Thursday, October 1st at 4 p.m. MDT
Color is an important part of peoples' lives; it carries meaning and makes things beautiful, and it communicates ideas and evokes emotions. So why do we tend to think of the past as if it were in black and white? In this talk, I question what we mean by color and how we can identify color choices in the past, delving into the surprisingly complicated history of color thinking and the technologies of paints and dyes. I then draw on museum collections and archaeological reports to show how Ancestral Pueblo people used color in all parts of their lives: to decorate pottery, to paint on cliff faces and the walls of rooms, to adorn fabric, and to create brilliant ornaments. This research shows that, regardless of medium, Ancestral Pueblo color choices varied widely through time and space; rather than following a linear trajectory from simple to complex, the use of color ebbed and flowed, with different individuals and communities using color—and relating to colorful materials—in deeply meaningful ways.
Thursday, October 8th at 4 p.m. MDT
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center was established as a not-for-profit archaeological research and education institution in southwestern Colorado in 1983. The Center’s founder, Stuart Struever, believed that significantly advancing knowledge and understanding of the human past required concentrated, long-term research. As Crow Canyon approaches 40 years of research, education, and Native American partnerships in the Mesa Verde Region, Dr. Lightfoot reflects on the Center’s origins and contributions to knowledge.
Thursday, October 15th at 4 p.m. MDT
Join Samantha, previous Crow Canyon intern, while she discusses her master's thesis research on Casas Grandes ceramics and its relation to the trip she took with Crow Canyon in November of 2019 to Chihuahua, Mexico to see several Casas Grandes archaeological sites.
Thursday, October 22nd at 4 p.m. MDT
San Juan Red Ware is a type of painted pottery produced in southeastern Utah. It appeared at the same time that large, aggregated villages were built around AD 750 and resembles ceramics far to the south more than local white wares. Eventually, it became one of the most widely traded types of pottery in the entire Southwest and can be found as far away as Nevada and the Phoenix Basin. Production eventually ended around AD 1050. This presentation builds upon prior analyses by utilizing the publicly available CyberSouthwest database (cybersw.org) containing data on millions of ceramics to analyze the distribution of this ware throughout the Southwest, as well as its relative position in social networks. Social network analysis is a way to study how relationships are structured and change over time. In particular, I describe the relative importance of sites containing San Juan Red Ware to the overall social network through which San Juan Red Ware was commonly circulated.
Thursday, October 29th at 4 p.m. MDT
Southwestern archaeology and tree-ring dating have been inextricably intertwined for more than a century. Woven together like strands in a complex tapestry with interesting personalities, stunning discoveries, and analytical milestones, the history of our discipline is highlighted by dendrochronological discoveries and contributions. For nearly half-a-century, archaeologists have analyzed large tree-ring date databases as they work to discover and discern broad demographic, settlement, climatological, and other trends in pre-Columbian history. Often, however, those databases have been analyzed at face value, uncritically, with little regard to the history of research and how that might affect the nature of the available data. There are now tens of thousands of tree-ring dates available to scholars from archaeological sites across the American Southwest. Archaeologists are beginning to take tentative steps to analyze these data en masse. The question remains, however, whether large tree-ring datasets contain systematic biases that may affect our interpretations. In this presentation, Steve presents several case studies from several locations around the American Southwest to make the case that we must always understand and account for the historical origins and biases inherent in these data.