Evidence that People Bred Macaws at Mimbres Site – Archaeology Southwest

Dear Friends,

Over the past 10 days I spent several days in Traverse City, Michigan, four days in San Diego, California, and a half-day on Mount Lemmon, a peak just outside of Tucson that rises over 9,100 feet.

These places have an important thing in common—they are MUCH cooler than Tucson.

So, I’ve had a nice break from reality.

But I have also stayed connected to reality. The news from everywhere across the globe highlights that temperatures are “boiling hot.” Temperature records are being broken, and trends are consistently upward when looked at on decadal scales.

As we close out the summer of 2023, what are your expectations for the summer of 2024? What will your (and my) grandchildren experience in 2034?

We happened to arrive in San Diego less than 24 hours after the first hurricane since 1939 hit the Baja California coast and swept into southern California as a tropical storm.

There’s a pattern here. Unprecedented things are happening, with regularity, in large part due human-caused climate change.

The Los Angeles Times published their major journalistic exploration of climate change last Sunday. They offered a great reading list that focuses on both fiction and nonfiction books dealing with climate change.

And because I’m an archaeologist and I focus on human-created material culture, here’s an article about, of all things, cardboard. I found it fascinating, and I confess I was lured in by this amazing opening sentence:

“Whether it’s Tetrised inside a delivery truck, cradling a cappuccino or telescoping over a tampon, cardboard is a paradox.”

Here’s that link.

Stay cool as best you can,

Bill's signature
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest

P.S. 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!

Banner image: Himarerme – Own work, Public Domain, via Wkimedia Commons

Evidence that People Bred Macaws at Mimbres Site

Scanning electron microscope imaging allowed us to examine an internal structure of the eggshells, known as the mammillary cones, to look for indications of embryonic development. Mammillary cones provide the essential calcium (and other elements) for the early development of the bird embryo’s bones. Our observation of reabsorption of mammillary cones in five of the eggshells clearly indicated that the eggs were fertilized, and skeletal development had begun, suggesting breeding of macaws occurred at Old Town Ruin. This is the first evidence of macaw breeding north of Paquimé, located in northwestern Mexico, where macaw breeding likely occurred nearly 200 years later, after 1275. Kimberly Wurth in the Santa Fe New Mexican | Read more »

ASU Team Receives Major Grant Award for Social Science Data Management System

You’re a social scientist trying to do a study on health, wealth and discrimination across hundreds of ethnicities worldwide. Until recently, this would have taken a lot of time and manual calculations with plenty of room for error. There was no way to easily connect data on health and discrimination for ethnicities across thousands of datasets from countries around the world, explains Daniel Hruschka, professor and associate director at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. Out of frustration, Hruschka and colleagues teamed up and started building CatMapper three years ago. The program helps scientists map categories between different datasets, which inspired the name “CatMapper.” ASU News | Read more »

New Threat to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Opposed by 50 environmental groups, including the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the FY2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Bill the House Appropriations Committee passed in July and the full House of Representatives is expected to vote on in September, would tie the BLM’s hands in two fundamental ways. First, it would prevent the BLM from managing the national monument in accordance with Proclamation 10286, in which President Joe Biden restored the Grand Staircase to its original 1996 boundaries. That action came in October 2021 and reversed former President Donald Trump’s 2017 decision to slash the size of the monument in half, from 1.9 million to roughly 900,000 acres. The bill would require the BLM to manage the monument’s roughly 1.9 million acres in accordance with the plan finalized after Trump reduced the monument. Second, the appropriations bill would prevent the BLM from using any of its funds to implement its proposed “Public Lands Rule,” which would put conservation on equal footing with extraction, livestock grazing and other uses of the land. Mark Eddington in the Salt Lake Tribune | Read more »

Take action via Monuments for All  »

