Thanks to those of you who shared your own love of maps in reply to my note from last week. Maps, books, art—what’s not to love?
As I read through the stories for today’s edition, I again felt distressed by the continuing loss of water at Quitobaquito Springs. As climate change accelerates, this is no time to pump groundwater from the desert in order to build a border wall. Yet the construction goes on, and the desecration of a landscape sacred to the Tohono O’odham Nation continues.
Speaking of climate change, and as August displaces July as the hottest month ever recorded in Tucson, other places across the globe that are best known for their ice are experiencing high temperatures and unprecedented melting. When I read that 120,000 square miles of Arctic ice had melted, I needed a scale check. I Googled the area of Arizona and New Mexico. They came in at 114,000 and 121,700 square miles, respectively.
That seemed like a lot of melting ice, until I read a new study from Greenland that noted this summer’s largest single-day melt of ice occurred on July 10: 212,700 square miles. That’s a single day of melt that almost encompasses the combined area of Arizona and New Mexico.
Our familiarity with maps often gives us a framework for understanding things that are too large to grasp as a number without context. This week, Akimel O’Odham basketweaver Alice Manuel gives us another, and more tactile, framework for understanding—the changes in plant materials she has witnessed over decades as a weaver. I encourage you to read and consider her account.
I hope you all are keeping well. Until next week,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Continuing Coverage: Feds Urged to Extend Public Process for Greater Chaco Management Plans
A coalition of Native American tribes and members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation are asking federal officials for more time to consider a proposal that would govern oil and gas drilling and other development near Chaco Culture National Historical Park. https://bit.ly/3jBvlq1 – KUNM (NPR)
The All Pueblo Council of Governors joins the New Mexico Congressional Delegation and other stakeholders in calling upon the Department of the Interior (DOI) to pause all activities associated with the draft Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA) for the Greater Chaco Region until the COVID-19 public health emergency ends. The growing pandemic continues to significantly reduce the ability of APCG and its member Pueblos to fully engage in Chaco protection efforts. https://bit.ly/2D7GbEF – All Pueblo Council of Governors
Four members of New Mexico’s Congressional delegation—Sen. Martin Heinrich, Sen. Tom Udall, Rep. Deb Haaland and Rep. Ben Ray Luján—sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt on Aug. 26 asking that the process be delayed until the pandemic has passed. … “We fail to understand why the BLM continues to move the required cultural study forward on a parallel process to the (resource management plan amendment),” the letter states. “Instead, the cultural study should be completed first and then used to inform any amendment to the Resource Management Plan.” https://bit.ly/3hPhRXl – Farmington Daily Times
Urge the Bureau of Land Management to pause planning: https://p2a.co/98GNwnf
US/ICOMOS to Host Chaco Expert Panel September 10
Please join us for a US/ICOMOS World Heritage Webinar, “World Heritage Site at Risk: Chaco Culture National Historical Park,” on Thursday, September 10, 2020, 12:00 p.m. EDT. Panelists include Ernie Atencio (National Parks Conservation Association), Paul Reed (Archaeology Southwest), and Kurt Riley (Pueblo of Acoma). An opportunity for questions and answers from the online audience will follow. This webinar is free to members and the public. https://bit.ly/2EMcc5W – US/ICOMOS
Continuing Coverage: O’odham Community Members Protest Desecration at Border
The area, federally protected land, includes sites of significant cultural importance to the O’odham, including several intaglios—carved rock formations likely used as ceremonial spaces by O’odham ancestors—and a burial site that is located immediately next to the border fence, among others. Customs and Border Protection waived more than three dozen federal laws to speed up border wall construction in Arizona. Among them are several cultural and archaeological laws meant to preserve Native American sites and artifacts. https://bit.ly/3gR8ncL – Arizona Republic (azcentral.com)
Parks in Peril: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
The impact of the new 30-foot border wall on the natural and cultural landscape of Organ Pipe is striking and devastating, from the destruction of saguaro cacti to the demolition of gravesites sacred to the Tohono O’odham Nation. And the ongoing construction not only undermines the National Park Service’s preservation mandate under the Organic Act of 1916, it calls into question whose history and future matters. https://bit.ly/3lEAb7J – National Parks Conservation Association
New Book Examines Tribal Cultural Protection Law
The battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline exemplifies how difficult it can be for tribal nations to assert their sovereignty within the existing legal structure to protect culturally important land, water, wildlife and ancestral objects. Over the last decade, however, Hoffmann and Mills argue that a new era of Indian law has emerged that protects Indigenous cultures based on Indigenous value systems. This “third way”—neither solely Indigenous nor European, but rather both—shows tribal nations working within those legal constraints in novel ways, or changing them altogether, to better reflect their values. This could mean different outcomes in future cultural protection conflicts. https://bit.ly/34SI5UX – High Country News
Alice Manuel on Akimel O’Odham Basketweaving
Then it’s just us and hundreds of willow trees, cottonwood trees, mesquite trees all over in various stages of growth. When I arrive, I tell the plants, “We’re coming with these ladies. Thank you for being here.” I tell the plants what we’re going to do. Then we’ll all get in a circle and sing a morning song, which is like a prayer that blesses and protects us before we start the day. https://bit.ly/2YWRAi7 – BorderLore
New National Monument Proposed for Nevada
Local tribes and national conservation groups are lobbying to establish a fourth national monument in southern Nevada that would preserve Indigenous cultural sites and critical environmental habitat. The proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument would protect 380,000 acres east of the Mojave Desert in southern Clark County. The Wilderness Society, the National Parks Conservation Association and local tribes are working together to achieve the land designation. https://bit.ly/2QIKGZh – Reno Gazette Journal
Publication Announcement: Paleontology of Bears Ears National Monument
Gay R.J., Huttenlocker A.K., Irmis R.B., Stegner M.A., and Uglesich J., 2020, “Paleontology of Bears Ears National Monument (Utah, USA): History of exploration, study, and designation.” Geology of the Intermountain West, v. 7, pp. 205–241. https://bit.ly/2YOyaMk (open access)
Publication Announcement: A Desert Feast
A Desert Feast: Celebrating Tucson’s Culinary Heritage, by Carolyn Niethammer. University of Arizona Press. https://bit.ly/3jBMBvj
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 email@example.com.
From the Albuquerque Archaeological Society: The August 2020 edition of Pottery Southwest is now available. https://potterysouthwest.unm.edu/PDFs/PSW-36-1-2.pdf
From the Amerind Museum: On September 5 at 11:00 a.m. MST, Marta Alfonso-Durruty, PhD, will present “Conquerors of the Land and the Sea: The Peopling of Fuego-Patagonia (46–52°S).” Of all the regions peopled by humans, Fuego Patagonia is the furthest away from our African origins. In this, the southern-most region of the Americas, the first human occupations are dated to ~10,000 years ago and correspond to hunter gatherers that exploited inland resources. By 6,500 years ago, a new way of life, specialized in marine resources and the use of canoes, emerged. More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/31PSyys
From The Archaeological Conservancy: James B. Walker’s August 26 presentation, “The Box-S Ruin: A Tale of Healing Decades of Site Destruction at an Ancestral Zuni Pueblo,” is now available for viewing: https://bit.ly/3hQATwq
From the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association: On September 10 at 7:00 p.m. MDT, Dr. J. McKim Malville will present “Speculations on the events leading to the creation of the Chimney Rock Great House and those events that followed its abandonment.” More information and Zoom registration: https://www.chimneyrockco.org/lecture-chimney-rock-colorado-2/
From Crow Canyon Archaeological Center: On Thursday, September 3, at 4:00 p.m. MDT, Dr. Colleen Strawhacker and Dr. Grant Snitker will present “Exploring Interplay between Climate & People in the Ancient Southwest.” More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/2QMLah2. Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/events/721302595386243/.
From History Live and the San Juan Basin Archaeological Society: On Tuesday, September 8, at 7:00 p.m. MDT, Fort Lewis College Professor Dr. Jesse Tune will discuss one of the most debated issues in archaeology, “Recent Developments in the Settlement of the Americas.” Dr. Tune will review controversial research published over the last 12 months, and its implications for understanding the early human history of the Americas. More information and Zoom registration: http://www.sjbas.org/
From Project Archaeology: New blog series, “Wildfires and Archaeology.” Wildfires and other natural disasters can have devastating effects on the natural and human worlds, but they have also been a facet of human life for as long as we’ve been around. With time has come innovation and adaptation, which will be the focus of our blog for next week! You will hear the voices of experts about their interactions as archaeologists with wildfires in the weeks to come. https://bit.ly/3lI2m5y
From the Society for American Archaeology: An interview with Lynne Sebastian is now available for viewing. Lynne Sebastian is a Historic Preservation Advisor at the SRI Foundation in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 1988. Although she has maintained a career-long research interest in the precontact Puebloan archaeology of the American Southwest, the majority of her professional contributions have focused on the field of historic preservation and the protection and conservation of our country’s prehistoric and historic heritage. https://youtu.be/bh4y9dkYtyI
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/