As usual, Archaeologist Southwest staff are busy working on an astonishing range of preservation, outreach, research, and advocacy projects, many of which are garnering media attention.
On January 24, Skylar Begay, our Director of Tribal Collaboration in Outreach and Advocacy, participated in an hour-long conversation on Native America Calling regarding the lack of tribal collaboration and input on the planned construction of the SunZia transmission line from New Mexico to California. Listen here.
On February 5, Ashleigh Thompson, our Director of Tribal Collaboration in Research and Education, was on National Public Radio’s Here and Now program to talk about our recent publication of the Save Indigenous History book for children to learn about our Save History project and other topics. Listen here.
I’m tremendously proud of the collaborative work that Archaeology Southwest has conducted over the decades, and I am proud of Ashleigh and Skylar for these contributions to the national discussion!
Just yesterday, John Welch, Skylar, Ashleigh, and Paul Reed released Archaeology Southwest’s third Preservation Archaeology Position Paper, “Tribal Co-Management: What Works Where and How.” That’s linked as our first item below. You can read more about their thinking here, and they welcome feedback. Send your comments to John or Skylar.
Stephen E. Nash
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Tribal Co-Management: What Works Where and How?
Our third Preservation Archaeology Position Paper offers a basic rationale, grounded in legal and moral principles, for pursuing Tribal Co-Management (TCM) in conjunction with Tribes’ political and cultural representatives. This contribution to TCM dialogues seeks to inspire discussions of TCM and to enable TCM for the proposed Great Bend of the Gila National Monument, if the affected Tribes are interested in doing so. As staff members at the nonprofit Archaeology Southwest, our goal is to advance the organization’s overall mission and our commitment to building relationships with Indigenous Nations, communities, and Peoples. John R. Welch, Skylar Begay, Ashleigh Thompson, and Paul F. Reed for Archaeology Southwest | Read more (PDF download is also available at the link) »
Call to Applicants: 2024 Indigenous Internship Program
The intention of our Indigenous Internship Program is to offer Tribal/Indigenous youth an opportunity to receive training and experience in working with Tribal communities (in Colorado, New Mexico, etc.) and government partners (e.g., BLM, USFS, etc.). Interns will receive field experience conducting professional ethnographies with Tribal Elders and representatives at cultural heritage sites. Many of our interns work directly with Elders from their own communities. While doing so, interns will also have ample opportunity to network with archaeologists, anthropologists, ecologists, education/communication experts, and other professional staff from our federal, state, and/or city government partners. This allows interns to explore potential career opportunities. Our internship program offers paid positions where interns are assigned to one of our ongoing projects, under the supervision and guidance of HLC staff, who are professional anthropologists and ecologists (read below for specific applicant and internship requirements). Heritage Lands Collaborative | Learn more »
Continuing Coverage: Indigenous Groups Support Museums’ Moves to Comply with New NAGPRA Rules
After several U.S. museums closed displays of Indigenous objects last week, Native American groups are responding with support of the new regulations added to a federal law that require museums to receive consent to display certain cultural artifacts and human remains. … Covering displays or taking things down isn’t the goal, according to Shannon O’Loughlin, head of the Association on American Indian Affairs. … “This is not a prohibition against research or exhibits—quite the opposite,” O’Loughlin says. “Just speak with any institution that has followed NAGPRA’s requirements and repatriated. They have built long-lasting relationships with those Native Nations and have developed strong exhibitions and research based on that consultation and collaboration, which includes the expertise and knowledge of Native Nations that science has ignored.” Adam Schrader for Artnet | Read more »
With guests William Hughes; Dr. Meranda Roberts, and Kate Compton-Gore. New language in the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) is prompting museums to pull some Native items from public display. The rule went into effect in January that requires museums to consult with tribes more comprehensively when it comes to Native artifacts. That’s because, even though they may not be the human remains or sacred items that NAGPRA historically referenced, many items held by museums, universities, and other institutions could have been looted from Native sites or otherwise taken under suspicious circumstances. Native America Calling | Listen now »
Continuing Coverage and Commentary: Re-Route the San Pedro Portion of the SunZia Transmission Line
On February 5, 2024, co-plaintiffs Tohono O’odham Nation, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Center for Biological Diversity, Archaeology Southwest, and Peter Else asked the Arizona Corporation Commission to enforce the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility (CEC) it approved on February 22, 2016. That document requires the SunZia applicant to complete a cultural landscape study and to complete and submit the historic property treatment plan for the Arizona section of the power line prior to commencement of construction. Archaeology Southwest | Read the complaint »
