A trio of Crow Canyon Archaeological Center researchers stepped into the spotlight for a discussion on the 2,500-year-long migration of Pueblo people as part of the 2018 Mountainfilm Festival over Memorial Day weekend in Telluride.
Crow Canyon's Dan Simplicio, Shanna Diederichs, and Mark Varien presented "Seeking the Center Place for 2,500 Years" as part of the internationally-recognized event. Their talk explored how the long migration of Pueblo people across the American Southwest weaves together a story of climate change, economic adaptation, and cultural identity that we can all learn from today.
Dan Simplicio is the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center's cultural specialist and a member of the Zuni Pueblo. Simplicio’s work focuses on education, consulting with museums on exhibits and collections and teaching the Zuni language, history, culture and cosmology. He has also conducted archaeological fieldwork throughout the Southwest and worked as a cultural resource specialist for the Zuni Historic Preservation Office, and worked with the United Nations to help draft the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Shanna Diederichs is a research archaeologist with the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. She is currently investigating an ancient community center and great kiva from the seventh century, A.D. as part of the Basketmaker Communities Project—which seeks to understand the social organization of more than 100 ancestral Pueblo sites in southwest Colorado. Before coming to Crow Canyon, she worked with Mesa Verde National Park, Aztec Ruins National Monument and Woods Canyon Archaeological Consultants.
Mark Varien, Ph.D., is the executive vice president of the Research Institute at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, and has been conducting research in southwestern Colorado since 1979. As part of the Village Ecodynamics project, Varien works with a team of researchers to create a database of all the known ancient Pueblo archaeological sites to reconstruct the population history of the area. His work examines how population movement affects settlement patterns and seeks to integrate archaeological and indigenous knowledge. Varien is also the author of the 2010 book, Leaving Mesa Verde: Peril and Change in the Thirteenth-Century Southwest.
The Mountainfilm Festival is an annual documentary film festival that showcases nonfiction stories about environmental, cultural, recreation, political and social justice issues. Along with exceptional documentaries, the festival goes beyond the film medium by bringing together world-class athletes, change makers and visionary artists for a multi-dimensional celebration of indomitable spirit. The festival—which includes interactive talks, free community events, a gallery walk, outdoor programming and presentations—aims to inspire audiences to action on worthy causes.
For more information about the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center—including details on our exciting current research along with our groundbreaking archaeological education programs and travel seminars—go to https://www.crowcanyon.org.