This week, Greater Chaco continues to be our lead story. If the amended resource management plan developed by the Bureau of Land Management goes forward, future oil and gas extraction directly threatens archaeological sites and other places sacred to Tribes over an extensive area of public lands in northwestern New Mexico. It’s late in the process, but you can still get comments in by close of business on Friday. You can go through a portal our coalition has online, or directly to the BLM. Thank you.
I get frustrated when, week after week, the articles featured here are about imminent threats to places of the past. We actually spend a great deal of time at Archaeology Southwest trying to protect places in ways that keep them out of the news.
So, starting on Tuesday, October 6, our Archaeology Southwest staff members will begin sharing stories of the daily work of Preservation Archaeology as we kick off our 14th consecutive season of Archaeology Café. We hosted thirteen years of cafés in Tucson and nine years in Phoenix. But, like pretty much everything in 2020, this café season will be different.
All our cafés will be Zoom seminars—thus the theme, “From Our House to Yours.” They are free, but you must register online in advance. You can see the entire season here and sign up for any of the programs now. First up is Jeffery Clark, who will discuss “Safford, Ancient Arizona’s Forgotten Cosmopolitan Center.”
And we won’t abandon you after our hour together. There are extensive resources you can download to explore more. For those who can’t fit into our schedule, the café will be on our YouTube channel about a week after the event.
I hope you’ll join us to get to know our staff and see how they express their passion for Preservation Archaeology, day by day, all through the year.
See you there!
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Commentary: Last Chance to Protect Greater Chaco?
During a recent webinar organized by US/ICOMOS, Ernie Atencio, the southwest regional director of the National Parks Conversation Association, stated that “this really could be our last chance to save one of the most important cultural landscapes in the US.” Allowing development as close as possible to the park depreciates the site’s beauty and integrity as world heritage. More gravely, it also introduces health and safety risks to vulnerable Pueblo and Navajo communities while further cleaving them from their sacred homelands. https://bit.ly/3mG1TSa – Grace Mitchell Tada at The Dirt (blog of the American Society of Landscape Architects)
Continuing Coverage: Greater Chaco Plans and Process Deeply Flawed
A coalition of environmental advocates say [sic] the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Affairs failed to provide meaningful consultation with tribal members while the two agencies drafted a resource management plan amendment for the Farmington Field Office of the BLM. This amendment is often talked about in terms of drilling in the Greater Chaco landscape. The draft amendment would allow new drilling closer to Chaco Culture National Historical Park than is currently practiced. https://bit.ly/3kJvicl – Farmington Daily Times
Coalition of Tribes Welcomes Ancestors Home from Finnish Museum
On Sunday, a coalition of tribes including the Hopi Tribe, the Pueblo of Acoma, the Pueblo of Zia, and the Pueblo of Zuni repatriated and reinterred ancestors and associated funerary items at Mesa Verde National Park. The National Museum of Finland repatriated the human remains of 20 ancestors pursuant to a joint-agreement with the four sovereign tribes who claim cultural affiliation to the Mesa Verde area. The United States Department of State and the United States Embassy in Finland assisted the four tribes in transporting the ancestors and funerary items from Helsinki, Finland to Mesa Verde, Colorado. In 1891, scholar Gustaf Nordenskiöld took these ancestors and their funerary items from the Mesa Verde area to northern Europe. https://bit.ly/2FKZYur – Indian Country Today
Fourteenth Season of Archaeology Café Begins October 6
From our house to yours…The 14th season of Archaeology Café celebrates and shares Archaeology Southwest’s current Preservation Archaeology projects with you. Our staff members will bring you in on what we’re doing right now to learn more about the past and help protect special places. Join us on October 6, 2020, when Preservation Archaeologist Jeffery Clark will discuss “Safford, Ancient Arizona’s Forgotten Cosmopolitan Center.” Jeff will share new insights into archaeology along the Gila River in this region of east-central Arizona. https://bit.ly/3mJg74u – Archaeology Southwest
Public Lands Could Bring Us Together: Interview with John Leshy
