Two shots and a booster. Everyone at the Southwest Seminars in-person lecture I gave on Monday evening in Santa Fe met those criteria—including me. And we were masked and socially distanced. (I did remove my mask for my presentation.)
I opened my talk by thanking the audience, and especially Connie Eichstaedt and Alan Osborne, who are the creators and hosts of Southwest Seminars. Early in the pandemic, they understandably decided to cancel their weekly lecture program, which is presented at the Hotel Santa Fe.
My talk was the fifth of six that Connie and Alan assembled to test the return of the lecture program. My sense is that the attendees were very happy to return to what was once a routine. And it felt great to have a live audience to look out on—even when I noticed one of my audience members nodding off! (She actually apologized afterward and told me she’d just flown in from California that afternoon. You don’t get that personal connection over Zoom!)
I hope that Connie and Alan can continue their invaluable lecture series in 2022. There are social benefits to the attendees and economic benefits to the Hotel Santa Fe and their currently diminished staff. And, no more or less important, there is an active exchange of information and ideas.
We all adapt to the continuing pandemic in our own ways. I’m moving toward what I hope is a balanced realism. I’ll listen to the science and keep up to date with my listening. I’ll keep up with advice on boosters—assuming that there will be more in the future. I’ll wear a mask where it is required, when others request it, and whenever it makes me feel more comfortable.
Based on the above, I find that I am comfortable with the fact that there is a somewhat higher level of risk when I engage in lectures like Monday’s or I enjoy time at a restaurant. We all judge our own risk tolerance. The social and intellectual benefits I get from direct interaction offset any angst I might feel from increased risk.
How are you feeling about these issues these days?
Stay well, Friends,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Banner illustration: Robert B. Ciaccio
Ancient Indigenous Farming Strategies as Climate Solutions
The Tohono O’odham have farmed in the Sonoran Desert for several thousand years. Like many Indigenous groups, they now are on the front lines of climate change, with food security a paramount concern. … Since the early 1970s, a group of Nation members have run the San Xavier Cooperative Farm and grown “traditional desert cultivars” in accordance with their ancestral values—particularly respect for land, water and plants. Sterling Johnson, a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, has worked for the past decade to share that expertise broadly. Samuel Gilbert in the Washington Post | Read More >>
Continuing Coverage: Despite Utah’s Pending Legal Challenge, Land Exchanges in the Works for Bears Ears
Even as Utah’s elected leaders are gearing up to file a lawsuit over the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument, state officials are quietly moving to accept that the site’s 1.36-million-acre footprint could be a reality. Both the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) and the Interior Department confirmed to E&E News last week that work has begun on an exchange for the approximately 135,000 acres of state-owned land inside the monument’s new boundaries. Jennifer Yachin for E&E News | Read More >>
Examining the Salado Phenomenon at the Preservation Archaeology Field School
For decades archaeologists have sought to understand what they refer to as the Salado Phenomenon, which occurred between roughly A.D. 1275 and 1450 in what is now south-central Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. The term Salado is derived from Rio Salado, the Spanish name for the Salt River, which runs from the White Mountains in eastern Arizona to the canyons in the central part of the state. Salado-period settlements in southwestern New Mexico show a combination of the cultural and material traits of the Mogollon area groups living in the Upper Gila River valley and those of northern immigrants from the Kayenta area in northeastern Arizona, who moved into the area in the late 1200s. Tamara Jager Stewart in American Archaeology Magazine (The Archaeological Conservancy) | Read Excerpt >>
Kudos to Preservation Archaeology Field School Alumnus Ruijie Yao
Ruijie Yao, who is graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in anthropology, is the recipient of the SBS Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award for fall 2021. This award recognizes a graduating senior in the College of SBS who has demonstrated academic achievement, originality, and creativity in an independent, undergraduate research project. Ruijie’s Honors capstone project is titled, “Deconstructing Cultural Hegemony of the Late Bronze Age Internationalism: The Historic Significance of Aegypto-Aegean Contact Under the New Kingdom Imperialism.” University of Arizona College of Social & Behavioral Sciences | Read More >>
