Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Visit from the Henan Museum!

On February 7, 2018, Pueblo Grande Museum Curator of Collections, Lindsey Vogel-Teeter and City Archaeologist, Laurene Montero provided a tour for some very special guests from the Henan Museum in China.

These special guests were in town visiting their collection which is currently on display at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in northern Phoenix. The exhibit, 
Ancient Musical Treasures from Central China: Harmony of the Ancients from the Henan Museum features "9,000 years of Chinese musical history with a spectacular collection of ancient musical and archaeological treasures on display for the first time in the United States." This exhibit will be at the MIM  until May 6, 2018.
While here visiting their collection, the Henan Museum representatives wanted to explore some of the areas local cultural and archaeological history. Lindsey and Laurene provided them with tours of the Pueblo Grande archaeological site, sharing the archaeological significance of the Hohokam and how the Museum cares for these artifacts.

Our special guests remarked on what a wonderful time they had and how much they enjoyed learning about the remarkable achievements of the Hohokam and importance of their role in settling the Southwest. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

PGM Artifact of the Month

Meet PGM Artifact of the Month


In honor of our Arizona Scitech Festival lectures series theme this month of Findings from Fragments, we've chosen to share this adorable, small, Red-on-buff jar which was found in a midden (trash pile) during a testing project in central Phoenix.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Findings From Fragments

Arizona Scitech Festival Lecture SeriesFindings from Fragments:
Archaeological Discoveries Through Pottery

As part of the 7th Annual Arizona Scitech Festival, Pueblo Grande Museum will be hosting Findings from Fragments: Archaeological Discoveries Through Pottery, a free lecture 
series presented each Friday in February at noon. These 45-minute lunch time lectures are open to the public and compliment PGM's newest exhibit, Fragments: Broken Bowls Tell More Tales. Explore the science of pottery production and archaeological research done on pottery sherds to reconstruct history and form new ideas on prehistoric cultures and traditions during these presentations. 

This lecture series is sponsored in part by the Phoenix Chapter of the Arizona Archaeology Society, the Arizona Archaeological Council, and the Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary.

February 2, 2018
Artificial Intelligence and the Classification of Ancient Southwestern Pottery
Speakers: Chris Downum, Professor of Anthropology at Northern Arizona & Leszek Pawlowicz, Associate Practitioner in the Department of Anthropology at Northern Arizona 

Are machines (computers that can analyze digital images of pottery) potentially more reliable than humans when it comes to identifying ceramic types? Explore the answer with Downum and Pawlowicz as they present results of recent experiments evaluating the utility of deep learning / artificial intelligence to the classification of ancient decorated pottery fragments from Northern Arizona.  

February 9, 2018
Sherds and Social Boundaries in Central Arizona
Speaker: Chris Watkins, Senior Archaeologist, North Wind Resource Consulting

How did people accustomed to living in small communities get along in larger populations? Were settlements friendly with one another? How did they avoid conflicts? People who think of themselves as part of the same social groups, that also know each other well, tend to cooperate and form long-lasting peaceful alliances. Sherds can help determine which people maintained close social relationships, and whether groups shared common identities such as a religion.  Watkins addresses these question by specifically discussing sherds and social boundaries from 14th century central Arizona, including Perry Mesa and the Verde Valley.

February 16, 2018
Paddle and Anvil Pottery Production
Speakers: Ron Carlos, Maricopa Potter and Jacob Butler, Onk Akimel O’Odham Artist

In this presentation, Jacob Butler will discuss the different tools and methods used in the production of paddle and anvil pottery. From sourcing and processing the clay, to forming, painting, and firing the pottery This style of pottery making is unique and indicative of the southern Arizona tribes; i.e. Maricopa, Pima, Tohono O'Odham. Ron Carlos will demonstrate the use of the pottery tools while he creates a small clay pot during the presentation. All of Jacob and Ron's pottery is constructed from all natural materials. The clays and pigments are hand dug and hand processed into a workable paste. They will also talk about how the vessels are wood fired in an open pit using mesquite and/or cottonwood bark.

February 23, 2018
The Origins of Pottery in Arizona
Speaker: Chris Garraty, Assistant Director of Cultural Resources at Logan Simpson  

The archaeological study of ceramic fragments provides a wealth of information about the lives of ancient people in Arizona. From customs, technologies, and food preferences, to artisan crafting practices, gender roles, and patterns of exchange, to views of religion, cosmologies, and many other important topics. Garraty discusses the results from recent archaeological studies of ceramic fragments that highlight the origins of pottery and ceramic technology in Arizona.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

January Artifact of the Month

In celebration of 2018 being the Year of the Dog...

