Lectures

The Center offers free public lectures throughout the year. These monthly lectures are generally held on the second Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm. Check the Event Calendar for the exact dates and locations. Invitations to Zoom meetings go out to members and subscribers about one week before the lecture.

 

January 19, 2021 - 6:30 PM - via Zoom
 

"Archaeological Fakes and Frauds in Arizona and Beyond" by Matt Peeples, PhD

Depictions of archaeology in popular culture are full of dubious tales of ancient extraterrestrials, lost civilizations, giants, and widespread scientific conspiracy. In this talk, I will explore such fantastic claims focusing in particular on a few popular claims here in our own backyard in Arizona. My goal is not to simply “debunk” these claims (though I will do that too) but to further explore how and why pseudoscientific claims take hold in the popular imagination and what we can do about it. Are such claims just silly fun or do they do have the potential to do real damage to archaeological resources and the scientific process?

Matt Peeples is an associate professor and archaeologist in the School of Human Evolution & Social Change at Arizona State University and director of the ASU Center for Archaeology and Society. He conducts field and lab research focused on the greater Cibola region in New Mexico and Arizona and also collaborate on a number of large projects focused on synthesizing settlement data from across the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest. One of his major collaborative projects involves the use of social network analysis to explore how pre-Hispanic indigenous farmers survived and thrived in this unpredictable arid environment and what lessons their successes and failures can offer those of us living here today (cyberSW.org).

May 13, 2021 - 6:30 PM - via Zoom

 

"Drinking Rituals and Politics in Chaco Canyon" by Patricia Crown, PhD

Drinking rituals are common throughout the world, and they impact exchange, crafts, the economy, and politics in the past.  For the last two decades, Crown has studied the cylinder jars found primarily in Chaco Canyon.  In this talk, she discusses how the cylinder jar fits into the history of drinking forms in Chaco, the possible inspiration for the vessel shape, the contents and their source, and the etiquette associated with drinking from cylinder jars.  She describes the results of 2013 excavations in Pueblo Bonito that show when the form ceased to be used and how Chacoans terminated the jars and the room where they were stored. 

Educated at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Arizona, Patricia L. Crown is an archaeologist who works in the American Southwest.  She has been on the faculty at the University of New Mexico since 1993, where she is the Leslie Spier Distinguished Professor of Anthropology.  She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2014.  Prof. Crown has conducted field investigations in the Ancestral Pueblo, Mogollon, and Hohokam areas of the American Southwest, and has worked in Chaco Canyon since 2005.  She is particularly interested in ritual, women’s roles in the past, and how children learned the skills they needed to function as adults.  To get at these issues, she studies ceramics.  With collaborator Jeffrey Hurst, she identified the first prehispanic cacao (chocolate) north of the Mexican border in ceramics from Chaco Canyon using organic residue analysis.  She directed the re-excavation of a room in Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon in 2013, and the results of that study were published in 2020 by UNM Press as an edited volume, "The House of the Cylinder Jars: Room 28 at Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon."

 

Past Lectures on our YouTube Channel

Subject to the lecturer's approval, lectures are often recorded and placed on our YouTube Channel. Links are provided below for the lectures on YouTube.

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Verde Valley Archaeology Center, Inc. |  501(c)(3)  |  EIN: 27-3436708