I had the opportunity to do another talk before a live audience of more than 50 people the other day. The group was fully vaccinated, and the theater setting allowed substantial distancing. Everyone wore a mask.
I find it very satisfying to interact with a live audience. And to field questions from participants at the end of the talk. Always gets me thinking!
When this arrives in your inbox on Wednesday morning, I will be giving that same talk again over Zoom. I’m sure it will go well, but I also plan to turn it into an experiment—same talk, different audience engagement.
I’ll try to conduct a balanced assessment of my two experiences. But I’m pretty sure the live audience option will take the day. I just already know that I will greatly miss the highly engaged docents to whom I’ve presented this material in the past.
Thanks to technology, both options keep our Preservation Archaeology mission active in people’s minds. And for that I am grateful.
I’m also profoundly grateful to the many, many people who have made Desert Archaeology, Inc., a success. My friend and colleague Homer Thiel wrote a great piece (linked below) on the history of the fledgling cultural resources management operation my wife and I began out of our home in 1982, and from which I retired in 2017, into the capable hands of Sarah Herr. Thanks, Homer; thanks, Sarah; and thanks to those of you who were part of the 40-year journey.
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Banner image: Spirit Mountain Approach, Stan Stebs (CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Continuing Coverage: Avi Kwa Ame
On Friday, January 14, U.S. Representative Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) said during a press conference in Las Vegas that she plans on introducing legislation to Congress designated to make an area south of Las Vegas a national monument within the next few days. In a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Wednesday, January 12, U.S. Rep. Titus wrote, “We have an opportunity to preserve a place of deep sacred reverence filled with natural wonders and vibrant scenery of several mountain ranges. Avi Kwa Ame is the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain, the center of creation for Yuman-speaking tribes, and the surrounding landscape. While Spirit Mountain enjoys permanent protection as part of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the sacred landscape associated with it is still in need of permanent protection.” Darren Thompson for Native News Online | Read More >>
Documentary: Durango 550—Path of the Ancestral Puebloans
CDOT, archaeologists, and local Native American tribes work together to uncover long-buried settlements around Durango. Rocky Mountain PBS | Watch Now >>
Desert Archaeology, Inc., Celebrates 40 Years
On January 13, 1982—a Wednesday—Dr. William Doelle moved to Tucson and, days later, finalized a National Park Service contract for a project in Nolic. This marked the start of business for his brand new cultural resources management (CRM) archaeology firm, which set up shop as the Arizona Division of the California-based Institute of American Research. In 1989, the company left the IAR and became an independent entity, adopting the now-familiar name of Desert Archaeology, Inc. (DAI). We opened our second office in Tempe in 1999, and in January 2017, Dr. Sarah Herr became company owner and president. In the 40 years following our humble beginnings in Bill Doelle’s garage, DAI has conducted over 2,700 archaeological projects throughout the greater American Southwest and produced research that has received local, state, national, and international acclaim. Homer Thiel in Field Journal (Desert Archaeology, Inc.) | Read More >>
Continuing Coverage: NPS Seeks Public Comment on Two Projects at Mesa Verde National Park
The comment period for a proposal to stabilize the sandstone arch at the front of Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park has been extended to Jan. 21. … Mesa Verde National Park is proposing to develop and implement a Fire Management Plan at Mesa Verde National Park and Yucca House National Monument. A public comment period for the project runs from Jan. 6 to Feb. 5. Jim Mimiaga in The Journal | Learn More >>
BLM to Assess Grazing Impacts on Sites in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
A programmatic agreement is being negotiated with monument stakeholders in collaboration with the Colorado Historical Society and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. “Over the last year, we have met to develop a programmatic agreement that would allow the BLM to reissue the grazing permits while also protecting cultural resources,” [monument manager Ray] O’Neal said. The baseline agreement is a precursor to a pending BLM environmental assessment that will analyze grazing impacts to cultural sites. “Our concern of potential damage centers on three types of sensitive cultural sites: standing architecture, rock art and rock shelters,” O’Neal said. Jim Mimiaga in The Journal | Read More >>
Commentary: Clock Is Ticking to Protect Gila and San Francisco Rivers in New Mexico
