Archaeology Southwest wrapped up our 2020–2021 Archaeology Café series last Tuesday, and now we’ll be taking the summer off. (Not really. Our field school students show up soon.) The miracle of Zoom made for a successful and varied set of talks by Archaeology Southwest staff and colleagues. Thanks again to my research partner and friend Samuel Fayuant for co-presenting our Sells Red pottery project at the final café of the season. I’ve linked to the video of our presentation here and below.
From today’s stories, I found Angelo Baca’s and Patrick Gonzalez-Rogers’s comments near the end of the Daily Beast article on the never-ending vandalism problem compelling: “…Baca and Gonzalez-Rogers both insist the conversation needs to shift towards a deeper understanding of their peoples and their lands, with their people at the forefront, leading those conversations.”
Our forthcoming issue of Archaeology Southwest Magazine—headed to the printer later this week, after months of love-labor on the part of guest editor Stacy Ryan—is titled “Respect the Land You Stand Upon: Ending Archaeological Resource Crime in the Southwest.” Our contributors explore the hows and whys of ending and responding to archaeological resource crime on Tribal (and public) lands. We’re honored to feature the perspectives of members of seven different Tribes, some of whom are Tribal cultural resource managers. All speak, as Necefer, Baca, Gonzalez-Rogers, and the Women of Bears Ears do, to the very real harm these crimes inflict on Indigenous Americans.
So please, pay close attention to the truths being shared. I am hopeful that redress and healing are possible. Let’s open our minds and hearts even further.
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Tribal Elders and Leaders Share Information on How to Visit with Respect
Bears Ears National Monument is a tapestry of landscapes, identities, and histories of Indigenous peoples in the Southwest. As spring turns to summer, visitors from far and wide bustle through to see for themselves the stories and mysteries held within Bears Ears—the cliff dwellings, kivas, village sites, pilgrimage trails, petroglyphs, pictographs, and canyons that hold truths we don’t often learn about in American history textbooks. … Here, tribal elders and leaders share tips with visitors about how to visit cultural landscapes like Bears Ears respectfully. Talia Boyd at the blog of the Grand Canyon Trust | Read More >>
Quechan Tribe: No Gold Mine on Our Ancestral Lands
For millennia, Quechans have traversed Indian Pass to pray, hold ceremonies and renew the earth. This nearly untouched landscape was once in danger from being torn apart in the name of what Quechan tradition calls “snake’s blood”—gold. In 2009, the tribe defeated plans for a mine just east of the rock art known as Running Man, an area that includes geoglyphs and prayer circles scraped from the earth centuries ago, chert chipping sites and trading trails. Now a Canadian company seeks to start the process again. The mine’s CEO says it can extract the estimated 1.2 million ounces of gold without permanent damage to the landscape or poisoning local ground and surface waters. Debra Utacia Krol in the Arizona Republic (azcentral dot com) | Read More >>
A short documentary video is also available at that link.
Bipartisan STOP Act Is Reintroduced in Congress
Congressman Don Young (R-AK), Republican Leader of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples, and Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM), Chair of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples, have introduced the STOP Act, bipartisan legislation to prohibit the exporting of sacred Native American items and increase penalties for stealing and illegally trafficking Tribal cultural patrimony. Upon introduction, Young and Leger Fernández were joined by Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Congresswoman Sharice Davids (D-KS). The STOP Act has received the support of various tribes and Native organizations, including the Sealaska Heritage Institute. Alaska Native News | Read More >>
Continuing Coverage: UC Berkeley Event Addresses Repatriation and Un-Naming Efforts
During the event, called “America’s Unfinished Work: UC’s Repatriation and Un-Naming Efforts,” OLLI director Susan Hoffman introduced Linda Haverty Rugg, campus associate vice chancellor for research, as the speaker. Rugg began by acknowledging the land as belonging to the Ohlone people, as Strawberry Creek was the site of their settlement. Rugg said campus’s Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, or the Hearst Museum, holds ancestral remains of 9,594 Native American individuals but noted this number as a likely “significant undercount.” Rugg added that Native American people were previously treated as a “dying race,” and the development of anthropology as a discipline added to the desire to collect and study Native American remains. This notion and the trend of curating collections are both reasons why UC Berkeley became one of the country’s largest collections of Native American remains and sacred artifacts, according to Rugg. Dina Katgara in the Daily Californian | Read More >>
Commentary: Desecration Is a Teaching Moment
