2023 Pecos Conference in Flagstaff, AZ

Numerous Crow Canyon researchers, interns, and College Field School students had the honor of presenting at the recent Pecos Conference August 10–13, 2023 in Flagstaff, AZ. Their poster presentations covered a range of Crow Canyon research topics and sites, including Hawkins Preserve, the Haynie site, Pueblo II pottery, and projectile points. Learn more about the presenters and their topics in the summaries below:

Survey of Hawkins Preserve (Cortez, Colorado)

Julia Frost, Jesse Vigil, Levi Johannsen

The Hawkins Preserve is 122 acres of privately owned publicly accessible land south of Cortez, Colorado. Its owner, the Cortez Cultural Center partnered with Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in 2020 to conduct surveys at the Preserve to document new sites and expand knowledge of previously documented areas. The 2021 Range Fire burned the southern third of the Preserve, providing an opportunity to conduct further research on areas that may have been previously overgrown. The 2023 College Field School, under the guidance of Grant Coffey and Dr. Kellam Throgmorton, conducted surveys and documented new sites ranging from potentially the Archaic Period to the modern day. These data can be used to infer cultural occupation and use in this under surveyed part of the Central Mesa Verde Region. The knowledge gained benefits researchers and the public in their collective efforts for preservation and demonstrates the deep cultural continuity of Indigenous peoples.

Auger Testing at the Haynie Site (5MT1905): Locating and Identifying Cultural Deposits

Alan Bradley, Shaan Vernenkar, Denali Cook

The Haynie site (5MT1905) is a large, multi-component village with two Chaco-style great house located in Southwest Colorado. It is owned by The Archaeological Conservancy. The construction of a modern house significantly affected archaeological deposits at the site. Crow Canyon’s 2023 College Field School conducted auger testing that revealed midden deposits and pitstructures, in addition to areas of recent disturbance. The information from the auger testing expands the area of known intact deposits, identifies a previously unknown pitstructure, and will help inform management decisions made by The Archaeological Conservancy.

Pottery and Social Identity in Pueblo II Design Analysis

Aidan Keener, Adriana Sarduy, Zee Fleak

This research focuses on Pueblo II pottery types at six villages located in the San Juan region using a classification system first developed by Stephens-Reed and elaborated on by Bellordo et al. Specifically, the villages are located in southwestern Colorado’s Lakeview Community as well as Pueblo Alto in Chaco Canyon and two other Chaco great houses outside of the Canyon. The diversity of pottery indicates decentralized exchange and production. Many sites had a high prevalence of Dogoszhi style, which reflected Chaco social ties. Dogoszhi existed alongside various other styles which reflected local traditions, indicating community residents displayed multiple identities while continuously associating with Chaco Canyon.

A Closer Look at Drills and Drill Holes

Kate Hughes and Tyson Hughes

This pilot study analyzes drills and drill holes from the Haynie site (5MT1905) assemblage, a large multicomponent Ancestral Pueblo site in the Central Mesa Verde Region outside of Cortez, CO. Drills are commonly understudied, so we take a more detailed look at form, material, and use wear of Haynie site drills and identified drill holes in the assemblage. We examine these artifacts to explore what drill trends emerge at the Haynie site using macro and microscopic approaches paired with experimental archaeology.

A Palette of Points: Exploring the Aesthetics of Curated and Contemporary Projectile Points at the Haynie Site (5MT1905)

Clarise McKee

Projectile points, often viewed solely through a utilitarian lens, offer valuable insights into the past. However, the significance of these artifacts likely extends beyond their functional aspects, encompassing aesthetic and cultural dimensions. This research poster aims to bridge this gap by investigating the appearance of Archaic and Basketmaker “curated” points alongside Pueblo I and II “contemporary” points at the Haynie site (5MT1905), a multi-component site located in the Central Mesa Verde Region in southwestern Colorado. Through meticulous examination and comparison, we explore the visual attributes of curated and contemporary points by analyzing factors such as color, transparency, and luster.