It might be hard to believe in the current political climate, but public lands were a unifying issue for Americans until quite recently. Most Americans have supported the idea of the government owning and managing large areas of land for public use, and that bipartisan consensus has culminated in the creation of vast network of national parks, forests and monuments which are collectively visited by tens of millions of people annually. Does that mean public lands could serve as an opportunity to bridge gaps in a polarized America? John Leshy, an emeritus professor of law at the University of California Hastings and general counsel at the U.S. Department of the Interior during the Clinton administration, thinks it’s possible. https://bit.ly/360lUgq – Mongabay
Continuing Coverage: Radioactive Material Headed for Mill near Ute Mountain Ute Reservation, Bears Ears
“Estonia, Japan, where will the radioactive waste come from next?” said Yolanda Badback, a Ute Mountain Ute tribal citizen and member of the White Mesa Concerned Community group, in a statement. “Our ancestors’ remains were dug up to build the mill, and burying waste near them impacts us today.” https://bit.ly/32YgQHv – Salt Lake Tribune
Blog: Understanding Mimbres Painted Pottery
You’ve seen the designs, if not the pottery itself. T-shirts, coffee mugs, pot holders, and more are decorated with motifs from Mimbres pottery. They burst onto the scene over a millennium ago in what is now southwestern New Mexico. But by about 1030 CE things changed. People left their large villages and adopted new ways of life. How can we understand this—the development of this spectacular pottery, and then the sudden changes? https://bit.ly/3kGy8i4 – Michelle Hegmon and Will G. Russell at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest)
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 Crow Canyon Archaeological Center: On September 24, at 4:00 p.m. MDT, Rebecca Hammond will present “Ute History.” The Ute people are the longest continuous inhabitants of Colorado and Utah. According to the history, handed down by their elders, Ute people have lived here since the beginning of time. This webinar is an overview of Ute history and culture. Rebecca will discuss U.S. treaties and the impact they’ve had on Ute lands. Historic Ute photos from Colorado and Utah museum archives are incorporated into the presentation. More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/3cr1tdI
From Grand Staircase Escalante Partners and the Grand Canyon Trust: On September 26, at 6:00 p.m. MDT, we kick off our virtual teach-in series, in which we will discuss histories of conservation and the importance of elevating Indigenous perspectives in issues of conservation and public lands use and management and identifying how such management can support Tribal preservation. Following events will occur on Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m. More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/3604n7P
From Old Pueblo Archaeology Center: On October 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., archaeologist Deni Seymour, Ph.D., leads the nonprofit Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s educational fundraising tour to San Pedro Valley archaeological sites of Santa Cruz de Terrenate and Pitaitutgam. In the late eighteenth century, Santa Cruz de Terrenate was a Spanish Colonial presidio (fort), and Pitaitutgam was a nearby O’odham village site. The tour meets at the Chevron station at AZ-90/AZ-82 intersection in Whetstone, Arizona. Reservations and $50 donation prepayment due by 5:00 p.m. October 14: 520-798-1201 or firstname.lastname@example.org. https://bit.ly/2EpaE1v
On October 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. flintknapper Sam Greenleaf teaches an arrowhead-making and flintknapping workshop at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 2201 W. 44th Street, Tucson. Participants will learn how to make arrowheads, spear points, and other flaked stone artifacts from obsidian and other stone like ancient peoples did. The class is designed to foster understanding of how prehistoric peoples made essential tools, not to make artwork for sale. Reservations and $35 payment (includes all materials and equipment) required by 5:00 p.m. October 22: 520-798-1201 or email@example.com. https://bit.ly/3mTHw42
From Rice University Center for African and African American Studies: On September 24 at 7:00 p.m. CDT, Alicia Odewale (University of Tulsa) will present “Restorative Justice Archaeology: Unearthing the Aftermath of the Tulsa Race Massacre.” Opening remarks by Jeffrey Fleisher and moderation by Daniel Domingues. Online event is open to the Rice community and the public, sponsored by the Task Force on Slavery, Segregation and Racial Injustice, the Center for African and African American Studies, and BRIDGE (Building Research on Inequality and Diversity to Grow Equity). More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/2EnSPzS
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/
Thanks to Cherie Freeman for her contribution to this edition.