Santorum’s speech came a week after a white climber bolted over a petroglyph panel on the Sunshine Wall Slabs north of Arches National Park, and a day before an unidentified party defaced another with white supremacist phrases. As an Indigenous person living in this country, I see these events as directly connected. We have inherited an incomplete understanding of the history of the U.S., and that understanding allows for egregious acts of dehumanization of Indigenous peoples. Len Necefer in Outside Magazine | Read More >>
Better Management Alone Cannot Stop Vandalism
According to Utah State Historic Preservation Office Public Archaeologist Elizabeth Hora, she’s had four projects like these come across her desk in the last four weeks alone. Intentional or not, the one thing these events all have in common is this: they all took place on public lands. Tribes and archaeologists both agree that these lands need to be managed better, but the question remains: how best to do it? Daniel Modlin at the Daily Beast | Read More >>
Commentary: President Should Take the Next Step at Grand Staircase-Escalante
Before Trump’s 2017 reduction, Grand Staircase-Escalante existed for a generation as it was first conceived. Congress acknowledged its permanence with laws that adjusted boundaries and traded Utah school trust lands within the monument for $50 million and federal lands elsewhere in the state. Paleontologists consistently make transformative discoveries there. Archaeologists have surveyed just 7% of the monument’s record of 12,000 years of human residence; they need more time; they need support. These scientists need the funding guaranteed by monument status. Stephen Trimble in the Los Angeles Times | Read More >>
Interview: Archaeologist R. E. Burrillo and Science Moab
Landscapes across the Colorado Plateau are not only physical, but cultural. Bears Ears, named for two enormous buttes, is one such place that has received increasing national attention. This week, we speak with archaeologist and author R.E. Burrillo, who outlines the human history of a region held sacred by the five tribes of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition—the Hopi, Navajo, Ute, Ute Mountain, and Zuni tribes—and the many other descendent tribes with ties to the region. Science Moab in the Moab Sun News | Read More >>
Book Review: David Roberts, The Bears Ears, and R. E. Burrillo, Behind the Bears Ears
Roberts is the adventurer-journalist-storyteller. He loves the American Southwest but unlike Burrillo, who is dedicating his life to study of and advocacy for the place, Roberts has traveled and told stories of many parts of the world in his long career. Burrillo is the archaeologist, Bears Ears specialist, and activist. Both insert themselves into their accounts, telling rich personal stories of their experiences of the place and their personal encounters with leading players in the contemporary Bears Ears studies and battles, scholars and activists such as Fred Blackburn, Winston Hurst, Vaughn Hadenfeldt, Bill Lipe and Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk. Neither confines their account to the currently contested boundaries of the national monument. John Miles at National Parks Traveler | Read More >>
Publication Announcement: Pottery Southwest Vol. 37, No. 1 (Spring 2021)
This edition features articles on 17th-century Colono form pottery at Isleta Mission; surface treatments on Whiteware pottery from southwest Utah great house communities; and a pilot study of pigment on five black-on-white pottery types, among others. Albuquerque Archaeological Society and University of New Mexico | Download Now (Free PDF) >>
Video: Ancient Site Vandalism
Paul Reed (Archaeology Southwest) joined Scott Michlin for their monthly interview on May 6, 2021. This month, they discussed ancient site vandalism in the news and archaeological resource crime in general. KSJE 90.9 FM | Watch Now >>
Video: Was Sells Red Pottery a Marker of Tohono O’odham in Late Precontact Times
Bill Doelle (Archaeology Southwest) and Samuel Fayuant (Tohono O’odham Nation) discuss their ongoing project examining Sells Red pottery, village sites where it is found, the source of its temper, and what it might mean or represent. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | Watch Now >>
Video: 1967–1968 Murray Springs Excavations and Mammoth Exploration in Arizona
During his 1967–1968 summer seasons, C. Vance Haynes, Jr., took 16-mm film while he explored mammoth sites in Cochise County, Arizona. The original video has been preserved and edited by the AAHS Oral History Project (OHP). AAHS is proud to present a 2013 interview of C. Vance Haynes by Jesse Ballenger while they watch this historic film and Dr. Haynes describes the famous excavations of Murray Springs and other Clovis sites and mammoth discoveries in southeastern Arizona. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society (AAHS) | Watch Now >>
REMINDER: Webinar TODAY, May 12: A Globalized Past? Long-Distance Exchange in the US Southwest and Mexican Northwest
Dr. Christopher Schwartz will explore the long-distance trade relations and interaction between the US Southwest, Mexican Northwest, and Mesoamerica. Join the Desert Foothills Chapter of Arizona Archaeological Society for a zoom talk with Dr. Christopher Schwartz. Priority given to DFC/AAS members. For link and more information contact Mary Kearney at Maryk92 at aol dot com.
