Anyone know what a darning needle is? How about a darning egg?
Given that I’m supposed to be writing about Preservation Archaeology, I’ll start by making the point that both are items of material culture. Which is the stuff archaeologists study.
For me, they are the items from my youth that popped into my mind as I was reading about “fast fashion.” A chapter in the book Regeneration, Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, by Paul Hawken, notes that the apparel and footwear industry is responsible for roughly 8 percent of global carbon emissions. And a lot of that is due to wasteful practices.
When I was a kid, I couldn’t have been much farther away from fast fashion. When I wore a hole in the heel of my sock, that sock was washed and tucked into my mother’s sewing basket. At least once a month, the darning needle came out and the sock was mended and put back into use.
Definitely not fast fashion.
Material culture sidebar: A darning needle is an extra-large needle with a large eye so that yarn can be threaded through it. The darning egg that was part of my mother’s toolkit was a very large porcelain object shaped like an egg. It had been given to her by her mother. Mom simply inserted it into the sock to “stabilize” the hole and its edges while the darning took place.
In my life, these are objects from a distant past. But they serve as measures of changes that have not been healthy for our planet—processes of degeneration. Hawken’s book is about the many ways we can shift from practices of degeneration to regeneration.
Last week I shared a story of our visit to a regenerative farm located just west of Gila Bend. This week’s book offers 96 brief chapters that not only illuminate the need for regeneration, but also offer paths to get there. You can preview the book here, and you can also access the massive online bibliography that supplements the diverse chapters.
Regeneration offers an exciting motivator that I had overlooked in my fairly extensive reading about the climate crisis. On page 9, Hawken shares the insight from climate researcher Dr. Joeri Rogelj that if we can reach net zero carbon emissions, “the climate will stabilize within a decade or two.” That’s an optimistic shift from the previous scientific message that predicted decades of continued heating even after net zero carbon emissions were achieved.
To know that achieving net zero could initiate global climate healing is inspiring.
There’s lots to inspire in Hawken’s book—check it out and let me know what you think!
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
P.S. Thank you to everyone who contributed recently to support Preservation Archaeology Today! We see you and are truly grateful.
P.P.S. 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.
Banner image: Reflection on Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah, March 2020. Image: Roy Goldsberry via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
Continuing Coverage: Lake Powell’s Lowering Reveals More Cultural Sites
Humans have hunted, farmed and lived in Glen Canyon for millennia, building multistory cliff dwellings, crafting intricate petroglyph and pictograph panels, and leaving the remains of irrigation systems. … The population of much of southeast Utah was once higher than it is today, said Erik Stanfield, an anthropologist for the Navajo Nation Heritage and Historic Preservation Department. “These landscapes were populated, active,” Stanfield said. “You would have looked out across the landscape and seen little fires and villages and people moving around.” As Lake Powell has dropped to its lowest level since it was first filled in the 1960s, more cultural sites have been revealed, presenting new challenges to land managers as well as opportunities for new archaeological research. Zak Podmore in the Salt Lake Tribune | Read More »
REMINDER: TODAY, Oct. 26 Webinar: A Snapshot of Current Archeological Research at Glen Canyon
With Amy Schott. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has been home to various human groups for thousands of years, resulting in a complex and diverse archeological record. Park lead archeologist Amy Schott will discuss how she protects vast resources in the face of increasing visitation levels, changes to visitor demographics, climate change, lowering lake reservoir levels and geomorphic changes. Utah State Historic Preservation Office | More Information and Free Registration >>
Publication Announcement: Archaeology and Social Justice in Native America
