I am blessed to work with an incredible staff at Archaeology Southwest. They are super-smart, they are very good at what they do, and I learn a great deal from interacting with and just listening to them.
This week a number of us have been kicking around a tough problem. Stewing, overthinking, getting lost in the weeds.
We were developing multiple complicated strategies. But they all seemed distant and laden with uncertainties and risks.
Then, one wonderful staff member spoke up: “Sometimes I think the most important thing is to reach out and talk to people—the people who can help solve the problem.”
Profoundly practical advice!
It didn’t solve the problem—yet. But it shifted the frame of reference and helped us move from inaction to action.
We still have a long way to go. But we’re moving.
Hope you are finding your way through any obstacles these days—or at least staying cool,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
P.S. As the fire in the San Francisco Peaks spreads, our friends at the Museum of Northern Arizona shared this 2019 work by Duane Koyawena (Hopi) on social media. In his words, the painting “commemorate(s) all those first responders, fire fighters and hot shots who continue to serve and protect on the ground.”
Banner image: National Park Service
Ceremonial Items Returned to Yaqui Community after Nearly a Century in Sweden
One of those items is the sacred Maaso Koba, a ceremonial deer head. The dancer who wears it becomes the sacred deer and can travel from the physical world to the spiritual world of their ancestors, the Yaqui believe. Yaqui and Mexican officials have been working for two decades to have the artifacts returned. “To us in ceremony for hundreds and thousands of years, (there is) the gravity of the deer dance—the Maaso dance—which contains the deer head—the Maaso Koba,” said Pascua Yaqui tribal Chairman Peter Yucupicio. “And he’s the only being that can be here in this world, which is the material world, and can travel to the spirit world, which is called the ‘Sewa Ania’ in Yaqui, and visit our ancestors.” Bianca Morales in the Tucson Sentinel | Read More >>
Mesa Verde National Park Receives History Colorado Grant to Continue Interpretive Film Project
This grant will continue the work started by a previous SHF grant to complete post-production on a new interpretive film for Mesa Verde National Park. The film will provide an overview of the park that shares its significance primarily from the perspectives of tribal community members. The film also includes historic, archeological, and ancestral sites, cultural items, and creates an understanding of the importance of preserving this piece of history. History Colorado (press release) | Read More >>
Continuing Coverage: Land Acquisition near Mount Taylor
The property includes sites that are sacred to several New Mexico tribes and Pueblos including Navajo Nation and the Pueblos of Laguna, Acoma and Zuni, including about 1,000 archaeological sites. … In a press release announcing the acquisition, Theresa Pasqual, program director for the Pueblo of Acoma, spoke about her people’s connection to Mount Taylor. “It’s significant to Acoma in terms of how we orient ourselves to the landscape,” she said. “This particular mountain is associated with the cardinal direction of north, and there is associated religious and cultural significance tied to it. … “The purchase and protection of the L Bar property represent the potential for younger generations of Acoma children who have never seen those lands to now have a chance to get reacquainted with them,” Pasqual said. Hannah Grover in the NM Political Report | Read More >>
Continuing Coverage: Interior Launches Indian Youth Service Corps
This program—which was created through the John S. McCain III 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act—is modeled after other successful programs like the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps. The Department of the Interior is providing $2 million to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, $700,000 to the National Park Service and $600,000 to the Bureau of Reclamation to establish this program. Its goal is to provide opportunities for Native Americans ages 16 to 30 to gain work experience in the natural resources field while also preserving traditional practices of land stewardship and creating awareness of Indigenous culture and history. Hannah Grover in the NM Political Report | Read More >>
Profile of Tribal Outreach Fellow Skylar Begay
Begay, who is Navajo, said the Great Bend of the Gila remains important to 13 tribes including Tohono O’Odham, Gila River, Ak Chin, Zuni, Hopi and three Apache tribes. He said most tribes want continued access to the Great Bend of the Gila, while some are concerned about non-natives coming to the site, especially if they are going to cause damage. “It’s an honor for me to learn about this importance for fellow indigenous nations. It’s deeply spiritual,” he said. Stan Bindell for the Navajo-Hopi Observer | Read More >>
Hundreds of Miles Added to the National Trails System
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the designations in celebration of Great Outdoors Month and National Trails Day on June 4. National recreation trails are jointly overseen by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, often alongside federal and nonprofit partners. Unlike national parks, trails can be designated by either the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture on existing local or regional trails. National recreation trails are managed locally but “recognized for their contribution to the Nation’s system of public trail access and outdoor enjoyment,” according to NPS. Addy Bink for Nexstar in The Hill | Read More >>
2023 Southwest Symposium Call for Posters EXTENDED to August 1, 2022
We already have a great lineup of organized sessions planned for the conference and at this time would like to initiate an open call for poster submissions related to the conference theme: Attributes to Networks: Multi-scalar Perspectives on Understanding the Past in the Southwest US and Northwest Mexico. The 2023 symposium will highlight alternative approaches to interpreting the archaeological record of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico at multiple scales. Potential poster topics might include material analyses of technology and production; the materiality of belief; studies of households and communities; place, space, and landscapes; trade and exchange; inter-regional social networks; or interpretations of big data. We strongly encourage poster submissions that highlight research that engages descendant community consultation and collaboration. The Southwest Symposium Archaeological Conference | Learn More >>
