My cat brought the word home to me in a very literal way yesterday morning. Ah, yes. Cats, those sleep-prone animals, tend to have delicate stomachs. You really don’t want their, uhm, feedback.
And a week or so ago, a (former) reader of Preservation Archaeology Today contacted me and characterized these introductory notes as “diatribes.” His email went on to ask that we cease any contact with him.
On a happier note, I also received an email from a colleague I hadn’t heard from in quite a while. He said he was reaching out because he’d resolved to “do a better job in acknowledging the people that have had a substantial impact on my professional development while they are still around to hear it.”
There are myriad responses to different kinds of feedback. The cat’s feedback is handled by a couple of paper towels. The comment on my diatribes I take as an indicator that what I view as advocacy may not be what everyone wants to hear. I try not to be offensive or strident. But in a short letter, some points intended as advocacy may come across as assertions rather than reasoned arguments. My hope is that the items we link to in each week’s edition will provide that more nuanced or expansive treatment.
My colleague’s acknowledgment that I had an impact on their professional career touched me deeply. I have tried to practice a similar approach. On several occasions, I reached out to Jeffrey Parsons—the instructor of the first archaeology class I ever took back when I was determined to be a cultural anthropologist—to let him know the magnitude of impact he had on my career. But I haven’t practiced this nearly enough.
Positive feedback and simple acknowledgments of how we value people who are integral parts of our professional lives—these are things we should share more often.
I know that I am behind in such efforts—but I am inspired anew.
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
P.S. Speaking of feedback, the Bureau of Land Management wants yours regarding the establishment of a 10-mile protection zone around Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Please see immediately below for Paul Reed’s information on how to comment and why the zone is so important.
Comments on Greater Chaco 10-Mile Protection Zone Due by April 6
In November 2021, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced the withdrawal of 351,000 acres of Federal surface land from oil-gas development in a 10-mile zone around Chaco Culture National Historical Park. As our supporters know, we at Archaeology Southwest have advocated for the establishment of the 10-mile protection zone around Chaco for more than five years. We applaud this very important decision. As part of the withdrawal process, a 90-day review and comment period began in early January 2022. This period ends on April 6. We have prepared a two-page primer on the 10-mile zone and why it matters so much. Paul F. Reed at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest) | Read More >>
Review the primer >>
New Digital Series “Indigi-Genius” Premiers Feb. 15
Written and hosted by Dr. Lee Francis, Pueblo and self-described Indigi-Nerd, and funded in part by VisionMaker Media, the series covers a range of global Indigenous topics and breaks down some of the science, culture, history, and “Indigi-Genius” knowledge that we may sometimes take for granted. New Mexico PBS | Learn More >>
Watch the teaser >>
Commentary: Public Lands Require More Funding for Better Management
Successive Congresses and administrations should be applauded for expanding the national conservation lands. However, in that same period of time, funding to manage these lands has been cut by 30 percent. This has resulted in significant damage—known and unknown—to valuable and vulnerable lands throughout the West. Record numbers of people enjoying public lands is a good thing, as long as it’s matched with a corresponding level of land managers and resources to prevent misuse and degradation. The long-standing lack of funding for these resources has had real consequences for the lands and the communities that serve as their gateways. David Feinman in The Hill | Read More >>
The 2021 data are in and the trend is clear: The West’s most popular national parks are getting more and more populated—with visitors. Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks crushed previous visitation records, as did Zion, Capitol Reef, and Arches. Perhaps most alarming (to me, at least), is that Canyonlands National Park—once considered a place to escape the crowds—was inundated with nearly 1 million visitors, a 17 percent increase over the previous high-mark set in 2016. … I’ve already weighed in on the notion of shifting the masses from popular parks to lesser-known ones, but I’ll say it again: I think it’s a terrible idea and that it won’t work, anyway. Jonathan P. Thompson at the Land Desk | Read More >>
Read Thompson’s Sept. 8, 2021, commentary on these issues >>
Commentary: Zuni Youth Enrichment Project Reinforces Connections to Land
