I’m typing this 100-some yards from the ocean in San Diego. It’s 76° with a moderate breeze.
I haven’t been here in 20 years. The decade before that, my wife and I came here every summer with our daughter. This year, it’s with our daughter and our two grandkids.
Each day, I take a long early-morning walk along the beach. I look for potential impacts of climate change. There are hints, but nothing dramatic. At least to my untrained eyes.
In 20 more years, when my daughter returns to San Diego with her grandkids, I fear the evidence will be clearer.
I have kicked back a good bit on this trip (really!) and am feeling very relaxed. But I haven’t been able to silence concerns about the climate crisis, which is always on my mind.
Next week I’ll be home in Tucson, where the forecast predicts daily highs of 105º. I wish I could bring this weather back with us.
Wishing you my best from the beach, including cool breezes your way,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
P.S. Here is a link to Terrapass, where I try to offset my carbon footprint.
P.P.S. We do 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?
The Past, Present, and Future of the Salt River
Starting around 600 A.D., the ancestors of the contemporary O’odham peoples—Huhugam is the O’odham term for ancestors—used stone tools to dig hundreds of miles of sophisticated irrigation canals in what is now known as the Salt River Valley. By creating the largest and most complex irrigation system in ancient North America, the Huhugam transformed the valley agriculturally, making it easier to create a settled community. Rebecca Toy in National Geographic | Read More >>
Basketmaker Works to Preserve Traditions
Since Royce Manuel’s hair started going white, he’s noticed more people turning to him for traditional knowledge about his community. Manuel, 68, grew up on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and has always been a keeper of such knowledge, so he’s happily shared his teachings. Much of his knowledge comes from his father and grandparents, who were constantly sharing stories and teaching him new things about their culture and traditions. One of those was the story behind the making of a Kia-ha, a burden basket. Shondin Silversmith in the Arizona Republic (azcentral dot com) | Read More >>
At Totem Pole’s Sojourn in Bears Ears, Indigenous Leaders Urge Monument Restoration
Indigenous people from around the Four Corners gathered on the banks of the San Juan River on Saturday to offer prayers and blessings before an intricately crafted, 25-foot totem pole that was stationed for the night in a campground near Bears Ears National Monument. The totem pole was carved by members of the Lummi Nation and is being transported from their home in Washington state to Washington, D.C., as part of a 15-day, cross-continent journey to advocate for the protection of sacred places and the expansion of tribal sovereignty rights. Zak Podmore in the Salt Lake Tribune | Read More >>
A Civilian Climate Corps for the 21st Century
More than 80 House and Senate Democrats signed onto a letter today outlining their vision for the Civilian Climate Corps program that they want to be included in the upcoming $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. In the letter, the congressional Democrats expressed their “strong support” for the program, which is based on a 1930s New Deal program and would create jobs planting trees, restoring public lands and waters, and otherwise tackling climate change. Jena Brooker at Grist | Read More >>
National Parks Conservation Association Urges Congress to Support a Civilian Climate Corps | Watch Now >>
Commentary: Monument Status Will Make Access to Castner Range More Equitable
In Texas, the proposed Castner Range National Monument brings protected wide open spaces even closer to the growing city of El Paso, home to one of the nation’s oldest and largest Latino populations. Congress and the Biden administration have an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to more equitable access to nature for all by declaring this 7,000-acre swath of beautiful Chihuahuan desert a national monument. Castner Range has all the hallmarks of a 21st century conservation movement centered on justice and equity. Rep. Veronica Escobar and Mark Magaña in The Hill | Read More >>
Save the Date: 22nd Biennial Jornada Mogollon Archaeology Conference, Oct. 15–16, 2021
The conference consists of 30-minute presentations focusing on the latest research and findings from the Jornada Mogollon, Mimbres, or Casas Grandes regions. Discussions are followed by a Q & A session. Deadline for paper abstracts: Sept. 10; email to RomneyJK at elpasotexas dot gov. Registration: Sept. 15–Oct. 10; call 915-212-0421 or email BarrazaIM at elpasotexas dot gov.
