I’m going to mention three colors and share a couple thoughts about each.
Black. That is the color of my mood as I continue to deal with COVID. The Paxlovid Rebound is a real thing, and it found me.
Green. That’s what chlorophyll does to both the bark and the tiny leaves of some of my favorite desert trees—the yellow (foothill) and blue palo verdes.
Yellow. The color that bursts forth first from the blue palo verdes and then, after a slight time lag, over the more abundant yellow palo verdes.
It’s all happening outside my window at home. So I grabbed my camera and took a short walk.
Seeing the green and the yellow up close quickly helped to improve my black mood. It also showed me a fourth color that is just starting—the white of the saguaro blossoms.
The desert truly can be a healing place.
My best to you all,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
All My Relations: A Model for Tribal Collaboration
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed that the importance of building good relationships continues to surface. A few months ago, my coworker Sky Begay and I were tasked with creating a Model for Tribal Collaboration for Archaeology Southwest. The model serves as a philosophy for how to collaborate with Tribes in meaningful and ethical ways. As I was brainstorming, I remembered one of the Indigenous philosophy readings for my comprehensive exams in graduate school. The authors present the four Rs, which stand for relationship, responsibility, reciprocity, and redistribution. These values can help guide researchers as they collaborate with Indigenous peoples. I thought it was a fitting framework for our Tribal collaboration model at Archaeology Southwest. Ashleigh Thompson for Archaeology Southwest | Read more »
Read the model (Preservation Archaeology Position Paper opens as a PDF) »
Continuing Coverage: The Four Corners Potato
“Hi, I’m Alistair Bitsóí. I’m Diné from the Navajo Nation. Specifically, I am from a small community called Naschitti Navajo Nation. I’m a writer, storyteller, a young farmer, young rancher, and narrative strategist and I try to help however I can whether it’s through writing, reclaiming histories, reclaiming the right stories from our perspective as native indigenous people. I’ve grown the Four Corners potato for the last four years. I’m reporting from my family’s ranch lands, grazing lands in the Navajo Nation. I go home for the growing season and grow crops and I guess you would say the Four Corners potato is a specialty crop,” said Alistair Bitsóí. Suzi Montgomery and Sheri Quinn for UPR | Read more or listen now »
REMINDER: Fellowship Opportunity: Indigenous Uses of Plants and Animals
Deadline May 12. Archaeology Southwest welcomes applicants to our cyberSW Native American Fellowship. This paid position will work closely with cyberSW’s Tribal Working Group and Development Team. The Fellow will design and implement a project related to Indigenous uses of plants or animals (or both) that will greatly enhance the cyberSW information platform. This position may be filled by someone with relevant life experience and knowledge; university-based academic qualifications and training are not required. The fellowship project may help fulfill academic degree requirements. Archaeology Southwest and cyberSW | Learn more »
Read cyberSW Manager Joshua Watts’s blog post to learn even more »
Watch an information-sharing and Q & A webinar »
A Bird’s-eye View of Bears Ears National Monument
The snow piled up around Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument this winter. With near record rain and snowfall, we got a quick break in the weather on March 31, 2023, long enough to fly over the Bears Ears region with our friends at EcoFlight. We were in the air to get a look at the radioactive waste pits at the White Mesa uranium mill, and to check out an important piece of private property next to Bears Ears National Monument that needs protection from development. Tim Peterson at the Grand Canyon Trust | Read more »
Continuing Coverage: San Carlos Apache Tribe Takes Oak Flat Battle to the U.N.
