This volume presents the proceedings from the 16th Southwest Seminar of 2018, a biennial conference that focuses on the latest developments in Southwestern archaeology. It consists of 20 chapters that are organized into four sections that examine recent research on a more specific topic.
The first section deals with Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. In late 2016, President Barack Obama used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to protect 1.3 million acres of public land that are rich in ancient ruins and of great spiritual significance to a number of Indigenous tribes in the Southwest. A year later, President Donald Trump sought to reduce the monument by 1.1 million acres. In this section, six archaeologists and Native Americans make the case for the larger monument using tribal histories and scientific research. In 2021, President Joe Biden restored the monument to its original size.
The second section examines dating methods and results in the Southwest, presenting novel technologies and problems with various systems, including tree rings, carbon 14, and archaeo-magnetic techniques. The pitfalls of sampling biases in otherwise reliable dating sequences are thoroughly examined. The chapters in the third section make the case for increased use of existing collections, including archives and artifacts, for archaeological research. These authors demonstrate how existing collections can provide invaluable information when skillfully utilized. As field excavations become more expensive and difficult, research is bound to move toward work on existing collections and archives. New technologies are making it possible to gain important new information from collections long thought to have given up their secrets.
Plains-Pueblo interactions is the topic of the fourth section. A subject that is both obvious and little studied, the authors make a strong case that the study of Plains-Pueblo interaction is in need of analysis, interpretation, and explanation.
Pushing Boundaries in Southwestern Archaeology is an important addition to the field.
Even though it has been extensively studied, much remains to be learned and this volume gives the reader the most up-to-date information available.
University Press of Colorado, 2023; 440 pgs., illus., $75 cloth, $60 ebook; www.upcolorado.com