REMINDER: May 13 Webinar: Wartime Resisters of Conscience at the Catalina Federal Honor Camp on Mt. Lemmon
Dr. Cherstin Lyon will present “Wartime Resisters of Conscience at the Catalina Federal Honor Camp on Mt. Lemmon.” Now an archaeological site, this prison camp incarcerated Japanese American, Hopi, and Jehovah’s Witness “resisters of conscience” during World War II. Dr. Lyon will explain how their experiences shaped their understanding of their own wartime citizenship. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
REMINDER: May 13 Webinar: Fancy in Utah
“Fancy in Utah: Precious & Exotic Artifacts from the Bluff & Edge of the Cedars Great House Sites” with Jonathan Till. This presentation considers ornaments and nonlocal items from two great house sites in Utah. These “preciousities” reflect connectivity with the wider world during the fluorescence of the Chaco Phenomenon in the 11th, 12th, and early 13th centuries into the Mesa Verde region. Bureau of Land Management, Monticello Field Office and Bears Ears National Monument, in partnership with Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
May 13 Webinar: Early Hunter-Gatherers of the Colorado Plateau
Please join the Castle Valley Archaeological Society as we host Dr. Jesse Tune for our May meeting. The central Colorado Plateau contains an exceptional density of cultural resources. Historically, however, archaeological research has frequently overlooked the late Pleistocene and early Holocene record of this area. As such, the Paleoindian record is reviewed here to understand the nature of early human occupation in the region. There are options to attend on Facebook and via Zoom. Castle Valley Archaeological Society | Learn More >>
May 17 Webinar: Eastern and Western Pueblo Divergence
Evan Giomi will present “Eastern and Western Pueblo Divergence: A Study of Network Structure and Social Transformations.” Archaeologists and ethnographers have long noted the many differences in the social organization of the Western and Eastern Pueblos. Describing these differences and understanding their history and origins has been a perennial topic in Southwest Archaeology. In recent years, the greater availability of big data has opened new avenues for examining this topic, and this lecture will present one such approach. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
May 19 Webinar: Paleontology of Bears Ears National Monument
With paleontologist Rob Gay (Colorado Canyons Association). Rob believes that Bears Ears is powerful because it houses 300 million years of stories, from some of the earliest animals to walk on land to the ancestral home for many Indigenous people in the West today. Learn more about the ancient beasts that once roamed the land of southeastern Utah, how Bears Ears National Monument is critical for telling those stories, and how those stories from the distant past may help us as our world continues to change today. Friends of Cedar Mesa | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
May 20 Webinar: “Skeletons in the Anthropological Closet” Museum Collections and the Demand for Principles of Accountability
Many questions abound about why contemporary museums still hold the skeletal remains of people who never consented to their use and what responsibilities universities and funding agencies have to ensure that their researchers are in compliance with moral, ethical and political standards. This panel serves to open a series of conversations dedicated to exploring the possibilities of an anthropology grounded in a commitment to “radical humanism.” In a radically humanist anthropology, equality, connection, and becoming serve as guiding principles that (1) disrupt predominant conceptualizations of a stable, knowable, liberal subject in “the field,” (2) recognize the many ways that humans and non-humans are entangled, and (3) center justice, equity, and the reduction of harm as key aims of the anthropological project. Panelists include Rachel Watkins, Chip Colwell, Carlina de la Cova, Ciraj Rassool, and Michael Blakey; Justin Dunnavant, Moderator. Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
May 20 Webinar: How Connected Was the Chaco World?
With Dr. Barbara Mills. Based on ceramic data collected as part of the Chaco Social Networks Project and using a social network approach, it is now possible to look at how the Chaco World was connected over its 300-year history in 50-year intervals. We will look at when Pueblo Bonito became central, the extent to which outlying great houses and great kivas were connected to each other and to Chaco Canyon, and the impact of the Aztec Complex’s ascendancy on the network. The results allow us to evaluate several scenarios for migration into and out of Chaco Canyon as well as how different ‘hubs’ of connectivity developed in surrounding areas. The Four Corners Lecture Series, the Hisatsinom Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society, and the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
May 21 Film Showing and Panel Discussion: Yupkӧyvi – The Place Beyond the Horizon
Join Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance for a special presentation of the documentary film, Yupkӧyvi – The Place Beyond the Horizon followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with Georgiana Pongyesva, Ronald Wadsworth, Davd Valentine and Larry Ruiz. In Yupkӧyvi – The Place Beyond the Horizon, the Hopi explain the clear and persistent threats of encroaching fracking, and oil and gas exploration upon their ancient Chaco Canyon homeland, (Yupkӧyvi), and the need to preserve the entire greater Chaco landscape. Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance | Zoom Link >>
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