That it even has “come to this” in Arizona with SunZia is beyond astonishing, given the fact that, once more, “our” various government entities either have NOT begun or done or have failed to complete studies that either were requested or were required by all cooperating parties, well before the first project construction foremen ever fired up the first bulldozer! For instance, look no further than the AZ southern border, where a proposed mine finally may have been stopped, but where drastic environmental destruction already has been done, which will take many years for nature and the passage of time to undo and to repair. Elaine Cummings in the Arizona Daily Star | Read more »
Continuing Coverage and Commentary: Protect Oak Flat as a Place of Worship
A federal court is poised to decide whether a Native American sacred site will be destroyed by a massive copper mine. Mining proponents claim that destroying the sacred site is necessary for the development of green energy. That claim is both factually wrong and morally repugnant. And recent polling shows that the vast majority of Americans agree with what the constitution requires: Native sacred sites deserve the same protection as all other houses of worship. Luke Goodrich in Deseret News | Read more »
Utah Leaders Reject Bears Ears Land Swap
Utah stood to gain valuable land and mineral resources from the federal government in exchange for state lands within the controversial Bears Ears National Monument. Now, state leaders said that the deal is off. Gov. Spencer Cox, Senate President Stuart Adams and House Speaker Mike Schultz said Tuesday in a statement that the federal government has pushed forward a management plan for the monument without considering the state’s wishes. Anastasia Huffman for the Salt Lake Tribune | Read more »
I’itoi’s Swords: Imagining and Creating a Weapon from a Tohono O’odham Story
In May 2023, Tohono O’odham museum curator April Ignacio contacted me to see if I would be interested in creating some obsidian swords for an exhibition they were planning. “They Don’t Love You: Indigenous Perspectives on Sovereignty Cause and Effect: That’s What You Get,” would open at the Tohono O’odham Nation’s Himdag Ki Cultural Center and Museum in Topawa and later travel to the Arizona State Museum in Tucson. April’s portion of the exhibition tells several stories of the O’odham. The one she wanted my help with is about Elder Brother I’itoi and how the people of Quito Vak gave him obsidian that he used to slay a monster attacking the village. April wanted two very large, dramatic, obsidian-bladed swords. We worked together to design them, basing them loosely on macuahuitl, wooden clubs with embedded obsidian blades. These close-combat weapons were used by different cultures in Mesoamerica. I’m calling them swords as a shorthand, but they are really a combination sword/club/saw-sword that was akin to a broadsword. Allen Denoyer for the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest) | Read more »
Grant Award Supports Indian Arts Research Center
The School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe has received a $900,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support “expanding humanities programming at SAR,” an initiative of the school’s Indian Arts Research Center. The grant, to be distributed over five years, will enhance the school’s $748,000 annual budget for the research center. … One of the goals of the grant is to “promote equity between museum and Native communities,” SAR said in a news release. Teya Vitu in the Santa Fe New Mexican | Read more »
Call to Applicants: Dr. David R. Wilcox Archaeology Grant
The grant program is open to all Archaeology, Anthropology undergraduate and graduate students, or students in any discipline with an archaeology or anthropology component, at nationally accredited colleges and universities who wish to advance education, opportunity, and experience in these fields of study. Awards may be used for education, research, fieldwork, and travel. This grant is open to qualified archaeological and/or anthropological projects within Arizona, with preference given to, but not limited to, projects in the Verde Valley. This includes research in other disciplines that have a component related to archaeology or anthropology. Grants up to $2,500 available. Arizona Archaeological Society, Verde Valley Chapter | Learn more »
Field School Opportunity: Fort Lewis College at the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
Led by Dr. Charles Riggs. The field school will include six weeks of training in archaeological methods. Students will gain experience in archaeological survey, manual and digital mapping, architectural and site documentation, as well as archaeological collections management and curation. Field trips to local sites will provide additional context for the project. Fort Lewis College | Learn more »
Publication Announcement: Turkey Domestication
Turkey domestication and provisioning in the Mesa Verde Region (US Southwest), Pueblo I to Pueblo III (725-1280 CE): C, Sr, and O isotope analyses. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences Vol. 16:36, Jacques Burlot, Joan Brenner Coltrain, Virginie Renson, Karen Gust Schollmeyer, Amanda Werlein, and Jeffrey R. Ferguson. Read now (open access) »
Share Your March 2024 AZ Archaeology Events
AZ Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month informs the public about the importance of cultural resources management. Events are programmed statewide and will take place between March 1st and March 31st, 2024. If you have an event you would like to have listed, fill out an event form at the link. Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) | Learn more »
February Subscription Lectures (Santa Fe NM)
Feb. 12, Lisa J. LeCount, Like Water for Chocolate: Ka’kaw in Domestic and Political Rituals among Ancient Maya of Central America; Feb. 19, John H. Blitz, Death from a Distance: How Our Ability to Throw, Create Stone Tools, and Use Projectile Weapons Affected Human Evolution; Feb. 26, Joseph Henry Suina (Pueblo of Cochiti), Water Is Life. Mondays, 6:00 p.m., Hotel Santa Fe. $20 per or $75 for the February series. Southwest Seminars | Learn more »
REMINDER: Feb. 8 Online Event: Why Corrugated Cooking Pots?
