On Monday afternoon I shared the history of my research interests at our monthly Research Team meeting at Archaeology Southwest.
Of course, it was a PowerPoint and it was over Zoom. I began with some background on my pre-professional years. Family, geographic place, some major life-shaping events or experiences.
As I moved into talking about my professional career, I highlighted some key colleagues that I first met in graduate school. And number one on that slide was my wife—Linda Mayro.
Today is her birthday, which, for anyone over 40 is, of course, a non-event. She, too, plans to retire in January.
For many years, we worked in the same organizations—the Arizona State Museum, two California environmental firms, and Archaeology Southwest’s early 1980s predecessor, the Institute for American Research (IAR).
Then, in 1988, Linda was hired as Pima County’s Archaeologist. After she was established in that more secure local government position, it allowed me to take on additional risk. In 1989, I established the for-profit firm, Desert Archaeology, Inc. (DAI), which purchased the assets of IAR’s Arizona Division. And I founded the nonprofit Center for Desert Archaeology (now Archaeology Southwest), which was incubated for the next decade within the walls of DAI.
Day by day and year by year, Linda and I advanced the institutions that we led. And over nearly every dinner we discussed larger visions of what should be and could be. Inspired, the next day we would put in another day to move closer to those visions for the future.
When such days turn into decades, things get accomplished. At least enough that we are both leaving our current positions with pride in the paths we have traveled.
So, in honor of her birthday, I express my deep love and gratitude to Linda Mayro.
Retiring President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Rep. Grijalva Hosts Cultural Preservation Roundtable Today
In commemoration of Native American Heritage Month, House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and other House members will hold a roundtable titled, “Strengthening Historic and Cultural Preservation” on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Historic and cultural preservation is a central part of telling America’s story; the places we choose to protect reflect the country’s values. For generations, however, historically underserved communities, including tribal communities, have been left out of historic preservation efforts. In addition, climate change poses new, ever-increasing threats to our historic and cultural resources. Moving forward, we must ensure that preservation efforts are fully resourced to adequately protect the diverse historic and cultural legacy of all Americans. Expert panelists at the roundtable will discuss these issues and how Congress can better support and improve historic and cultural preservation. Native News Online | Read more »
Archaeology Welcomes Ashleigh Thompson Dec. 5
Join us in person at Tucson’s Loft Cinema or on Zoom for “More than Subsistence: How Anishinaabe Traditional Foodways Nourish Culture, Kinship, and Community Wellbeing.” Across Indigenous country, Native people are revitalizing their traditional foods. Join Ashleigh as she explores the importance of traditional foods to her community—the Red Lake Ojibwe—and learn why these traditions are significant to culture, kinship, and community wellbeing. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | Learn more and register (free) »
Hopi Farmer Shares Lessons from His Corn Fields
Today’s [Gary Tso’s] last day in the field before this spring in preparation for next season. He’s been out a couple of times, picking the maturer ears during earlier months. Despite collecting most of them that have already reached their full potential, it’s still a profoundly solemn time. “We’re gonna lay them down. You do that with reverence. You inter them,” Tso explained. “You know, and you say goodbye….” Gabriel Pietrrazio for Fronteras (KJZZ) | Read more or listen now »
In Memoriam: Miles Gilbert
Archaeologist Miles Gilbert passed away on November 28, 2023. After receiving his PhD from the University of Missouri, he worked in Arizona as a consultant analyzing archaeological faunal remains, for a time was associated with the Casa Malpais Archaeological Park in Springerville, and eventually was a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service archaeologist, retiring in 2013. He authored “Mammalian Osteo-Archaeology: North America” (1990, Missouri Archaeological Society) and many archaeological faunal analysis and survey reports, and inspired young people to study archaeology. Thanks to Allen Dart for letting us know about Gilbert’s passing.
We have also learned from the NMAC listserve that archaeologist Rory Gauthier has passed away.
