I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day, a good day to celebrate relationships.
At Archaeology Southwest, we’re now officially highlighting a prolific friendship and helping to extend its legacy into the future.
Over a decade apart, two important archaeological “Davids” passed away: David A. Gregory on June 13, 2010, and David R. Wilcox on May 27, 2022.
There is ample evidence of the impact of their research across numerous archaeological publications, including Archaeology Southwest Magazine. Their friendship began in the very early 1970s, and their careers brought them into collaboration, on and off, for nearly four decades. I was fortunate to have known them since those early days.
Among their most compelling work was an advanced seminar held at the Museum of Northern Arizona and sponsored by Archaeology Southwest. Those presentations and discussions led to a seminal edited volume, Zuni Origins: Toward a New Synthesis of Southwestern Archaeology (University of Arizona Press 2007 [hardbound edition]).
Over the years, and as that book came together, Dave Gregory suffered from severe depression. Dave Wilcox played a significant role in keeping Dave Gregory alive, in part through a collaborative writing methodology. After the two would engage in deep conversation, Dave Wilcox would speed-type their thoughts into the computer. They’d print that out, and then slash, burn, revise, retype.
It was the most intense expression of friendship and intellectual engagement I have ever observed.
After Dave Gregory succumbed to health problems in 2010, Archaeology Southwest established the David A. Gregory Research Fund. It grew through the gifts of many colleagues and has supported research by early-career professionals.
After Dave Wilcox’s passing, that research endowment seemed an appropriate place to celebrate my two departed friends by bringing them back together in a renamed David A. Gregory and David R. Wilcox Research Fund.
I reached out to Susan Wilcox, Dave’s widow, and she responded: “I think it is a great idea to have the two ‘Daves’ named in the fund. They were good friends and contentious colleagues, producing great work together…. [It’s] a fitting tribute to the two of them.”
I made a recent gift when this Fund honored one David. I plan to match it very soon to honor the second David, our long friendship, and theirs.
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Earliest Known Direct Evidence of Mastodon Hunting in the Americas
A team of researchers led by a Texas A&M University professor has identified the Manis bone projectile point as the oldest weapon made of bone ever found in the Americas at 13,900 years. Michael Waters, distinguished professor of anthropology and director of Texas A&M’s Center for the Study of First Americans, led the team, whose findings were published this week in Science Advances. The team studied bone fragments embedded in a mastodon rib bone first discovered by Carl Gustafson, who conducted an excavation at the Manis site in Washington state from 1977 to 1979. Using a CT scan and 3D software, Waters and his team isolated all the bone fragments to show it was the tip of a weapon—a projectile made from the bone of Mastodon, prehistoric relatives of elephants. Lesley Henton, Texas A&M News | Read more »
What Do Archaeologists Do?