Alternate Approaches to Archaeology: Lessons from the 18th Southwest Symposium

Last month, Crow Canyon staff attended the 18th Southwest Symposium in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Presenters were tasked with featuring alternate approaches to interpreting the archaeological record of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico at multiple scales.

Dr. Ben Bellorado and renowned Pueblo weavers Christopher P. Lewis and Louie Garcia were invited to present on Ancestral Pueblo sandal weaving traditions. This collaborative project develops multivocal interpretations of Ancestral Pueblo sandal weaving traditions by combining the perspectives of two expert Pueblo weavers and an archaeologist who specializes in ancient clothing practices in the US Southwest. The alternate approaches to interpreting the archaeological record highlighted the following attributes:

-Rarely recovered and understudied perishable Ancestral Pueblo sandal traditions, and

-To bring expert weavers from descendant communities into museum settings to work with archaeologists and museum professionals to understand their ancestors’ footwear.

Here is the full title and abstract of the presentation:

Sandal Biographies and Social Identities: Collaborative Approaches to the Study of Ancestral Pueblo Sandal Traditions in the Northern US Southwest

By Benjamin A. Bellorado, Laboratory Director, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center; Christopher J. Lewis, Fiber Artist and Cultural Scholar, Pueblo of Zuni; and Louie Garcia, Fiber Artist and Cultural Scholar, Tiwa and Piro


Footwear provides one of the most intimate mechanisms through which humans interact with the world. Every aspect of the technological and stylistic make-up of footwear provides insights about the identities of their weavers, their wearers, and the value of these garments in the societies where they functioned. Drawing on the perspectives of Zuni and Tiwa/Piro weavers and a clothing archaeologist, we investigate identity expression and object biographies in Ancestral Pueblo sandal weaving traditions at multiple scales. Through collaborative collections research, we demonstrate methods that Indigenous artisans and archaeologists can use to develop new understandings of the past, present, and future.


And, if you’d like to learn more, Pushing Boundaries in Southwestern Archaeology is a new publication that features conference themes from the 16th biennial Southwest Symposium and a chapter by Dr. Ben Bellorado!

Dr. Bellorado’s contribution to the volume, chapter 8, is titled “Pushing the Boundaries of Clothing Research: A Preliminary Look at Twined Sandals in Relation to Social Identities in the Chaco and Post-Chaco Eras.” Bellorado focuses on understanding the role of Ancestral Pueblo sandals in expressions of social identities, group affiliations, and prestige displays, or how people used footwear to tell others who they were and where they came from. One example of this effort is dating the development and spread of jogged toed sandals, an iconic attribute of Chaco and Mesa Verde identities across the Colorado Plateau.

Ben and his late colleague and friend Saul Hedquist organized one of the volume sessions on collections-based research. “The papers in the session focused on the incredible potential that museum legacy collections have for advancing southwestern archaeology, using materials that have already been excavated but rarely, or never, studied,” says Dr. Bellorado.

A note from the editor:

“Bellorado dives deep into the analysis of exquisitely preserved ancient footwear to demonstrate how people used clothing to signal aspects of social identity, group identity, and political organization in the Chaco and post-Chacoan worlds. In so doing, he demonstrates how truly remarkable the Southwest is from a preservation perspective. There are few places in the world in which one could pursue such research.”


This August, Christopher Lewis, Ben Bellorado alongside Austin Choochyamptewa will lead a week-long Pueblo Belt Weaving Workshop. Create your own Pueblo-style weaving under the guidance of our textile experts. Along the way, examine textiles as reflections of human identity and explore the cultural and archaeological contexts. Registration is open, so sign up online today!

Sandal Biographies Project: Collaborative Approaches to the Study of Ancestral Pueblo Sandal Traditions in the Northern US Southwest

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center’s Sandal Biography Project is a collaborative effort that explores Ancestral Pueblo footwear traditions. Through function and fashion, footwear ties all humans to both the physical acts of walk, running, and dancing as well as the social dimensions of identity, status, and community. Drawing on the perspectives of Zuni and Tiwa/Piro weavers and a clothing archaeologist, we investigate Ancestral Pueblo sandal weaving practices using an object biography approach. In addition to understanding the use of sandals in the past, our project seeks to reconnect descendant communities with materials and landscapes of their ancestors, to decolonize museum spaces, and to revitalize Indigenous footwear traditions. Through collaborative collections research, we demonstrate methods that Indigenous artisans, archaeologists, and museum professionals can use to develop new understandings of the past, present, and future.

