I was up half an hour earlier than usual Monday morning. As a result, I had to strap on my headlamp to safely reach my office in our side yard for my 20 minutes on the elliptical. As I opened the gate, my light illuminated a nascent spider web. The small spider glowed in the light, but the web caught my eye. The threads the spider was weaving to link the wide-spaced spokes were incredibly close—delicate, and very beautiful.
After my workout, I checked again. The spider had been working out, too. Good progress made. Elegant still in the light of my headlamp.
Before I headed to my car, about half an hour after sunrise, I took another look. Although the web was invisible in the daylight, the spider was clearly still working. Cool!
Monday evening, after dark, I grabbed the headlamp to visit the spider and its workings. Oh no! Multiple large holes had damaged the “perfection in progress” I’d witnessed that morning.
What’s the spider’s next move? I wondered.
There was heavy rain and wind again that night. On Tuesday morning, my headlamp showed devastation. But there was the spider, at the center of an asymmetrical set of widely spaced remnants of its once beautifully appointed, clearly fragile web, seemingly ready to resume work.
This microcosm of “disaster” recalls the daily headlines. Burning here, flooding there, and drought in many other places—and I don’t write that flippantly. I just read Carina Dominguez’s article in ICT about serious impacts to O’odham baidaj (saguaro fruit) harvesting here in the Sonoran Desert. Climate change is at work on a global scale. And we humans need to respond on a global scale. The spider is merely an illustration of how “apparent perfection” can be diminished in a very short time.
Congress is moving toward action. Thank goodness.
There is much work to do. I hope my spider will regroup. I know it’s the way of things that it will, for now. It’s essential that we, the global human family, commit to the same repair and recovery.
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
P.S. Update, Tuesday, 9:00 p.m.: My headlamp just revealed a resilient spider, web rebuilt. It’s smaller (about 40% of the original), and it still has some ragged holes, but it shows a clear commitment to keep on keepin’ on.
Unfencing Conservation (and the Future)
[Hester] Dillon, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, talked with us about her new report, “Unfencing the Future: Voices On How Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People and Organizations Can Work Together Toward Environmental and Conservation Goals,” which offers powerful reflections on relationship-building among conservation and philanthropic organizations and Tribes and Indigenous communities to move toward shared stewardship goals. … “My mother tells a story that, while [my grandfather] was a student, he was presented with this question on an exam: What was the most defining feature of the American West? He wrote a single word on the page, ‘fences,’ and turned in his exam. Reportedly, he received an A.” Andrea Keller Helsel and Hester Dillon for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation | Learn More >>
Continuing Coverage: New Report Urges Heritage Protection, Leasing Reforms
“To honor and protect our diverse and shared heritage, America’s national parks and monuments must be preserved and protected to the maximum extent possible. But the presence of oil and gas development on their doorstep is a stark threat to their long-term protection,” the report states. Paul Reed, a preservation archaeologist with Archaeology Southwest, said the report is intended to give President Joe Biden’s administration input about management of sites. The groups chose five locations to focus on. In addition to Chaco, the report outlines how extraction is impacting Hovenweep National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, Dinosaur National Monument and Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Hannah Grover for the NM Political Report | Read More >>
ICYMI: Watch Paul Reed’s interview with Kyle Clark at Next 9NEWS, Denver’s NBC affiliate >>
Centering Native Perspectives at Grand Canyon National Park
The most impactful visitor education comes firsthand from Native peoples. That’s why hiring Native interpreters, law enforcement officers, cultural resource staff, and managers is critical to address economic, educational, and stewardship change at the park. The Grand Canyon Trust is working to advance hiring reform that will allow the park to directly hire from all 11 associated tribes for jobs at all levels of park management. This would mean members of those tribes would not have to compete for jobs through the traditional, cumbersome federal hiring process. This will likely require federal legislation, but reform of this nature could be replicated across the country. Amanda Podmore for the Grand Canyon Trust | Read More >>
Pueblo Independence Day to Be Celebrated at Jemez Historic Site
New Mexico Historic Sites is delighted to announce the return of Pueblo Independence Day to Jemez Historic Site (JHS) on August 14. Starting at 10 a.m., the site will welcome visitors for the first time in two years to enjoy traditional Native American dances from Jemez Pueblo dancers, tour the ancestral ruins of Giusewa Pueblo and San Jose Mission, shop arts and crafts, and grab a bite to eat. “We are very excited to once again welcome the public to Pueblo Independence Day,” said Adrienne Boggs, interim regional manager of Jemez and Coronado Historic Sites. “Jemez Historic Site is the location of the Giusewa Pueblo, which was built by the ancestors of the present-day Jemez people. We cherish the opportunity to partner with Jemez Pueblo on this special event every year, and to celebrate the contributions and achievements of all Pueblo people.” New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (press release) | Learn More >>
Former Forest Service Supervisor: “My integrity or my job”
But [former supervisor Laura Jo] West’s approach of elevating tribal consultation soon caught the attention of Mountain Capital Partners (MCP), which owns Snowbowl. She said her refusal to offer a definite timeline was unacceptable to MCP and Snowbowl executives. “I told them it could take at least a year and a half, maybe even two, to get a new MOA down because we’re opening up a conversation with tribes,” she said. “They said, ‘No, it only takes three months.’” Sean Golightly in the Arizona Daily Sun | Read More >>
