I spent a good bit of this Labor Day weekend doing background reading for a talk I am scheduled to give in mid-November.
It’s a talk about Preservation Archaeology, and one topic will be Bears Ears National Monument.
It turns out I have more than 500 files of Bears Ears-related information on my laptop. And it took me about four hours to sift through some 35 folders—scrutinizing some documents by their file names, recalling others by skimming a few pages, reading through a few.
It was a reminder of the importance of nonprofit organizations in the creation of Bears Ears National Monument. And one very important one was—IS—Utah Diné Bikéyah (UDB). (Check out UDB’s website.)
Their mission: “Utah Diné Bikéyah is a Native American-led grassroots nonprofit organization working to promote healing of people and the earth through conservation of cultural lands.”
Please read their story of the Origin of the Proposal, where you can also download a copy of the 2011 book that promoted the idea of landscape-scale protection. And, if you can, please make a donation.
Anticipation of the Biden administration’s restoration of Bears Ears has worn on longer than expected. BUT. Everyone I touch base with on this—and they’re impatient, too—remains confident that it will happen.
You can hear some future-oriented Indigenous views in our featured link to “Native Views: The Future of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase” by the Grand Canyon Trust.
Keep the faith, Friends,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Video: The Future of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase
Native experts—Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, Davina Smith, and Carleton Bowekaty—explain what tribal consultation looks like at Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments today, and share their vision for improved collaborative management into the future. This is part 5 of a 5-part series highlighting tribal consultation and collaborative management. Grand Canyon Trust | Watch Now >>
We urge you to watch the whole series here >>
Traditional Lands, Uranium, and Electric Vehicles
The Biden administration’s push for electric vehicles has spurred a rush for the element lithium, which is needed for EV batteries. The Bureau of Land Management approved exploratory drilling operations in Arizona’s Big Sandy River Valley, despite the Hualapai Tribe’s opposition, after refusing to let the tribe participate in the planning process, despite the mine’s likely impacts on sacred sites and burial grounds. The Hualapai are seeking legal recourse as drilling companies continue to ignore their objections. … U.S. District Court Chief Judge Miranda Du ruled Friday to allow excavation work to move forward for mining in Northern Nevada, siding with Lithium Americas Corp. Brian Oaster in High Country News | Read More >>
Proposed Rule Change for Cultural Properties on New Mexico State Lands
The New Mexico State Land Office (SLO) recently published a proposed rule change with State Records and Archives to better ensure the protection of cultural properties on state trust land. The SLO is soliciting engagement and comment from the general public along with current and future SLO lease holders who may be impacted by the change. Press release from the Office of Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard | Learn More >>
How to Visit Mesa Verde with Respect
T.J. Atsye knows Mesa Verde National Park better than most, and that’s not just because she worked there for the better part of eight years, first for the museum association and then as a seasonal ranger. Atsye’s relationship with this landscape goes much deeper. As a Laguna Pueblo woman, 67-year-old Atsye is a direct descendant of the Ancestral Puebloans who made the area now protected by the park their home more than 1,000 years ago. Her family’s stories about The Place Up High With Many Windows are now her stories, passed down over the centuries through oral tradition. As a ranger, it was her job to then share those narratives with some of the park’s roughly 573,000 annual visitors. Lindsey B. King in 5280 Magazine | Read More >>
Addressing Overcrowding in National Parks
The record-setting crowds of people surging into public lands this summer has set off new challenges for park managers. They are using counterintuitive tricks like encouraging selfies in one place to prevent them in another, and they are rolling out algorithms and autonomous vehicles to manage the throngs of recreation-seekers. They are also acknowledging a hard truth: perhaps there simply isn’t enough space at America’s most iconic attractions for everyone who wants to visit them. Katharine Gammon in High Country News (via The Guardian) | Read More >>
Turkey Management in the Ancestral Pueblo Past
Research recently published by adjunct assistant professor Cyler Conrad from the Department of Archaeology at The University of New Mexico examines the importance of turkeys to the Ancestral Pueblo people and how they have managed the birds for more than 1,600 years. Evidence of turkeys and various methods of enclosing them is evident in the ancient pueblos all over New Mexico and surrounding areas, making them part of the area’s history. Mary Beth King for UNM Newsroom | Read More >>
Oct. 5 Webinar: Ancestral Pueblo Turkey Penning in Perspective
Join us on October 5, 2021, when Cyler Conrad (Los Alamos National Laboratory and University of New Mexico) will discuss “Ancestral Pueblo Turkey Penning in Perspective.” Cyler will explore how archaeologists have identified and contextualized turkey pens in the Ancestral Pueblo archaeological record, what that means for understanding turkey management, and how conceptualizing turkey penning allows us to better understand the processes of turkey domestication and long-term human-turkey relationships. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Historical Archaeologist Explains Why There’s a Crater at the Base of S-cuk Son (Tucson’s Sentinel Peak)
“Most of the Tucson Mountains are volcanic in origin, as are the mountains up in Flagstaff,” Thiel said. … And the meteorite that supposedly created the crater… that’s a lie too. To understand what really happened, we need to go back thousands of years. The Tohono O’odham people founded a settlement at the base of “A” Mountain called Stjukson, or black base. Pat Parris for KGUN9 | Read More >>
Audiovisual is also available at that link.