The Push to Change Offensive Place Names

Across the United States, there are thousands of mountains, rivers, and other geologic features that bear derogatory, racist, or pejorative place names. About 660 of those referred to a slur against Indigenous women. But that’s now changing. The single largest name change effort in history is giving way to a movement that advocates hope will shed light on why place names are so significant. The Wilderness Society in Grist | Read more »

Podcast: Understanding the 2023 “Winning the West” Poll Results

Kate [Groetzinger] and Aaron [Weiss] are joined by pollster Lindsay Vermeyen, senior vice president at Benenson Strategy Group, and Center for Western Priorities Executive Director Jennifer Rokala to dig into the results of our 2023 Winning the West poll. Spoiler alert: Western voters really love public lands, and they want to see them protected. Kate and Aaron also recap some of the great public lands and conservation news that came out in August. The Landscape (Center for Western Priorities) | Listen now »

Podcast: Prehistoric North America

With rock imagery scholar Aaron Wright. Aaron joined host Don Wildman to explore what the rock imagery he studies in the American Southwest has in common with sites across North America, and what makes it different. American History Hit | Listen now »

Blog: Indigenous Sustainability and “Little Elders”

I’m Diné from Cove, Arizona—a community that is unofficially known as the “place of widows” due to the devastation of the uranium industry. My community remains haunted by the ghost of the nuclear age and grieves the loss of miners and their families, but I fight to turn tragedy into a rebirth. I fortify my identity with a need to protect my culture and the land of my ancestors. In honor of my community, I remind myself that I must walk the path of life with intent. On my journey along this path, I reflect and revere all that is around me. I’ve been lucky enough to see—the warm sienna of the Colorado Plateau, the rosy skyline of the Sandias in Albuquerque, to the kaitoke sea of the Olympics, and currently the golden Valley of the Sun. I’ve had the honor of being a guest on the traditional homelands of the Tuf Shur Tia (Sandia Pueblo), the dxʷsəq̓ʷəb (Suquamish), Nux Sklai Yem (Port Gamble S’Klallam), and now the Tohono O’odham, Akimel O’Odham (Pima), and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indigenous communities. These travels have strengthened my dedication to sustainable Indigenous nation-building, specifically in the field of wildlife biology and conservation. Caitlynn Mayhew at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest) | Read more »

REMINDER: Aug. 31 Online Event: Seeking My Center Place: Migrations though Science & Tradition

With Lyle Balenquah (Hopi). The title of this talk shares a name with a chapter Lyle Balenquah wrote for a forthcoming volume about “Indigenous Archaeology.” Lyle’s webinar will focus on his experiences as an archaeologist involved in various projects dealing with repatriation, site conservation and Indigenous advocacy. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument | Learn more and register (free) »

Sept. 19 In-Person Event (Tucson AZ): Screening of Two Episodes from New Seasons of “In the Americas”

With David Yetman and Dan Duncan. David and Dan will tell us about this season’s thrilling travels, which took them from the Colorado Plateau to Southern Spain, with stops in Veracruz, Mexico City, and Baja California, among other places. They will also share an action-packed sizzler for season 11. We will screen two episodes featuring water as the central theme: “Tlaloc’s Revenge: Mexico’s Hydrological Heritage” and “As the Waters of Lake Powell Recede,” followed by a discussion with David, Dan, and Jeff Banister, director of the Southwest Center. S7:00–8:30 p.m., $5 admission, The Loft Cinema. Space is limited, please reserve your seat by sending an email to: Southwest Center (University of Arizona) | Learn more »

Sept. 21 Online Event: The Historical George McJunkin Reimagined through His Archaeological Sites

With Brian Kenny. Cowboy George McJunkin discovered the Folsom archaeological site proving humans were in the Americas 10,000 years ago. Archaeologists only verified his find after he died. The archaeology and history of McJunkin himself helps assess his importance in history. Third Thursday Food for Thought series (Old Pueblo Archaeology Center) | Learn more and register (free) »

See you next week! 

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