At Archaeology Southwest, the “Great Resignation” is fueling the “Big Hiring.”
Since January 1 of this year, we have added six new hires. Three are replacements, one is a move to a new position, and two are brand-new hires.
As we come out of the seemingly interminable COVID pandemic, it’s invigorating to bring new faces, new ideas, and new energy into our staff mix. It’s also part of our strategic plan.
For almost two years, the Archaeology Southwest Board and staff have been planning for an event that is still two years away—my stepping down as the President and CEO of the organization I founded in 1989.
We all realize that leadership transitions in nonprofits can be stressful and difficult. And transitions from founders can be particularly so. They don’t have to be, if there’s adequate planning.
Our plans for the next two years call for expanding our Board and integrating our new staff members—one or two more are yet planned—into our Preservation Archaeology mission. And we’ll be preserving and upgrading our office in downtown Tucson, the Historic Bates Mansion, which we now are sole owners of.
In two years, I know I won’t have achieved all of my goals—even with the busy two years I envision. And I won’t be walking away from pursuing them. But I will be supporting a new leader of Archaeology Southwest, an organization I take great pride in. That new leader will help carry this organization and our mission forward to even greater accomplishments.
In the meantime, you’ll still have to put up with me every week as Kate and I continue compiling Preservation Archaeology Today.
How are you doing these days?
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
P.S. from Kate: I’d like to mark the sudden and unexpected passing of anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer, who changed medicine and the world through his humanity, decency, vision, and conviction—best attested through his innumerable good works, but also attested by many of his own words, such as: “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.” Here is just one eloquent tribute among many that have poured out over the past two days. Please check out Partners in Health and consider donating.
Banner image: Spirit Mountain (Avi Kwa Ame) approach by Stan Shebs (CC BY-SA 2.5)
Nevada Rep. Titus Introduces Bill to Establish Avi Kwa Ame National Monument
Nevada Democratic U.S. Rep. Dina Titus introduced a bill designating land considered sacred to ten tribes as a national monument Thursday, fulfilling a commitment she made last month. Tribes and environmentalists hailed the move that would permanently protect nearly 450,000 acres of biologically and culturally significant lands within the Mojave Desert as a breakthrough on a proposal two years in the making. “I’m grateful to the grassroots organizations and community leaders who have been working on this issue for years. Together we can protect these sloping bajadas, scenic canyons, and ancient cultural sites for future generations to enjoy,” said Titus in a statement. Jeniffer Solis in the Nevada Current | Read Now >>
Upcoming Public Meetings on Chaco Protection Zone
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Farmington Field Office reminds the public of the upcoming public meetings for the proposed public land withdrawal surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park on February 23 and 24.
On January 5, the BLM published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the 90-day public comment period for the proposed withdrawal and the public meetings. The public may submit comments on the proposed withdrawal until April 6, 2022. Comments on the proposal may be submitted by any of the following: ePlanning, email, or mail: Bureau of Land Management, Farmington Field Office, Attn: Sarah Scott, 6251 College Blvd., Suite A, Farmington, NM 87402.
In addition to the 90-day public comment period for the withdrawal application, the BLM invites the public to register and participate in one of the upcoming public meetings. There will be one virtual session and two in-person sessions. BLM-New Mexico is considering possible additional meetings at this time. Scheduled meeting details are as follows:
February 23, 3:00–4:30 p.m. and 6:00–7:30 p.m.
San Juan College Henderson Fine Arts Building
4601 College Boulevard, Farmington, NM
Contact Sarah Scott 505-564-7689 or sscott at blm dot gov
February 24, 6:00–7:30 p.m.
All attendees must pre-register for the meetings. Pagosa Daily Post | Read More >>
Read Chaco Scholar and Preservation Archaeologist Paul F. Reed’s primer to prepare for attending or commenting >>
Grand Canyon National Park Announces Website Update Focused on Associated Tribes
On Feb. 9, Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) announced the launch of a new associated tribes’ website which will be accessible via the park’s main page. “As part of the park’s continuing effort to recognize tribal members’ deep cultural and spiritual ties to the landscape, the site features efforts on how the park is working with Indigenous communities, links to the 11 traditionally associated tribes’ respective websites, and further resources on tribal engagement and programming,” said GCNP Deputy Superintendent Brian Drapeaux. … Included on the site is a short video produced by the National Park Service (NPS) entitled “Breath of this Land,” which briefly addresses the “attempted erasure of indigenous people” and the enduring connection between tribes and their ancestral lands. “We are indigenous to these lands, the original caretakers; we are our ancestors, the hope of the future,” the video states. “We will not be forgotten.” Lo Frisby in the Navajo-Hopi Observer | Read More >>
Check it out >>
2023 Southwest Symposium Call for Proposals
The 18th Biennial SWS meeting will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from January 5–7, 2023. The hosts will be Maxine McBrinn and Judith Habicht-Mauche, and in order to make this conference as inclusive as possible, we have initiated an open call for organized sessions related to the conference theme. The 2023 symposium will highlight alternate approaches to interpreting the archaeological record of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico at multiple scales. Potential session themes could include such topics as material analyses of technology and production; the materiality of belief; households and communities; place, space, and landscapes; trade and exchange; inter-regional social networks; or interpretations of big data. We strongly encourage session proposals that include presentations that engage descendant community consultation and collaboration. Southwest Symposium | Learn More >>
