The pace has slowed a bit recently as the summer vacation season thins the number of colleagues who are in the office or available for the next Zoom call.
Especially since I’ll be one of those vacationers next week. Like throngs of Arizonans, I’m off to San Diego. The best part is that my daughter and grandkids will be joining my wife and me.
I always enjoy the flight from Tucson to San Diego. It provides an aerial view of the lower Gila River area. I’ve spent a great deal of time on the ground there over my career. And it’s where a lot of our current activities are focused as we plan the campaign to protect the impressive cultural landscape of the Great Bend of the Gila. (You’ll hear lots more about this campaign in the fall.)
Today’s newsletter highlights a recent exploration of the Gila from its headwaters toward the Colorado River. The focus is on the wet parts of the river—and fortunately, there are still places where the water flows. The author also highlights two places in the dry stretches of the river where water has been restored.
I highly recommend the in-depth article from the Washington Post that addresses the looting of Indigenous sites and graves. The article puts the scale of this desecration in historical context. The ugly fact that looting continues is why Archaeology Southwest works cooperatively with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other professionals to eliminate Archaeological Resource Crime on reservations and beyond.
I’ll be writing from San Diego next week, so I might be brief…
Hope you are getting in some R & R, too,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Banner image: Petroglyph panel in the Great Bend of the Gila.
P.S. We really need your help if you want us to get the word out. Remember—it’s your word! And we really do want to share it. So, please submit news, events, video and podcast links, publication announcements, and other resources to this link for consideration. It makes it so much easier for us to bring you this news digest every week. Questions?
Indigenous Astronomy in the National Parks
National parks are slowly integrating Indigenous astronomy into astrotourism experiences, such as tours and star parties. But the non-Indigenous rangers I spoke with recognize that this is not their knowledge to share. Many national parks were built upon land forcefully taken from Native Americans. Indigenous communities, who lived and thrived on these landscapes for more than 10,000 years, should be the ones to share their cultures’ star stories. That’s why rangers from two of the International Dark Sky Association’s (IDA) newest certified dark-sky parks, Mesa Verde and Voyageurs National Parks, are collaborating with local Indigenous communities to give them a platform on which to share their own star stories. Stephanie Vermillion in Outside Magazine | Read More >>
New Podcast: Parks.
This podcast is about the Indigenous people who lived, hunted, and created communities on these sacred lands, living reciprocally with nature for centuries before colonizers arrived. It’s about the racism, violence, and lies that led the U.S. government to dispossess land from Natives. These actions have unacknowledged consequence for the people and the environment. We’re going to explore how Indigenous communities were able to live through attempted genocide, continue their traditions, and lead America’s most important environmental victories of the past and present. Parks. | Listen Now >>
The Gila River’s Uncertain Future
This spring, photographer Ted Wood and I made a journey along the length of the Gila, from the headwaters in New Mexico to west of Phoenix. In most of Arizona, the Gila is dry. Where it still flows, I was impressed by how such a relatively small river, under the right conditions, can be so life-giving. The trip brought home what desert rivers are up against as the climate changes, and also how much restoration, and what types, can be expected to protect the biodiversity that remains. Our journey began at the river’s source, where Cliff Dweller Creek spills out of a shady canyon lined with Gambel oak in Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Jim Robbins in High Country News and YaleEnvironment360 | Read More >>
Commentary: Bridging Indigenous and Western Science
Western-trained researchers and governments are increasingly recognizing the wealth of knowledge that Indigenous communities have amassed to coexist with and protect their environments over hundreds or even thousands of years. Peer-reviewed scientific journals have published studies demonstrating that around the world, Indigenous-managed lands have far more biodiversity intact than other lands, even those set aside for conservation. Embracing Indigenous knowledge…can improve how federal governments manage ecosystems and natural resources. It can also deepen Western scientists’ understanding of their own research, potentially, by providing alternative perspectives and approaches to understanding their field of work. … Indigenous scholars warn, though, that while traditional knowledge can be used to benefit the world, it can also be mishandled or exploited. Rachel Cernansky in the New York Times | Read More >>
Continuing Coverage: More than a Century of Desecration and Theft
Carpenter showed up at Miller’s house that April morning as a member of the FBI’s Art Crime Team. Formed in 2004, this unit of 25 specially trained agents seeks to rescue stolen cultural items. Agents often work undercover, posing as experts in the art world or as collectors. The team has repatriated art stolen by the Nazis and returned fine art and antiquities to their countries of origin. The Miller case represented a shift: Increasingly, the Art Crime Team had been looking into thefts against Native American communities and how to repatriate items back to those tribes. Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson in the Washington Post | Read More >>
The article was also shared in the Anchorage Daily News. >>
Please be aware that the article shows images of display cases holding items that may have been interred with people.
