The beautiful white egrets wading in irrigated fields just outside of the historical community of Buckeye were welcome omens as Skylar Begay and I headed out to the Great Bend of the Gila on Tuesday morning.
We had spent the night at the Gila River Indian Community’s impressive Vee Quiva hotel and casino. And we were following our colleague Se’mana Thompson, her mother Veronica, and Veronica’s husband Arnie Bread, Sr., out to the Great Bend.
The region encompasses over 450,000 acres, and it preserves a fascinating tapestry of human history in its lands.
One of those complex histories is that of the PeePosh. Today there are PeePosh communities on both the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Arnie Bread, who lives on the GRIC, spent the day with us.
We visited a small sample of sites, from impressive petroglyphs to a newly documented site where PeePosh ancestors were living around 1700. It was exhilarating to hear Mr. Bread relate how these places he had never before seen connected to his life history.
Later this year we’ll be able to share Mr. Bread’s story in a short video.
As Skylar and I drove home in the early evening, Skylar commented, “This day in the field really revitalized my excitement and commitment to this Great Bend campaign.”
I had already been thinking and feeling the same.
It’s another step toward achieving greater and permanent protections for the public lands of the Great Bend of the Gila.
Best wishes for the week ahead,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Ethics and DNA Studies of Human Remains
We are a group of archaeologists, anthropologists, curators and geneticists representing diverse global communities and 31 countries. All of us met in a virtual workshop dedicated to ethics in ancient DNA research held in November 2020. There was widespread agreement that globally applicable ethical guidelines are needed, but that recent recommendations grounded in discussion about research on human remains from North America are not always generalizable worldwide. Alpaslan-Roodenberg, S., Anthony, D., Babiker, H. et al. in Nature | Read More >>
Many scientists who were not involved in the virtual meeting expressed support for the guidelines. … Still other scientists, many of them Indigenous, who have written extensively about ethics in ancient DNA research, wondered why they were not asked to be involved. Sabrina Imbler in the New York Times | Read More >>
Tribal Leaders on Sams’s Nomination to NPS Director
Sams’ nomination arrives at a crucial time for the National Park Service. If he’s confirmed, Sams will be the agency’s first full-time leader since Jon Jarvis retired in 2017; under President Donald Trump, it was led by a series of short-term acting and deputy directors. Sams would not only be the first Native official in history to lead the Park Service, he would work under Deb Haaland, a Pueblo of Laguna citizen and the Interior Department’s first Native secretary. This places him in the unique position of being tasked with bringing stability back to the agency even as tribal leaders are relying on him to increase both Indigenous visibility and stewardship within the parks system. Brian Oaster in High Country News | Read More >>
Utah to Challenge Monument Restorations
Utah is getting lawyered up to wage a major legal confrontation over national monuments that could head all the way up to the Supreme Court. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes on Thursday issued a request for proposals, or RFP, for legal assistance to challenge President Joe Biden’s recent decision to restore two large national monuments in southern Utah. Brian Maffly in the Salt Lake Tribune | Read More >>
Zuni Waffle Gardens
For the past 64 years, Jim Enote has planted a waffle garden, sunken garden beds enclosed by clay-heavy walls that he learned to build from his grandmother. This year, he planted onions and chiles, which he waters from a nearby stream. It’s an Indigenous farming tradition suited for the semi-arid, high-altitude desert of the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico, where waffle gardens have long flourished and Enote has farmed since childhood. Greta Moran for Civil Eats | Read More >>
Blog: Women in the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson
Tucson, Arizona was a Spanish and Mexican military fortress (the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson) between 1776 and 1856. During this 80-year time span, hundreds of soldiers were stationed at the Presidio. Surviving documents tell us quite a lot about these men. We know their names and what sorts of activities they did, and can follow a few of them from birth to death. But what about the female residents of the Presidio? What was life like for them? We have very few documents written by women because few could read or write, the exception being the wives and daughters of officers. Homer Thiel at the Field Journal (Desert Archaeology, Inc.) | Read More >>
Blog: On Archaeology
After, you know, earning a Ph.D., I thought I knew what archaeology was… but pinning down a working definition of the discipline reminds me a bit too much of Charlie Brown missing his kick at the football—again and again—as Lucy pulls it out of the way. Let’s just say that, based on my experience in school at the turn of the millennium, archaeology in my mind is a field of inquiry primarily focused on studying traces of past human activity—settlements, artifacts, and the like—to better understand what happened in the past AND how patterns of behavior in the past may be relevant to understanding human societies in the present or future, or both. Joshua Watts at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest) | Read More >>
Oct. 28 Webinar: The Maize Database Project: A Hopi–Crow Canyon Collaboration
With Mark Varien. The Hopi Cultural Preservation Office and the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center co-developed a project titled, “Developing a Comprehensive Database of Archaeological Maize for Colorado and the Greater Southwest,” or the “Maize Database Project” for short. The Maize Database Project seeks to build the first comprehensive, publicly accessible database of curated ancestral Pueblo maize. Four Corners Lecture Series | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
REMINDER: Oct. 30 Class: How Did People Carve Bone Tools?