The San Carlos Apache Tribe has taken its fight to the United Nations to save its traditional territory in Arizona from a massive copper mine. Chi’chil Bildagoteel, also known as Oak Flat, is home to one of the largest sources of copper in North America, and it is also the tribe’s most sacred site. San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler told the U.N. that the destruction of sacred sites is a “major human rights violation,” although he stopped short of describing the plans to mine Oak Flat in those specific terms. Kate Schimel for Grist | Read more »
Commentary: “The spirit of the Rillito”
Nature wasn’t always this destructive, this often. Then again, we were never meant to be this disconnected from Earth’s heartbeat. Across geography and culture, our ancestors had a greater reverence for nature’s myriad expressions—for what makes a river swell, or how a forest landscape regenerates after a fire. As a city dweller living far removed from my cultural roots, I find myself often searching for this deeper understanding of the living world around me and how it shapes and nurtures all of us. Ruxandra Guidi in High Country News | Read more »
Posters from the SAA session “Mogollon, Mimbres, and Salado Archaeology in SW New Mexico”
In late March, some of our Archaeology Southwest staff, volunteers, and seven of last year’s Preservation Archaeology Field School students traveled to Portland, Oregon for the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) annual meeting. It was great to hear about new research, get updates on some ongoing research projects I’ve been following, and visit with old friends and colleagues. One of the best parts of these meetings always catching up with some of our former field school students. This year’s poster session on Mogollon, Mimbres, and Salado archaeology in southwestern New Mexico included 2022 field school alumni Emily Barrick, Jorge Barceló, Jonah Bullen, Aleesha Clevenger, Totsoni DeLuna, Charles Hemphill, and Ian Youth. The session also included some great colleagues at other institutions who work in this region. It’s great to get a bunch of us all together in one place to talk about our work! We’re happy to share the posters from this session with you here. Karen Gust Schollmeyer for Archaeology Southwest | Read more »
Archaeological Survey Course, May 17–July 7 (Tonto National Forest AZ)
From Dr. Chris Caseldine (ASU): I will be running a survey class on the north side of Roosevelt Lake this summer, in connection with ancient trail work I have started there. The purpose of this course is to provide you with an introduction to archaeological field methods, including pedestrian surveying, site documentation, and in-the-field artifact identification, as well as the basics of federal cultural resource management compliance. The plan is to camp in one of the FS campgrounds Wednesday and Thursday nights, and survey Thursday and Friday. It will be hot, because it is only a few degrees cooler than Phoenix. The class starts May 17 and ends July 7, with a break the week before 4th of July. If everything works out well, I will continue the work as total volunteer project, until the end of July. Those interested can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Position Opening: Director of Education (Cortez CO)
Seeking director-level professional to join our team in educating learners about the rich and vibrant Indigenous cultures of the southwest—past, present, and future. The Director of Education plans, develops, and administers innovative, multicultural, place-based experiential education programs and projects in archaeology, anthropology, history, and Indigenous studies for learners of all ages, including K–12 students, college students, teachers, and other adults. 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 »
Publication Announcement: Fluted Points of the Far West
Fluted Points of the Far West, by Michael F. Rondeau. University of Utah Press, 2023. Learn more »
Note from the publisher: Use the code SAA35 on this and other archaeology books to receive 35% off on our website.
Publication Announcement: Bears Ears National Monument
Park Partners has just published the book Bears Ears National Monument by Stewart Aitchison. The book is a brief introduction to the human and natural history of the Bears Ears Country of SE Utah. Aitchison, a professional naturalist, photographer, and resident of Bluff, Utah, is a noted author of many Southwestern books including: The Official Guide to Grand Canyon’s North Rim, A Guide to Southern Utah’s Hole-in-the-Rock Trail, and Grand Canyon: Window of Time. The new book is available from the Bears Ears Education Center in Bluff, Utah. Learn more »
May Subscription Lectures (Santa Fe NM)
5/8, Dr. Dennis H. O’Rourke, Human Population History, Genetic Ancestry, and the Power of Proxies; 5/15 Dr. Ruben G. Mendoza, War on Heaven: The Aztec Sun Stone; 5/22, Dr. Grant S. McCall, New Perspectives on Southern African Rock Art & Hunter Gatherer Social Systems; 5/29, Dr. Stephen H. Lekson, Chimney Rock: Chaco’s Shining City on the Hill. Southwest Seminars | Learn more »
REMINDER: May 8 Online Event: Sandals and Sandal Symbolism in Greater Bears Ears and Beyond
With Benjamin A. Bellorado. Studies of dressing practices can tell us a lot about how ancient societies marked territories, signaled group affiliations, and reinforced social structures across long-lived social landscapes. Research into archaeological clothing is infrequent because perishable materials like clothing rarely survive the ravages of time, even in the arid southwest. However, of all the types of garments used by Ancestral Pueblo people, thousands of yucca sandals have preserved, were recovered by archaeologists, and are available for study. Colorado Rock Art Association | Learn more (Zoom link provided) »
REMINDER: May 10 Online Event: Vintage Signs of Utah
With Lisa-Michelle Church. The new book Vintage Signs of Utah is a beautifully photographed collection of vintage roadside signs around the state, including historic cafes, motels, theaters, and stores. Even a few ghost signs will appear! More than 150 original photographs depict signs from the early to mid-20th century and feature stories about the mostly mom-and-pop business owners. The glowing neon, the quirky names, and the unusual shapes are fascinating. Explore the history of Utah sign artists and sign makers. You will see some familiar signs, learn about this entertaining form of art and discover some fun aspects of Utah’s visual history. Utah State Historic Preservation Office | Learn more and register (free) »
May 11 In-Person Event (Bluff UT): How Will You Experience the Annual Eclipse?