Visit SaveHistory dot org to learn how you can help stop this. >>
History of Scarlet Macaws in the Southwest
As early as 1,000 years ago, Indigenous people living what is now northern Arizona valued these birds for many of the reasons that make them popular today: their beautiful and multi-hued feathers, their remarkable intelligence, and their ability to mimic human speech. Long before cars and airplanes, people traveled hundreds of miles to the birds’ natural habitat — which spans from eastern and southern Mexico south into Central and South America — to bring them back to Arizona, New Mexico, Sonora and Chihuahua. Christopher Schwartz in the Arizona Daily Sun | Read More >>
REMINDER: July 15 Webinar: Scarlet Macaws, Long-Distance Exchange, and Placemaking
With Christopher Schwartz. This talk explores the long-distance acquisition, circulation, and use of scarlet macaws in the pre-Hispanic U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest, including the reasons for procuring these multifaceted animals, their significance in processes of placemaking and widespread social transformations, and their continued importance to descendant communities in this region. The Hisatsinom Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society and the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
July 19 Webinar: Five Millennia of Living on the Landscapes of the Jornada Mogollon Region of Southern New Mexico and West Texas
With Myles Miller. Due to the misperception that the archaeology of the Jornada consists mainly of non-architectural hunter-gatherer sites, the ancient history of the region is often viewed as peripheral to developments in better-known and more archeologically visible culture areas of the US Southwest and Mexican Northwest. Recent research has negated such outdated views, and the Jornada region can now be considered an important part of the greater SW/NW. For much of the past 5,000 years, we can now link patterns of settlement adaptations and social change to the iconography on rock faces, ceramics and other items. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Publication Announcement: Engaged Archaeology
Engaged Archaeology in the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico, edited by Kelley A. Hays-Gilpin, Sarah A. Herr, and Patrick D. Lyons. Proceedings of the Southwest Symposium Series, University Press of Colorado, 2021. Learn More >>
Commentary: ‘Footprints of Hopi History’ Is a Must-Read
It’s not a new book, but it’s a remarkable one, and a must read for anyone interested in the archaeology and history of the Four Corners country. As the title implies, the book delves into the history of the Hopi people placing footprints—or migrating from place to place—over the course of millennia around the Four Corners until they reached the center place, or Tuuwanasavi, on the Hopi mesas. But it tells that story through the lens of another narrative; one about the creation of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office and efforts by its longtime director, Kuwanwisiwma, to retake control over the Hopi story and how it is told. You might call it history sovereignty. Jonathan Thompson in the Durango Telegraph and at the Land Desk | Read More >>
Robert J. Stokes Joins Kiva Editorial Team
The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Robert J. Stokes will join the Kiva editorial team as book reviews editor. He will seek books -ranging from monographs and edited volumes, to popular books, text books, and CRM reports about archaeology, ethnography, history, and allied subjects of interest to AAHS membership and invite reviewers to provide published commentary. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | Read More >>
Call for Papers: Jornada Research Publications Series
The Jornada Research Institute is now accepting article submissions for an anticipated volume of its Jornada Research Publications series. Topics can range from archaeology, ethnohistory, ethnography, history, geology, geoarchaeology, and biology within the broad region of the Tularosa Basin and adjacent areas of Arizona, New Mexico, west Texas and northern Mexico. We anticipate that this volume will be published sometime early in 2022. Submissions will be reviewed by JRI’s editorial board and will be held to professional standards. Please send questions and electronic copies to jefferyhanson64 at gmail dot com. Deadline for submissions is November 15, 2021.
Call to Applicants: Public Humanities Fellow, New-York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society invites candidates with a humanities MA or PhD to apply for the position of Public Humanities Fellow in connection with the traveling exhibit Acts of Faith: Religion and the American West, which opens at the New-York Historical Society in New York City in November 2022. We are looking for candidates with significant expertise in 19th century religion, particularly as it relates to Native American religion and spirituality. Applicants must have graduated from a humanities MA or PhD program (including public history and museum studies) within the last five years, and have a desire to practice publicly engaged scholarship. New-York Historical Society | Learn More >>
Position Announcement: Assistant Curator of North American Anthropology and Archaeology
The Field Museum invites applications for the position of Assistant Curator of North American Anthropology and Archaeology, regional focus, and subfield specialization open, with an anticipated start date as early as January 2022. We seek a colleague who conducts collections and field-based research with a focus related to indigenous North America with the potential to address pressing questions of global importance. The Field Museum | Learn More >>
We hope you have a good week, Friends!