Photo Caption:

Pueblo weavers Chris Lewis (Pueblo of Zuni) and Louie Garcia (Tiwa/Piro) and clothing archaeologist Dr. Benjamin Bellorado (Crow Canyon Archaeological Center), examine an assortment of Ancestral Pueblo sandals in the Mesa Verde National Park Visitor and Research Center during the Sandal Biographies Project.

Crow Canyon’s New Partnership with the Cortez Cultural Center

This year, Crow Canyon forged a new, exciting partnership with the Cortez Cultural Center and Executive Director, Rebecca Levy, that includes interactive displays in the Cultural Center’s lobby, the analyses and recording of artifact collections, and an archaeological survey at the Hawkins Preserve south of Cortez.

Crow Canyon’s 2022 Education Intern, Catherine Gagnon, took the lead to create interpretive digital resources for visitors at the Cortez Cultural Center. From Indigenous videos on how to visit archaeological sites with respect to Pre-Hispanic timelines, visitors can now interact with digital resources that are projected on a wall for easy access to educational content related to local history and culture.

The Center displays artifacts, dating from A.D. 500–1300, including pottery vessels that Crow Canyon’s laboratory archaeologists are analyzing to determine what time period they date to and if there are any that may have been brought into the area from outside of the Mesa Verde region, an indicator of social networks in the past.

At the Hawkins Preserve, Crow Canyon field archaeologists developed a pedestrian survey as part of Crow Canyon’s Archaeology Research Program—this program involves citizen scientists to aid in data collection on the archaeological sites that dot the landscape. Hawkins Preserve consists of a 122-acre natural area and includes numerous Pueblo I–Pueblo III period (A.D. 750–1300) habitations that are part of the Mitchell Springs Group, one of the densest concentrations of houses and community architecture in what is now southwest Colorado. In addition, there are several historic sites associated with Ute and Navajo peoples, as well as the earliest Euro-American settlers in the Cortez area.

“In conjunction with Crow Canyon’s Northern Chaco Outliers Project, data collected during our partnership with the Cortez Cultural Center will provide important information on the history and occupation of two of the largest Pre-Hispanic communities in the area, greatly contributing to our understanding of the human past in the Mesa Verde region.” — Dr. Susan Ryan, Chief Mission Officer

We are excited to embark on this new partnership with the Cortez Cultural Center!

Thank You College Field School Students!

Many thanks to our College Field School students and Native American Scholars-In-Residence for their contributions to Crow Canyon’s mission initiatives! We enjoyed working with students and scholars who were thoroughly engaged and excited to delve into the realm of archaeology and Indigenous cultural knowledge. Students learned many perspectives from resident scholars representing diverse cultural backgrounds and gained a more holistic understanding of modern and past Indigenous cultures. This REU Sites award supports authentic archaeological research for 10 undergraduate students from underrepresented populations over the course of seven weeks.

Dr. Tim Kohler elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Congratulations to Crow Canyon board member Tim Kohler for his election to the National Academy of Sciences!

First established by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the National Academy of Sciences is a nonprofit society of scholars tasked with providing independent, objective advice about science and technology to the nation. The NAS is committed to furthering science in America, and its members are active contributors to the international scientific community. New members are elected “in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research,” according to the NAS website. Kohler is one of just 150 new members announced last month.

Kohler studies the social dynamics of prehistoric cultures, specializing in the U.S. Southwest. His research explores the relationships between demography, violence, wealth inequality, social evolution, and climate variability. He is a Regents Professor at Washington State University; an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute; and a Research Associate at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. He also served as the Johanna-Mestorf Chair at Christian-Albrechts Universität, Kiel Germany and as an Invited Scholar at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto, Japan.