Meet PGM January Artifact of the Month 2015-33-023!

This shell coyote effigy is in the late stages of being carved and may have been intended to be a pendant. 

Even though the Hohokam lived in the desert, they were very well known for their beautifully carved shell jewelry. 
You can see more examples of their artistry on display in the galleries at PGM.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Fourth Grade Fans

"Miraculous" "Special" "Awesome" "Knowledgeable" "Grateful"

We love hearing about people's experiences here at Pueblo Grande Museum. Especially when they come with crayon illustrations!

Thank you to the 4th grade class from Mesa Academy who sent their Docents some super fun and very complimentary letters about what they liked most during their visit. We love our volunteer Docents too, and it's because of them that we can offer such great experiences to the thousands of school children that visit Pueblo Grande annually.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Take a Journey of the Mind at Pueblo Grande Museum

On the evening of December 2, Pueblo Grande Museum will premiere The Unknown Symbols: A Journey of the Mind, an original film with live music by artist Oliverio Balcells. This multimedia piece invites audiences to take a journey of colors and textures through city ambiance and nature that engages audiences through evocative images filmed throughout the Valley of the Sun. Original live and recorded music accompanying this piece allows audiences to re-discover their surroundings as they follow the travels of the films' main character as he discovers himself and his place in this world.

A scholar of the ancient Mesoamerican cultures, photographer, painter, and musician, Balcells says "I am interested in social themes like history, culture, human potential development, symbolism and nature. I’m inspired by color, the ancient Mexican cultures, the master muralists and the golden age of Mexican cinema.”

Balcells has multiple public art pieces which can be seen in Tempe, and soon in Phoenix, as a selected 2017 artist for Valley Metro’s public art for the Northwest extension of the light rail. He draws inspiration not only from Mesoamerican cultures, but also from our desert surroundings here in Arizona. The Unknown Symbols highlights landscapes that people often forget are part of our diverse urban environment, and includes scenes filmed at the Salt River, South Mountain, Papago Park, and downtown Phoenix.

With this multimedia presentation, Balcells shares "This piece can be anybody's story. It is my story. I want to inspire people to recognize their true spirit, reconnect with nature and enjoy the present moment." The short film follows a single character, who is mysteriously covered in symbols, and searching through urban and desert environments to find answers. The symbols, according to Balcells, represent Vibration, Consciousness, Gratitude, Action, Inspiration. And they are there to remind the protagonist and the audience through this "Journey of the mind, to find the self with a purpose, and to be aware of what it means to be alive."

Following the performance, the audience will have the opportunity to meet the artist and discuss the film. This after-hours event is free and open to the public, donations are welcome. Doors open at 6 p.m. and performance begins at 6:30 p.m. with open seating. Light refreshments of hot chocolate, coffee, and desserts will also be available during this performance set under the night sky, on the back patio of Pueblo Grande Museum, framed by the ancient platform mound built by the Hohokam people.

Performance Details: 
Date: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Time: Doors at 6 p.m., Performance at 6:30 p.m., Artist Meet & Greet at 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free, Donations Welcome
Place: Pueblo Grande Museum Back Patio (performance will be moved indoors if weather requires)

Biography and Artist Statement

Oliverio Balcells is a scholar of the ancient Mesoamerican cultures, photographer, painter and musician. 

“I’m interested in social themes like history, culture, human potential development, symbolism and nature. I’m inspired by color, the ancient Mexican cultures, the master muralists and the golden age of Mexican cinema.”

In 2017 he was a selected artist for Valley Metro’s public art for the Northwest extension of the light rail. In 2016 he was a selected artist for the In Flux Cycle 6 with the City of Tempe and painted a mural on Apache Blvd. In 2012 he was selected by the City of Tempe’s Public Art Program to design and paint a utility box on Mill Avenue.  The image was also made into a library card for the Tempe Public Library. In 2008 Oliverio was awarded First Place at the Arte Latino en la Ciudad XII at the Phoenix Center for the Arts and in 1999 he was awarded Best Artist in the 7th Annual Plastic Arts Exhibit of Cancun. 

Oliverio Balcells received his Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the Univa University in Guadalajara, Mexico.  

He currently lives and works in Tempe, Arizona, USA with his wife and two children.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

PGM Artifact of the Month

Meet Pueblo Grande Museum Artifact of the Month

This early Sacaton Red-on-buff bowl was found at a site in the western portion of the Phoenix metropolitan area and probably dates between A.D. 900 and 1,050.