Mixed Me­dia

In­ter­na­tional Ar­chae­ol­ogy Day

Pasatiempo - - NEWS -

This year’s In­ter­na­tional Ar­chae­ol­ogy Day free open house at the Cen­ter for New Mex­ico Ar­chae­ol­ogy (CNMA) of­fers both in­ter­est­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and an im­mer­sion into the world of maize, the theme of the celebration tak­ing place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15. Visi­tors can try shoot­ing with a bow and ar­row, make a corn­husk doll, see coiled bas­ketry and pot­tery-fir­ing demon­stra­tions, and tour the Of­fice of Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Stud­ies lab­o­ra­to­ries and the state’s repos­i­tory of an­cient stone tools, ce­ram­ics, and other ar­ti­facts.

Open­ing in the CNMA lobby is The Mir­a­cle of Maize: A Cat­a­lyst for Change in the Amer­i­can Southwest, an ex­hibit cu­rated by Diana Sher­man of the Mu­seum of In­dian Arts and Cul­ture. A new film is also screened: She Brings Life: Maize, a Sa­cred Sus­te­nance. “Some of the ear­li­est maize dis­cov­ered in the Southwest comes from the Bat Cave site lo­cated in Ca­tron County,” Sher­man told Pasatiempo. “Dat­ing to 3,000 years old, the ar­chae­ol­o­gists dis­cov­ered corn ker­nels that were about the size of a penny. They tried pop­ping the ker­nels, and they still popped!”

Eric Blin­man, di­rec­tor of the Mu­seum of New Mex­ico’s Of­fice of Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Stud­ies, re­called a study on Na­tive Amer­i­can maize that dis­cussed the va­ri­ety known as Hopi Blue, which would yield big, full ears in good years and even in ter­ri­ble years pro­duce enough for seed. “As a rough guide, ev­ery fam­ily had enough stor­age vol­ume to cover about three years of corn stor­age,” Blin­man said. “Af­ter the harvest, you draw it down in the win­ter, and you de­cide how much acreage you plant. If you do have a poor harvest and you can’t re­fill up to that three-year ca­pac­ity, you plant more acreage in the spring.

“With that buf­fer,” Blin­man said, “a de­ci­sion about whether a drought is so bad that a fam­ily or en­tire com­mu­nity has to pick up and move is not so des­per­ate: It’s re­ally a third- or fourth-year de­ci­sion. And in the years when you get a bumper crop, that’s when you can ei­ther plant less or go on that walk­a­bout or build that new build­ing.”

The Cen­ter for New Mex­ico Ar­chae­ol­ogy is at 7 Old Co­chiti Road, off Caja del Rio Road. Af­ter In­ter­na­tional Ar­chae­ol­ogy Day, the lobby ex­hibit may be viewed week­days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and ac­cess to the CNMA col­lec­tions is by ap­point­ment only. Call 505-476-4404 or visit www.nmar­chae­ol­ogy.org for more in­for­ma­tion. — Paul Wei­de­man

Harvest at Santa Clara Pue­blo, New Mex­ico; photo T. Har­mon Parkhurst, circa 1935, cour­tesy Palace of the Gov­er­nors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), Neg. No. 004137

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.