Tim’s research on southwestern U.S. archaeology began when he joined the Dolores Archaeological Program in 1979, and he went on to direct an excavation project in Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico.

His recent research includes SKOPE (Synthesizing Knowledge of Past Environments), a collaboration with Arizona State University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Crow Canyon that makes data on past environments widely accessible. In addition, he recently worked with colleagues at the Santa Fe Institute on an NSF IBSS-funded project to analyze information flows in human organizations. With Amy Bogaard, University of Oxford, he directs the Global Dynamics of Inequality Project (GINI), which is run through the Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Kohler recently served as a lead author of one of the chapters in the recently released report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change dealing with how humans are adapting, and might adapt, to the changes in the world’s weather systems that we are already beginning to experience.

Congratulations on this exciting achievement, Tim!

2022 Spring Newsletter

The Spring Newsletter is Here!

Much is happening at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center! Over the past year, our amazing staff, scholars, and volunteers have done great things and we’re excited to share their recent accomplishments and other news from Crow Canyon. Keep reading to learn more.

– This year, Crow Canyon is partnering with the Cortez Cultural Center to bring you the Archaeology Research Program! We are inviting citizen scientists to join us in an archaeological survey of the Hawkins Preserve.

– Volunteers are making a big impact on curation collections! For National Volunteer Month in April, we highlighted the contributions of our lab volunteers on two ongoing projects including rehousing pottery vessels and studying obsidian artifacts from Aztec Ruins National Monument.

– We congratulated Kelsey Hanson on being the recipient of the Crow Canyon 2022–2023 Lister Fellowship, which is awarded every two years to a Ph.D. student and comes with a $10,000 stipend to support their research and dissertation work.

– Crow Canyon scholars and friends published these notable and newsworthy publications!

– Crow Canyon’s 2021 Field Report, read here

– “Reading Between the Lines: The Social Value of Dogoszhi Style in the Chaco World,” published in American Antiquity

– “Becoming Hopi: A History” published by the University of Arizona Press

– Last but certainly not least, we mourned the loss of Director of IT Dylan Schwindt in December. Dylan was truly a brilliant, creative, talented, and compassionate soul. We established the Dylan Schwindt Memorial Fund to honor our dear friend.

To view the full Spring Newsletter, click here:

Crow Canyon presents at the SAAs and the SfAAs

Sharing the results of fieldwork and laboratory analyses is fundamental to meeting Crow Canyon’s professional and ethical obligations as archaeologists. This spring, members of Crow Canyon’s staff attended two conferences, the 82nd Annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) in Salt Lake City, March 22nd – 26th and the 87th Annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) meeting in Chicago, March 30–April 3. Both conferences brought members of the archaeological community from around the world together to share research and best practices in the field.

At the SfAAs in Salt Lake, Mark Varien (Executive Vice President of the Research Institute at Crow Canyon) et al. presented The Pueblo Farming Project: Research, Education, and Native American Collaboration, and Liz Perry (CEO/President) and Susan Ryan (Chief Mission Officer) presented Archaeology as Applied Anthropology at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.

At the SAAs, Kellam Throgmorton (Field Director) co-organized a symposium with former Crow Canyon field archaeologist Erin Baxter (currently the curator of anthropology at Denver Museum of Nature and Science) entitled, New Perspectives for Chaco Outlier Research and Advocacy with Ruth Van Dyke as Discussant. Fourteen papers were presented in this symposium, featuring emerging Southwest scholars (grad students and recent PhDs, including Sam Fladd), Indigenous perspectives (such as Theresa Pasqual and Octavius Seowtewa), and veteran archaeologists.

Four papers were presented by Crow Canyon employees during the symposium:

Grant Coffey and Mark Varien Chaco Great Houses in the Great Sage Plain of Southwestern Colorado

Susan Ryan and Rebecca Hammond Indigenous Perspective on the Future of Chaco Research

Benjamin Bellorado The Footwear of Leadership and Prestige in the Chaco World: Twined Sandals and House Societies in the Great San Juan River Drainage

Kellam Throgmorton Recognizing Ancient North American Polities: Introducing Peoplehood to the Chacoan World

Organizing sessions is a big task and the outcome of a well-organized session can influence the direction of inquiry in the discipline. Congratulations to Kellam and Erin for accomplishing this milestone, which turned out to be one of the best-attended sessions for the conference.

