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On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, Dr. Steve Lekson visits Tucson to explore the roles modern history and politics have played in our understanding of the 11th century societies of southwestern New Mexico.
Lekson recently completed a study of Chaco archaeology framed by the history and politics of “Pueblo Space” – an idealized image of Pueblos, crafted in Santa Fe in the early 20th century and thereafter applied to archaeology. Mimbres – the 11th century societies of southwestern New Mexico – provides an interesting comparison. Archaeologists first declared Mimbres to be (Ancestral) Pueblo, then non-Pueblo, then Pueblo again … or maybe not. This matters very much in how Mimbres is understood archaeologically, and in how Mimbres is represented as Native heritage. Lekson will briefly illustrate the roles of modern history and politics at Chaco Canyon, and then turn those lenses on Mimbres – in particular, ancient Mimbres history and geopolitics. Mimbres clearly engaged both Hohokam and Ancestral Pueblo. Modern constructions of Mimbres color varying visions of how that ancient history played out. Lekson (of course) has constructions of Mimbres, based on almost 50 years of research in the Mimbres region – and his notions will also be on the table for analysis at this café!
Stephen Lekson, Ph.D., is an archaeologist and professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Most of his fieldwork has been in the Mogollon and Anasazi (Ancestral Pueblo) regions, but he’s also dabbled in Hohokam, Casas Grandes, Jornada, and Rio Grande areas. His principal interests are human geography, built environments, and government; but his current research projects have more to do with migrations (Pinnacle Ruin, in southern New Mexico) and household archaeology (Yellow Jacket, in southwestern Colorado). He is also interested in museums (he serves as Curator of Anthropology at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History) and archaeology’s role in American and global intellectual life.
Presented by Archaeology Southwest, a nonprofit organization working across the Southwest to explore and protect the places of our past, Archaeology Café is an informal forum where adults can learn more about the Southwest’s deep history and speak directly to experts. At Archaeology Café, we break down the static, jargon-laden dynamic of traditional lectures, and have an expert share some ideas with the group in ways that get discussion going. (Food and drink make things a little livelier, too.)
Archaeology Café is held at The Loft Cinema (3233 E. Speedway Blvd). Due to the expected attendance, we’ve added a second “showing” that evening to accommodate more Café-goers. Lekson will speak at 6 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. that evening. While seating is open and unreserved, it is limited to 98 guests for each showing, and you must have a ticket. You can pick up your free tickets from The Loft Cinema box office anytime the day of the Café. (Limit two tickets per person.)
Archaeology Café is free. Guests are encouraged to purchase their own refreshments from The Loft’s impressive concession bar. Offerings include tamales, pizza, wraps, sandwiches, snacks, and a great selection of local beers and wines.
Videos of each Café will be available at www.archaeologysouthwest.org/video.
Questions? Visit us online at www.archaeologycafe.org or call us at 520-882-6946 ext. 23.
This program is made possible, in part, by The Smith Living Trust and Arizona Humanities.