With Chris Pierce. During the 1990s while working at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and as part of my PhD research, Dr. Pierce performed extensive literature review, detailed technological analyses, and controlled experiments to further the understanding of the adoption of corrugated cooking pots. Dr. Pierce’s work identified the technological changes involved in the development of corrugation, documented the spread of these technologies across the northern Southwest, and demonstrated cost and performance differences between plain and corrugated vessels. In this presentation, Chris reviews the results of his earlier work, presents four new possible explanations for the adoption and eventual rejection of corrugated cooking pots, and evaluates evidence to test one of these hypotheses. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Learn more and register (free) »
Feb. 17 In-Person Event (Dragoon AZ): Artist Gallery Talk & Reception with Michael Chiago
Tohono O’odham Himdag in Brush and Lens: Paintings of Michael Chiago and Photography of Bernard Siquieros, open through Oct. 31, 2024. The word himdag refers to the Tohono O’odham way of life. Painter Michael Chiago is a prolific artist who has created thousands of original works over a career spanning decades. In color and line, Michael celebrates O’odham himdag. Photographer Bernard Siquieros was a passionate educator of O’odham himdag with a long and diverse career. Through it all–Bernard has carried a camera, capturing O’odham himdag in moments of everyday life and in moments of celebration. In brush and lens, these two men chronicle the great strength of the Tohono O’odham community, honoring their rich heritage and working together for brighter tomorrows. 11:00 a.m. Amerind Museum | Learn more »
Feb. 24 In-Person Event (Tucson AZ): Fort Lowell Day
Visitors and neighbors are invited to step back in time to get a glimpse of the rich history of Old Fort Lowell, a neighborhood that was occupied by the Hohokam 1700 years ago and was later the site of a cavalry fort between 1873-1891. The 43rd Fort Lowell Day/La Reunión de El Fuerte will be held on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 11 am to 3:30 pm. This FREE event will take place in Fort Lowell Park, 2900 N. Craycroft Rd., with a self-guided walking tour along Fort Lowell Road, and at the historic San Pedro Chapel, 5230 E. Fort Lowell Rd. Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum | Learn more »
March 5 Online Event: Tres Hornos: Experimental Archaeology of Earthen Ovens
With Jun Sunseri. Everyone’s ancestors cooked with earth in one form or another. As a participant-observer and experimental archaeologist, Jun Sunseri has found that the construction and use of such features are not only important aspects of his research, but also serve as the foci of social experiences that bring people together through labor and food. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | Learn more and register (free) »
March 16–17 In-Person Event (Sedona vicinity AZ): Beaver Creek Heritage Days
Celebrate Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month and methods of Indigenous technologies with the USDA Forest Service, Arizona Archaeology Society: Verde Valley Chapter, Verde Valley Archaeology Center & Museum, and Friends of the Forest! Beaver Creek Heritage Days is a Verde Valley tradition, and returns for its first time since the Pandemic. Join us for a fun and inclusive two-day event featuring engaging activities for adults, kids, and families! Please join us in commemorating the renaming of V-V Ranch to The Crane Petroglyph Heritage Site. The Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, Yavapai-Apache Nation, and Forest Service were instrumental in adopting a new name that embraces Indigenous representation. 9:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Verde Valley Archaeology Center & Museum | 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!