Book Review: Our Common Ground: A History of America’s Public Lands
The title of John D. Leshy’s political history of America’s public lands, Our Common Ground, introduces the central fact of the story he invites us to read. The American federal public land estate is our land, a shared heritage of more than 600 million acres owned collectively by the American people and managed by the federal government. Yet despite a vast literature on public lands, which he points out focuses mostly on categories such as national parks or forests, much of the American public does not have a comprehensive understanding of how they came to have such a public land legacy. Leshy sets out to consider “the entire history of these lands as a single American institution” and succeeds admirably. … “Because these lands are in public hands, they remain subject to the will of the people—as defined more broadly today than ever before—which means they can play a part in redressing some of the injustices of the past.” John Miles in the National Parks Traveler | Read More >>
Podcast: At the Heart of It All
For its practitioners, archaeology can feel like it is unearthing events deep in the past … until it doesn’t. What is the experience of researchers who discover their life stories are tied to an archaeological site? Dr. Kisha Supernant and Lenora McQueen share their journeys to the unmarked graves of First Nations and Métis peoples and African American burial grounds, respectively, and how their connections to their ancestors transform their work. SAPIENS | Listen Now >>
Blog: The Newly Named Placencia Point
Ismael [Sánchez-Morales] originally described and named this point style “Fin del Mundo” after four examples from El Fin del Mundo site in Sonora, Mexico. In 2017, Ismael, John Carpenter, and Guadalupe Sanchez renamed the style “Placencia.” Placencia points are extremely broad and thin, and they are very well made. Makers used percussion flaking to make thin triangular points that have a straight to slightly expanding stem. The lateral margins of the stem are often heavily ground. Allen Denoyer and Ismael Sánchez-Morales for “What’s the Point?” at the Preservation Archaeology blog | Read More >>
Blog: A Day of Service at the Gillespie Narrows Preserve
As the Arizona Site Stewards monitoring the site have recorded, vandalism at Gillespie Narrows Preserve presents a constant problem. The gate erected in 2018 at the main access point was mowed down not long after it had been installed; dumps of trash and cinder blocks (most recently, debris from a bathroom remodel) litter the area; and, more seriously, the petroglyph panels are continually desecrated. … A team of Archaeology Southwest staff, Arizona Site Stewards, and other concerned volunteers have come together to address the escalating needs of the site, most recently in early February 2022. Thirteen participants—aka the Gillespie Dream Team—came out for the Gillespie Narrows Preserve Day of Service, which produced amazing results. John R. Welch and Jaye Smith at the Preservation Archaeology blog | Read More >>
REMINDER: 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 >>
REMINDER: March 1 Webinar: Birds, Feathers, and Ancient Pueblo Pottery
Kelley Hays-Gilpin (Northern Arizona University and Museum of Northern Arizona) will discuss “Birds, Feathers, and Ancient Pueblo Pottery.” Since the beginning of Pueblo pottery traditions in the seventh century CE, potters have looked to birds as inspiration for vessel shapes and painted designs. In the 1400s, feathers became a favorite motif, and birds and feathers are still important subjects in Pueblo pottery today. In this talk, Kelley will explore images and meanings on a wide variety of ancestral, historic, and contemporary pottery, focusing on the Hopi Mesas. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
March 3 Webinar: Our Teeth Tell Tales: Living and Moving during AD 1000–1200s in New Mexico
Archaeologists use multiple techniques to reconstruct the lives of past peoples; certain aspects of human biology can be beneficial when used in conjunction with archaeological evidence and oral tradition. In this talk, Dr. Lexi O’Donnell will discuss where the Gallina people may have moved upon leaving their homes in the late AD 1200s and individual relationships between people who lived in the La Plata Valley. She uses dental morphology, data on the shape and form of teeth, a non-destructive method to estimate biological distance. Biological distance (biodistance) is a measure of similarity between and within groups. Biodistance reflects shared ancestry, genetic drift (change of allele frequencies in a population by chance), and/or gene flow (migration). Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
March 5 Tour: The Vista del Rio Archaeological Site, Tucson AZ
Archaeologist Allen Dart will lead a free educational tour at the Vista del Rio Cultural Resource Park, 7575 E. Desert Arbors St. (at Dos Hombres Road), Tucson. Vista del Rio was a village of the Hohokam archaeological culture inhabited between 1000 and 1150 CE. Reservations (free) are required by 5:00 p.m. March 3. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn More >>
March 8 Webinar: The Tribal Archaeologist’s Duties with a Focus on Ancestral Territories and Traditional Cultural Places
Dr. Martina Dawley (Diné/Hualapai) is the Director and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer with the Hualapai Nation’s Department of Cultural Resources in Peach Springs, Arizona. Her responsibilities include preserving and managing the cultural resources of the Hualapai people while adhering to standards established by the THPO, the Hualapai Cultural Resources Ordinance, and the US Secretary of the Interior’s Standards. Indigenous Interests series (Old Pueblo Archaeology Center) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
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.