Archaeologists use a wide variety of methods to explore a fascinating range of topics about human history, culture, and behavior. Here’s an overview of the ways archaeologists preserve heritage and how you can work in this field. Peter Nelson and Sara Gonzalez at SAPIENS | Read more »
Archaeology Café Welcomes Stewart Koyiyumptewa and Wes Bernardini on March 7
Stewart Koyiyumptewa (Hopi Cultural Preservation Office) and Wes Bernardini (University of Redlands) will discuss “Collaborative Archaeology and the ‘Becoming Hopi’ Project.” For nearly two decades, Hopi tribal members and external scholars have collaborated on a monumental history of the Hopi Mesas. We will discuss the importance of collaboration and how tribal perspectives have changed our understanding of Hopi history. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | Learn more and register (free) »
Forest Service Releases Action Plan to Advance Nation-to-Nation Relations
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service today published an action plan that outlines steps the agency will take to advance tribal consultation and strengthen Nation-to-Nation relationships with federally recognized Tribes. “Strengthening Tribal Consultations and Nation-to-Nation Relationships: A USDA Forest Service Action Plan” recognizes the role tribal governments play in decision-making about Forest Service-managed lands and waters through co-stewardship, consultation, capacity-building, and by other means. “This is more than a document. This action plan solidifies a pivotal moment in our agency’s history. The Forest Service manages millions of acres of lands, including ancestral homelands of American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Nations. We acknowledge the tragic history involving the forced displacement of Indigenous People and recognize that upholding our federal trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribal Nations is a responsibility and an ongoing journey for our agency.” said Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. USDA Forest Service (press release) | Read more »
Tribes Must Be at the Table to Save the Great Salt Lake
As [the Great Salt Lake] sits on the cusp of becoming an environmental tragedy and a public health disaster, lawmakers and policymakers are busy drafting solutions to try and save it. House Speaker Brad Wilson’s $40 million Great Salt Lake Trust, established last year, is finally gaining some momentum as the Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy and the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands announced last week they’ve forged a deal on how to manage the funds. The agreement creates an advisory council representing the lake’s stakeholders—but no local tribal leaders were included, even though some have ties to the Great Salt Lake that go back millennia. “We haven’t heard anything from anybody,” said Darren Parry, a tribal historian and former chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation. “That’s been my contention all along. How do you solve this problem without engaging with people who’ve managed the resource for thousands of years? It’s a little frustrating.” Leia Larsen in the Salt Lake Tribune | Read more »
Far View Visitor Center on List of Endangered Places
Built in 1967 and opened to the public in 1970, the Far View Visitor Center at Mesa Verde National Park told the story of the Ancestral Pueblo people for more than four decades. Now the building, which closed in 2012, has the potential to tell a newer story: its own. But the visitor center, along with five other building sites in Colorado, is in danger of being lost, according to Colorado Preservation Inc., a nonprofit organization that released its annual list of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places at an event on Thursday afternoon. Jonathan Shikes in the Denver Post | Read more »
The Indigenous Winter Pantry
The main ingredients in the foods Indigenous people put up for winter are caring, sharing, and a big dollop of joy. Communities that work together to preserve the bounty of prairie, desert, forest, and garden thrive during challenging times. Sharing recipes with us here (see below) are the Pueblo of Zuni and the Ramah Chapter of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico; the Puyallup Tribe in Washington State; and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. “Food is at the center of our culture, of our gatherings,” says Kenzi Bowekaty, food sovereignty leader of the Zuni Youth Enrichment Project. “The goal is to fill our bellies and our souls.” Stephanie Woodard in yes! Magazine | Read more »
Video: Weaving a Partnership
Laurie Webster and Louie Garcia present “Weaving a Partnership: The Collaborative Journey of the Cedar Mesa Perishables Project.” Archaeologist and project director Webster and Tiwa-Piro weaver and team member Garcia discuss how this approach has enriched archaeological understanding of ancestral Pueblo perishable technologies while also stimulating the preservation and revitalization of the Pueblo fiber arts. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | Watch now »
Related: May 27 In-Person Event (Santa Fe NM): 12th Annual Pueblo Fiber Arts Show
Come meet traditional Pueblo fiber artists and see live demonstrations of a variety of Pueblo weaving, embroidery, spinning, knitting, crochet, basketry, and more! The mission of the Pueblo Fiber Arts Guild is to promote, revive, and maintain the age-old Pueblo fiber arts tradition among Pueblo communities and educate the general public about the importance of this ancient art form. Pueblo weaving and fiber arts are old traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Pueblo textiles are rich in meaning as they reflect our ancient past. New Mexico Pueblo Fiber Arts Guild, Poeh Cultural Center, and School for Advanced Research | Learn more »