Nicholas C. Laluk, Lindsay M. Montgomery, Rebecca Tsosie, Christine McCleave, Rose Miron, Stephanie Russo Carroll, Joseph Aguilar, Ashleigh Big Wolf Thompson, Peter Nelson, Jun Sunseri, Isabel Trujillo, GeorgeAnn M. DeAntoni, Greg Castro, and Tsim D. Schneider (2022). Archaeology and Social Justice in Native America. American Antiquity, 87(4), 659–682. doi:10.1017/aaq.2022.59. Read Now (open access) »
Commentary: Decolonizing Conservation
Two archaeologists reflect on how social hierarchies harm biodiversity and how to move away from conservation efforts based on colonialist values. John Millhauser and Timothy Earle in SAPIENS | Read More »
Commentary: Unfencing Preservation Archaeology
We think heritage places deserve attention well beyond their long service as sources of research data or destinations for heritage tourism. These ideas, branded as Preservation Archaeology, drive Archaeology Southwest’s mission to respect and conserve heritage places as embodiments of diverse values and as contexts for building relationships across generations, cultures, political divides, and academic disciplines. Preservation Archaeology is never far from our minds, and its promise to stimulate engagements with Tribal communities popped up as we read Hester Dillon’s (Cherokee Nation) compelling recent guide, “Unfencing the Future: Voices On How Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People and Organizations Can Work Together Toward Environmental and Conservation Goals.” Dillon shows how diverse organizations are finding creative ways to dismember counter-productive Indigenous/non-Indigenous partitions and how this de-partitioning opens new opportunities for addressing environmental issues, especially the swiftly unfolding climate and biodiversity crises. John R. Welch, Skylar Begay, Ashleigh Thompson, Brian Williams, and Bill Doelle at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest) | Read More »
Report: Showcasing Black History on Public Lands
As public lands policymakers and conservation professionals seek a more inclusive and equitable public lands experience throughout our nation’s parks and lands, there is an acknowledgment that the communities currently underserved need to be at the table for decision-making. To that end, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment undertook an initiative with Black church leaders to bring forth their perspectives, opinions and concerns regarding public lands. This report, which outlines Black church leader views of public land, seeks to enhance, not supplant, the equity and inclusion work already being done by centering the voice of the Black community in the conversation. National Religious Partnership for the Environment | Read the Report (opens as a PDF) »
Cultural Landscapes of the Great Bend
Where the Gila River sharply elbows past basaltic mountains and extinct volcanoes, the land is like a dry parchment that has been written on by the forebears of 13 tribal nations. … “Our ancestors’ spirits are here, most definitely,” says 23-year-old Quechan Zion White, who wants to prevent desecration on his ancestral lands. Dyana Z. Furmansky in the Desert Leaf | Read More (opens in an e-reader flip format) »
Honoring Mesa Verde National Park’s Indigenous Workers
Mesa Verde National Park recently unveiled two posters to honor the contributions of Native American workers at the park. The posters were presented during the Pecos Archaeological Conference held in August on Rowe Mesa south of Pecos, New Mexico. One poster honors Navajo/Diné day laborers who have played a pivotal role in the construction of entrance roads, drainage structures and housing at the park since 1913, according to a Facebook post by park archaeologist Karen B. Supak. Jim Mimiaga in The Journal | Read More »
Phoenix Mayor Appoints City’s First Official Historian
Because Phoenix is so much younger than major cities east of us, it’s sometimes easy to forget how much fascinating history we have. Valley native Schumacher, a hobbyist turned semi-professional Phoenix historian, has spent the past 10 years trying to remind us through public speaking events. Now he has a formal title and a call to continue his mission. Jessica Boehm for Axios Phoenix | Read More »
Editors’ note: The piece uses the unfortunate and inaccurate phrase “after it was abandoned by the Hohokam people.” The ancestors of today’s O’odham peoples did not abandon the region; they created the Hohokam archaeological pattern, and then they lived in ways that created other material patterns. Their descendants are still here!