Workshop Opportunity: Huata Ma:Cig, Basket Weaving Knowledge
In this three-part workshop, a mother and daughter duo of Tohono O’odham basket master weavers—Regina and Megan Siquieros—will demonstrate and teach how handmade baskets using Native plants such as Yucca, Beargrass, and Devils Claw form part of the Tohono O’odham constellation of regional cultural treasures. In addition to sharing historical information about basketry, the workshop will teach hands-on preparation of basket materials, including the careful regulations and stewardship of Desert resources, and will give participants the opportunity to try their hand at basic basket weaving techniques taught under the tutelage of a respected tradition bearer. UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Community Classroom in partnership with Southwest Folklife Alliance | Learn More >>
REMINDER: Sept. 9 Webinar: Ancient Ornithology and Continuity of the Four Corners
Chuck LaRue will be talking about birds and bird imagery in the Puebloan culture of the Colorado Plateau. Chuck is a wildlife biologist and naturalist who has worked extensively with birds on the Colorado Plateau and other areas of the Southwest for 35 years. He may be known to many of you for his work with Dr. Laurie Webster on the Cedar Mesa Perishable Project. Modern Puebloan peoples of the Colorado Plateau have deep and ancient relationships with the birds of the region, and traces of these still living relationships are often preserved in the archaeological record. In this talk, Chuck will explore expressions of this ancient Southwestern ornithological tradition. Four Corners Lecture Series, Bureau of Land Management, Monticello Field Office and Bears Ears National Monument, and Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
REMINDER: Sep. 11 Event: Nine Mile Canyon Fall Gathering and Stewardship Day (Utah)
The Nine Mile Canyon Fall Gathering and Stewardship Day is an event designed to attract visitors to Nine Mile Canyon and provide them with an opportunity to learn about its natural and cultural history from site stewards. We purposefully overlay elements of history, preservation and protection, art, canyon advocacy, and experiential learning activities. We strongly feel that providing an experience for people in which they visit archeological sites and engage with archaeologists makes for a rewarding experience. Nine Mile Canyon Coalition | Learn More >>
REMINDER: Sept. 14 Webinar: Traditional Tohono O’odham Lands South of the U.S. Border
Tohono O’odham matriarch and Vietnam veteran Ana Antone will discuss her work advocating for U.S. citizenship and the rights that go with it for Tohono O’odham communities south of the U.S. border. This is part of Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s “Indigenous Interests” free Zoom webinar series supported by an Arizona Humanities grant. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
REMINDER: Sept. 16 Webinar: The People Behind the Petroglyphs
Anthropologist Aaron Wright will present “The People behind the Petroglyphs: The Cultural Landscape of the Lower Gila River.” He will discuss the Indigenous communities who created petroglyphs at Painted Rock, Sears Point, and other sites, and efforts to establish national conservation areas to protect and acknowledge the richness and value of this cultural landscape. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Sept. 16 Webinar: Tracing the Origins of Chacoan Beams
With Chris Guiterman. Chris will present the findings from several studies that determined probable sourcing of Chacoan timbers via tree-ring methods, using the growth patterns preserved on ancient beams to identify their growth origins. Included in this analysis is one of the most iconic trees of southwestern archaeology, the Plaza Tree of Pueblo Bonito, famously depicted by the Park Service today as a majestic pine growing within the walls of the massive great house. Chris will then describe recent work in which they examined beams from Aztec Ruins National Monument to test if Chacoan construction there relied on locally sourced wood from the San Juan Mountains to the north. Hisatsinom Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Position Announcement: Postdoctoral Researcher, NAGPRA Compliance (Urbana-Champaign IL)
The University’s NAGPRA Office is recruiting a qualified Postdoctoral Researcher to be responsible for the laboratory identification, documentation, and interpretation of funerary and other objects held within the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign collections pertinent to compliance with NAGPRA. This will also involve the collection and compilation of records related to those collections; assisting with updating existing collection inventory; and supervising undergraduate student employees. The postdoctoral position is full-time, 2-year duration with possibility of annual extensions, contingent upon performance and funding. University of Illinois | Learn More >>
Position Announcement: Director, Center for Archeological Research (San Antonio TX)
The new director will oversee CAR’s successful role as a contract archaeology provider and curation facility. They will partner with the Department of Anthropology to provide training and research opportunities for UTSA’s undergraduate and graduate students, including those in the Anthropology PhD program, which emphasizes anthropology’s broad engagement with environmental issues. This may include the opportunity to contribute to instruction and training, teaching courses periodically, and serving on graduate student committees. The director must demonstrate an ability to work with and be sensitive to the educational needs of diverse urban populations and support the University’s commitment to thrive as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Finally, they will further the Center’s community collaborations and commitment to public education. University of Texas San Antonio | Learn More >>
Publication Announcement: Journal of the Southwest Vol. 63, No. 2
Journal of the Southwest’s summer issue (volume 63, number 2) is hot off the press! This issue features a dedication to the late Ray Thompson, written by frequent contributor to JSW, David Wilcox. Ray, a staunch supporter of the Southwest Center, served as director of the Arizona State Museum for 32 years, 16 of which included heading what is now the School of Anthropology. Wilcox’s dedication is a prelude to a second essay in this summer issue, “William E. Barnes, Forgotten Booster: Documenting Why Archaeology Came to the University of Arizona.” Summer 2021 also features a piece on American Indian water law in the West, a philosophical reflection on Cedar Mesa, and detailed analysis of Kiowa-Tanoan prehistory through a linguistics lens. The Southwest Center, University of Arizona | Learn More >>
See you next week! Remember to send us notice of upcoming webinars and Zoom lectures, and anything else you want to share.