In this class, we will explore some techniques people used to make tools out of bone. Participants will make a bone awl using only stone tools. After using a flake to cut out a bone awl blank, we will then grind the blank on a sandstone slab to shape it out. Instructor Allen Denoyer will provide stone drills to make holes and plenty of flakes for cutting the bone. $35. In-person; masks required. Hands-On Archaeology (Archaeology Southwest) | Learn More >>
Oct. 31 Walking Tour: Tales of the Dead (Tucson AZ)
Archaeologist Homer Thiel leads this walk through the Court Street Cemetery, where about 8,000 people were buried between 1875 and 1909. When it was closed, about half were reinterred but about half were left in place. The tour will lead you through the cemetery, show you where bodies have been found, and reveal the history of this forgotten place. Pre-registration is required, $15 for Presidio Trust members, $20 for non-members. Tour guide will be on a microphone for better hearing and to promote social distancing. Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum | Learn More >>
The 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. tours are sold out, but there are some places remaining for the recently added 3:00 p.m. tour.
REMINDER: Nov. 2 Webinar: Turkeys in the Mimbres Valley
Join us on November 2, 2021, when Sean Dolan (N3B Los Alamos) will discuss “Turkeys in the Mimbres Valley.” Using pottery iconography, ancient mtDNA analysis, and stable carbon and nitrogen bone isotope analysis, Sean will explore how people in the Mimbres Valley interacted with turkeys. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Nov. 2–3 Workshop: Second Annual Site Stewardship Workshop
Site Stewardship looks different across the U.S., ranging from private land to public and tribal lands. In many places, site stewards are typically retirees with time on their hands. We are looking at how to engage different people in our communities to protect our cultural assets for future generations. Partners for Archaeological Site Stewardship | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Nov. 18 Webinar: Horses in Rock Art
With Larry Loendorf. Horse and rider pictographs and petroglyphs on the northern Plains have enabled archaeologists to recognize rock art of the Crow, Blackfoot, Comanche, and other peoples. Horse depictions on rock are less common on the southern Plains and the Colorado Plateau. This talk focuses on horse images in Canyon del Muerto, Arizona. Third Thursday Food for Thought (Old Pueblo Archaeology Center) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Internship Opportunity, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Page AZ)
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is currently hiring two archeology interns this winter based in Page, AZ. Interns are hired through Ancestral Lands Corps, and interns are considered NPS partners, not federal employees. Internships are approximately equivalent to a GS-4 federal position and include a living stipend approximately equal to the GS-4 wage, along with an Americorps award. Preference for Native American candidates. This is a great option for recent graduates and entry-level archeologists looking for work experience and an introduction to the federal system. We are interviewing right now, so interested applicants should apply immediately. National Park Service and Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps | Learn more >>
Job Opportunity, Curatorial Specialist (Tempe AZ)
The School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University seeks to hire a qualified Curatorial Specialist to assist the Collections Manager in the Center for Archaeology and Society Repository. Duties include the review of records, summarization of collections recovery context and curation history, updating of collections information and inventories, assessment and enhancement of collections conditions, and the supervision of student interns and employees. Arizona State University | Learn More >>
See you next week! Remember to send us notice of upcoming webinars and Zoom lectures, tours and workshops, and anything else you’d like to share with the friends.