Last week I retained the glow of a wonderful trip to Tonto National Monument as I typed up my greetings to you. Today, the glow is just a remnant of eye strain from two days of Zoom session after Zoom session.
Do I still have the perfect job?
I’m sticking with “yes.”
Although this has been a challenging year, I absolutely cannot complain about Zoom. It has made surviving, and even a surprising amount of thriving, possible.
It is an honor to work with the creative staff at Archaeology Southwest and all our colleagues and collaborators. And I extend my gratitude to our members and donors. Zoom has helped us maintain our internal communications—day after day—and allowed us to reach out to our supporters to share the challenges and successes of Preservation Archaeology throughout this dyspeptic (I know, major understatement) year.
As 2020 draws to a close, the COVID pandemic is returning to surge mode. But the news about effective vaccines is very encouraging. And there is political change on the near horizon.
So, I invite you to join me as I allow my optimism to grow. Enjoy its warmth and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
My very best,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
“Everything we need to live a good life is here on earth”
To the original peoples of this continent, each day is a day to give thanks to the Creator. Thanksgiving ceremonies have always taken place when Native people have gathered. Food and feasts often serve as a focal point of these ceremonies. This Thanksgiving, we’ve asked seven Native American chefs from different cultural and culinary backgrounds, working in different places around the country, to share holiday-worthy recipes with us. …The Ohenten Kariwatekwen or Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address—words spoken at the beginning of all important Haudenosaunee gatherings—is a very welcome reminder that, “Everything we need to live a good life is here on earth.” https://bit.ly/3fsj0Dz – Smithsonian Magazine
Ancient Use of Ice Caves at El Malpais National Monument
Kenny Bowekaty, a longtime archaeologist, tour guide and member of the Ashiwi people in the nearby Pueblo of Zuni, said the people in the region who were around during the study period likely would have used the caves for religious purposes, as well as to store animals hunted nearby. “Ice to the Ashiwi people is still a resource of life,” Bowekaty said. “There’s a lot of compounded uses for what would have been considered ice caves.” https://bit.ly/360xqYp – Scientific American
Exploring an ice-laden lava tube of the El Malpais National Monument and using precisely radiocarbon- dated charcoal found preserved deep in an ice deposit in a lava tube, USF geosciences Professor Bogdan Onac and his team discovered that Ancestral Puebloans survived devastating droughts by traveling deep into the caves to melt ancient ice as a water resource. https://bit.ly/3fvGzeG – University of South Florida Newsroom
Interview with Jim Enote: Different Ways of Knowing a Place
The Colorado Plateau is home to research projects, scientific inquiries and a lot of western science, but there is also long-held Indigenous knowledge that is centered on knowing and understanding the cliffs and canyons of this place. Here, Science Moab speaks with Jim Enote about these two different knowledge systems. Enote is a Zuni writer, farmer and CEO of the Colorado Plateau Foundation. He is also a trained scientist who explains his view of the different ways that western scientists and Native people understand the world and how we can begin to speak across those understandings to make the world better for both people and the natural environment. https://bit.ly/3fvBLWG – Moab Sun News
Woody Lee Welcomed as New Executive Director of Utah Diné Bikéyah
As a translator and consultant for Utah Diné Bikéyah, Woody Lee collected stories. Traveling throughout the Navajo Nation for nearly two years, he listened to elders and experts on traditional hunting, foods, farming, and creation narratives relating to the Bears Ears area for the nonprofit which champions Indigenous leadership and land stewardship. Now, after six years with the organization, Lee has become UDB’s first Indigenous executive director… https://bit.ly/33hKmYq – Moab Sun News
Continuing Coverage: Chaco Heritage Tribal Association to Undertake Study of Greater Chaco
The Chaco Heritage Tribal Association includes the Hopi Tribe along with the Pueblos of Acoma, Jemez, Laguna and Zuni. They’ll tap congressionally approved funds to conduct the first tribe-led survey of the area that includes sacred and culturally significant sites. https://bit.ly/2J6uCQE – KNAU (NPR)
Continuing Coverage: Oak Flat in Peril
Last month tribes discovered that the date for the completion of a crucial environmental review process has suddenly been moved forward by a full year, to December 2020, even as the tribes are struggling with a Covid outbreak that has stifled their ability to respond. If the environmental review is completed before Trump leaves office, the tribes may be unable to stop the mine. In a meeting with environmental groups, local officials said that the push was occurring because “we are getting pressure from the highest level at the Department of Agriculture,” according to notes from the meeting seen by the Guardian. The department oversees the US Forest Service, which is in charge of Oak Flat. https://bit.ly/2HxIcw7 – The Guardian
