A Dolores-based archeology organization is hosting a three-day conference at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center from Oct. 25-29 in Cortez.
“Before Borders: Revealing the Greater Southwest’s Ancestral Cultural Landscape” features presentations by Native American speakers, research papers, discussion forums, interactive sessions and field trips.
The fourth annual event is organized by the Society for Cultural Astronomy in the American Southwest (SCAAS), a national organization based in Dolores.
“The goal of the conference is really to deepen our understanding of the Native American perspective on research, cultural anthropology and astronomy,” said Greg Munson, a SCAAS founder. “We will be exploring the transport of ideas and culture into and out of the area from Mesoamerica before modern borders.”
Conference participants will learn about astronomy, ritual and ceremony in the lives of native peoples, and the regional exchange of ideas and cultural practices throughout the Greater Southwest, which includes northern Mexico. The issue of energy development around archaeological sites will also be discussed.
Participants will explore the influence of public architecture and landscape archaeology on the socio-political development of ancestral people prior to borders in the Greater Southwest.
Featured presentations will include those by astronomers Ray Williamson and Von Del Chamberlain and archaeologists Scott Ortman, Jonathan Till and Grant Coffey.
The conference will feature several evening programs for registered participants and the public.
On Wednesday, Oct. 26, the Sunflower Theatre in Cortez will host a presentation on the ancestral astronomy of the Puebloan Southwest by Bryan Bates.
This program will explore research on the cultural and astronomical practices of the Ancestral Puebloans at Wupatki National Monument, Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Mesa Verde National Park. Admission to this program is included for registered conference participants. Additional tickets for the program will be available to the general public at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis at the Sunflower Theatre box office on the day of the program.
On Thursday, Oct. 27, noted astronomer and cultural anthropologist Von Del Chamberlain will be giving a program titled “Crystals in the Sky: Dine’ Stellar Depictions” at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. This presentation is open only to registered conference participants.
The conference will conclude with a banquet at the Destination Grille on Friday, Oct. 28. The speaker for the banquet will be Scott Ortman, an archaeology professor at the University of Colorado and a Crow Canyon alumni. His program is titled “The Mirror-image and Tewa Origins.” The banquet is $35.
“There will be a lot of new research,” Munson said. “I’ll be giving a talk on the Sun Temple; Scott Ortman will discuss a stone circle site in Cross Canyon, a piece of public architecture between the Basketmaker and Archaic traditions.”
For more information about the conference and to register, visit the website at www.scaas.org or email at [email protected]