Last week’s note highlighted Utah Diné Bikéyah (UDB), the Indigenous nonprofit that played a critical role in building Tribal support for Bears Ears National Monument. Hold that thought.
Over this past week, I have found the news frustrating. I think President Biden is effectively linking the massive wildfires across the West, and the destructive hurricanes and flooding in the east, to climate change. And he’s right that it’s time for action. It’s time for government policies to take on the problem at the scale that is required.
But the lack of clear evidence that Congress will come through has made me grumpy all week.
Today, a press release in my inbox had a link back to the UDB story of last week. And it made me feel good.
The Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF) announced that they have hired Gavin Noyes to the new position of national campaign coordinator. Gavin was part of the founding team at UDB and has shown himself to be a creative, trusted leader.
Now his job at CLF is to help “protect public lands that are vital for the health of our planet.”
CLF’s press release notes: “The remaining public lands in the U.S. that don’t yet have protections against mineral, oil and gas extraction are among the very places we need to protect to ensure clean air and water, healthy wildlife migration corridors, thriving biodiversity and local recreation economies, and the continuation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and culture.”
CLF is a valued supporter of and collaborator with Archaeology Southwest. I am greatly cheered that Gavin Noyes has joined them.
My confidence in the dedication and effectiveness of great nonprofit organizations like UDB and CLF is substantial. They know how to work with citizens and governments. And oftentimes nonprofits are the essential catalysts that help governments succeed.
So, my grumpiness has retreated and my mojo is restored.
On with the hard work alongside our partners (including you),
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Commentary: Overcrowding at National Parks
But do we really want to draw people away from Zion and Arches and send them to a new Bears Ears or Natural Bridges National Park, instead? What purpose would this serve except to put too many people into more places, albeit in a less concentrated form? More importantly: Who does it serve? … The main victims of national park overcrowding, it seems, are the crowds themselves—not the parks or their resources. The latter were fated to be damaged as soon as the park was designated, its associated roads and visitors’ centers and parking lots were constructed, and visitation hit the 500,000-per-year mark. Jonathan Thompson in High Country News (via The Land Desk) | Read More >>
BLM Proposes Parking Lot and Trailhead Leading to Popular Destination in Bears Ears
Bears Ears has spiked in popularity within the five years it’s been a national monument and at the center of federal land management controversy. As federal agencies continue to weigh its future, people are still flocking to the national monument in droves—especially to an ancient Native American location commonly known as House on Fire. The site features five granaries built into Cedar Mesa sandstone. Carter Williams for KSL dot com | Read More >>
Hopi Traditional Farming and Climate Change
In the spring, as Mike Koiyaquaptewa prepared to plant corn, gusty winds whipped across the land, sending dust and sand billowing. He waited for a morning when the winds had died down, then returned to his family’s field carrying a pail filled with white corn kernels and a metal rod for planting. Following the Hopi traditions he learned from elders as a boy, he kneeled and dug the planting rod into the earth. He loosened the sandy soil with his hands, letting it slip through his fingers. Examining the dirt, he shook his head. “The ground’s a little hard,” he said. “It’s dry, hard, clumpy.” Ian James in the Arizona Republic (azcenteral dot com) | Read More >>
Video is also available at that link.