The Fort Sill Apache Tribe—descendants of the Chiricahua and Warm Springs Apaches—applaud Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján’s efforts in reintroducing legislation to designate portions of the Gila and San Francisco rivers and their tributaries as Wild and Scenic. … The lands surrounding the Gila and San Francisco rivers provide a historical roadmap to our ancestors who lived on these lands hunting and harvesting throughout the region to provide food for their families. The evidence of our ancestors’ way of life is etched into stone, in the petroglyphs and pictographs that can be seen even today. These are more than historical and archaeological resources—they are a reminder of who we are and how far we have come. Lori Gooday Ware in the Santa Fe New Mexican | Read More >>
How to Make a Cruciform
To make them, people used high-quality cryptocrystalline rock, usually very colorful or flashy, which they polished very finely. A very nice, complete cruciform made out of quartz crystal was recovered from the Los Pozos site near the Roger Road sewer plant here in Tucson. My goal was to replicate it, and I also wanted to make a cruciform out of obsidian from the source in Mule Creek, New Mexico. I recorded the amount of time required to shape different kinds of stone. Allen Denoyer at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest) | Read More >>
Four Corners Junior Ranger Program Releases New Activity Guide
The program will be available to visitors at Aztec Ruins National Monument, Chaco Culture National Historic Park, and Mesa Verde National Park. This new, collaborative program will lead visitors through activities specific to each park. Once participants visit at least two of the three parks and complete 4 activities at each park, they can receive a Four Corners Junior Ranger patch. Activities are rated easy, medium, and difficult and include things like creating your own rock art, writing about your experience inside the Great Kiva, and matching museum objects with their purpose. The guide points out many similarities between the three parks and works to tell our youngest visitors the story of the Pueblo people that lived in this area. Aztec Ruins National Monument | Learn More >>
Aztec Ruins Online Junior Rangers Program >>
Arizona State Museum Expands Hours
Announcing expanded hours to include Saturdays! Beginning Jan. 22, we’ll now be open Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Campus parking is free on Saturdays! Arizona State Museum | Plan Your Visit >>
Archaeology Café Welcomes Dr. Katelyn Bishop on Feb. 1
Katelyn Bishop (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) will discuss “The Importance of Birds in Chaco Canyon.” Katelyn will share some of the findings and insights from an analysis of avifaunal remains from Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Analysis reveals how birds were involved in people’s lives in Chaco Canyon and the many types of birds these people valued. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
The Archaeological Conservancy Announces February Webinars
On February 17, Dr. Paulette Steeves will present “Archaeology’s Place in Healing and Reconciliation: Reclaiming the Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere” at 5 pm MST. Another exciting lecture on February 24, will feature Dr. Ashley Lemke as she presents “Archaeology Underwater: How Submerged Landscapes Are Changing the Future of Archaeology” also at 5 pm MST. The Archaeological Conservancy | Learn More >>
Feb. 9 Webinar: The 1894 Lowell Expedition to Arizona
With Dr. Kevin Schindler. In 1894, an Easterner named Andrew Douglass explored the Arizona Territory in search of an ideal site to establish an astronomical observatory for Bostonian Percival Lowell. Traveling by train and stagecoach, Douglass visited Tombstone, Tucson, Tempe, Prescott, and Flagstaff. Arizona Archaeological Society (Desert Foothills Chapter) | Registration: email maryk92 at aol dot com
Feb. 24 Webinar: Basics of NAGPRA
With Eric Hemenway. This webinar will look at the basics of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), with an emphasis on how smaller museums and institutions can implement this federal law. Consultation with tribal nations, important definitions under the law and what museums need to have completed to be in compliance under the law will be the focuses of this workshop. Connecting to Collections Care (Foundation for Advancement in Conservation) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Publication Announcement: Footprints in the Middle San Juan
Archaeology Southwest Magazine Vol. 34, No. 4, edited by Paul F. Reed. Archaeology Southwest | Learn More >>
Job Opportunities, Grand Staircase Escalante Partners, Kanab UT
Applications open now! Send us your resume and cover letter by February 7th to apply for either of these positions. Please share this with anyone you know who is qualified and passionate about Grand Staircase! The Associate Director will help lead our dynamic team in the long-term protection and advancement of scientific knowledge of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the surrounding region. And the Conservation Programs Manager will lead conservation work aimed at developing and implementing science-based strategies that support ecosystem health and identify areas of opportunity for research and innovation. Grand Staircase Escalante Partners | Learn More >>
UPDATED SALARY 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 >>
Congratulations to our friend and colleague Kelsey Hanson (University of Arizona) on becoming Crow Canyon Archaeological Center’s 2022 Lister Fellow!
See you next week! Please do send us notice of upcoming webinars and Zoom lectures, tours and workshops, and anything else you’d like to share with the friends. Thanks!