Tucson has a magnificent Festival of Books that returned in-person on the University of Arizona mall last weekend. Archaeology Southwest had a booth, and I spent the afternoon in near-constant conversation with many people who are avidly pursuing knowledge, insight, entertainment, escape, and fulfillment—which the book fair offers in abundance. (And welcome to this newsletter, new friends who subscribed at the festival!)
My “book fair Saturday” inspired a Sunday of catching up on my reading. I had several issues of High Country News (HCN) that I needed to absorb. There was a rich set of articles addressing Indigenous activism over water rights within both the Colorado River and the Rio Grande watersheds.
Two key points crossed these articles—first, that Tribes were largely excluded from past water-rights discussions until they pushed to be heard in recent times, and second, that the impacts of climate change greatly complicate the process now that Tribes are at the table. The HCN pieces describe scenarios for resolving water rights issues that could extend over a decade or two. And climate change on such long timescales raises questions of how much water will be left. A major conundrum.
In closing, I return to the serious theme of last week’s note, with help from a timely essay in Emergence Magazine, part of their ongoing series on migration. In “False Passives,” Anna Badkhen weaves together Ukrainian war-induced migration with her primary story of climate-induced migration in Ethiopia.
Badkhen makes clear—as does the IPPC report noted last week (see below to learn more about archaeologist Tim Kohler’s role in that report)—that it is hard to know precisely when something like migration begins. But it is already underway—though still small in scale. But the Ukraine war illustrates how quickly mass migration can accelerate.
These are challenging times. I remain cautiously optimistic that engagement and empathy can be a path to emergence.
Until next week,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
P.S., Here are ways to help Ukrainian refugees and displaced people worldwide.
Respect the Great Bend of the Gila
Located in southwestern Arizona, the Great Bend is an extraordinary nexus of natural, cultural, geological, and historical significance that has shaped much of the Southwest’s history and heritage. The public lands of the Great Bend of the Gila must be protected in a way that recognizes their importance to Tribes, their cultural and historical values, and the role of these lands in species survival, combating climate change, and redressing water scarcity. It’s time to permanently protect this inimitable, enduring, yet surprisingly sensitive landscape. Although there are laws protecting cultural heritage on federal lands, permanent protection will help better enforce these laws. Given their historical and ongoing ties to the land, Tribes should have a strong voice in how this land and their legacies on it are managed in perpetuity. Respect Great Bend | Learn More and Sign Up for News >>
Commentary: Make Black Wall Street a National Monument
It’s important that today our children learn about the strength and determination of the people who came before them, and we must ensure that we do not suppress honest accounts of marginalized histories in favor of comfortable ones. President Joe Biden—who visited Tulsa to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre—has the ability to do so by designating the Greenwood District a national monument through the Antiquities Act. In addition to the national monument designation, Congress is currently drafting a park study bill, designed to study the landscape of Black Wall Street and identify areas that could form part of a national monument. Tiffany Crutcher and John W.S. in the Oklahoman | Read More and Watch Now >>
Archaeologist Tim Kohler Brings Long View to Recent IPCC Report
The United Nation’s latest climate change report forecasts bad news for a host of issues from rising food insecurity to increasing social inequality in North America unless steps are taken now to reduce global carbon emissions. There is perhaps no one in the Inland Northwest who understands the dire consequences laid out in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report better than Tim Kohler, a Washington State University emeritus professor of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology. Kohler holds the distinction of being the first archaeologist to contribute to an IPCC report as a lead author. Will Ferguson for WSU Insider | Read More >>
2022 Appropriations Bill Maintains Temporary Moratorium on Leasing in Greater Chaco
