Learn more about Native American history by attending one of the many conferences and lectures this month that help reveal the ancient civilizations of the Americas:
May 26-May 31
“Ancient Hands Around the World”
International Federation of Rock Art Organizations (IFRAO)
Sponsored by American Rock Art Research Association (ARARA)
The International Federation of Rock Art Organizations (IFRAO) will convene its International Rock Art Congress at the Marriott Pyramid Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico . IFRAO is a consortium of more than fifty international rock art research associations, who explore the many facets of rock art – the study of prehistoric human-made markings found on stone in natural landscape settings. The local hosting organization is American Rock Art Research Association (ARARA).
The conference is open to all—professional archaeologists and interested avocationalists alike. In keeping with the international agenda established over the past years, the conference will offer four days of oral and poster presentations in sessions organized by topic, and Wednesday will be devoted to field trips for all attendees. Other special cultural events are planned throughout the week including evening lectures open to the public, dances by local Pueblo groups, social events and vendor offerings of rock art related merchandise. Opportunities to book extended field trips before and after the Congress will also be available. Official languages are English and Spanish.
Call for Papers abstracts deadline is July 1, 2012. More information: http://www.ifrao2013.org/call%20for%20papers.html
Marriott Pyramid North
Albuquerque, New Mexico
May 27, 6:00 PM
Southwest Seminars Lecture
“Tiwanaku: An Andean Civilization”
Matthias Strecker, Rock Art Researcher, La Paz Bolivia
Santa Fe Hotel
Santa Fe, New Mexico
May 28th, 7:30 PM
San Diego County Archaeological Society Lecture
“Maya Vases Speak: The Story of a Peten Prince’s Sacrifice Told in Glyphs and Iconography”
Dr. Judith S. Green Wells
The subject of this illustrated lecture developed when a bowl recently gifted to the San Diego Museum of Man in the Dr. Geoffrey A. Smith Collection came to my attention. It has rich iconography of calendrical vocalizing birds and a partly translatable text that fascinated me because it included the rare glyphs YAX CH’AB (“first blood sacrifice”) . Working with Michel Quenon and Erik Boot, both experienced epigraphers and iconographers, we discovered other vessels in the Justin Kerr Mayavase database for comparison. One from that database revealed explicitly three important aspects of the rite that had not been discussed in print. Also there is evidence that indicates that these vases were specifically made as gifts to important visitors at the feasts commemorating the ritual. We know that many of these treasures ended up in the tombs of their noble recipients. The vase thus “speaks” not only of the rite, and the prince and kin, but also reveals where he came from as the text includes an emblem glyph identifying the polity of Hixwitz, Guatemala.
When more vessels scattered in museums and private collections can be translated, even more can be deduced about Classic Maya history in the Guatemalan Peten. Of course, this in no way replaces the wealth of information gained when vases are excavated in situ by archaeologists.
Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve
San Diego, California
June 1, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM
Smithsonian Associates Seminar
“The Pueblo Culture Takes Root in the American Southwest”
$96 Senior Member
$139 Gen. Admission
The beginning of domesticated food production marked a time of great transformation in human history. In various places around the world there were dramatic changes in the use of natural resources, the impact humans began to have on the environment, and exponential population growth. Large, permanent settlements brought about the invention of new types of social and political organization. Explore how these transformations played out in one corner of the world—the American Southwest—and set the stage for the creation of the Pueblo Indian culture.
10 to 10:45 a.m. “Teosinte to Maize”
Nearly 10,000 years ago, humans in Mexico’s tropical lowlands turned teosinte, a wild grass, into the food staple maize (corn), and transformed life in the Americas. Dolores R. Piperno, Smithsonian senior scientist and curator of archaeobotany and South American archaeology at the Natural History Museum and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama.
11 a.m. to noon “The Beginning of Pueblo Indian Culture”
Migrants brought maize farming to the American Southwest about 4,000 years ago, and it was subsequently adopted by the region’s hunter-gatherers. Mark D. Varien, research and education chair, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Colorado
Noon to 1 p.m. Lunch (Participants provide their own lunch.)
1 to 2 p.m. “The Roots Deepen: New Evidence from Mesa Verde”
Ancestral Pueblo farmers expanded into southwestern Colorado’s Mesa Verde region, triggering the development of the Mesa Verde Pueblo culture and culminating in the famous 13th-century cliff dwellings. Shanna Diederichs, project director, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.
2:15 to 3 p.m. “The Invention of Community”
Technological and agricultural innovations—including pottery, the bow and arrow, and new varieties of flour, corn, and beans—spread rapidly across the Colorado Plateau, resulting in dramatic population growth and larger, more permanent settlements. They created new opportunities as well as new problems. Scott G. Ortman, Lightfoot Fellow, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.
3:15 to 4 p.m. “Corn and the Pueblos”
Corn was both sustenance and a source of metaphors for the Pueblo culture’s architecture, social organization, and human life cycle. Centuries later, corn continues to influence the folkways of modern Pueblo peoples. Porter Swentzell, Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive, SW
Metro: Smithsonian Mall Exit (Blue/Orange)
June 1, 1:15 PM
British Museum Gallery Talk
“Gold in Ancient Mexico”
Courtesy Mike Ruggeri