Video: Turkey Feather Blankets in Ancestral Pueblo History
On December 7, 2021, Bill Lipe (Professor Emeritus, Washington State University) and Mary Weahkee (New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies) discussed “Turkey Feather Blankets in Ancestral Pueblo History.” For over 1,600 years, a distinctive Southwestern domestic turkey furnished feathers for ritual uses and for making warm blankets. The birds also became a significant food source after about 1200 CE. Bill Lipe discussed archaeological evidence of the development of feather blankets and how they contributed to Ancestral Pueblo lives, and Mary Weahkee, the best-known present-day replicator of turkey feather blankets, shared some techniques used in making them. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | Watch Now >>
Blog: Repatriating Ancestors from a Missionary’s Basement
In 2014, Pete Coffey–One Feather received gruesome news about human remains recovered from an Indiana farmhouse by the FBI’s Art Crime Team. After two decades of service as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (MHA, also known as the Three Affiliated Tribes) in central North Dakota, Pete was not easily shocked. “This is nothing new,” he said. “We’ve been fighting this fight since NAGPRA was passed—really, since 1492.” An anonymous tip about human remains stored in a basement led to an intensive six-day recovery operation by the FBI. Donald Miller, an engineer and Baptist missionary, had plundered seventy years’ worth of artifacts from cultural sites worldwide. Shannon Cowell with Pete Coffey–One Feather at savehistory dot org | Read More >>
Call to Applicants: ARARA Student Research Award
The American Rock Art Research Association (ARARA) is now accepting applications for the undergraduate and graduate student research awards focused on or associated with rock art research or projects. The graduate student research award can be up to $2500, and the undergraduate award can be up to $1000. Applications are due January 31, 2022. ARARA | Learn More (undergrad) >> and Learn More (grad) >>
Fellowship Opportunity, Scientists in Parks Program (US)
The Scientists in Parks (SIP) Fellows program is now accepting applications from current upper-level undergraduate and graduate students for summer 2022 opportunities with the National Park Service. Each opportunity with the SIP Program affords a distinct and memorable experience with projects that vary based on location, focus, and complexity. This year’s projects include tracking coral reefs at War in the Pacific National Historical Park, community-based education and outreach at Everglades National Park, and surveying pollinator abundance at Yosemite National Park. Visit the website to get the full list of 2022 opportunities! Ecological Society of America | Learn More >>
Internship Opportunities, Field, Laboratory, and Dendrochronology (Cortez CO)
Archaeology Internships are entry-level positions designed to provide valuable on-the-job training and a positive learning experience while working and learning from our research staff in the field and/or lab. Deadline: February 27, 2022. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn More >>
Job Opportunity, Director of Outreach (Tucson AZ)
The Director of Outreach is responsible for developing and implementing educational programs and volunteer opportunities for Archaeology Southwest. Other key duties include maintaining the organization’s social media presence, marketing Archaeology Southwest programs, and assisting in maintaining the organization’s websites. The Director of Outreach is a key member of a small but hardworking and effective Outreach Team that includes the Content & Communications Director, Director of Development, Development Coordinator, and the Hands-On archaeologist. Archaeology Southwest | Learn More >>
Job Opportunity, Postdoctoral Research Scholar in NAGPRA (Tempe AZ)
The School of Human Evolution and Social Change (SHESC) at Arizona State University is recruiting one Postdoctoral Research Scholar under the supervision of the Curator of Collections, Center for Archaeology and Society Repository (CASR). The postdoctoral research scholar will oversee the documentation and organization of archaeological collections subject to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) from US Forest Service land. Arizona State University | Learn More >>
REMINDER: TODAY, Dec. 15 Webinar: 5 Questions about the History of Humanity
