New Op-Ed (the past holds lessons, not warnings) with Jakob Sedig

Jakob Sedig (Reich Lab, Harvard) and I wrote an op-ed on the current crises/opportunities that are impacting and spreading across the planet at this moment. You can read it here: The past holds lessons, not warnings, about our current Global Crises.

The short version is that we wrote this after watching a lot of people sounding off about how these are all evidence of impending “collapses” etc.. Jakob and I both work on the archaeology of periods that were incredibly trying and traumatic, but many of these periods showed tremendous innovations in social practices that led to healthier, sustainable, and more just social systems, so we wrote this as a counter to the “fall of humanity” narratives we were seeing from some classicists, historians, and archaeologists re: the Covid-19 pandemic.

Then, while we were shopping this piece around that discusses how these types of crises can be triggers for massive movements towards social justice, the 2020 Uprisings began. So, I think, as we say, these lessons can be valuable. But the main point of the op-ed, besides that yelling “collapse” on a crowded planet should be frowned upon and that person should be required to get a tattoo on their forehead that reads “I implicitly believe in the progressive Band/Tribes/Chiefdoms/States Model”, is that while those looking to increase equability in social systems can use these triggering events to do so, they’re also simultaneously being used by those looking to strengthen their grip on the controls. Naomi Klein has called this disaster capitalism. And we’re seeing that in rampant effect in the US right now.

We’re also watching folks liberalize the Uprisings, and the concurrent decrease in the destruction of property of the protests, to effectively rewire the media, and thus the public’s gaze, away from the protests and on to new topics that aren’t as dangerous to the foundations of power that so many of the folks that control the media and politics in this country stand on. Or are supported by at least.

Anyways, please read. And I hope you enjoy.


Gallina Landscapes of History student and staff posts break 3,000 views.

Super excited to announce that at some time in the depths of the night on December 2nd, student and staff posts for the Gallina Landscapes of History field school (#GLoH2018, #GLoH2019) broke 3,000 views. If you haven’t looked through them yet, please do. They’re all awesome.

And you can tell this by the excited face of me and my friends who definitely did not agree to have their image used in this manner.

New GLOH post: Just the Charred Bits: Gallina People and their Plants

I’ve taken too much time, I suppose, trying to settle after a pretty crazy few months with one international move, one cross country move, and wrapping up about 3 months of field work. So I should have gotten to all of the staff and student blogs before this. I got most done, but a few have been glaring at me from my todo pile. Here’s an awesome one by EB Dresser-Kluchman on her paleobot work on the project. We’re looking forward to some super exciting findings . . .

A Hen’s Song

Another #GloH2019 post is up! This is another unessay, this time by one of our TAs during the Institute for Field Research session. Nina is examining Gallina artistry on rock art, murals, and ceramics for her MA and wrote us an awesome folk song about her research and Gallina archaeology in general. Listen and share!

If Your History is Simple, It’s Probably Wrong

Another excellent (yep, I’m biased) blog post. This one by Institute for Field Research (IFR) #GLoH2019 field school student Olivia Ellard. Enjoy! And please share. That really helps drive our students voices forward.

“Single stories in archaeology are perpetuated by an increasing gap between information available to research academics and information easily available to the general public. In the process of making information publicly accessible, it is boiled down to the simplest and most interesting terms, thus loosing essential components of research that are essential for complex understandings. A single story of Indigenous American archaeology reiterates the single story of native peoples on this continent. It is a story born out of oppression and violence, and one that continues to negatively impact communities to this day. Although difficult, it is not impossible to change the story. A better public understanding of research disciplines such as archaeology would allow for more broader and more inclusive discussions, helping to eliminate the single story as well as educate a wider scope of society.”

Gallina: The Culture Hidden in the Hills

I know you’ve been waiting! Here’s another #GLoH2019 Institute for Field Research (IFR) student (Henry Zeiwert Kornfeld) blog post about the archaeology we’re working on.

“In the impressive terrain, there is a sense that the history of the place is almost palpably infused in the landscape. And it is hardly surprising to note that people have left a considerable mark. It is not obvious to the casual observer, but looking out at the landscape, it is possible to see these often-subtle impressions. A slight depression in the earth, a scatter of chipped stone, a change in soil color. The land is a witness, yet it is often difficult to obtain and to interpret this testimony of life in the past.”

From Pueblo Houses to Pueblo Revival

And another #GLoH2019 Institute for Field Research (IFR) student blog post is up! This one on the changing importance of fireplaces through time. This one by Shaobai Xiong.

“Though Pueblo Revival style inherited many characteristics from ancient Pueblo houses, it is still a modern imitation of an ancient house style that should cater to modern lifestyles. The most prominent difference between Pueblo Revival style houses and ancient Pueblo houses is the role of fireplaces.”

Flavors of the Southwest.

New photo blog by one of #GLoH2019 Institute for Field Research (IFR) students is up. This one about preparing indigenous (Dine and Zuni) foods. We all ate these and they turned out really well.

“To make the bread, I needed juniper ash. So, I collected branches of juniper to ash for the Navajo blue bread. I used a Coleman outdoor grill powered by propane and a metal bowl covered in foil to collect the ashes.”

Peanut Butter and Chocolate: You got your Public in my Academy!!!!

New #GLoH2019 Institute for Field Research (IFR) student blog post by Stan Frank. “Archaeologists can be more interested in conducting field work than analyzing and publishing the results of the work, and after writing for the required academic channels may not have time to or be interested in reconfiguring their work for a popular audience.”