REMINDER: Nov. 30 Online Event: Inscribed Indigenous Wisdom: Interpreting Rock Art through Indigenous Women’s Perspectives and Voices
With Emily Van Alst. Emily will explore how rock art research can move beyond Western methods of identifying, describing, photographing, and interpreting rock art images and how to better implement methods and frameworks to explore Indigenous-centered interpretations. Rock art research has long ignored Indigenous women’s unique knowledge, experiences, and perspectives when interpreting cultural heritage. Specifically, Emily argues that by incorporating Indigenous women’s scholarship, archaeologists can center Indigenous women’s voices and experiences to understand the meaning of imagery. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn more and register (free) »
December Subscription Lectures (Santa Fe NM)
Dec. 4, Mark S. Aldenderfer, Rethinking Early Peopling of the World’s High Plateaus: The Andes, Tibet, and Ethiopia; Dec. 11 Don J. Usner, Valles Caldera: Visions of New Mexico’s National Preserve; Dec. 18, Sara Dant, Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West (at Santa Fe Woman’s Club, 1616 Old Pecos Trail). All others at the Hotel Santa Fe, 6:00 p.m. $20 at the door or $55 for three lectures. Southwest Seminars | Learn more »
REMINDER: Dec. 2 In-Person Events (Tucson AZ): Fort Lowell Re-Opening
After a long community effort, the Fort Lowell Museum will be re-opening Saturday, Dec. 2. A FREE celebration for community members will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the museum, located in Fort Lowell Park at 2900 N. Craycroft Rd. Click the link to learn more about the many activities at the event! Presidio San Agustín del Tucson | Learn more »
Allen Denoyer (Hands-On Archaeology) will be leading an atlatl-throwing activity at this event.
Dec. 2 Online Event: American Indian History and Public Education
With Julie Cajune (Salish). Native Americans are a distinct minority in the United States for several reasons. First, they are the original people of this land, and second, they hold political status as tribal nations. Many Americans do not understand the political distinction of American Indian Tribes. If we recall our public-school years of social studies, we find scant content on American Indian nations or individuals. This circumstance influenced Salish educator Julie Cajune throughout her career in public education and with her own tribal nation. One of her efforts to address this situation resulted in the book Our Way, A Parallel History. Julie will discuss the importance of history education for a literate society and healthy democracy. Amerind Museum | Learn more and register (free) »
Dec. 7 Online Event: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors and Other Proverbs from the Pleistocene
With Todd Surovell. In this presentation, Dr. Surovell examines the social organization of nomadic peoples in three case studies, two archaeological and one ethnographic. The archaeological cases, Barger Gulch Locality B (Colorado) and the La Prele Mammoth site (Wyoming), concern the first peoples in the Americas at the end of the last Ice Age. The ethnographic case centers on Dukha reindeer herders in northern Mongolia. Specifically, Todd looks at the question of whether and why people move together as large groups or as autonomous households, in the latter case generating the kind of fission-fusion dynamics typical of recent hunter-gatherers. Dr. Surovell concludes that, in every case, fluid group membership was the norm and argues that the interplay of cooperation and conflict has resulted in the use of a common organizational strategy among nomadic peoples. Furthermore, the transition to sedentary life must have necessitated novel cultural practices to cope with the loss of the ability to mitigate conflict through mobility. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn more and register (free) »
Dec. 9 and 10 In-Person Event (Phoenix AZ): 46th Annual S’edav Va’aki Museum Indian Market
This year’s Indian Market at S’edav Va’aki Museum (formerly the Pueblo Grande Museum) features more than 110 Native American artists vending fine art, crafts, and cultural items as well as main stage performances, a cultural demonstrator area, and food sales. Cultural demonstrators in the Ki:him (O’odham word for village) area provide hands-on learning in hoop dancing, beading, gourd art, shell etching, mask making, and other activities suitable for all ages. Guests can enjoy popular Native American foods including fry bread and Navajo tacos from several vendors. Entrance to the museum is included in admission for guests to explore the rich history of the Va’aki, the large mound on-site where ancestors of the O’Odham and Piipaash peoples built their community. S’edav Va’aki Museum (City of Phoenix) | Learn more »
Dec. 21 Online Event: Healing and Health in Hopi, Mayan, and Andean (Yauyo) Cultures: Symbiosis with Western Medicine
With Sharonah Fredrick. Archaeology, colonial Spanish chronicles, and Tribal elders’ memories demonstrate that US Southwest and Central and South American Indigenous peoples have long had deep medical knowledge, belying ideas that they only practiced “spiritual” medicine. Third Thursday Food for Thought Series (Old Pueblo Archaeology Center) | Learn more and register (free) »
Dec. 21 Tour: Winter Solstice Archaeological Sites (Metro Tucson AZ)
With Allen Dart. The tour will visit Los Morteros, a Hohokam village archaeological site with a ballcourt, bedrock mortars, and other ancient features, and then proceed to the Picture Rocks petroglyphs, which include a calendar marker, dancing human-like figures, whimsical animals, and other images in stone. Tour starts near Silverbell Rd & Linda Vista Blvd in Marana, AZ. $35 donation. Reservation deadline December 19. 8:00 a.m. start. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | 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. Thanks!