Podcast: The Overturning of Roe v. Wade and American Archaeology
Join Chelsi, Emily, and Kirsten as they discuss the effects of this U.S. Supreme Court decision on American archaeology. The episode covers the history of abortion and contraception, why both became illegal in the U.S. in the 19th century (related, of course, to women’s suffrage movements), and how the decision will affect female and LGBTQ+ archaeologists today. Women in Archaeology | Listen Now »
October Subscription Lectures (In Person, Santa Fe)
Oct. 31, Rick Hendricks, Printer’s Ink & Bloodstains: A Murderous Newspaperman in 19th Century New Mexico. Southwest Seminars | Learn More »
REMINDER: Oct. 27 Webinar: Paint Technology in the Chaco World
With Kelsey Hanson. Paint is one of the oldest known human technologies, yet it remains underrepresented in archaeological discourse. Making paint requires intimate knowledge of geologic sources, processing requirements, and application techniques. In the contemporary Pueblo World, paint is an especially important element of performance regalia, communicating important knowledge, directional symbolism, and more. In this talk, Kelsey E. Hanson will contextualize paint as a technology and illustrate its significance in performances in the Chaco World of the northern U.S. Southwest. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and the Four Corners Lecture Series | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Oct. 29 In-Person Event (near Searchlight NV): Stargazing in Avi Kwa Ame
Join the Avi Kwa Ame coalition and Sierra Club for a crisp fall night in the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument site on Saturday, October 29, starting at 7:00 p.m. First, join us for a conversation about the Avi Kwa Ame Monument site and celebrate the Joshua Trees and 31 other protected species of plants and animals in the area. Then learn about the Dark Night Skies with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society + NASA Solar System Ambassadors. Avi Kwa Ame coalition and Sierra Club | Learn More »
REMINDER: Nov. 1 Webinar: Revitalizing Cultural Lifestyle through Archeological Preservation
Kevin Cooeyate (ALCC Zuni) and James Othole (ALCC Zuni) will discuss “Revitalizing Cultural Lifestyle through Archeological Preservation.” Reconnecting indigenous young adults to ancestral lifeways through the service work of the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps Program. Leading their Nations back to ecological and cultural well-being. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | More Information and Zoom Registration »
Nov. 2 In-Person Event (Coolidge AZ): O’odham Relations to Casa Grande Ruins
Leland Thomas, Tohono O’odham/Akimel O’odham, is a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. He is an Assistant Curator/Exhibits Project Manager at the Huhugam Heritage Center on the Gila River Indian Community. Leland has worked in collections management, cultural education, exhibition design and development, and museum interpreter. For many years he has been continuously working in the field of cultural preservation within museum programs. His previous experience includes working at the Casa Grande Museum as a Cultural Exhibit Consultant, Amerind Foundation as a Collections Management Assistant, G.R.I.C. Cultural Resources Management Program as Laboratory Aide and the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument as an Interpretive Ranger. Leland will be sharing the cultural perspective of the Casa Grande Ruins. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument | Learn More »
Reminder: Nov. 11–12 NMAC Conference
The 2022 NMAC Fall Conference is less than one month away! The conference will be held on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at the Hibben Center on the UNM Campus. The Keynote Presentation will be Friday night, November 11th, in the Anthropology Building. Dr. Timothy E. Nelson will be presenting a talk entitled The Significance of Blackdom in New Mexico’s History. The keynote is a free event and open to the public. New Mexico Archaeological Council | Learn More »
Nov. 13 In-Person Event (Tucson AZ): O’odham Pottery Firing Demonstration
How did the Hohokam fire their pottery vessels? Tohono O’odham potter Dr. Reuben Naranjo will demonstrate how he makes and fires his unique pottery, using methods he learned from tribal elders in Arizona and Mexico. Attendees may have the opportunity to purchase one of the fired vessels. Ticket fees apply; preregistration required. Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum | Learn More »
Position Announcement: Digital Outreach Coordinator
The Archaeological Conservancy is seeking a new Digital Outreach Coordinator to manage our educational outreach program and maintain our website and social media platforms. The Archaeological Conservancy | Learn More »