Profile of George McJunkin, Black Cowboy Who Found the Folsom Site
An amateur naturalist with an enthusiasm for collecting peculiar items, McJunkin hopped off his horse and walked ten feet into the washed-out land to get a closer look. As he approached the white object protruding from the arroyo, he realized he was looking at animal bones that had been uncovered by the heavy rain. Scanning the remains, he noticed that they weren’t normal cattle or bison bones—they were much bigger than anything he had ever seen before. He sensed that he had discovered something of great magnitude. …These bones eventually ended a long-standing anthropological debate, proving conclusively that humans had lived in the Americas since at least the end of the last Ice Age. https://bit.ly/3fuNQeV – Texas Monthly
Patrick Herman Beckett (1941–2020): Patrick Herman Beckett of Las Cruces, NM, died peacefully at home with his family from heart disease and Diabetes complications on November 20, 2020. He was 79. After proudly serving in the US Marine Corps, Pat graduated from New Mexico State University and then received his Masters from Eastern New Mexico University. He became an archaeologist and eventually head of the contract archaeology program at NMSU. https://legcy.co/3nZBpeh – legacy.com
S. Neal Crozier (1935–2020): Born January 2, 1935 in New York City. Died September 26, 2020 in Chandler, AZ. A talented artist from a young age, Neal traveled to more than 100 countries in his 85 years, his sketch book always along for the ride. His career path was as wide ranging as his travels, from art director for an advertising agency to cutting sugar cane in Hawaii, his favorite spot on earth. However it was the field of archaeology that ultimately claimed his attention. https://legcy.co/33ciy7A – legacy.com
Walter Gosart: Walter George Gosart, 73, of Flagstaff passed away Nov 11 after a short battle with cancer. Walter moved to Flagstaff in 1993, and became an integral part of the educational, non-profit Elden Pueblo Project, under the auspices of the Arizona Natural History Association and Coconino National Forest. He also worked as an archaeological technician on the Highway 89 expansion, and for the National Park Service where he was based primarily at Wupatki National Monument. https://legcy.co/2UVQ51t – legacy.com
REMINDER: Archaeology Café Welcomes Shannon Cowell and Kelly Jenks
Join us at 6:00 p.m. MT on December 1, when Preservation Archaeologist Shannon Cowell and Kelly Jenks (New Mexico State University) will discuss “Beloved Things: Micaceous Bean Pots and Connections to the Hispanic New Mexican Homeland,” a case study on Hispanic women and heirloom bean pots. More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/3jG23pZ – 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Navajo-Hopi COVID Relief Group Needs Financial Donations
Nearly depleted funds may cause a group of volunteers providing aid to Navajo and Hopi families during the pandemic to halt care package distribution within “a matter of weeks,” the organization announced on Monday. The Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund was created as a GoFundMe campaign in March by former Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch to provide food and supplies to families shielding themselves from the virus at home. …The campaign has since grown into a nonprofit organization called Yee Ha’ólníi Doo and is led by 12 Navajo and Hopi women, according to its website. The organization has provided relief to more than 46,000 households, spending between $150,000 to $200,000 a week on food, water, cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment, a news release said. Although the group raised more than $6.25 million as of Monday, the funds were nearly depleted as communities across the country were experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 cases, the news release said. https://bit.ly/3lYdjjj – azcentral.com (Arizona Republic)
From Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and the Pueblo Archaeological and Historical Society: On December 3 at 4:00 p.m. MST, Todd Surovell will present “Barger Gulch, a Folsom Campsite.” More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/3fx51MQ
From Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument announces that the national monument, including Cliff Dweller Trail with access to the cliff dwellings, will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. The closure is in effect to allow employees and volunteers to enjoy the holiday with their friends and families. The park and Cliff Dweller Trail will open Friday, November 27, at 10:00 a.m. The closure will not affect Gila National Forest or Gila Wilderness trails or corral facilities.
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/