Buckle up. There are research reports to read, urgent calls to advocacy to pursue, and a variety of lectures and books to keep you busy.
We lead with Paul Reed’s call for action to protect Greater Chaco, because it is time sensitive. Comments on the BLM’s resource management planning process for northwest New Mexico must be received by September 25. Paul provides details.
I’ll let you choose your own path through the rest of today’s diverse offerings.
I hope you can find a quiet place in these disquieting times,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Commentary: Take Action Now to Protect the Greater Chaco Landscape
We want to thank everyone for supporting us over the last seven years on our efforts to protect the Greater Chaco Landscape from encroaching oil-gas development. Now it is time to get comments submitted to the Agencies (Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs) on the Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Comments must be received by the Agencies on or before FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020. https://bit.ly/3iD7J4b – Paul Reed at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest)
Chaco-Area Drilling Plan Expedited
A proposal that would increase oil and gas drilling in the Greater Chaco region of northwest New Mexico is one of a long list of energy projects that are being “expedited” by the U.S. Department of Interior during the COVID-19 pandemic, under the direction of the Trump Administration. The information was revealed in a letter dated July 15 from the DOI Deputy Secretary Katharine MacGregor and obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and provided to NM Political Report. https://bit.ly/2GUWHJx – NM Political Report
Commentary: Keep Radioactive Waste Away from Bears Ears
First, it was a multinational corporation with a factory in the Baltic nation of Estonia that sought to send its unwanted radioactive waste to southeast Utah. Now, another overseas entity, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), has its sights set on the White Mesa uranium mill for new radioactive waste shipments as well. Is the White Mesa Mill, on the doorstep of the White Mesa Ute community and just outside the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument, on a fast track to become a dumping ground for foreign industrial polluters and distant government entities? Not if we have anything to say about it. https://bit.ly/33ucV4c – Tim Peterson at the blog of the Grand Canyon Trust
Letter Calls for Pendley’s Removal from Bureau of Land Management
On Wednesday, nearly 200 organizations, tribes and businesses wrote to Bernhardt calling for Pendley’s removal as acting director. Their letter cited Pendley’s record “of inflammatory rhetoric and actions opposing virtually all issues of social justice and diversity, opposing Tribes’ efforts to protect sacred sites and mocking indigenous religious beliefs, virtually unprecedented conflicts of interest and ethical issues, and embrace of radical anti-conservation positions including advocating for the sale of public lands.” https://bit.ly/3hzoYlO – Daily Sentinel
Study: National Monuments Benefit the American West
Do the societal benefits of national monuments on US public lands outweigh the opportunity cost of forgone development and resource extraction? The answer is “yes,” according to a new study by Resources for the Future researcher Margaret Walls. Walls’s new peer-reviewed study, published recently in Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, explains the motivation for the Antiquities Act, which is used to create national monuments; describes the myriad controversies surrounding national monument designations; and reviews the literature on societal benefits, costs, and economic impacts of monuments and other similarly protected lands. https://bit.ly/3kfd95M – Resources for the Future
Peter Pino Passes
“It sounds cliché to say Peter was a man of few words, but that was true. Whenever he spoke in his quiet voice, the room fell silent. His carefully chosen words had impact,” said Mesa Verde Superintendent Cliff Spencer. “That impact extended to improving the relationship between Mesa Verde and its affiliated tribes, and in the design of the visitor center. We will miss him dearly.” https://bit.ly/3mk9LbP – Durango Herald
Connections to Place: An Interview with Todd Scissons
Several months ago, I attended a webinar that focused on efforts to stop vandalism at archaeological sites and heard Todd Scissons, the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Pueblo of Acoma, remark on the need to engage tribal communities in public education and site protection efforts. I did not know Todd at the time, but I wanted to hear more, and he graciously agreed to this interview. I think you’ll find Todd’s perspective on the significance of archaeological resources as meaningful as I do. https://bit.ly/3kdPWRl – Stacy Ryan at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest)
Digital Conference on the Origins of Writing
Next week the Center for the Study of Origins at the University of Colorado will be hosting a digital conference on “The Origins of Writing: Power and Technology” with nationally and internationally recognized experts on early writing. These experts will consider the origins of writing and writing technology in relationship to resistance to power in early literate societies around the world. The event will take place Friday September 18th and Saturday September 19th, featuring a keynote presentation from William Boltz (University of Washington). More information and link to registration: https://bit.ly/2GXZ5ze
NMSU Museum Receives NAGPRA Grant
The University Museum at New Mexico State University recently received a Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Consultation/Documentation Grant from National Park Service to assist in consultation with Native American tribal groups pertaining to NAGPRA-related human remains and funerary objects. …The University Museum intends to work with partners identified during the NAGPRA process to continue the partner relationship beyond the NAGPRA undertaking into other museum activities, and the museum staff hopes to develop a Native American Advisory group based on the consultation and collaboration processes. https://bit.ly/3hASo2S – New Mexico State University News Center
What Can We Learn from Ancient Cooking Pots?
Last month in the journal Scientific Reports, a team of archaeologists and organic chemists described how they had spent a year cooking a variety of meals in clay pots and then investigating the organic residues left behind. No one got a hearty meal out of this lab work, but the researchers found that some residues traced just the last round of ingredients, while others reflected the long-term cooking history of each pot. https://nyti.ms/35Is0lc – New York Times
Great Big Pots!