“Despite pulling from a wide array of scholars and institutions, a surprising number of participants in our symposium have some kind of Crow Canyon tie-in, which I think is a testament to our institutional impact on Southwestern Archaeology!” —Kellam Throgmorton

Tayler Hasbrouck (Community Outreach Manager) and Tyson Hughes (Education Manager) presented a paper in a separate symposium entitled, How will Covid-19 Affect the Future of Public Archaeology, and Jonathan Dombrosky (postdoctoral scholar) presented a poster in a session titled Recent Research in Southwestern Archaeology.

We are incredibly proud of the diverse and professional papers presented at these two conferences. We are grateful to the donors who contribute to the William D. Lipe Advances in Research endowment, which supports our staff attendance at conferences that contribute to the advancement of Crow Canyon’s mission.

Announcing the recipient of the 2022 Lister Fellowship!

We would like to announce Kelsey Hanson as the recipient of the 2022 Lister Fellowship award!

The Lister Fellowship was established in recognition of the lifelong achievements of the late Florence and Robert Lister — archaeologists, dedicated educators, and friends and supporters of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Awarded every two years to a single enrolled Ph.D. student, this fellowship comes with a $10,000 stipend to help support the recipient in the final stages of their research and dissertation work.

The 2022 Lister Fellowship recipient, Kelsey Hanson, is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, where she specializes in the archaeology of the U.S. Southwest. She is dedicated to seeking creative interdisciplinary and collaborative means of understanding the diversity of human expression, problem-solving, and sociopolitical organization.

Kelsey received her Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from Grand Valley State University in 2014 and her Master of Science from Illinois State University in 2016. Kelsey credits her 2016 Field Internship at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center for setting her on her current path in Southwest archaeology.

In her current work, Kelsey is particularly interested in how specialized knowledge is cultivated and circulated in communities and how this is encoded in material culture. Drawing from anthropological archaeology, Indigenous philosophy, and conservation science, Hanson’s dissertation research problematizes paint technology to understand the circulation of specialized knowledge in the rise and fall of the Chaco World of northern New Mexico (A.D. 850–1300).

Kelsey was chosen as the recipient of the 2022 Lister Fellowship by a committee of three distinguished anthropological archaeologists because of her amazing academic achievements, her passion for Southwest archaeology, and her focus on hands-on, experiential learning.

Upon completion of her Ph.D., Kelsey plans to pursue a postdoctoral and university faculty position that will allow her to continue her research and her goal of making the human past accessible to the greater population.

We are incredibly excited to have Kelsey join us at Crow Canyon for the duration of her fellowship, and we look forward to seeing her grow as a student and as a person while she completes her Ph.D.

Dr. Michelle Turner Bound for the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut

Join us in congratulating Crow Canyon’s first postdoctoral scholar, Michelle Turner, who recently accepted a position at Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut. Michelle has done amazing work at Crow Canyon and her success as a postdoctoral scholar was so influential that we hope to continue the program through the Research Institute. While Dr. Turner has accomplished countless projects during her time at Crow Canyon, we would like to highlight a few of her accomplishments.

– Published work on Amaranth in the American Antiquity publication.

– Contributed to our understanding of Mancos Black-on-white pottery — the main decorated whiteware during the Chaco period.

– Developed a new lesson on archaeological dating methods (other than dendrochronology) and updated the lesson on ornaments.

– Taught National Endowment for the Humanities teachers about whole vessel analysis.

– Analyzed ornaments from the Wallace great house and the nearby Greenstone Pueblo with Dr. Kari Schleher.

We are incredibly honored to have had Michelle as our first postdoctoral scholar. We wish her all the best in her new position and hope that she will come back and visit us sometime soon! Thank you for all that you have done Dr. Turner!