At the Zuni Youth Enrichment Project, we believe in the strength and brilliance of the Zuni people. We believe Zuni people—their knowledge and life-ways—have transformative power to help Zuni youth grow into strong and healthy adults, thus promoting healthy communities in a systematic manner. One of the ways we nurture thriving youth in our communities is through the implementation of outdoor activity programs like backpacking, hiking, canoeing, National Park visits, and much more—any of which are funded by the Outdoor Equity Fund. These programs are ways to help them connect with who they are, where they come from and where they see themselves going within the context of their tribal community and families. Tahlia Natachu in the Santa Fe New Mexican | Read More >>
Senate Committee Hears Testimony on How to Improve NAGPRA
Joy Beasley is the associate director of Cultural Resources, Partnership and Science at the Interior Department. “The Department of the Interior is aware of the inconsistencies with the way that the law is interpreted and applied across the United States, including among federal agencies,” Beasley said. “We believe that the proposed regulatory changes will go a long way towards clarifying the roles and responsibilities of federal agencies, as well as clarifying the timelines and the other requirements.” The Interior Department hired a full-time employee to investigate NAGPRA claims and violations of the law in late January. Tripp J. Crouse (KNBA) at Native News Online | Read More >>
View official video of the hearing >>
Turquoise in the Land of Enchantment
“But for the Indigenous community, turquoise is not just a rock, it’s a sacred being,” says Porter Swentzell, a professor of Indigenous Liberal Studies at Santa Fe’s Institute of American Indian Arts. “Mining it and working with it take on deeper meanings.” … Here’s why one stone ended up being synonymous with a whole state, plus how to explore its role in Indigenous culture and crafts around New Mexico. Jennifer Barger for National Geographic | Read More >>
Video: The Importance of Birds in Chaco Canyon
On February 1, 2022, Katelyn Bishop (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) discussed “The Importance of Birds in Chaco Canyon.” Katelyn shared 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) | Watch Now >>
REMINDER: TODAY, Feb. 9 Webinar: Paquimé: A Local Perspective
With Paul Minnis. The size and massive architecture of Paquimé (Casas Grandes) in northwestern Chihuahua have impressed visitors for centuries, ever since the first Spanish entradas to the area. During the Medio Period, approximately A.D. 1200–1450, Paquimé was one of the major and most influential communities in the SW/NW (Southwest U.S./Northwest Mexico). The results of several recent archaeological projects offer a revised and precise understanding of this remarkable community and its neighbors. Verde Valley Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Link >>
REMINDER: Feb. 10 Webinar: Dził yá ‘ołta’ (‘The School Inside the Mountain’): Diné Students Remembering Home at the Intermountain Indian Boarding School
With Farina King. During the early postwar period, the US government increased its efforts to facilitate schooling for Diné youth to abate an economic disaster, as Diné lost war-related employment and faced hardships such as the blizzard of 1947–1948. “Emergency education” school programs became part of the “solution” under the overarching federal government approach of termination, assimilationist policies, and relocation. Federal officials pushed various initiatives to matriculate more school-aged Diné, funding more on-reservation and off-reservation educational programs. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Feb. 17 Online Forum: Justice, Public Lands, and Indigenous Peoples
With moderator C.J. Alvarez and presenters David Treuer and Patty Limerick. Over a century after the establishment of our national parks, questions about the scope of parks and other public lands, their management, and the heritage of their original Indigenous stewards are increasingly the focus of debate. Join SAR as two historians and an Indigenous writer discuss how public lands may figure in efforts to undo past injustice. School for Advanced Research | More Information and Registration >>
Feb. 17 Webinar: Projectile Points, Chronology, and the Oshara Tradition in the San Luis Valley
With Chris Johnston. Located on a relic wetland—or now-dried up peat bog—the Scott Miller site would have been a prime hunting ground for thousands of years. In 2020, the Paleocultural Resource Group (PCRG) analyzed the projectile point assemblage from the Scott Miller site and found that there were periodic Paleoindian occupations, followed by extensive occupations during the Oshara tradition period—or what is roughly equivalent to the Archaic period in the Great Plains. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Feb. 19 Webinar: Birds, Lizards, and Bighorns