One aim of everyone involved is that, besides waiting for the next shuttle, Bandelier visitors will walk the pots’ route, read the plaques describing the history, and deepen their understanding of what they’re about to experience—and of where that earlier community’s trails lead today. “This is a continuation of who we are as families and artisans of the pueblo,” Cavan Gonzales said. “We’re keeping our traditional way of life and showing the perseverance of our way of life.” https://bit.ly/3kjxqar – New Mexico Magazine
Blog: Tucson’s Dodge Family
On the east side of the Presidio Museum, next to the wood palisade, is the stone foundation of a building. On the north side of the torreon are some melting adobe bricks. These are the remnants of the Dodge Boarding House, built between 1889 and 1896 on Lot 1 of Block 181, and torn down in late 1954. Who were the Dodges? https://bit.ly/33vmyiZ -Homer Thiel at the blog of the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum
Blog: Wildfire Archaeology
For archaeologist and “human pyrogeographer” Christopher Roos, Wabakwa provided an ideal site to explore the unintended consequences of fire suppression. Roos studies ancient fire regimes, or the historical patterns, frequencies, and intensities of fires in a particular area, in order to understand the role Native Americans have played in forest management through time. In a recently published study, Roos and his colleagues looked at how different fire management styles have affected the health of the forest ecosystem at Wabakwa over the past 900 years. https://bit.ly/3mngmSJ – Stephen E. Nash at Sapiens
Publication Announcement: Creative Mitigation
The current issue of Advances in Archaeological Practice (Volume 8, Special Issue 3) on “Creative Mitigation” is now available open access. https://bit.ly/2Rx49wu
Publication Announcement: Down Along Paayu
“Down Along Paayu: The History of Homol’ovi II Pueblo” by Richard C. Lange is the newest addition to the long-running Arizona Archaeologist series of research publications from the Arizona Archaeological Society. Published in two editions, one with many full-color photographs and illustrations, “Down Along Paayu” recounts the prehistory of one of the two largest pueblos built along the Little Colorado River (Paayu in the Hopi language) in the 13th and 14th centuries. AAS members can receive a grayscale copy of “Down Along Paayu” as a member benefit. Others can purchase copies of this volume here: https://amzn.to/2ZEVYTx
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.
TONIGHT, September 16, at 7:00 p.m. MST: From the Arizona Archaeological Society (Yavapai Chapter): Don Simonis, retired BLM archaeologist, will give a presentation on why the Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) matters. The exceptional heritage and natural resources of the area are amazing. Native American involvement in the BENM is a critical part of the monument. A controversy remains over how to protect the resources and how large an area should be included within the monument boundaries. The outcome of legal decisions for BENM will set important precedence for all of our National Parks and National Monuments. Direct link to Zoom meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89807656397
From the Archaeological Institute of America, Tucson Chapter: On September 24 at 5:00 p.m. MST, Dr. Irene B. Romano will present “Collecting Antiquities among the Nazi Elite.” More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/3c2R1IZ
From the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society: On September 21 at 7:00 p.m. MST, Karen Adams will present “Food for Thought: The Deep History of Your Dinner.” Any five-year old will tell you where our food comes from…the grocery store! But behind that simple truth is an extremely long history of human efforts to modify wild plants to make them more manageable, better tasting, and eventually highly productive. Human efforts at plant domestication began over 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent and elsewhere. Learn how any single meal you sit down to eat today encompasses this world-wide long-term relationship between humans and the plants they tamed. More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/33w7CkL
From the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society and the Amerind Museum: Join us on September 19 at 11:00 a.m. MST for a virtual tour of one of the largest and best documented A:shiwi (Zuni) and Diné (Navajo) jewelry collections in the world. The Vander Wagen collection at the Amerind Museum includes thousands of jewelry pieces made by artisans and masters from the late 19th through 20th century. Learn stories behind some of the pieces and discover how they were made. More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/2RwB84i
From Crow Canyon Archaeological Center: On Thursday, September 17, at 4:00 p.m. MDT, Dr. Catherine Cameron will present “Exploring Social Environments in the Southeast and Southwest.” In this discussion, Catherine will compare archaeological evidence for violent social environments in the U.S. Southeast and Southwest. More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/3klWFJf.
From Old Pueblo Archaeology Center: On Thursday, October 15, at 7:00 p.m. Arizona/Mountain Standard Time, archaeologist Deni Seymour, Ph.D., will present “Revisiting Santa Cruz de Terrenate Presidio” for Old Pueblo’s “Third Thursday Food for Thought” series. Established in 1775 by the Spanish colonial government, Santa Cruz de Terrenate Presidio provided military protection to the missions, settlers, and Christianized Native Americans in the southern Arizona portion of what was then New Spain. More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/2Fq4UFv
From Patagonia: On September 25 at 5:00 p.m. PDT, join us for the premiere of Public Trust, a feature-length documentary about America’s system of public lands and the fight to protect them. Part love letter, part political exposé, Public Trust investigates how we arrived at this precarious moment through three heated conflicts—a national monument in the Utah desert, a mine in the Boundary Waters and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—and makes a case for their continued protection. More information: https://youtu.be/OGjnIG7puzY
From the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum: On October 31, archaeologist Homer Thiel will lead this walk through the Court Street Cemetery, where about 8,000 people were buried between 1875 and 1909. When it was closed, about half were reinterred and half were left in place. The tour will lead you through the cemetery, show you where bodies have been found, and reveal the history of this forgotten place. There will be two tours, one at 10:00 a.m. and one at 1:00 p.m., 12 persons each, meeting in the gravel lot at the southwest corner of N. Stone Avenue and W. Speedway Blvd. Thiel will have a mic and participants will social distance. Register here: https://bit.ly/33w0hBz
From Project Archaeology: The third and final essay in our series is “Wildfires: Hear It from the Experts.” We reached out to experienced experts who are out there on the front lines and asked some questions. The first set of answers you see are from Dan Broockmann, a Bureau of Land Management archaeologist in Nevada. Below his answers are words from U.S. Forest Service archaeologist and firefighter, Jennifer Ryan. https://bit.ly/3c0F06M
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/