This time of year, the glorious yellow blossoms of the palo verde trees can lead you to forget that we are more than two decades into a major drought. In Tucson the bloom is just beginning, but last Friday, as I drove to Gila Bend, which is at a lower elevation, the bloom was intense.
I made the trip last Friday in a rental car—a big SUV. If you think that cars are inedible, I suspect you have not met the packrats of the Sonoran Desert. I needed that rental because packrats ate the electronics in my 12-year-old Prius—in my driveway! My Prius gets over 50 miles per gallon. The SUV got…much less.
Our multi-decade drought is a symptom of climate change. It distressed me that the trip I needed to make to help protect important archaeological sites was in a vehicle that more than doubled my carbon footprint for the day.
Ultimately, government policies that move our entire economy toward renewable energy sources are what will make a difference. And those policies need to come about urgently.
I think about that pressing need often. This week some hungry packrats made it extra personal.
Hope you all are doing well,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Banner image: Palo verde blossoms by dmirti_66 via Flickr and CC BY-NC 2.0
Administration Puts $1B behind Conservation Goals
The program will allow states, tribes and NGOs to access numerous federal conservation and restoration grants all in one place… The new program “will help mobilize new investments in locally led, voluntary conservation and restoration projects across the country, while making it easier for communities to access these resources,” Brenda Mallory, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in a statement. Funds will be awarded to projects focused in several areas: conservation and restoration of rivers, coasts, wetlands, forests and grasslands; connecting landscapes and wildlife corridors; increasing resilience to coastal flooding, drought and other climate impacts; and expanding access to the outdoors. Chris D’Angelo at Huffpost | Read More >>
The Indigenous Field Guide
Indigenous Field Guide (IFG) is a centralized guide for individuals and organizations. IFG provides public education to prevent the damage of nonrenewable cultural resources, address access concerns for public and private lands, and create an online platform to amplify and integrate Indigenous worries regarding cultural land resources. The IFG will connect individuals and organizations with Indigenous guides, underrepresented communities, and advisors who are able to help ethically navigate outdoor spaces. The Indigenous Field Guide | Learn More >>
Collaborative Research Supports California Tribe’s Antiquity on the Land
A study published in March in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers fresh genomic evidence that the Muwekma’s connection to the Bay Area goes back at least 2,000 years. Working alongside the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, researchers from several universities extracted DNA from 12 ancient people buried in the region as far back as 2,000 years ago and found biological continuity with DNA collected from modern-day members of the tribe. “Validation, finally,” said Monica Arellano, the vice chairwoman of the tribe and an author of the paper. “This adds to all the information we’ve put out there, years of compiling and doing research proving who we are.” Sabrina Imbler in the New York Times | Read More >>
Continuing Coverage: FBI Offers Reward in Petroglyph Vandalism Case
On Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that the agency is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the vandalism committed at the La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Darren Thompson at Native News Online | Read More >>
Map: Lifeways of the Little Colorado River
Prayers, salt, medicinal plants, farming… From its headwaters in the mountains of eastern Arizona to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the Little Colorado River has sustained plants, animals, and humans since the beginning of time. Experience life along the Little Colorado River. Grand Canyon Trust | View Now >>
Video: The House of the Cylinder Jars
In 1896, excavations in Room 28 in Pueblo Bonito made several extraordinary finds: 173 whole ceramic vessels, including 112 Chacoan cylinder jars, as well as hundreds of ornaments and copper objects. After discovering residues of cacao in cylinder jars in 2009, Dr. Crown supervised the re-excavation of Room 28 in 2013 to examine the stratigraphy, collect datable materials, and determine when and why the room burned. In this talk, Crown describes the results of this re-excavation, which help us understand how the jars were used in the cacao-drinking ritual and why the room was set on fire. Surprisingly, the room had been filled with backdirt from surrounding rooms, giving additional information on the area of Pueblo Bonito known as the “northern burial cluster.” Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Watch Now >>
Video: A Rafter of Burials
On April 5, 2022, Rachel Burger (Logan Simpson) discussed “A Rafter of Burials: Sapa’owingeh Turkey Interments.” Rachel described a room at Sapa’owingeh pueblo that was dedicated to the disposal of turkey remains and shared what this room reveals about Tewa social institutions and practices at the village during the Classic period. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | Watch Now >>
