It’s actually enjoyable to work for an entire weekend when you are in the company of 10 bright and engaging colleagues and you can take breaks to commune with the Canyon Phoebes, Spotted Towhees, Red-Winged Blackbirds, and a leisurely grazing herd of deer.
It all happened last weekend when Archaeology Southwest’s Board of Directors met at the Amerind Foundation, 60 miles east of Tucson, for a strategic planning retreat.
Boards are very important components of nonprofit organizations. Due to COVID and the fact that our Board is much more nonlocal than local, we have worked together over Zoom for the past three years. It was truly wonderful to engage in person.
A major impetus for this meeting is the fact that I plan to step down from my leadership role at Archaeology Southwest next January.
Both staff and Board at Archaeology Southwest are working together to ensure success. As a founder of this wonderful organization, I am extremely proud of where we are today. A new leader will be well-positioned to carry our mission forward.
There’s still a lot on my agenda for this final year. But seeing how our Board is stepping up and our staff are deeply engaged gives me confidence in the outcome of this big transition.
I’ll provide updates from time to time as the months of 2023 fly by. We’re doing a national search, and we expect to release the job announcement in May.
Infinitely curious to see who is hired for what I have found to be the most wonderful job imaginable,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
P.S. from co-editor Kate: Here is an article from PBS NewsHour that lists vetted ways to help survivors of these horrific earthquakes, and here is a list from Charity Navigator. My colleague Jeff Clark and I each spent part of our early careers working in this region of southern Turkey and northwest Syria, and we benefitted, personally and professionally, from being guests there. We’ve been blessed with friendships that will never leave us, and our hearts are heavy. Thanks for donating if you can. I gave to Humanity & Inclusion, which has 100s of staff in the region and has already launched an emergency response. They will be working with people who require amputations and mobility aids, as well as offering rehabilitation and mental health services.
US Court Suspends Chaco-Area Drilling Permits
A federal appeals court has sided with environmentalists, ruling that the U.S. government failed to consider the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the approval of nearly 200 drilling permits in an area surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park. … In a ruling issued Wednesday, a three-judge panel for the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that federal land managers violated the law by not accounting for the direct, indirect and cumulative effects of air pollution from oil and gas drilling. The court also put on hold the approval of additional drilling permits pending a decision from a lower court. Susan Montoya Bryan for AP | Read more »
Tribal advocates and conservationists hailed the court’s decision as a victory in protecting the environment, public health and the region’s cultural sites, saying it could create a legal buttress in their battle against fossil fuel activity in the Chaco area. “Hopefully it’s an eye opening for the federal government that they really need to pay attention to what the local communities need and desire—and protecting the health and safety of the communities,” said Terry Sloan, director of Albuquerque-based Southwest Native Cultures. “Particularly protecting our sacred land, air and water.” Scott Wyland in the Santa Fe New Mexican | Read more »
As Lake Powell Recedes, Glen Canyon Emerges
At its low point last year, Lake Powell’s surface was only 32 feet above operating levels for Glen Canyon Dam’s hydropower intakes, reducing the dam’s power output by half. If reservoir levels fall as dramatically this year as they did last year, the hydropower system—which supplies seven states—will fail. If the reservoir can no longer release adequate amounts of water from the upper reaches of the Colorado, downstream water rights could be rendered meaningless. Craig Childs in High Country News | Read more »
Tribes Reclaim Their Right to Steward the Colorado River
[Nora] McDowell serves among the leaders of a coalition called the Water & Tribes Initiative. She and others have advocated for tribes to be included in regional Colorado River talks where they previously were largely excluded. “Hopefully, we will have a seat at the table,” McDowell said. “We should definitely be there. … The time has come where they have to change the way that they operate and maintain the river,” she said. Ian James in the Los Angeles Times | Read more »
Editors’ note: We recommend watching the video that accompanies this article.
What Does Tribal Co-Stewardship Mean?