Continuing Coverage: “Grounded in Clay” Exhibition
“Grounded in Clay” shifts traditional curatorial models by combining individual voices from the Native communities where the pots were made. “The pueblos are not a monolith,” said Elysia Poon, Indian Arts Research Director. “Within each community, there are both individual and shared experiences. In many cases, the curators picked pots that weren’t even from their own community. It resulted in a much more complex and rich mixture than we imagined. There is no single curatorial voice.” Kathaleen Roberts in the Albuquerque Journal | Read More >>
Publication Announcement: Semiferal Animal Husbandry in Spanish Colonial AZ
Mathwich, N. (2022). Range Limits: Semiferal Animal Husbandry in Spanish Colonial Arizona. American Antiquity, 1–19. Read Now >>
Blog: How to $ave Your Per Diem and Eat Well in the Field
Dr. Bill White shares his insights in a post at Succinct Research | Read More >>
August Subscription Lectures (In Person, Santa Fe)
Aug. 15, Brian Vallo, Importance and Influence of Indigenous Knowledge; Aug. 29, Nicolasa Chavez, Growing Up Coyota: Castas in New Mexico. Southwest Seminars | Learn More >>
Aug. 11 Webinar: Practicing Place-Based Experiential Learning in Public Archaeology
With Josie Chang-Order and Elaine Franklin. If the task of an educator is to help students develop a solid concept of self and an understanding of, and appreciation for, history and culture, place must become more than a learning backdrop. A place-based, experiential learning (PBEL) framework is helpful to K-12 educators who work with students from a variety of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds across a range of geographic locations and educational settings. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and the National Endowment for the Humanities | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Aug. 24 Webinar (Monthly Series): Fieldwork While Female
With Dr. Bonnie Pitblado. Join us on Zoom for the first event in our free “Fieldwork While Female” speaker series. Hear from Pitblado about her research and experiences as a woman in science. Dr. Pitblado is an archaeologist with interests in the initial peopling of the Western Hemisphere more than 13,000 years ago, and particularly in the earliest human use of the Rocky Mountains. She has spent 25 years exploring when, why and how indigenous people began using the high-altitude environments of the Rockies, and is both passionate about, and committed to community-engaged archaeology. Sam Noble Museum (University of Oklahoma) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Aug. 25 Webinar: Past Meets Present: A Conversation between Two Mesa Verde Superintendents
With Kayci Cook-Collins and Joe Sindelar. What if Jesse Nusbaum, one of Mesa Verde’s early superintendents could see the park today? Nusbaum served as superintendent several times in the early years of the park. He planned and supervised the development of the Chapin Mesa Historic District, including the Headquarters Building, Chief Rangers Office, and Chapin Mesa Museum. He also worked to enforce and to educate the public about the 1906 Antiquities Act, which created federal protection for archaeological resources such as those in Mesa Verde. What if Jesse and Kayci, the current superintendent) could have a chat? Join “Jesse” (character played by Joe Sindelar) and Kayci as they ponder the challenges and rewards of managing a world-class archaeological park. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Sept. 10–11 Tour: Homol’ovi and Rock Art Ranch Pueblos and Petroglyphs
With Rich Lange. The tour visits post-1200 ancestral Hopi pueblos where Chuck Adams and Lange directed the Arizona State Museum’s 1983–2016 Homol’ovi Research Program, a Basketmaker II (500–850 CE) to Pueblo II/III (1150–1225) village site, and the Rock Art Ranch petroglyphs in Chevelon Canyon. Reservations and $99 donation prepayment due by 5:00 p.m. Sept. 2. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn More >>
Sept. 12–Nov. 28 Weekly Online Course: An Overview of Mississippian Archaeology
With Jay Franklin. Mondays. The Mississippian cultures flourished in the Mississippi Valley and eastern US ca. 900-1600. Course topics include their characteristics and environments, important archaeological sites, arts and ceremonies, transition to Historic period lifeways, and comparisons with Hohokam/Salado archaeology. Reservations and $99 donation prepayment due by 5:00 p.m. Sept. 2. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn More >>
Sept. 14 Online Course: Indigenous Forms of Resistance and Revolt in Colonial Mexico
With Dr. Michael M. Brescia. Under Spanish colonialism in Mexico and what is now the US, Indigenous efforts to restore or revitalize cultural identity and promote economic security often conflicted with established political power, economic systems, and social norms. Reservations and $35 donation prepayment due by 5:00 p.m. Sept. 7. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn More >>
Sept. 15 Webinar: The Sinagua: Fact or Fiction?
With Peter Pilles. 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 series (Old Pueblo Archaeology Center) | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Sept. 19 Webinar: Re-viewing the Dishes: Considering the Place of Salado Polychrome Ceramics in the Phoenix Basin
With Caitlin Wichlacz. How were Salado polychrome (Roosevelt Red Ware) ceramics incorporated into Phoenix basin Hohokam ceramic assemblages during the late Classic period? Understanding the roles and relations of Salado pottery within local assemblages is important to building a better understanding of the social and material meanings of engagement with Salado ideas, objects, and practices. As simple as the idea may seem, situating Salado pottery in assemblage contexts proves to be quite challenging, and for a variety of surprising and illuminating reasons. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Editors’ Note: On Monday, we learned that New Mexico archaeologist Regge Wiseman (1947–2022) had passed away. If more information becomes available, we will share it here. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and many friends.
See you at Pecos this weekend! 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.