Thursday, March 14, 2019
Title: The Importance of Dead Bunnies in Mimbres and Salado Archaeology in Southwest New Mexico
Abstract: How might farmers maintain local access to wild animals for food and other uses for over a thousand years? How might people from different cultural traditions come together to form lasting multiethnic communities? How can the archaeology of southwestern New Mexico from AD 500 to 1450 help us understand these processes? This talk summarizes recent research from several collaborative projects: one focused on reviving lost datasets and information from disco-era museum collections, and one on training the next generation of archaeologists through an ongoing field school partnership between Archaeology Southwest and the University of Arizona. The results indicate that farmers in the Mimbres and upper Gila areas achieved very long-term sustainability in hunting, and also found ways to form stable communities that included both immigrants and people with long-established local roots. Thanks to lagomorph bone counts and the sweat of 99 UA undergraduates, our understanding of the past and our hopes for the future have both improved.