Last Sunday morning I happened to glance out my kitchen window. On the power pole about 100 yards away was a very large white-breasted bird. It had to be a hawk. But it was really large.
Fearing it would fly away, I moved swiftly to grab my bird guide and binoculars. I got a good look with the binoculars and then checked the bird book.
A quick scan took me to the Ferruginous Hawk—a clear match. It’s the largest hawk. And a bit more reading allowed me to determine that it was a juvenile, and it was from the light “morph”—or variant—of this species.
I shared the binoculars with my wife and ran across the street to share with my neighbor. Instead of flying away, this fearless hawk lingered for over 20 minutes.
The ways in which birds affect us when a rare or strikingly colored example shares its presence are often quite powerful.
My hawk-enhanced morning got me thinking about how well our Avian Archaeology Café series is going. If you haven’t been participating in this series, I welcome you to join us on February 1 for Katelyn Bishop’s presentation on “The Importance of Birds in Chaco Canyon.” The series continues on the first Tuesday of the month thereafter through May 3. And if you missed any of the first four Cafés, you can catch them on our YouTube channel.
I frequently comment that bird-watching is an excellent antidote to my archaeological “condition” of always looking down at the ground for artifacts. Birds force me to look up.
Our Avian Archaeology series pairs these two interests so many of us share.
I hope you’ll join us on February 1st,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Bureau of Land Management Moves to Protect Chaco, Opens Public Comment Period
The Bureau of Land Management today [Jan. 5] formally proposed to withdraw approximately 351,000 acres of public lands surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park. This action, published today in the Federal Register, follows President Biden’s announcement on November 15 of the Department’s new efforts to protect the Chaco Canyon and the greater connected landscape, and to ensure that public land management better reflects the sacred sites, stories, and cultural resources in the region. Bureau of Land Management Press Release | Read More >>
Read Chaco Scholar Paul F. Reed’s statement on behalf of Archaeology Southwest >>
Vandals Destroy Petroglyph Panel at Big Bend National Park
Abstract geometric designs at Big Bend National Park in Texas that had survived for thousands of years were “irreparably damaged” by vandals who scratched names and dates into the prehistoric designs, the National Park Service said. The Park Service said on its website that the ancient rock art was damaged on Dec. 26 in the Indian Head area of the park, which encompasses more than 800,000 acres in southwest Texas and stretches along 118 miles of the United States border with Mexico. Amanda Holpuch in the New York Times | Read More >>
Interview with Chuck Sams, NPS Director
In a Dec. 23 one-on-one interview with Underscore.news in Pendleton, Oregon, Sams said the story of Native Americans needs to be better told at America’s 423 national parks, monuments and memorials, including the White House. “We’re all still living cultures,” Sams said. “None of us are a dead culture yet, and I don’t plan on being part of a dead culture. And I don’t think America wants that either. I think that there’s an opportunity for us to talk about history, where we are today, and also a little bit about what we think the future will hold for all Americans.” Wil Phinney for Underscore.news, reposted at Indian Country Today | Read More >>
Video: Ducks, Power, and the San Juan Basketmakers
Polly Schaafsma addresses 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) | Watch Now >>
A Science Writer’s Perspective on Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears
If Utah’s five national parks (Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion) are shining jewels in the public lands crown, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments remain diamonds in the rough. Over the past 15 years, I’ve been exploring deeper and deeper into Utah’s canyons, graduating from easy, well-marked day hikes in the national parks to multiday off-trail backpacking trips in the national monuments. Of all the places I’ve hiked in all 50 states, nowhere offers the feeling of wild exploration, discovery, and life-or-death self-sufficiency like Grand Staircase and Bears Ears. Mary Caperton Morton in Eos | Read More >>
Verde Valley Archaeology Center Reopens at New Location