Application Period for the Lister Fellowship is Open: Submit Your Research Proposal Today!

We are excited to announce that the application period for the 2022–2023 Florence C. and Robert H. Lister Fellowship is now open!

Every two years, the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center awards the Lister Fellowship to a Ph.D. student who shows promise in making impactful and positive contributions to the archaeological knowledge of American Indian cultures of the Greater Southwest, including northern Mexico.

Named in recognition of late archaeologists and educators, Florence and Robert Lister, the recipient of the Lister Fellowship is awarded a stipend of $10,000 to help support them while they are in the final stages of their research and dissertation work. Once awarded, the recipient will be granted the stipend, typically in four equal installments over the course of a 12-month period, beginning in January of 2022. This money can be used to help the recipient during their dissertation work, from defraying educational costs related to their Ph.D. program to helping pay for living expenses while working.

The recipient of the Lister Fellowship is required to present a colloquium on their research at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center during the fellowship period and give a bound copy of their dissertation to the Crow Canyon research library. The Fellow and the Executive Vice President of the Research Institute at Crow Canyon will schedule this colloquium toward the end of the fellowship period.

The fellowship is open to students who have been admitted to a Ph.D. program at a recognized university in North America and who are engaged in dissertation research or writing. The design of the student’s project must produce a significant increase in knowledge about American Indian cultures in the southwestern United States or northern Mexico. Data for the dissertation may be gathered through field archaeology or analysis of existing archaeological collections. The study may be focused on either the pre‐Hispanic or historic period; projects that consider the interaction of American Indian and European‐derived cultures are eligible. Relevant projects that depend primarily on ethnoarchaeology or paleoenvironmental studies will also be considered.

Our current Lister Fellow recipient, Katie Richards, is a Ph.D. student at Washington State University and is close to finishing her dissertation on Fremont social and political organization and the relationship between the Fremont and Pueblo culture areas. She has pursued this research since 2007 by conducting archaeological surveys, excavations, and laboratory analyses, including work at many important sites in both the Fremont and Ancestral Pueblo regions.

You can find more information about past Lister Fellowship recipients here, and watch one of 2017 Lister Fellow Benjamin Bellorado‘s webinar videos here.

Farewell to William D. Lipe Chair of Research Dr. Kyle Bocinsky!

The Research Institute at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, led by Executive Vice President Dr. Mark D. Varien, is honored to announce that our first William D. Lipe Chair of Research, Dr. Kyle Bocinsky, has accepted a position at the University of Montana as the new Director of Climate Extension in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation. He will be departing Crow Canyon’s Research Institute in February after serving as Director and assisting in the development of projects and programs since 2015.

Dr. Bocinsky worked closely with Crow Canyon researchers since starting as a graduate student at Washington State University in 2008. His archaeological research focuses on human-environment relationships in the past and climate change impacts on ancestral Pueblo farming communities. As a graduate student, he worked on the Village Ecodynamics Project and interned with the Basketmaker Communities Project. In 2017, Dr. Bocinsky was named the first William D. Lipe Chair of Research and Director of the Research Institute.

“Kyle contributed enormously to the development and success of the Research Institute at Crow Canyon,” said Dr. Varien. “We are so proud to be a part of his professional success and are thrilled to continue to work with him as an associate and colleague in his new role.”

The focus of Dr. Bocinsky’s research has gradually shifted to working with contemporary communities to develop climate resilience. His new role in Montana will be to make climate data and information more useful and usable for people living in Montana and the Northern Rockies. He will be a primary liaison with constituencies ranging from Tribal governments and colleges to agricultural producers and the outdoor recreation industry. He will continue doing research broadly around the dynamics of socio-ecological systems.

“This will be an exciting opportunity not only to develop my passions for research on climate and society, but also to be more present in my community in western Montana,” Dr. Bocinsky said of his new position.

Since 2017, Dr. Bocinsky has been regularly commuting to Cortez from Missoula, Montana, where he lives with his husband John and their family. He will continue to collaborate closely with Crow Canyon researchers as a Crow Canyon Research Associate.