With Linda Gregonis. The Hohokam Culture had an intricate relationship with animals of the Sonoran Desert that is revealed in their artwork. Their realistic, playful, and abstract depictions of creatures on pottery, carved stone, shell, and rock art, show not only their close observations of the natural world, but how they viewed that world in a cosmological context. Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation | More Information and Registration >>
Feb. 19 Webinar: Dispersing Power: The Contentious Egalitarian Politics of the Salado Phenomenon in the Hohokam Region of the U.S. Southwest
With Lewis Borck. “In this talk, I’ll start to answer one of archaeology’s big what-ifs: What if ‘collapses’ were the result of widespread, intentional actions to create change? To do so, I describe my research on how local communities reacted to the spread of a new ideology that archaeologists call the Salado Phenomenon and address how tensions stretching across political, social, and religious spheres created a pattern observed in the archaeological record that has previously been interpreted as a religious cult.” Amerind Museum | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Feb. 19 In-Person Event: Living History Pop-Up at Fort Lowell, Tucson AZ
Join us at the Fort Lowell Museum at 2900 N. Craycroft Road to enjoy demonstrations and displays about military life in the late 1800s, including 1870s and 80s infantry weaponry, saddles, and uniforms that would have been worn by soldiers stationed at the fort. A demonstration on 19th Century Army medicine, including information about types of Army medicine and treating wounds and diseases in the Territorial Period, will also be included. Presidio San Agustín del Tucson | Learn More >>
Feb. 21 Webinar: Looking from the South
With José Luis Punzo Díaz. A great variety of archaeological artifacts have been located both in the Southwest of the USA and in the West and Northwest of Mexico that has shown an intense interaction between both zones. Turquoises, metals, macaws are some of the examples of this. In this talk, we will take a look from the Mesoamerican south to the interaction in the far southwest of the USA, through different moments in time and an enormous variety of archaeological sites. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Feb. 24 Webinar: Out of the Ashes of Extinction a Resurgent Nation is Reborn: The Hia Ced O’odham and the Pursuit of Nationhood
With David Martinez. Because of the 1851 yellow fever epidemic, the Hia Ced O’odham were compelled to seek safety among their Tohono O’odham relatives. Ever since, the people known alternately as the “Areneños” and “Sand Papago” have endured the consequences of being regarded as “extinct.” However, contrary to popular opinion, the Hia Ced O’odham have endured as a discreet part of the O’odham community. Who are they, and how did they go from extinct people to a resurgent nation? Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
April 26–May 3 Travel Tour: Bears Ears and the San Juan River
Join Dr. John Ware, Wayne Ranney, and Southwest Seminars as we learn about the cultures that created such marvels and geology of the mighty river they lived beside. The sacred landscape of Bears Ears National Monument figures prominently in the histories and oral traditions of many indigenous Southwestern peoples. Join us to learn about the cultural connections between modern Native Peoples and these sacred places now held in tribal stories and ceremonies. Southwest Seminars | Learn More >>
June 8–11 Travel Tour: Supervolcanoes of the San Juans
At least 18 giant supervolcanoes erupted in southwest Colorado between 30–25 million years ago, forming much of the modern San Juan Mountains. These eruptions left craters several miles in diameter, including one of the largest known eruptions in Earth history, the La Garita caldera. An estimated 5,000 cubic kilometers was erupted ~28 million years ago, forming an elongated caldera ~ 46 x 23 miles in diameter. Join Southwest Seminars and our world-traveling volcanologist, Dr. Kirt Kempter, for a 4-day geologic exploration of the Creede region of southwestern Colorado, where 4 of these massive supervolcano eruptions occurred. Southwest Seminars | Learn More >>
Position Announcement: Archeologist, Tonto National Monument (18-Month Posting)
The chosen incumbent will serve as an Archeologist in support of the continuing collaboration between the National Park Service and Archaeology Southwest to protect, preserve, and interpret Tonto National Monument’s archeological sites. Archaeology Southwest and National Park Service | Learn More >>
Volunteer Opportunities, Grand Canyon Trust, AZ and UT
Are you ready to trade out your winter snow boots for summer work boots? Have you been hankering for French toast made by Grand Canyon Trust staff in a Dutch oven? Are you ready to wear work gloves, pull weeds, fix fences, and move rocks? Are you yearning to spot pinyon jays during your hikes through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument? Fear not, friend—we’ve got a full suite of exciting trips planned for you this field season. Audrey Kruse at the blog of the Grand Canyon Trust | Learn More >>
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!