Instagram Takeover: Photographer Paul Vanderveen for Respect Great Bend
Hello all! Paul Vanderveen here. I’ll be taking over the #RespectGreatBend IG this week. You can find me here @vanderveenpaul First up, I will be featuring the LGREAP team in the field! LGREAP = Lower Gila River Ethnographic and Archaeological Project. This project, headed by Preservation Anthropologist Dr. Aaron Wright at @archaeologysouthwest seeks to document heritage assets found in the #GreatBendoftheGila, among other things. The LGREAP crew currently consists of Aaron, Charles Arrow, and Zion White. Both Zion and Charles are members of the Fort Yuma Quechan Tribe, although Charles has Cocopah ancestry as well. I was fortunate to spend some time with the LGREAP crew while they systematically documented petroglyphs and other heritage assets. Respect Great Bend | Check It Out >>
Blog: Archaeology Southwest at the SAAs—Recap
One of the best parts of these types of meetings is getting to see some of our former field school students again. This year, our poster session “Mogollon Area Archaeology: Mimbres, Salado, and in Between” allowed some of our 2021 field school students to present their research alongside some great professional colleagues who have been working in this area for years. Karen Schollmeyer at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest) | Read More >>
Field School Opportunity, New Mexico Highlands University
May 23–June 17. This field school takes place in northern New Mexico, north of Cuba, near the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the western edge of the Santa Fe National Forest. Excavation, pedestrian survey, site assessments, artifact analysis and processing, community outreach, and collaborative discussions with local stakeholder communities about the nature of our fieldwork and its future directions will all be incorporated. We will be camping in the Llaves valley and the field school will be conducted Monday–Friday. ANTH 4140: Field Methods in Archaeology (2–6 credits). Costs: Undergrad $560–1680 (resident), $948–2844 (nonresident); Graduate $620–1860 (resident), $1004–3012 (nonresident); plus a $400 course fee. Contact Dr. Lewis Borck for more information.
April Subscription Lectures (In-Person, Santa Fe)
April 18, Matthew Barbour, Giusewa Pueblo Archaeology: Recent Discoveries at Jemez Historic Site. At the Hotel Santa Fe. Southwest Seminars | Learn More >>
REMINDER: TODAY, April 13 Webinar: Our Teeth Tell Tales
With Alexis O’Donnell. 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 to 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. The San Juan Basin Archaeological Society | More Information and Zoom Link >>
REMINDER: April 14 Webinar: Multivocality in Archaeology
With Fumi Arakawa. This presentation highlights the progress of the Mimbres Pottery Workshop, which is functioning as part of the Info-Forum Museum Project (Documenting and Sharing Information on Ethnological Materials: Working with Native American Tribes; Dr. Atsunori Ito as the Principal Investigator). The Mimbres Pottery Workshop is a collaborative research project between descendant communities and researchers (cultural anthropologists and archaeologists), which focuses on the interpretation and analysis of Mimbres pottery designs recovered from southern New Mexico from A.D. 1000 to 1150. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
April 15 Hike, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument (Las Cruces NM)
Join PFLAG Las Cruces and Friends of the Organ Mountains as we bring our LGBTQ+ and Ally community together to enjoy the outdoors and make new friends. Optional social hour afterward. Friends of OMDP | Learn More >>
April 16 Junior Ranger Day, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, AZ
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument will be kicking off National Park Week with Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 16, 2022. This program is designed to help children and families connect and engage at our site as well as learn about national parks around the country. As a Junior Ranger, you can help protect natural and cultural areas across the United States! There is no charge for the Junior Ranger program and there is no need to register. Kids of all ages are invited to pick-up a self-guided Junior Ranger booklet and earn a badge during regular visiting hours of 9 am–4 pm. Other self-guided activities include visiting the Great House, visiting the ball court, viewing museum exhibits and watching our park movie. Special drop-in activity stations will be available between 9 am–12 pm; these include making clay pinch pots and collecting replica saguaro cactus fruit. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument | Learn More >>
REMINDER: April 18 Webinar: Exploring the Many Interpretations of Chaco
