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Lecture Series: Archaeology as History in the Southwest


For the past several years, the Friends of Archaeology have sponsored an evening lecture series that covers the history of Southwestern communities from the peopling of the New World to the Reconquest. The lectures are prepared and presented by Dr. Eric Blinman, former director of the Office of Archaeological Studies.

The lectures will be presented live via Zoom on Wednesdays, beginning at 5:45 p.m., starting on January 3, 2024. The lectures will be recorded, and recordings and PowerPoint decks will be available for paid subscribers to review for at least a month after the close of the lecture series. Each lecture will be 1 to 1½ hours long. There will be at least eight lectures following the topic sequence below [the previous series eventually consisted of 12 lectures].

This lecture series will count for at least eight hours of continuing education credits toward permitting qualifications for New Mexico Cultural Resource Consultants. Dr. Blinman will encourage feedback and discussion following each lecture.

A new experiment for this series will be both immediate responses to participant questions as well as more in-depth responses to discussion issues raised by participants and peer archaeologists. In-depth responses will be added to the ends of subsequent Wednesday lectures or will be incorporated into those lectures.

A premise of the lecture series is that archaeology is history that must culminate in the post-colonial diversity of Native American communities. An additional premise is that as a scientific discipline, archaeology presents models and interpretations explicitly for critical evaluation rather than presenting those models as truth. Dr. Blinman's perspective has been shaped by his early exposure to archaeology in 1967, his first collaborative tribal archaeological project (1977–1978), decades of consultations on issues of cultural affiliation under NAGPRA, and decades of building and executing research designs that define the goals of archaeology prompted by economic development projects.

Lectures will include:

• Conceptual and Practical Tools for Understanding Southwestern Archaeology will cover evolutionary models, subsistence economics, how languages change, principles of demography, tools for climate and environmental reconstruction, and measures of time.

• The Destination: Modern Peoples and Cultures of the Northern Southwest will cover the diversity of environments and cultures at European contact, language diversity and history, means of maintaining community identities, and how impacts of colonization have shaped perceptions (and misconceptions) of Native peoples.

• The Early Years: Peopling of the Americas through the Southwestern Archaic will cover the remarkably early traces of humans in the Americas, Paleoindian and Archaic lifeways, and differentiation of distinct peoples within the Southwest.

Agriculture, Pottery, and the Emergence of Formative Lifeways will cover the diversity of historic relationships as population, domesticated crops, and pottery transform Southwestern communities and establish the foundations of multiculturalism.

• Villages, Economic Intensification, Social Differentiation, and the Foundations of Chaco will explore the rhythms of climate change, intra- and inter-village integration and interaction, and structures of the middle centuries of Southwestern culture history.

• Post-Chaco Communities and the Two Migrations will build on the decentralization of Chaco and the initiation of the waves of migration that set the stage for the modern distributions of peoples and cultures.

• Pueblo Communities at the Threshold of Colonization will explore the impacts of both climate change and colonization and how these contribute to the complexity of contemporary Native identities.

Cost is $180 for FOA members and $200 for non-members. Registration will be through the link on the Friends of Archaeology page of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation website at https:// www.museumfoundation.org/friends/ friends-of-archaeology/ or at our Eventbrite page at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/archaeology-as-history-in-the-southwest-tickets-763645683797?aff=odcleoeventsincollection.

*This is a Friends of Archaeology event and is not sponsored by the Office of Archaeological Studies

OAS Brown Bag Talks


March 6, 2024

Chasing the Plumed Serpents of the Southwest
OAS Brown Bag talk by explorer and engineer Ron Barber at the CNMA, 12:00 noon, free!

Explorer and engineer Ron Barber will be offering a free lunchtime talk entitled Chasing the Plumed Serpents.

This talk will focus on the significance of the plumed, horned, and/or crested serpent depicted in rock art at many sites up and down the Rio Grande corridor, into Mexico, and into the Four Corners region.

more info »

March 27, 2024

60 Years of Archaeomagnetism in the United States
OAS Brown Bag talk by Dr. Shelby Jones, laboratory supervisor and project director for the OAS, at the CNMA, 12:00 noon, free!