Tribes across the country are seeking the return of lands that were illegally or forcibly taken by the United States. For some, co-management with federal agencies is a way to regain a measure of control of their ancestral lands and can be a first step toward the restitution and sovereignty sought by the LandBack movement. Given the declining budgets of federal agencies and tribes’ deep, place-based knowledge and growing governing capacity, co-stewardship can be a natural fit. “There really is an ongoing nationwide conversation right now about co-management,” Kevin Washburn (Chickasaw Nation), who was assistant secretary of Indian Affairs under Obama and worked on the Biden transition team, said in an interview. “I’m firmly convinced that tribes can run a lot of these units—parks and refuges—as well as or better than the federal government can.” Anna V. Smith in High Country News | Read more »
Call for Indigenous Artist
Save History is seeking an Indigenous artist (must be a U.S. citizen) to illustrate a short story in a graphic novel style. Save History is a collaborative effort by Tribal organizations, archaeologists, federal and Tribal law enforcement, and supporters dedicated to ending the theft and destruction of archaeological resources on Tribal and public lands. We share stories from Indigenous people on how looting and vandalism of heritage sites impacts their communities. Our team has written an anti-vandalism short story that needs to be illustrated. Save History will distribute the printed story to places where we educate the public about the impacts of archaeological resource crime (e.g., schools, museums, Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, etc.), as well as post it on our website and our online platforms. The artist will collaboratively work with the Save History team to illustrate four full-page images. This project can be done remotely, but the artist will need internet access in order to meet virtually with Save History staff. The budget is $2000 to be paid at the completion of the project. SaveHistory.org | Learn more »
Poem: Rock Drawings
A Tohono O’odham poet and linguist reflects on the stories and wisdom ancestors communicated—how people survived, how they dispersed and differentiated, how they remember. Ofelia Zepeda in SAPIENS | Read now »
Video: Preserving Historic Black Churches
Black churches have long been centerpieces of spirituality, community organizing and civil rights activism. Brent Leggs, who leads the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, joins The Post’s Robin Givhan to discuss a recent multi-million-dollar grant to preserve Black churches and better serve the needs of their communities. Washington Post Live | Watch now »
Podcast: Reconstructing Climates of the Past
With Kyle Bocinsky. There has been a long history of climate transitions in the southwest and the people who have lived in this region for tens of thousands of years have dealt with this climate change through time, especially with adaptations of their food systems. Bocinsky’s specialty is paleoclimate reconstruction, and specifically, looking at how past farmers responded to climate change and negotiated the social implications of climate change in their societies. We explore the adaptation techniques that humans have used in the past, and how we can use them to learn about our future. Science Moab | Listen now »
Blog: How Often Are Heritage Resource Crimes Prosecuted in AZ?
Our previous blog post, “Heritage Resource Looting and Vandalism in Arizona: How Serious is the Problem?”, estimates that at least 2,157 instances of looting and vandalism occurred in Arizona during the 13 years represented by the data above. The disparity between thousands of incidents and three guilty verdicts is both unsettling and worthy of further inquiry. Shannon Cowell, John R. Welch, and Randy Ream for SaveHistory.org| Read more »
Publication Announcement: Liberating Trails and Travel Routes
Chelsey Geralda Armstrong, Anne Spice, Mike Ridsdale, and John R. Welch, “Liberating trails and travel routes in Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Territories from the tyrannies of heritage resource management regimes,” American Anthropologist 01 February 2023. Read now (open access) »
Position Announcement: Director of Education, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center (Cortez CO)
Crow Canyon seeks a Director of Education to expand programs that are beneficial to Crow Canyon’s Indigenous partners and other stakeholders, that incorporate anti-bias anti-racist pedagogy, build cross-cultural competencies, and advance equity and social justice. We strongly welcome applicants who are from populations historically underrepresented in anthropology, archaeology, and education, and/or who have experience working with diverse populations. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn more »
Position Announcement: Director of Development (Tucson AZ)
Reporting to the President & CEO, the Director of Development serves as a key leadership team member and is an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting Archaeology Southwest. In partnership with the President & CEO, this position is responsible for all fundraising and development activities. The successful candidate will help forge new relationships to build Archaeology Southwest’s visibility, impact, and financial resources. Archaeology Southwest | Learn more »
Call for Applicants: 2023 UNM Southwestern Archaeology Field School
This summer’s field session will take place on both the Jemez Ranger District near Jemez Springs, New Mexico and the Sandia Ranger District near Tijeras, New Mexico. Students will gain essential hands-on training in archaeological field skills, including survey, site recording, manual and digital mapping, and artifact analysis. Sites include large pueblos dating from A.D 1325 to 1650, Ancestral Pueblo field houses, and artifact scatters. Students will stay in Albuquerque and are responsible for their own food and housing. Please see the application form for additional details related to course registration, fees, and scheduling. University of New Mexico | Learn more »
February Subscription Lectures (Santa Fe NM)
Feb. 13, Nicolasa Chavez, History of Chocolate; Feb. 20, Aulton E. ‘Bob’ Roland, The True Story of Placida Romero; Feb. 27, Rob Weiner and Taft Blackhorse Jr., Roads and Power in the Chaco World. Southwest Seminars | Learn more »
REMINDER: February In-Person (AZ) and Online Presentations on Southwestern Rock Imagery
Archaeologist Allen Dart presents “Set in Stone but Not in Meaning: Southwestern Indian Rock Art” at 1:00 p.m. February 8 (free, Fountain Hills Community Center, 13001 N La Montana Dr, Fountain Hills AZ; email Mary Burritt at firstname.lastname@example.org); at 12:00 p.m. February 9 (free, The Palace, 116 N Railroad Ave, Willcox AZ; email Gary Clement at email@example.com); and again at 10:00 a.m. MST February 11 ($5, online, Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation; email Sandy Reith, Sandy.Reith@pima.gov). His talk illustrates southwestern petroglyphs and pictographs and discusses their interpretations. Arizona Humanities | Learn more »
REMINDER: Feb. 9 Online Event: The Pueblo of Acoma’s Cultural Inheritance & Archaeological Partnership in the “Lands Between” of Southeastern Utah
With Sam Duwe, Kenny Wintch, and Kurt Riley. Amidst the pandemic we (a small group of individuals from the Pueblo of Acoma, academics, and a non-profit) planned and gathered in southeastern Utah to begin a project to explore and strengthen Acoma’s deep and inalienable connections to the north. We soon found that the process of building meaningful and long-lasting partnerships was as important, if not more so, than the work itself. This talk details our next steps in a community-based partnership: that of facilitating Acoma’s pilgrimage to their ancestral homes and to work with archaeologists and land managers to ensure continued access and protection of Acoma’s cultural inheritance. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn more and register (free) »
Feb. 15 Online Event: Was There a Turquoise Trail?