With Stephen Plog. Multiple interpretations have been proposed to explain what has been referred to as the “Chaco Phenomenon,” defined primarily by the construction of large masonry great houses and roads in Chaco Canyon. I briefly discuss the history of research in Chaco and consider some of the ways the long period of excavations and our understanding of the earliest excavations, has impacted our perception of Chaco great houses. This history has influenced our perception of some key aspects of Chaco sites, including great houses, and as a result has led us to oversimplify key aspects of Chaco Canyon history. Finally, I summarize what recent collaborative research I’ve been involved in has revealed about the social organization and Mesoamerican relationships of the Pueblo people who lived in the canyon. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
April 20 World Premiere (Fox Theater, Tucson AZ): Canyon del Muerto
The Arizona International Film Festival is hosting the world premiere of Canyon del Muerto, a film about Ann Axtell Morris, a University of Arizona graduate and pioneering female archaeologist. The film was produced by First Line Films and the Navajo Nation during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 with the support of multiple local Navajo chapters, businesses, and land users based in and around the two central locations of the film; Canyon De Chelly, Arizona and Red Rock National Monument, New Mexico. Arizona International Film Festival | Learn More >>
REMINDER: April 21 Webinar: The Mimbres Twins and Rabbit in the Moon
With Marc Thompson. Images on 1000–1130 CE Mimbres culture pottery bowls depict the Pan-American apologue of the Hero Twins saga. Mimbres pottery motifs appear to represent the birth, trials, tests, death, and resurrection of the Hero Twins. Third Thursday Food for Thought (Old Pueblo Archaeology Center) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
April 26 Webinar: Oaxacan Mezcal in the Global Craft Economy
This presentation by Dr. Ronda Brulotte explores Oaxacan mezcal as a newcomer to the global market. Not only is mezcal Oaxaca’s fastest-growing rural industry, it connects the region to an emergent network of producers, brokers, and consumers across the U.S.- Mexico border and beyond. Mezcal may be joining more well-known foods of Mexican origin commonplace in U.S. markets (corn, chile, chocolate), but its popularity is distinctly tied to the creation of a new class of global food consumers who prize mezcal as craft within the artisanal food movement; at the same time, its growing popularity is spurring questions about the sustainability of the industry. Arizona State Museum | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
April 26 Webinar: Research and Analysis of the Indian Hill Rockshelter
Dr. Meg McDonald will review the results of her investigation of this important site in the eastern foothills of the Jacumba Mountains within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Southern California. Colorado Desert Archaeology Society | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
April 29 Webinar: Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area
We are excited to be working with the Santa Rita Experimental Range from the University of Arizona to host an online webinar about the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area. Register today and save your seat to hear more about the heritage area and the rich cultural, historical, and natural heritage you can only find here. Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area and Discover Fridays (Santa Rita Experimental Range) | Zoom Registration >>
Job Opportunity, Kaibab National Forest, Fredonia AZ
The North Kaibab Ranger District (NKRD) of the Kaibab National Forest is hiring a GS 07/09 Assistant District Archaeologist. No prior government experience required. The position includes federal pay, full health insurance, retirement plans, and great personal and sick leave. This is a great opportunity for those archaeologists who want flex their Section 106 compliance skills AND Section 110 research. The NKRD supports research, publication, public outreach, presentations, and tribal collaborations. We work directly with the Hopi, Zuni, and Paiute to better understand traditional prospective and identify cultural significant/sacred sites. The NKRD manages Kanab Creek Wilderness (a major tributary of the Grand Canyon) and Saddle Mountain Wilderness (the north rim of the eastern Grand Canyon). Contact Michael Terlep, District Archaeologist. USDA National Forest Service | Learn More >>
Job Opportunity, Research Specialist, Arizona State Museum, Tucson AZ
The Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona is in search of a Research Specialist (Cultural Institutions Compliance Professional II). The Research Specialist position is a 1.0 full-time equivalency (FTE) university staff position within the Collections Division of the Arizona State Museum (ASM), University of Arizona (UA), reporting to the Archaeological Records Office (ARO) manager. The position assists in the administration and implementation of the Arizona Antiquities Act (AAA; A.R.S. 41-841 et seq.). The incumbent will perform duties required by the ARO in fulfillment of ASM’s state-mandated policies and responsibilities and management of both paper and digital collections submitted to ASM. Arizona State Museum | Learn More >>
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.