Shelby Jones, PhD presents a lecture on the discoveries made through six decades of research into archaeomagnetism in the United States at the Center for New Mexico Archaeology (CNMA), Wednesday, March 27th at 12:00 noon.

more info »

Education Outreach Events


Please contact Chinara Lucero by email at chinara.lucero@dca.nm.gov for details on Education Outreach events.

March 1, 2024

First Friday Fractals at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
Friday, March 1st, 2024
5 pm until 9 pm, free*!


The Office of Archaeological Studies' Education Outreach coordinator, Chinara Lucero, will be demonstrating at the First Friday Fractals event at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque from 5 pm until 9 pm.

more info »

March 2, 2024

Education Outreach at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
Saturday, March 2nd and Sunday, March 3rd, 2024, 9 am until 4 pm, cost: $20

Learn about prehistoric hunting tools used in the past for human survival. Visitors will experience throwing spears, using atlatls, and shooting bow and arrows at fake animal targets.

more info »

March 8, 2024

Education Outreach at the El Rito Library
Friday, March 8th, 2024
1 pm until 4 pm, free!


Learn all about archaeology with OAS's Traveling "Touch and Feel" Tabletop Museum Exhibit, which features artifacts and artifact replicas spanning thousands of years of New Mexico culture and history.

more info »

March 14, 2024

Education Outreach at the Grants Public Library
Thursday, March 14th, 2024
10 am until 2 pm, free!


Learn all about archaeology with OAS's Traveling "Touch and Feel" Tabletop Museum Exhibit, which features artifacts and artifact replicas spanning thousands of years of New Mexico culture and history.

more info »

March 16, 2024

Education Outreach at the Santa Fe Children's Museum
Saturday, March 16th, 2024, 12 pm until 4 pm, free*!

Snoop through the bag of an archaeologist. See what an archaeologist brings on-site to perform excavations, land surveying, artifact analysis and processing, and record keeping. Take home archaeological worksheets. Snap a picture of yourself as an archaeologist wearing safety equipment and holding various archaeological tools.

more info »

March 19, 2024

Education Outreach at the Moise Memorial Library in Santa Rosa
Tuesday, March 19th, 2024, 11 am until 2 pm, free!

Learn all about archaeology with OAS's Traveling "Touch and Feel" Tabletop Museum Exhibit, which features artifacts and artifact replicas spanning thousands of years of New Mexico culture and history.

more info »

March 28, 2024

Education Outreach at the Española Public Library
Thursday, March 28th, 2024, 1 pm until 4 pm, free!

Learn all about archaeology with OAS's Traveling "Touch and Feel" Tabletop Museum Exhibit, which features artifacts and artifact replicas spanning thousands of years of New Mexico culture and history.

more info »

March 30, 2024

Governor's Easter Bash
Saturday, March 30th, 2024

Details of the Governor's Easter Bash are forthcoming. Check back soon for more details.

more info »

Friends of Archaeology Events


Details of the following events and information on sign-ups are available at the Museum of New Mexico's Friends of Archaeology website.

April 12, 2024

Fort Stanton State Monument
Friday, April 12th through Saturday, April 13th, 2024
Cost of trip: $135


Friends of Archaeology is planning a two-day trip to Fort Stanton in southern New Mexico this April.

Situated on 240 acres and including 88 structures, Fort Stanton is the most intact Territorial-era fort in the Southwest. Established in 1855, Fort Stanton has a rich history and unique built environment. The fort was involved in numerous nineteenth century conflicts, including the Civil War, the Lincoln County War, and the Apache Wars.

Please check back on this website and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation's Friends of Archaeology website for updates.

more info »

May 4, 2024

Comanche Gap tour, Part 2
May 4th and 5th, 2024
Cost of trip: $85


A tour of the volcanic feature in the Galisteo Basin commonly known as Comanche Gap. An extremely strenuous hike to world-class rock art areas with little public access and absolutely no modern conveniences.

Please check back on this website and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation's Friends of Archaeology website for updates.

more info »