Our apologies for not warning you that we had to take off the July 4th holiday week. Kate and I have been working intently for a long time on the upcoming issue of Archaeology Southwest Magazine. I had worked through the Fourth on the magazine, and Kate had gotten expected but sad news of the passing of her beloved Aunt on the Fourth.
We consulted and decided to quietly put Preservation Archaeology Today on pause.
And now we’re back! From Tucson and Chicago.
Most happily, in the meantime, the writing phase of the Magazine has at long last come to a close. We are entering what I view as the magical phase of producing a magazine. Kate has already done a good bit of the large-scale editing. But from now until the very end she wields her exceptional editorial skills to ensure the right words appear in the right places and to integrate themes throughout the issue. That work is done in close coordination with the other key player in this magical phase, Kathleen Bader of Cracked Earth Creative. Kathleen weaves in the graphic ingredients provided by map and visualization artists Catherine Gilman and Rob Ciaccio, and by our favorite photographers, including Adriel Heisey, Jonathan Bailey, David Wallace, and John Porter.
Here’s the preview from our monthly email newsletter (This Month at Archaeology Southwest) last week for our “Love of the Gila” issue:
President and CEO Bill Doelle has put together a one-of-a-kind love letter to the past, present, and future of the cultural landscapes of the Gila Watershed. This forthcoming issue of Archaeology Southwest Magazine is his last as guest editor, and you won’t want to miss it.
The magical phase takes a while, but I am most definitely looking forward to seeing this issue published and in readers’ hands.
Have a great week,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
P.S. A brief Cooper’s Hawk update: Our two hawk neighbor-parents outdid themselves. They successfully brought five young hawks into the world. Hawks are amazing. They work super-hard to feed their offspring, and then the parents get to a decision point where they just fly off. They abruptly leave the kids to fend for themselves. “Our” kids were all up to the challenge.
Chaco Protection Zone Controversy Heads to U.S. House
Republican Representatives Eli Crane and Paul Gosar have introduced a new bill [H.R. 4374] that would void President Joe Biden’s recent ban on oil and gas drilling on lands within a swath of New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Crane says the move effectively prevents all private landowners and Navajo allottees from mineral leasing land in the area. KNAU (NPR) | Read more »
We urge you to join us in telling your representatives to vote NO on H.R. 4374, which would nullify the protective withdrawal around Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Learn more and contact your representatives with help from our partners at New Mexico Wild »
Public Meeting Set for Proposed Grand Canyon Area National Monument
The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service will host a public meeting next week in Flagstaff regarding management of the region’s public lands and a proposal to designate a new national monument near the Grand Canyon. In a statement, the BLM says the community meeting is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s effort to support locally led conservation efforts nationwide. It’s a response to requests from local, county, state and Tribal officials, as well as pending legislation in Congress, calling for the protection of the landscape surrounding the Grand Canyon. This includes the proposed Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument. The public meeting is set for Tuesday, July 18 from 1–4 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the DoubleTree Hotel in Flagstaff. KNAU (NPR) | Read more »
Continuing Coverage and Commentary: Target Shooting Threatens Sonoran Desert National Monument
In the Sonoran Desert National Monument—the ancestral lands of the O’odham, Yavapai Apache, Cocopah and Hohokam peoples—it’s possible to wander among bone-quiet geology, petroglyphs and cactus giants. The national monument, created in 2001, protects a magnificent swath of the Sonoran Desert, the most biologically diverse desert in North America. But the irreplaceable biological, scientific and cultural resources the monument was designated to preserve are threatened by rampant, irresponsible target shooting. Russ McSpadden in the Arizona Republic (azcentral.com) | Read more »
Continuing Coverage: Chi’chil Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) in the News
Oak Flat has spiritual significance to many Native people and there are spots “where even a casual observer can experience a sense of the divine,” said John R. Welch, professor of archeology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia who has worked extensively with Apache tribes. Evidence of its sacredness can be found in petroglyphs or rock paintings and Apache burial grounds. “These places of transcendent holiness are not specifically attached to any one culture or territory,” he said. “They are recognized as being so important that no one should own them or restrict access to them.” Washington Post (Associated Press) | Read more »
Continuing Coverage and Commentary: New Mexico Dept. of Cultural Affairs
I am concerned about the current governance of the Department of Cultural Affairs. I believe the current organizational structure—having two museum directors serve as “chairs” who oversee their fellow museum directors, who are their peers—is at the heart of the department’s many problems under the current secretary and contributed to the massive loss of leadership and senior staff across the agency. Tisa Gabriel (retired DCA) in the Santa Fe New Mexican | Read more »
Poll: Americans Believe in the Value of Archaeology and Preservation
A majority of Americans overwhelmingly value the work of archaeologists and education about archaeology, according to a 2023 poll released by the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) and Ipsos. A follow-up to a 2018 SAA poll, the results showed a clear majority still support increased protections for the archaeological record. Americans still strongly believe in the value of archaeology and that preserving archaeological sites should be a priority of the US government. The poll found that 88% of Americans say the work archaeologists do is important. Americans continue in their support for archaeological education, with 86% saying that students should learn about archaeology in school at some point in their academic career. Society for American Archaeology | Learn more »
Remembering Ron Carlos
Ron Carlos passed away in May 2023 due to complications from cancer. He was a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. He learned traditional paddle and anvil technique pottery in the mid-1990s from Phyllis Cerna and her daughter, Avis Pinion. In 2015, Carlos was recognized by the Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA) with a Master-Apprentice Artist Award, and worked with August Wood, to pass on knowledge about collecting and processing natural clays and pigments, producing tools, creating pots using paddle and anvil technique, implementing native designs, and firing in open pit fires. Ron was interviewed in December 2021 by Casely Coan during a research effort to better understand support systems for traditional artists in the Southwest supported in part by the American Council for Learned Societies. August was interviewed in June 2023 by Kimi Eisele. BorderLore | Read more »