With Cris White. Sol, our Sun is having a big year this coming year. An annular eclipse is happening on October 14, 2023, followed by a total eclipse on April 8, 2024, and ending with the closest approach of the Parker Solar Probe in December 2024. Join a discussion on these upcoming events, plus the forthcoming PUNCH mission launching in 2025. This event will be culturally sensitive, with no images or artwork of eclipses displayed. 6:00 p.m. at the Bears Ears Education Center, 567 W. Main St. Bears Ears Partnership | Learn more »
May 11 Online Event: NAGPRA Compliance and the Necessary Frictions of (Ir)reconciliation
With Kathy Fine-Dare. Dr. Fine-Dare will examine NAGPRA compliance practices as they have been informed by sets of frictions and contradictions emanating from under-examined tropes of expertise, authenticity, and reconciliation. Drawing examples from her engagement over more than three decades as a NAGPRA scholar, activist, and practitioner, Dr. Fine-Dare will suggest that firmly embedded patterns of institutional resistance to compliance cannot change unless murky and often coercive faux transparencies are better understood through dialogue and analysis that go beyond permitted arenas of engagement. Although people understandably wish to avoid situations of discomfort and anger, Fine-Dare proposes that refusing to accept ideologies and attitudes of “harmony” and “resilience” as sufficient may be quite necessary in realizing the human rights work of NAGPRA. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn more and register (free) »
May 15 Online Event: The Legacy of New Deal Programs to Northern AZ and Southwest Archaeology
With Peter J. Pilles Jr. During the 1930s, federal New Deal programs financed and supported a number of archaeological projects in northern Arizona. Within National Parks and Monuments, surveys and excavations were undertaken so that people could see archaeological sites and visitor centers were constructed to display and interpret archaeology for the public. Several major expeditions by the Museum of Northern Arizona were also supported by New Deal programs. This presentation explores the relationship of archaeological research conducted by the Museum with federal New Deal Programs and its enduring legacy to the archaeological profession and the American public. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | Learn more and register (free) »
May 17 Online Event: First Peoples of Great Salt Lake
With Steve Simms. The story of the Great Salt Lake is long, and full of human history. Join the person who wrote the book on prehistoric Utah in this webinar! This is a story of more than 700 generations of Indigenous Americans in a cultural landscape centered on, but also much larger than, the Great Salt Lake. The story challenges the Pristine Myth, the cultural bias that Indigenous peoples were timeless, changeless children of Nature. This presentation tempers some of archaeology’s received wisdoms about ancient Native American history. It is story is far deeper in time than any modern genealogy can trace. Utah State Historic Preservation Office | Learn more and register (free) »
May 18 In-Person Event (Sedona AZ): The Salado Phenomenon in the US Southwest
With Karen Schollmeyer. There is as a long history of debate over the Salado phenomenon: 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 multi-ethnic communities during the 14th and 15th centuries. Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road. 3:30 p.m. Verde Valley Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society | Learn more »
May 18 Online Event: Making and Breaking Waves: Feminist Thought in Anthropology’s History
With Ruth Burgett Jolie. Dr. Jolie will discuss the history of feminism in the US and how its advocacy for women’s political, social, and economic rights and equality has impacted our day-to-day lives as well as anthropology as a discipline. Third Thursday Food for Thought series (Old Pueblo Archaeology Center) | Learn more and register (free) »
May 20 In-Person Event (Tucson AZ): Arrowhead-Making and Flintknapping Workshop
With Sam Greenleaf. Participants will learn how to make arrowheads, spear points, and other flaked stone artifacts from obsidian and other stone like ancient peoples did. The class is designed to foster understanding of how prehistoric peoples made essential tools, not to make artwork for sale. 9:00 a.m. to noon, 2201 W. 44th Street. Reservations and $35 payment (includes all materials and equipment) required by 5:00 p.m. May 18. 520-798-1201 or email@example.com. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn more »
Congratulations to our friends and colleagues at the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson, which just won the Museum Association of Arizona’s Institutional Award of Excellence! The award is given to a museum that has exhibited leadership qualities by achieving excellence in it work, including in the areas of collection, preservation, research, interpretation, and education.
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!