With Alyson Thibodeau. Turquoise is an iconic mineral of the American Southwest, where it is found in relative abundance and has been mined and used by humans for millennia. This presentation will consider what the archaeological record can tell us about mining, procurement, and exchange of turquoise by ancient peoples living in the Southwest and how geochemical measurements provide new insights into the sources of turquoise artifacts. Special attention will be given to the turquoise mines of the Cerrillos Hills, New Mexico and to the question of whether turquoise from the Southwest was traded to Mesoamerica. Arizona State Museum and Friends of the ASM Collections | Learn more and register (free) »
REMINDER: Feb. 16 Online Event: Footsteps into the Past at White Sands National Park
With Matthew Bennett. The discovery of human footprints at White Sands National Park has opened up a new archive of evidence on past behaviors and human presence. In this talk, Dr. Bennett will review some of this new evidence and create “snap-shot” into the past and discuss the controversial dating of these footprints before exploring their potential implications for the peopling of the Americas. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn more and register (free) »
REMINDER: Feb. 16 Online Event: 100 Years-Plus of Prescott Culture Archaeology
With Andrew Christenson. He reviews archaeological research on post-1100 sites in the Prescott area of west-central Arizona and discusses collections from Fitzmaurice Pueblo, where discoveries on room floors tell much about life there before its residents purposely closed the village upon leaving. Third Thursday Food for Thought series (Old Pueblo Archaeology Center) | Learn more and register (free) »
Feb. 23 Online Event: Horses and Humans in the Early Historic North American West
With Emily Jones. In the centuries following Spanish colonization of the Americas, domestic horses revolutionized the world of the North American West, giving rise to the great horse cultures of the plains and deserts and forming the backbone of economically, politically, and militarily dominant Indigenous empires during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. However, how this process unfolded remains contested, with academics and Indigenous researchers often holding very different perspectives. In this webinar, Dr. Jones will discuss new results from the Horses and Human Societies in the North American West project, an initiative to integrate data from archaeological horse remains (radiocarbon dating, ancient DNA, stable isotopes, and ZooMS) with historical narratives and Indigenous knowledge to develop an interpretative framework for the dispersal of domestic horses across North America. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn more and register (free) »
Feb. 25 In-Person (Tucson AZ) and Online Event: Levi’s and Lace: AZ Women Who Made History
With Jan Cleere. Cleere brings her exceptional skills in research and writing to her book, Levi’s and Lace, in which she presents more than 35 heroic women. From teachers to entrepreneurs to artists to healers, Jan provides informative text that highlights historic Hispanic, African American, Native American and Anglo women who made their mark on the intriguing history of Arizona. $5 registration fee. Salon & Saloon (Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum) | Learn more »
March 18 In-Person Event (Tucson AZ): How Did People Make and Use Atlatls?
With ancient technologies expert Allen Denoyer. You will make a replica atlatl and an expedient dart in this class. Hunters in the distant past used the atlatl to propel the dart and shaft. Our atlatls will be made of oak, using archaeological examples from the Southwest. The darts will be simple so that participants have a dart to shoot when they leave the class. For the most part, participants will use stone tools, though we may employ modern hand tools in the interest of timeliness. This class will require lots of hands-on carving work, making it hard on the hands. Please bring work gloves. This class will be an all-day workshop with a midday lunch break. $75 nonmembers. Hands-On Archaeology (Archaeology Southwest) | 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.