Amerind Free Online Lecture
Macaws and Parrots in the Ancient Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico with Pat Gilman, PhD, Steve Plog, PhD, and Christopher W. Schwartz, PhD
Saturday, May 21, 2022, 11:00 am – Arizona Time
Sponsored by Desert Diamond Casinos
The multiple, vivid colors of scarlet macaws and their ability to mimic human speech are key reasons macaws were and are significant to the Native peoples of the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest. Scarlet macaws are native to tropical forests ranging from the Gulf Coast and southern regions of Mexico to Bolivia. Surprisingly, they are present at numerous archaeological sites in the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest (SW/NW), but yet they are absent at the vast majority. Although these birds have been noted and marveled at through the decades, new syntheses of early excavations, new analytical methods, and new approaches to understanding the past now allow us to explore the significance and distribution of scarlet macaws to a degree that was previously impossible. Three leading experts explore what we currently know about the scarlet macaws from archaeological sites in the SW/NW.
Pat Gilman has done archaeological field work and research in the Mimbres region of southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona for more than 45 years. Her initial interest was architecture and the transition from people living in pithouses to inhabiting pueblos. Recently, Dr. Gilman and her colleagues have investigated the presence of scarlet macaws in Mimbres sites, their DNA and dates, and how and why they might have been brought to the southwestern United States ultimately from the tropical forest of southern Mexico. With Christopher Schwartz and Stephen Plog, she has co-edited a book, Birds of the Sun: Macaws and People in the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest,” that has recently been published.
Steve Plog is Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia. His recent work has focused on Chaco Canyon beginning with a decade-long project to build a digital archive, the Chaco Research Archive (www.chacoarchive.org), to digitize and integrate information on the early excavations (1896-1927) in the Chaco, information that was scattered among many museums and repositories. More recently Steve has collaborated with several colleagues to study the 42 scarlet macaws recovered during excavations in Chaco, primarily at Pueblo Bonito. He is a co-editor of Birds of the Sun: Macaws and People in the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest.
Christopher W. Schwartz is a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University and lead editor of Birds of the Sun: Macaws and People in the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest. He is an anthropological archaeologist who works on field- and collections-based projects in the U.S. Southwest and Mexico. His research draws on various lines of evidence, including faunal skeletal material, isotopic analyses, material culture, Indigenous perspectives, and spatial analyses, to understand how interregional interaction and human-animal relationships effected large-scale social transformations in the past.
This online program is free, but space is limited. To register, visit: https://bit.ly/AmerindOnline052122
This program is sponsored by Desert Diamond Casinos.