torres-García’s “América Invertida.”
A few weeks back, BorderLore, the publication of the Southwest Folklife Alliance, shared a link to a piece they had run in 2015, “The Possibilities of Personal Geographies: A Folklorist’s Maps.” Fascinating and inspiring.
In a Tuesday webinar I attended, Jim Enote emphasized several times that there are “multiple different knowledges and ways of knowing.” The maps and their stories cited above are just a tiny sampling of the ways maps can express different knowledges.
Any other map enthusiasts out there?
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Radiocarbon Dating’s New Calibration Curve
This much anticipated new calibration curve, a set of data points used to convert radiocarbon-dating results into calendar years, is highlighted in a special August issue of Radiocarbon. Called IntCal20, it draws from nearly twice the data of the previous curve, from 2013—and may prompt scientists to reevaluate the age of sites, artifacts and events around the world. https://bit.ly/2ExEtwz – Scientific American
University of Arizona’s Contributions to Radiocarbon Science
Radiocarbon dating was invented 70 years ago with a little help from the University of Arizona, and the scientific breakthrough just keeps improving with age. A worldwide working group of researchers, including some in Tucson, recently unveiled a newly refined radiocarbon scale that extends the reach and the accuracy of the dating process. https://bit.ly/3lt3eeu – Arizona Daily Star
National Park Service Faces Opportunities and Challenges as It Celebrates 104 Years
The National Park Service turns 104 on Tuesday and was waiving entrance fees to all parks to celebrate. Apple was even donating $10 to the National Park Foundation for each Apple Pay purchase on Apple products through Sunday. But as visitors flock toward the parks to commemorate over a century of preserved public lands, the parks are facing many new milestones and challenges in this coming year. https://bit.ly/31v5hXw – St. George Spectrum
Commentary: How You Can Help National Parks
For more than three years, the current administration has worked to systematically undermine, degrade and outright attack protections for our land, air and water, as well as the agencies that manage them. If we want healthy parks and wildlife and safe communities to return to when the pandemic is over, it’s important that we keep fighting back to defend our parks. NPCA is launching our new Parks in Peril campaign to do just that. https://bit.ly/3jfEiFf – Theresa Pierno at the blog of the National Parks Conservation Association
Traditional Knowledge Informs Wildfire Management
On a cool February morning, around 60 people gathered in the Sierra Nevada foothills to take part in a ceremony that, for many decades, was banned. Men and women from Native American tribes in Northern California stood in a circle, alongside university students and locals from around the town of Mariposa. Several wore bright yellow shirts made of flame-resistant fabric. For the next two days, the group would be carefully lighting fires in the surrounding hills. https://n.pr/34wOR2H – NPR (audio also available at link)
Webinar: Reclaiming the Ancestors: Indigenous and Black Perspectives on Repatriation, Human Rights, and Justice
Over the last several centuries, Indigenous, Black, and other colonized peoples’ remains have been turned into objects of study for archaeologists, anthropologists, and other scientists. This can be seen most clearly in the collection of their ancestors, often excavated from cemeteries and burial grounds and taken to museums around the world. Today, more than 100,000 Native American ancestral remains are still held in U.S. public museums alone, while an unknown number of remains of people of African descent are stored in museum collections. Panel discussion will take place on September 2 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, sponsored by the Society of Black Archaeologists, Indigenous Archaeology Collective, Peabody Institute of Archaeology, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and SAPIENS. More information and registration: https://bit.ly/32kiCB2
Prescott-Area Site Potentially Threatened by Development
Save the Dells, an environmental group trying to preserve the Granite Dells, has brought to light that a 10-acre pit house [site] is located just outside an area that may be saved according to a proposed agreement between the developer, the city of Prescott and Save the Dells. Public hearings will be held before an agreement or further development of the ruins area moves forward, but those dates have not been set yet. https://bit.ly/2Qq1MeE – Navajo-Hopi Observer
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 Adelphi University: On Monday, September 28, at 2:00 p.m. EST, please join us for a virtual research update from the Holzman site in Alaska, where a 14,000-year-old mammoth tusk was discovered and a team of experts from around the world work to better understand the first arrival of people into the Americas. The Holzman archaeological site lies along the west bank of Shaw Creek, a northern tributary of the middle Tanana River in Interior Alaska. Recent excavations have yielded an expedient stone technology alongside well-preserved hearths, avifauna, and large mammal remains including abundant mammoth ivory in deeply buried deposits. Evidence of food preparation and ivory tool manufacture has been dated to at least to 13,700 cal BP. A smaller component at the site dates to 14,000 years ago, making Holzman one of the earliest sites in the Americas. More information and registration: https://bit.ly/31qi79l
From Crow Canyon Archaeological Center: On Thursday, August 27, at 4:00 p.m. MDT, Susan Ryan, Steve Lekson, and Lyle Balenquah will discuss “Why Do We Call Them Kivas?” They will offer perspectives on how kivas have been interpreted within the discipline of archaeology as well as how they function within Pueblo society today. More information and registration: https://bit.ly/2YyDWSk
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/