Presentation Catalog


The following speakers and topics are just some of the potential program offerings from the Office of Archaeological Studies. All presentations are designed for adult audiences, but most can be modified for any school age group. If your organization is interested in a particular presentation or speaker, please contact that person directly. The topics can be customized for each group and event.

If you would like a presentation on an archaeological topic that isn't listed, please contact Chuck Hannaford ( to see if anyone on the staff can respond to your particular interest.

The ability to provide a presentation depends on speakers' schedules and the availability of funds to support time and travel costs. OAS, with the support of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, is able to underwrite program expenses of up to $50,000 per year. Any support, whole or partial, from the requesting organization allows us to stretch these funds and provide more programs throughout New Mexico.

Eric Blinman, Ph.D., OAS Director

  • 2,000 Years of Human Adaptation to Climate Change in the Southwest
    Tree-ring studies of climate and more than a century of archaeological study have resulted in an unparalleled record of past human adaptations to climate change. The lessons of the past are valuable tools as we envision the future of our society.
  • Ancient Textile Arts in the Southwest
    Natural materials and fibers were the basis for elaborate basketry and cordage crafts in the ancient Southwest. This presentation can include a demonstration of yucca-fiber extraction and spinning.
  • Pottery Traditions and Technologies of the Southwest
    Pottery was introduced into the Southwest more than 2,000 years ago. The decorative and technological aspects of the craft are evident in the sophisticated and vibrant record of broken potsherds.
  • The Mystery of the Anasazi and Other Archaeological Tales
    The archaeological history of Southwestern peoples is rich with stories of challenges and triumphs on the high desert landscape.
  • Art (other than Rock Art) in the Ancient Southwest
    Art and life were continuous in ancient Southwestern cultures. Visual beauty has been built into many technological traditions.
  • The Practice of Archaeology Today
    Knowledge of laws, regulations, and accounting is as necessary to an archaeologist today as knowledge of excavation techniques and artifacts.
  • Dating in Archaeology
    Archaeologists must organize information by age to develop reliable culture histories. A wide variety of data contribute to our understanding of chronology, including stratigraphy, tree-rings, radiocarbon, archaeomagnetism, and pottery and cultural styles.
  • Cultural Affiliation in the Southwest
    Connections between ancient and modern peoples are important as the subject of archaeological research. The study of such connections heightens disciplinary and public respect for tribal sovereignty.
  • Archaeology of the Galisteo Basin
    South of Santa Fe, the Galisteo Basin hosts some of the most spectacular archaeology in New Mexico, including rock art, Pueblo villages of up to 2,000 rooms, and Spanish Colonial missions.

Pam McBride, Botanist

  • Early Agriculture in the Southwest
    The arrival of corn and other crops into the Southwest transformed and molded Southwestern peoples, influencing subsistence practices as well as cultural and religious realms. Corn became the mainstay of the diet and affects the modern world far beyond its origins as a revolutionary new food plant.
  • Paleoethnobotany: Seeds of Survival
    What is paleoethnobotany, how do we retrieve plant material from archaeological sites, what plants are most frequently identified, and how were they used in the past? Several sites with unusual finds are highlighted.

Mary Weahkee, Assistant Archaeologist

  • Yucca Cordage and Fur and Feather Blankets
    Demonstrations of yucca fiber cordage and fur and feather blanket manufacture.

Dean Wilson, Director of Pottery Analysis Laboratory

  • Trends in Tewa Decorated Pottery
    Changes in pottery types associated with the very long sequence of decorated pottery defined for the Northern Rio Grande region and placed into the Tewa ceramic tradition reflect a continual sequence of pottery production by Northern Tewa Pueblos. Characteristics of types belonging to this sequence provide clues concerning changing influences from and interaction with surrounding groups.
  • The Appearance of Pottery in the Southwest
    Recent research refines our understanding of the initial stages of pottery development in the Southwest. The earliest stage is seen in the introduction of distinct ceramics in southern Arizona around 2100 BC. The next stage is represented by the spread of similar “brown ware” ceramics over most of the Southwest from AD 200 to 500, and then by the appearance of distinct and specialized pottery forms in different regions.
  • Anasazi and Mogollon Pottery: Culture, Resources, and Trade
    Distribution of Mogollon and Anasazi pottery types and traits along the boundary of the Colorado Plateau and Mogollon Highlands have been characterized as reflecting distinctive cultural traditions. Another explanation is that these distributions reflect adaptions to very different classes of clays found in different geological zones and the development of beneficial trade ties between groups in different ecological settings.
  • Villagers, Traders, and Collectors: Changing Influences on Pueblo Pottery
    The mass production of vessels by Northern Tewa Pueblo potters for increasing numbers of Hispanic settlers after the Pueblo Revolt dramatically influenced pottery produced after the late eighteenth century. The arrival of the railroad during the late nineteenth century caused this market to collapse as cheap containers became available. Changes in Tewa pottery reflect the survival of this tradition through a shift to forms produced for the tourist market.