Commentary: Permanently Protect the Grand Canyon from Uranium Mining
Former Havasupai Tribal Council chairman, Rex Tilousi, who passed on in June 2021, was a tireless voice against uranium mining in the region, including Canyon Mine, which threatens the Havasupai’s ancestral homelands and sacred sites, wildlife, and springs in and around the Grand Canyon. One of the springs of highest concern feeds the waters of Havasu Creek—a turquoise-blue ribbon that flows through the Havasupai village of Supai and creates world-renowned waterfalls. Amber Reimondo at the blog of the Grand Canyon Trust | Read More >>
Caltech Will Pay to Restore Petroglyph Panel Drilled by Geoscientist
Inside federal Ranger Chris Mason’s patrol truck, the radio crackled with alarming news: People were seen lugging bags of heavy equipment into a protected site containing [ancient] rock carvings. … But when Mason arrived at the scene on Earth Day 2017, he determined that the suspicious activity involved a faculty member and students from Caltech, the prestigious private research university in Pasadena known for its strength in science and engineering, and for managing NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times | Read More >>
Earl H. Morris Papers Now Available Online
CUMNH is proud to announce the completion of a project to arrange, describe, and digitize the Earl H. Morris papers, one of the museum’s largest and most noteworthy archival collections. The collection documents the life and work of Earl Morris, a 20th-century archaeologist who conducted fieldwork at sites such as Aztec Ruins National Monument, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, and Chichén Itzá. Digitized material and database records from the collection can be accessed at the online archive along with a collection finding aid. CU Museum of Natural History | Learn More >>
Pueblo Grande Museum Now Open
Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park will reopen on July 20, 2021 at 75% capacity! After a year of being closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, we would like to welcome our guests to join us in our newly renovated and air-conditioned galleries! We encourage you to come early if you would like to enjoy a stroll through the ancient village site of Pueblo Grande. Explore our galleries to learn about the ancestral O’odham, the science of archaeology, and the history of this special place. City of Phoenix (press release) | Learn More >>
Call to Applicants: The 2022–2023 Florence C. and Robert H. Lister Fellowship
The Florence C. and Robert H. Lister Fellowship was established in recognition of the lifelong achievements of the late Florence and Robert Lister, noted archaeologists, dedicated educators, and friends and supporters of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. The purpose of the fellowship is to assist graduate students who show promise of making a significant contribution to the archaeological knowledge of American Indian cultures of the Southwest. Recipients of the Lister Fellowship are awarded a stipend of $10,000 to help support the final stages of their research and the writing of their dissertations. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn More >>
Blog: The History of the San Agustín Festival in Tucson
During the Territorial Period (1856–1912), residents of Tucson celebrated three festivals. The San Ysidro Festival coincided with the wheat harvest in May. El Dia de San Juan Fiesta took place on June 24th and celebrated the forthcoming summer monsoon rains. Lastly, the San Agustín Festival honored the patron saint of Tucson, Augustine of Hippo. He was a bishop who lived in North Africa between AD 354 and 430. Tucsonans adopted his death date, August 28, to mark the beginning of the San Agustín Festival, coinciding with the harvest of fruits and other crops in Tucson. Homer Thiel at Field Journal (Desert Archaeology, Inc.) | Read More >>
Dispatches from the Preservation Archaeology Field School
How Time and Place Is Woven at Zuni, Courtney Campbell, University of Hawai’I at Mānoa >>
An Old Cultural Anthropologist Goes to Archaeological Field School, Jason Roberts, University of Texas at San Antonio >>
Toolmaking and the Power of Being Taught, Lewis Dolmas, University of Oklahoma >>
Video: Pottery Firing at the Preservation Archaeology Field School
Every summer (except 2020) I drive out to New Mexico to teach pottery to the archaeology students at the Preservation Archaeology Field School. We form the pots on Memorial Day and fire on the 4th of July. So a few days ago (July 4, 2021) I showed up in Cliff, NM to fire the student’s pottery. This video shows the whole firing in time lapse with voiceover explaining my actions. Andy Ward’s Ancient Pottery | Watch Now >>
REMINDER: July 22 Webinar: A Closer Look at the Big Picture: Great House Community Dynamics at Aztec Ruins National Monument
With Lori Stephens Reed, Aron J. Adams, and Jeffery T. Wharton. With completion of an archaeological inventory for all property within the monument boundary, the story of the Aztec great houses and the people who built these grand structures has expanded. Utilizing several analytical tools, such as ceramic mean dating, tree-ring dating, architectural attributes, and GIS resulting from the inventory and past excavation projects, the presenters propose a settlement history for the Aztec great houses and community. LIVE ONLY: this presentation will not be available on YouTube. Aztec Ruins National Monument and the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
July 29 Webinar: Ute Rock Art in Southeast Utah: Identity and Land Use in a Rapidly Changing West
With Shanna Diedrichs. Highly adapted to the rugged landscape of the inter-mountain West, the Ute people have lived in southeast Utah for at least six centuries. Petroglyphs left in the canyons and mountains of the region speak to deeply rooted Ute beliefs and how the settling of the West affected Ute personal lives, social responsibilities, land use, economy, and relationship with other native groups. With little other cultural material left behind by the Utes, these images are an extraordinary record of their historical experience in southeast Utah and their adaptability in a rapidly changing West. 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 >>
Aug. 10 Webinar: FRANK Talk: What Is Decolonization and Why Does It Matter?
The history of colonialism and how to “decolonize” is a hot topic among Indigenous peoples, anthropologists, and historians. Colonialist thinking empowers some segments of society but exploits or marginalizes others. Phoenix College’s Rowdy Duncan explains how colonialism has shaped our thinking and actions, and steps we can take to decolonize our thinking. Arizona Humanities and Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
See you next week!