Southwest Archaeology Today

Southwest Archaeology Today (SAT) is a free, weekly e-mail news digest. In addition to sharing regional archaeology news, events, opportunities, and publications, SAT connects readers with news and commentary on U.S. public lands policy, global heritage protection and preservation, and the peopling of the North and South American continents. Review our submission guidelines here.

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2021
21
Sep

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Celebrates 25 Years of Learning from the Land

Dear Friends, From time to time I receive comments from readers who feel there is too much political content in my notes or in the articles we share. I read every comment I receive. And I respectfully consider the message that is being delivered. My goal, when I get “political,” is to a...
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2021
14
Sep

Overcrowding at National Parks

Dear Friends,  Last week’s note highlighted Utah Diné Bikéyah (UDB), the Indigenous nonprofit that played a critical role in building Tribal support for Bears Ears National Monument. Hold that thought.  Over this past week, I have found the news frustrating. I think President Biden is ef...
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2021
07
Sep

The Future of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante

Dear Friends, I spent a good bit of this Labor Day weekend doing background reading for a talk I am scheduled to give in mid-November. It’s a talk about Preservation Archaeology, and one topic will be Bears Ears National Monument. It turns out I have more than 500 files of Bears Ears-rela...
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2021
31
Aug

Legal and Cultural Barriers to Protecting Sacred Indigenous Places

Dear Friends, Just a short note on dental care and privilege. And responsibility. Two weeks ago on a Sunday, I made a quick stop at the nearby Sprouts grocery store. Given the COVID resurgence, I was masked and so was the cashier at checkout. The cashier apologized for not speaking clearly...
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2021
24
Aug

Tribal Expertise Must Inform BLM Decision-Making

Dear Friends,  It’s good to be back after our one-week break.  It’s also exciting to share a couple of media events linked to Archaeology Southwest’s long-term Preservation Archaeology projects.  Two decades and five days ago, Paul Reed was hired as our Chaco Scholar. Paul’s init...
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2021
10
Aug

“Now is the time to celebrate America’s public lands…”

Dear Friends, It would be interesting to ask today’s residents of cities in the US Southwest a simple question: “When was the last time you visited an archaeological site?” I predict many wrong answers. Many people would say “never,” and many more would try to recall when they last visi...
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2021
03
Aug

Indigenous Leaders Call for Land Protections as Totem Pole Arrives in D.C.

Dear Friends, Last week I glibly noted that I was journeying to the hot, dry landscape of the lower Colorado River to achieve balance—a temperature balance—in my life. (The week before I’d been enjoying cool ocean breezes in San Diego.) This week I can earnestly report that the incinerat...
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2021
27
Jul

Continuing Coverage: Unauthorized Drilling at Petroglyph Site

Dear Friends,  I like to maintain a balance in my life.  Last week I endured six days of cool ocean breezes in San Diego. When you read this, I will be driving west from Tucson.  Balance will be achieved via two days in Las Vegas and one in Yuma…  Our current, unexpectedly generous...
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2021
20
Jul

The Past, Present, and Future of the Salt River

Dear Friends, I’m typing this 100-some yards from the ocean in San Diego. It’s 76° with a moderate breeze. I haven’t been here in 20 years. The decade before that, my wife and I came here every summer with our daughter. This year, it’s with our daughter and our two grandkids. Each...
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2021
13
Jul

Indigenous Astronomy in the National Parks

Dear Friends,  The pace has slowed a bit recently as the summer vacation season thins the number of colleagues who are in the office or available for the next Zoom call.  That’s OK.  Especially since I’ll be one of those vacationers next week. Like throngs of Arizonans, I’m off to ...
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2021
06
Jul

An Earlier Revolution

Dear Friends, The Fourth of July traditionally ends our Preservation Archaeology Field School. It’s a partnership with the University of Arizona’s School of Anthropology, and we are based in Cliff, New Mexico. We have funding from the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences fo...
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2021
30
Jun

Megadroughts in the Distant Past

Dear Friends, I return to the climate crisis regularly because it affects me, my family, my community, my world. And yours. At Archaeology Southwest, it affects our conservation goals. This week, our friends at the Lower San Pedro Watershed Alliance (LSPWA) presented me with a learning expe...
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