Call for Papers: KIVA, the Journal of Southwestern Anthropology and History
The premier professional journal devoted to the anthropology of the Greater Southwest is inviting submissions. Produced since 1935 by the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society, the journal publishes peer-reviewed articles focused on the greater U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest aimed at professional and well-informed lay audiences. Topics cover a broad range in Anthropology and History ranging from topics such as Paleoindian subsistence strategies to Archaic period agricultural origins to dendrochronological analysis of an early 20th-century homestead to late 20th-century Native American boarding school life (and everything in between). KIVA also publishes guest-edited thematic issues (typically around 5 articles) approximately once a year. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | Learn More >>
Call for Papers: Advances in Archaeological Practice: Archaeology as Service
The goal of this theme issue is to illustrate how archaeology can serve people today and in the future. How is archaeology as service practiced in communities around the world? What approaches are used? We want to explore when archaeology serves as part of larger planning projects, when it is community-driven, or when the archaeologists themselves are from the communities they seek to serve. Such approaches are providing exciting directions for the field, as seen in Indigenous and Black Feminist archaeologies. Advances in Archaeological Practice | Learn More >>
Dispatches from the Preservation Archaeology Field School
Charles Hemphill (Eastern Arizona College and University of Arizona), A (Long, Hot, Summer) Day in the Life >>
Emily Barrick (Pima Community College), Doing It Awl >>
In-Person Events with the Preservation Archaeology Field School (Cliff NM)
TODAY, June 15: Ashleigh Thompson, Save History: The Importance of Protecting Archaeological Sites from Looting and Vandalism >>
June 20: Ben Pelletier, Migration, Exchange, and the Movement of Redware Technology >>
June 25: 2022 Student Archaeology Fair >>
Old Pueblo Archaeology Bulletin No. 88: T Doors in the Southwest
This issue’s lead article, “T Doors in the Southwest: How I Came to See a Mesoamerican Connection,” was submitted by Marc Callis, who describes himself as “author, tour guide, teacher, lecturer, archaeologist—in other words, a full-fledged participant in the modern academic gig economy!” Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Download PDF >>
Podcast: Protecting Culturally Significant Plants
Dawn Davis of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall, Idaho, studies the sustainability of ethno-significant plants. Her work is trying to deter people from harming culturally important plants by helping others understand the impacts on plant populations and the Indigenous cultures that have had direct relationships for thousands of years. Here, Science Moab speaks with Dawn about Peyote, a traditional medicine and important cultural plant found only in the Southwest United States. We speak about how peyote is threatened and how she and others are working with land owners, Native communities, and scientists to maintain this important species. Science Moab | Listen Now >>
June 21–22 Summer Solstice Events (In-Person, Nageezi NM): Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Listening to voices from people who have cultural and familial ties to Chaco Canyon is what we are featuring this year. We will be doing the Summer Solstice Sunrise program on Wednesday, June 22nd this year. This will be open to the first 100 people, with the gates opening at 5:00 a.m. and the sunrise occurring at 5:55 a.m. Please be in your vehicle and waiting in the visitor center parking lot by 5:00 a.m. if you would like to participate. We are also excited to feature various programs on June 21st & 22nd. This includes Park Ranger programs and guest speakers.
June 21 events >>
June 22 events >>
June 23–25 Event (Online and In-Person, Topawa AZ): Southwest Native Foodways Gathering at Himdag Ki:
During this event, indigenous peoples from the north and south are coming together to share their knowledge around food. Join us! In-person Event: Registration for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in-person will happen when you arrive at Himdag-Ki in Topawa, AZ. Space is limited for the in-person participation. Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture | Learn More >>
June 23 Webinar: Bears Ears National Monument: Digital Documentation and Virtual Guided Tours
With Jared Lundell and Whitney Peterson. In 2021, The Bureau of Land Management-Utah and the Bay Area non-profit organization, CyArk, collaborated to create virtual guided tours of two ancestral sites at Bears Ears. CyArk produced the virtual guided tours utilizing techniques in 3D digital documentation to create highly accurate 3D models of the sites. In the virtual experience, the Bureau of Land Management’s Shirley Cloud-Lane guides visitors through both sites, allowing audiences to engage with the storied significance and history of the Bears Ears landscape. This project is the first of an ongoing collaboration to create a series of virtual guided tours that amplify the diversity of descendant communities’ histories and connection with the landscape and promote respectful engagement with cultural heritage at Bears Ears National Monument. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and partners | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
June 23 Webinar: Conservation Legacy Opportunity Showcase
Conservation Legacy focuses on local impact—engaging youth, young adults and veterans in conservation and service programs. We function as a supportive and inclusive community of programs nationwide that offer entry-level, paid opportunities for work, training, and professional development, offering a pathway for individuals from all backgrounds to grow their career. Join a crew in the field, mentor as a leader, develop as an individual placement intern, or drive the work forward as part of our staff. Positions are available nationwide for the upcoming season and opportunities are plentiful. Conservation Legacy | Learn More >>
June Subscription Lectures (In-Person, Santa Fe)
June 20, David Grant Noble, Vietnam Passages, 1962–1963. June 27 (new date), Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, Women of Bears Ears. Southwest Seminars | 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.