Be sure to watch the video about Ron linked at the end of the interviews. Ron and Jacob Butler also presented an Archaeology Café in February 2015. You can watch that here (with apologies for the wonky sound quality) »
ICYMI: Indigenous Human-Horse Histories
An archaeologist and a Lakota genomics scientist explain how combining archaeology, DNA, and Indigenous knowledge can help revise colonial human-horse narratives largely associated with the western U.S. William Taylor and Yvette Running Horse Collin at SAPIENS (via The Conversation) | Read more »
July Subscription Lectures (Santa Fe NM)
7/17, Joseph Suina (Cochiti Pueblo), Fast Changes at Cochiti Pueblo 1950s–1960s; 7/24, Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo), My Art, My Life; 7/31, John Haworth (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma), Reflections on Native Cultures and the Art. $20 at the door. Southwest Seminars | Learn more »
July 13 Online Event: Obsidian Source Provenance in the North America Southwest
With M. Steven Shackley. For over 35 years, the Southwest Archaeological Obsidian Project, funded by multiple National Science Foundation grants, the Leakey Foundation, and various university research centers, has focused on locating, mapping, and chemically characterizing artifact quality obsidian sources in the greater North American Southwest from about four known sources in the mid-1980s to over 55 sources and source groups in 2021. This lecture will touch upon the history of obsidian provenance research in the Southwest, the field and instrumental methods used in the understanding of source provenance, and discuss a few projects from that history as well as current research. Finally, a partial tongue in cheek prognostication of the future of this research will be offered. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn more and register »
July 17 Online Event: The Fremont Cultural Tradition at the Northern Edge of the Greater Southwest
With Michael Searcy. New excavations and other recent research have contributed to a much better understanding of what has been identified as the Fremont cultural tradition. This lecture reviews some of these new studies as well as reports the most recent discoveries at a current excavation at the Hinckley Mounds. This site is located on the eastern edge of Utah Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in Utah, and the ancient ruins are only part of one of the largest Fremont villages occupied during the Late Fremont Period (AD 900–1300). Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | Learn more and register (free) »
REMINDER: July 20 Online Event: O’odham Place Names: Meanings, Origins, and Histories
With Harry Winters. He will share some of his deep knowledge of ’O’odham landscape lore gained from his half-century of travels among ’O’odham on both sides of the modern US-Mexico border. Third Thursday Food for Thought series (Old Pueblo Archaeology Center) | Learn more and register (free) »
July 20 Online Event: Sustained Research: 40 years of Crow Canyon’s Ancestral Pueblo Community Center Archaeology
With Donna Glowacki. When Stuart Struever co-founded Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in 1982, he recognized the need for an institution that could conduct and support long-term research in American Archaeology. Perhaps nothing illustrates the value of this vision more than Crow Canyon’s sustained research into the central Mesa Verde region community centers, which are the largest Ancestral Pueblo sites in the region, many with the longest occupation histories. The history of Crow Canyon’s research into community centers has involved many research associates, regional archaeologists, institutions, and tribal consultants. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn more and register (free) »
REMINDER: July 22 Tour (Tucson AZ): Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill and Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
8 a.m–12:30 p.m. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center hosts a tour to the University of Arizona’s Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill (founded in 1903 as the Carnegie Desert Botanical Laboratory) with archaeologists Paul and Suzanne Fish and the Tumamoc Lab’s Robert Villa and Lynne Schepartz, then to the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research (since 1937) to tour its facilities with docent Donna MacEachern. Tour meets in the Mercado San Agustín courtyard, 100 S. Avenida del Convento, Tucson. Reservations and $35 donation prepayment due by 5:00 p.m. July 19. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn more »
July 27 Online Event: Pueblo on the Plains
With Myles Miller and John D. Speth. Two seasons of archaeological investigations at the Merchant site and its surroundings documented one of the most unusual and significant pre-Hispanic settlements on the southern Great Plains of southeastern New Mexico. It was first excavated over 60 years ago by Robert Leslie and the Lea County Archaeological Society to rescue the site from looters. Through the following decades, it remained a somewhat legendary yet mostly unpublished mystery of southern New Mexico archaeology due to a few incomplete and confusing accounts of contiguous rooms, middens, deep pithouse structures, a distinctive corrugated ceramic ware, and thousands of projectile points. In 2014, the Carlsbad Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, with funding provided by the Permian Basin Programmatic Agreement, issued a contract to conduct remedial excavations to recover information from looted and exposed features and to stabilize the site. A second season of fieldwork was completed in 2019 to further explore and confirm the intriguing results of the investigations completed in 2016. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn more and register (free) »
Aug. 12 Online Event: The Distribution of Cultural Lac Scale Use (Tachardiella spp.) in the Arid Southwest
With Marilen Pool. This talk will discuss the examination of the lac scale insect in the arid Southwest and the distribution of its cultural use. Three species, Tachardiella fulgens, Tachardiella larreae and Tachardiella pustulata are those most known to have been utilized by the indigenous peoples of the region from as early as the Archaic period to the modern era as an adhesive, mastic, and coating for the fabrication of tools, weapons, musical instruments, kicking balls, ornaments, and amulets. It was also used for hermetic sealing of containers to protect foods and seeds from pests and as a repair material for mending pottery. Amerind | Learn more and register (free) »
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!