The Verde Valley Archaeology Center reopened at its new location as contractors, artists and volunteers create a new museum with artifacts, art and history about local Native Americans. Currently, the museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., with free admission through January. The museum will be completely finished next year, but the public will get a sneak peek of murals being completed and exhibits and displays going up, according to Monica Buckle, deputy museum director. Duane Koyawena, who painted the mural ‘Hopi Life,’ which is now on display at the center, said the mural conveys important elements of Hopi lives. Katherine Locke in the Navajo-Hopi Observer | Read More >>
Job Opportunity, Postdoctoral Associate, University of Colorado Boulder
The Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology (CCSA) in the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) at the University of Colorado Boulder invites applications for a full-time PostDoctoral Associate. The Postdoc will compile, manage, and analyze research data, coordinate user interface and experience development for a web-based archaeological research tool, and assist in preparing publications. Learn More >>
Job Opportunity, Archaeological Data Specialist, Tucson AZ
Archaeology Southwest seeks a database-savvy individual to work with our cyberSW development team. There are hundreds of archaeological projects with existing digital data that need processing and standardization prior to incorporation into cyberSW. The cyberSW development team is using an innovative graph database platform, Neo4j. The Archaeological Data Specialist will be working in formats such as Excel and Access to prepare data for incorporation into cyberSW. Previous experience with Neo4j is not a prerequisite. Learn More >>
Job Opportunity, Museum Technician, Tucson AZ
Archaeology Southwest is looking for a museum technician to work at the Western Archeological and Conservation Center (WACC), a division of the National Park Service (NPS). The successful candidate will be involved in museum processing and cataloging of materials housed at WACC under the control of the NPS including archeological and historical objects. Training in museum procedures will be provided by NPS museum program staff. Learn More >>
Publication Announcement: Defining isotopic signatures of potential procurement sources
Defining isotopic signatures of potential procurement sources: A case study in the Mesa Verde Region of the US Southwest. J. Bulot, K. G. Schollmeyer, J. B. Coltrain, V. Renson, A. Werlein, and J. R. Ferguson. 2022. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 41:103334. Download Now (open access until March 2) >>
Now Available: Back Issues of Utah Archaeology
Since 1988, the Utah Professional Archaeological Council and Utah Statewide Archaeological Society have published a peer-reviewed, regional journal, Utah Archaeology. The Utah SHPO has been holding on to these volumes for years, and now they’re opening the vault to the public. Donations above shipping costs will benefit the Stop Archaeological Vandalism program. Utah Public Archaeology Network | Learn More >>
Feb. 1 Webinar: New Research into Patayan/Yuman Culture History
With Aaron Wright. Wright will discuss his reexamination of the Bouse Walk-in Well, an important site for understanding the Patayan archaeological tradition. The pattern is generally thought to be ancestral to contemporary Indigenous communities whose traditional languages are of the Yuman family. The Colorado Desert Archaeology Society | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Feb. 17 Webinar: Indigenous Mexico’s Maya, Mixtec, and Aztec Codices
With ethnohistorian Michael Brescia. Mexican codices are manuscripts made by precontact and Spanish colonial period Mesoamerican peoples. Dr. Brescia will discuss what the codices do and don’t say about these people’s political, economic, social, and cultural lives. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Feb. 26 Tour: Tucson and Marana Yoeme (Yaqui Indian) Communities
Yaqui Indian historian Felipe Molina will lead a car-caravan cultural sites tour starting at Santa Cruz River Park ramada, 1317 W Irvington Rd, Tucson. The tour will visit Tucson- and Marana-area places settled historically by the Yoeme including the 39th Street Community (Barrio Libre), Pascua, Yoem Pueblo, and former settlements. Reservations and $35 donation prepayment due by 5 p.m. February 23. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn More >>
Video Channel Roundup
It’s that time again! Find out which webinars and videos you missed and get caught up at the YouTube channels of our partners and friends:
Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society
Arizona State Museum
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
Grand Canyon Trust
Grand Staircase Escalante Partners
Mesa Prieta Petroglyphs Project
Museum of Indian Arts and Cultures
Museum of Northern Arizona
Old Pueblo Archaeology Center
School for Advanced Research
The Archaeological Conservancy
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.