Position Announcement: Manager, Cultural Site Stewardship Program (Cortez CO)
Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance, a program of Onward! A Legacy Foundation, is seeking an archeology enthusiast to manage the organization’s Cultural Site Stewardship Program in collaboration with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to engage the public through stewardship, education, and outreach for the use and enjoyment of the natural and cultural landscape of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and nearby public lands. This is a part-time, grant-funded position and is contingent upon grant funding. The position is currently funded through 9/16/2023 with the expectation of it being renewed for 5 or more years. For this position, a candidate must be able to fulfill all objectives, goals, and BLM expectations for the program, as per the Funding Opportunity Agreement (FOA). Includes leading program operations, overseeing program volunteers, and coordinating with BLM and SCCA staff. Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance | 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 »
February Subscription Lectures (Santa Fe NM)
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: 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 a “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. 18 In-Person Event (Payson AZ): The Salado Phenomenon in the US Southwest
With Karen Schollmeyer. The Salado phenomenon has a long history of debate over its origins, geographic extent, and whether Salado refers to a cultural group, religious movement, pottery ware, or some combination of all three. Much of this debate is due to the highly variable material culture across the region where Salado polychrome dominates decorated ceramic assemblages. This talk discusses some of the variability in what archaeologists call Salado, particularly in the Tonto Basin, San Pedro Valley, and Upper Gila areas of Arizona and New Mexico, and how this religious and social phenomenon supported successful multiethnic communities during the 14th and 15th centuries. 10:00 a.m., Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road. Arizona Archaeological Society, Rim Country Chapter | Learn more »
Feb. 18 Online Event: Creatures and Cosmology of the Casas Grandes World
With Christine and Todd VanPool. The 1200–1450 CE Medio period Casas Grandes culture of northern Chihuahua and southernmost New Mexico reflects important relationships among various animals and humans that transcend simple subsistence roles. Snakes, birds (especially macaws and turkeys), turtles, and other animals were significant in Casas Grandes social life, cosmology, and symbolism. The VanPools will provide case studies reflecting the social, cosmological, and spiritual significance of various animals as reflected on pottery, ground stone, and architectural features derived from Paquimé (the political and ceremonial center of much of the Casas Grandes region) and the surrounding settlements. Amerind Museum | Learn more and register (free) »
Feb. 20 Online Event: The Leupp Isolation Center Historical Site: Interconnections of Navajo and Japanese American History during World War II
With Davina Two Bears. The Old Leupp Boarding School was a federal Indian boarding school in operation on the southwest Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona from 1909–1942, but after the school closed, the United States War Department reused the OLBS as a Japanese Citizen Isolation Center in 1943 during World War II. Today, the site of Old Leupp exists as a historical archaeological site with the potential for community-based, collaborative, Indigenous archaeological or heritage projects. For this presentation, Two Bears explores this dual history of oppression and survivance at the Old Leupp Boarding School/Leupp Isolation Center. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | Learn more and register (free) »
REMINDER: 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) »
March 2 Online Event: Local Partnership, Regional Impact: Survey and Site Documentation in Cortez Cultural Center’s Hawkins Preserve
With Kellam Throgmorton. With the assistance of Archaeology Research Program participants, Crow Canyon recently completed 22 acres of survey in the Hawkins Preserve south of Cortez. This talk provides a summary of prior investigations at Hawkins and preliminary results from Crow Canyon’s recent work. Based on the 22 acres surveyed to date (about one-sixth of the total preserve), a surprising range of site types is present, reflecting use of the locale by Pueblo, Ute, Navajo, and Euro-American peoples. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn more and register (free) »
Video Channel Roundup
Find out which webinars and videos you missed and get caught up at the YouTube channels of our Partners and Friends. (And please do let us know if your channel isn’t in this list but should be!)
Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society
Arizona State Museum
Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
Grand Canyon Trust
Grand Staircase Escalante Partners
Mesa Prieta Petroglyphs Project
Mission Garden (Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace)
Museum of Indian Arts and Cultures
Museum of Northern Arizona
Old Pueblo Archaeology Center
San Diego Archaeological Center
School for Advanced Research
The Archaeological Conservancy
Verde Valley Archaeology Center
Our friends at Southwest Seminars offer pay-per-view videos of their past lectures here.
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. Thanks!