U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) secured a provision in the Omnibus Appropriations Agreement for Fiscal Year 2022 to maintain the moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal land in the withdrawal area of the Greater Chaco Region. Maintaining the moratorium is critical to preserving the Greater Chaco Region for the enjoyment of present and future generations of Americans, to protecting and facilitating the continued expression of indigenous cultural and spiritual practices, and to conserving the irreplaceable landscapes that form in the country’s shared heritage. Gallup Sun | Read More >>
University of Nevada, Reno, Hosts Successful NAGPRA Symposium
The University of Nevada, Reno held its first NAGPRA symposium on Thursday, March 10. Nearly 100 were in attendance in-person, and over 100 virtually attended the day-long hybrid event. The seminar included a day packed with expert panelists from local tribes and community leaders who shared experiences and lessons on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Lisa McDonald in Nevada Today | Read More >>
April 5 Archaeology Café: A Rafter of Burials
Rachel Burger (Logan Simpson) will discuss “A Rafter of Burials: Sapa’owingeh Turkey Interments.” Rachel will describe a room at Sapa’owingeh pueblo that was dedicated to the disposal of turkey remains and share what this room reveals about Tewa social institutions and practices at the village during the Classic period. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Archaeoastronomy in the Four Corners
Ancient humans likely looked up at the sky for the same reasons, but they also relied on the sky for survival. Long before the days of GPS or analog clocks, humans used the stars to navigate and the sun to tell time. Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient cultures across the Earth tracked the rising and setting of the sun along the horizon from summer solstice to winter solstice and back again. The Ancestral Pueblo people are one such culture. Western Slope Skies and Four Corners Public Radio (KSUT) | Read More and Listen Now >>
Publication Announcement: Keystone Institutions of Democratic Governance Across Indigenous North America
Holland-Lulewicz J, Thompson VD, Birch J and Grier C (2022). Keystone Institutions of Democratic Governance Across Indigenous North America. Frontiers in Political Science 4:840049. Read Now (open access) >>
March Subscription Lectures (In-Person, Santa Fe)
Southwest Seminars continues its Native Voices series in March, in honor of the Archaeological Conservancy. Adam Duran (Pojoaque), Dr. Joseph Suina (Cochiti), Dr. Matthew Martinez (Ohkay Owingeh), and Theresa Pasqual (Acoma) will present each Monday evening at the Hotel Santa Fe. Southwest Seminars | Learn More >>
REMINDER: March 17 Webinar: The Sinagua: Fact or Fiction?
With Peter Pilles. Given that Arizona’s Sinagua archaeological area has been characterized by some as a blend of cultures but by others as a separate culture, Pilles will explore whether “Sinagua” refers to a geographic area, a specific kind of pottery, an actual grouping of people, or something else. Third Thursday Food for Thought (Old Pueblo Archaeology Center) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
March 20 Lecture (In-Person, Sedona AZ): A Colorful Century of Women in Southwestern Archaeology
Join Northern Arizona University Professor and Chair of Anthropology Dr. Kelley Hays-Gilpin on Sunday, March 20 at 1 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre in Sedona. Come enjoy a special presentation entitled “A Colorful Century of Women in Southwestern Archaeology”—in celebration of Women’s History Month and Archaeology Month. This program is presented by the Verde Valley Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society. Tickets are $15 to benefit the VVCAAS Scholarship Program. Sedona Film Festival | Learn More >>
March 21 Webinar: Exploring the Rise of Navajo Pastoralism in the (Peri) Colonial U.S. Southwest
With Wade Campbell. The rise of a pastoral tradition among early Diné (Navajo) communities in the American Southwest circa AD 1700 represents an important turn in the history of the region. Recent work, including an ethnoarchaeological study of contemporary Diné herding practices and a systematic study of Gobernador Phase (AD 1626-1776) Navajo sites in Dinétah, the traditional Navajo homeland in northwest New Mexico, provide new data with which to begin to evaluate early Navajo sheepherding practices. This talk will discuss how archaeological studies can help to shed light on the dynamic history of Navajo sheepherding and its continued importance to the 21st century Diné community. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Video Channel Roundup
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
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.