Los Alamos Transmission Line Would Cross Rich Cultural Landscape
Los Alamos National Laboratory, through the National Nuclear Security Administration, is seeking a 12.5-mile, 115-kilovolt power transmission line that would cut across the plateau near an existing line, spanning the Rio Grande at White Rock Canyon. At stake is an area of some 104,349 acres steeped in pre- and post-European contact Native American cultural sites, such Spanish Colonial sites as El Camino Real and even such modern landmarks as nearly 100-year-old signage from Route 66, formerly NM 1. Within this area, some La Cieneguilla petroglyphs have been dated as more than 700 years old, and they occasionally share indigo-basalt panels with distinctly Spanish etchings – a blending of the cultures. Examples of [P]uebloan dry farming techniques are case studies for water management in dry habitats. Glen Rosales in the Albuquerque Journal | Read More >>
Archaeology Café 2021–2022 Debuts Oct. 5 with Cyler Conrad (and Turkeys)
How can you resist “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 >>
Blog: What Cooking Vessels Tell Us
“Archaeology is just like everything else,” [Julie] Dunne says. “Women tend to get kind of left on the sidelines.” Traditionally, scholars have been more excited by the lives of kings and conquering warriors than those of mothers. That’s one reason that “boring” archaeological items related to cuisine and cooking have been somewhat neglected, anthropological archaeologist Sarah Graff writes in the 2020 Annual Review of Anthropology. Artifacts from the realm of food prep often belong to the domains of those who lack societal power: women, servants, and slaves. Carolyn Wilke at SAPIENS (via Knowable Magazine) | Read More >>
Blog: What’s the Point? Folsom Technology
In this post, I want to discuss how people made these points and how we identify them. There has been a ton of research on Folsom point technology, and many modern flintknappers aspire to replicate the technique. Folsom technology appears to derive directly from Clovis technology, and both technologies rely on fluting to thin the points. Allen Denoyer at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest) | Read More >>
Blog: Mimbres Architecture (and Tucson Neighborhoods)
What does variation (or lack thereof) in our household architecture say about us? How does the amount of variation a social group finds acceptable, and the architectural features we allow to vary, reflect the way a society is structured? Karen Gust Schollmeyer at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest) | Read More >>
Last Chance to Register: Classes on Hohokam Archaeological Culture
September 20–December 13. On Mondays from 6:30–8:30 p.m. MST, archaeologist Allen Dart will teach a 12-session online adult education class on the Hohokam archaeological culture of southern Arizona. Topics include Hohokam origins, artifacts and architecture, interactions with other cultures, subsistence, settlement, social, and organizational systems, and ideas on religion and trade. $99 donation per person. Registration deadline September 16. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn More >>
REMINDER: 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 >>
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. 20 Webinar: Early Ceremonial Complexes and Olmec-Maya Interaction
With Takeshi Inomata and Daniela Triadan. The origins of Maya civilization and its relation with Olmec civilization have long been debated. To examine this question, we have been conducting archaeological investigations at Ceibal, Guatemala, and in the Middle Usumacinta region in southeastern Mexico. In Mexico, we identified the site of Aguada Fénix, with a rectangular artificial plateau measuring 1,400 m in length and dating to 1,050–750 BC. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Sept. 23 Webinar: K’uuyemugeh as a Center Place
With Scott Ortman. Pueblo people today often refer to their home village as their center place, and this concept is also routinely applied to ancestral sites. What does a center place look like from an archaeological perspective? In this talk, Dr. Ortman combines Tewa traditional knowledge and archaeological evidence to illustrate all of the ways in which the ancestral Pojoaque village of K’uuyemugeh was a center place for the people who lived there between the era of Tewa origins and the era of Spanish colonization. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Sept. 25 Webinar: Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning from Indigenous Practices for Environmental Sustainability
Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) can provide models for a time-tested form of sustainability in the world today. Dr. Melissa K. Nelson, co-editor of the book Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning from Indigenous Practices for Environmental Sustainability, worked with a team of scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, to explore TEK through compelling cases of environmental sustainability from multiple tribal and geographic locations in North America and beyond. Amerind Museum and Arizona G&T Cooperatives | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Oct. 6 Webinar: Rock Art of the Grand Canyon Region
Presenter Steven M. Freers will provide highlights from his co-authored book Rock Art of the Grand Canyon Region. Authors Don D. Christensen, Jerry Dickey, and Steven M. Freers, along with their associates, have carefully and thoroughly recorded and documented nearly 500 rock art sites within the Grand Canyon region, stretching south from the Arizona-Utah border to the Mogollon Rim. Sunbelt Publications | More Information and Registration >>
Save the Date: Nov. 6 Symposium, San Diego Rock Art Association
The San Diego Rock Art Association is pleased to announce Rock Art 2021, San Diego’s 46th annual Rock Art Symposium, to be held Saturday, November 6, as a FREE virtual symposium via Zoom (registration required). Remaining space on the program is limited, so participants wishing to present a 15-minute slideshare presentation on documentation, interpretation, or conservation of rock art worldwide are encouraged to act quickly. San Diego Rock Art Association | More Information and Registration >>
Scholarship Opportunity: National Trust for Historic Preservation
The Diversity Scholarship Program at the PastForward 2021 Online conference honors diversity by providing scholarship opportunities to historically underrepresented groups in the historic preservation profession and in its leadership positions, including ethnicity, race, gender and gender identification, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background. Scholars will become a part of a small cohort of 3–4 scholars and will be paired with a conference mentor. Saving Places (National Trust for Historic Preservation) | Learn More >>
See you next week! Remember to send us notice of upcoming webinars and Zoom lectures, and anything else you want to share.