Join us LIVE for a 25-minute Q&A with archaeologist and author David Wengrow to discuss his New York Times bestselling book The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity (co-authored with the late anthropologist David Graeber). Register today to learn about how assumptions about social evolution such as the development of agriculture and the origins of inequality are being challenged to reveal new possibilities for understanding human history. SAPIENS | More Information and Registration >>
REMINDER: Dec. 16 Webinar: Archaeology at the Haynie Site
With Jim Walker and Kellam Throgmorton. Haynie Pueblo is located in the picturesque Mesa Verde archaeological region of southwest Colorado. The Pueblo was a Chacoan outlier occupied from around 500 to 1280 A.D. The five-acre site contains two massive, multi-storied Chacoan Great Houses as well as other masonry architecture, kivas, pithouses, and dense trash middens. The Archaeological Conservancy acquired Haynie Site in 2019 with the generous support of our members and the assistance of a Colorado Historical Fund grant. Research conducted by the Crow Canyon archaeological center continues to contribute to our knowledge of the site and the people who lived there centuries ago. The Archaeological Conservancy | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Dec. 20 Webinar: Monumental Avenues of the Chaco World
With Robert Weiner. “Researchers have puzzled over wide roadways associated with Chaco-style Great Houses for over a century. I will present recent documentation of monumental roads throughout the Chaco World, with particular attention to small-scale, road-related architectural features and exploring evidence for practices of offerings, processions, and races. I argue that roads—and the ritual practices carried out along them—were key to the emergence of regional integration and burgeoning inequality, serving as tangible manifestations of identity, hierarchy, and cosmography inscribed on the landscape.” Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Jan. 4 Webinar: Ducks, Power, and the San Juan Basketmakers
Polly Schaafsma (Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology) will discuss “Ducks, Power, and the San Juan Basketmakers.” In this talk, Polly will address the duck as a symbol in Basketmaker II–III rock art, where it is represented as an independent element and on the heads of human figures in narrative scenes. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Jan. 10–March 28 Class: The Mogollon Archaeological Culture of the US Southwest
Archaeologist Allen Dart will teach a 12-session online adult education class on the Mogollon culture of the US Southwest. Topics include the history of Mogollon archaeology, Mogollon origins, the regional Mogollon branches, chronology of habitation, subsistence and settlement patterns, artifacts, rock art, religious and social organization, population movements, and descendant peoples. $99 donation per person. Register by January 6. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn More >>
Jan. 11 Webinar: Indigenous Views on the Border Wall and Traditional Spiritual Freedom
With Tohono O’odham traditional religious practitioner Verlon José. Mr. José will discuss Tohono O’odham sacred mountains and springs, spiritual ceremonies, and pilgrimages on both sides of the international boundary that have been affected by the border wall construction. Indigenous Interests Series (Old Pueblo Archaeology Center) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Jan. 15 Workshop: Arrowhead-Making and Flintknapping
Flintknapper Sam Greenleaf will teach an arrowhead-making and flintknapping workshop at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 2201 W. 44th Street, Tucson. Participants will learn how to make arrowheads, spear points, and other flaked stone artifacts from obsidian and other stone like ancient peoples did. The class is designed to foster understanding of how prehistoric peoples made essential tools, not to make artwork for sale. Reservations and $35 payment (includes all materials and equipment) required by 5:00 p.m., January 13. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn More >>
Jan. 15 Class: How Did People Haft a Knife?
In this class, you will learn the process of hafting a stone knife blade into a wood handle. There are very few examples of hafted knives preserved in the Southwest. The style of hafting we will do in this class is based on Basketmaker and Pueblo knives that have been found in rock shelters across the Southwest. Allen Denoyer will teach participants how to work with pitch, sinew, and cordage to haft a knife. $50 nonmembers. Hands-On Archaeology (Archaeology Southwest) | Learn More >>
In Memoriam: On December 10, we learned that New Mexico archaeologist Banks Leonard had passed away. We offer our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.