Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New World Archaeology Mini Lecture Series

Join Pueblo Grande Museum in July for a brown bag mini lecture series on New World Archaeology from local organizations.  On July 18, Dr. Michael Smith, Professor of Anthropology at Arizona State University, discusses recent ASU excavations at the Aztec site of Calixtlahuaca. On July 25, Dr. Jerry Howard, Curator of Anthropology at the Arizona Museum of Natural History, talks about recent donations of New World artifacts to the AzMNH and what it means to the Museum.  Both lectures are free and open to the public. 

Friday, July 18, noon to 1 p.m.
Topic: ASU Excavations at the Aztec city of Calixtlahuaca, Mexico
Speaker: Dr. Michael Smith, Professor of Anthropology at Arizona State University

What was life like in a typical Aztec city? Aztec society is known primarily from the writings of Spanish and native authors, yet these sources are silent on patterns of everyday life outside the imperial capital. Arizona State University sponsored a fieldwork project at the Aztec provincial city of Calixtlahuaca in order to learn about social and economic conditions. Bypassing the pyramids and royal palace, we excavated houses, terraces, and workshops. This talk describes the excavations and what is being learned about the lives of the Aztec peoples. Dr. Smith traces the history of Calixtlahuaca from a powerful regional capital to a conquered town and finally to an abandoned site when its people were moved by Spanish authorities into the new city of Toluca to build a monastery.

Friday July 25, noon to 1p.m.
Topic: Probing the Depths of New World Archaeology: A New Initiative of the Arizona Museum of Natural History
Speaker: Dr. Jerry Howard, Curator of Anthropology, Arizona Museum of Natural History

Major collections donations to the museum from throughout the New World have put the AzMNH in a position to interpret the entire sweep of human history in the New World. These collections include amazing artifacts from North America, Mesoamerica and South America, aiding interpretation of the cultures of West Mexico, the Maya, the Aztec and Inca. This talk presents many of the items recently donated and discusses the ethics considered when acquiring prehistoric items. These new acquisitions have expanded the depth and breadth of the museum’s collections, opening new possibilities for public education. Dr. Howard will present ideas for interpretation and construction of a new wing of New World, hoping for ideas and feedback from the audience as the museum moves forward creating an exciting and unique educational experience.

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