October 7, 2015

Desert Foothills Chapter, Arizona Archaeological Society presents guest speaker Dr. Kerry Thompson October 14

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The Desert Foothills Chapter (DFC) of the Arizona Archaeological Society (AAS) is pleased to announce speaker Dr. Kerry Thompson an archaeologist that has worked primarily in the American Southwest for their October speaker series. As a member of the Navajo Nation, she is primarily interested in the inclusion of Native American perspectives and participation in archaeological practice.

Folklore and oral tradition are listed as lines of evidence for establishing cultural affiliation under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Since the passage of NAGPRA in 1990, archaeologists have increasingly engaged descendent communities and their oral histories in archaeological research. While the body of literature is growing, there is no clear picture of the ways in which oral histories are being brought into archaeological practice. Pondering the Use of Native American Oral Histories in Archaeological Practice reviews the different uses to which archaeologists are putting oral histories and provides examples of such research occurring in the American Southwest. To attempt a better accommodation of Diné perspectives in this research, Dr. Kerry Thompson used a theoretical framework derived from a ceremonial called the Hozhooji, or Blessingway, in concert with Western theories of agency, practice, structure, and history in a study of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Diné sites.

Dr. Thompson worked as an archaeologist for the Navajo Nation for many years assisting with the tribe’s cultural resource management needs and was trained as a lithic analyst. In 2009, she earned a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona where she researched late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Navajo hogan sites in the context of Navajo/American contact.

The general public may attend an Arizona Archaeology Society – Desert Foothills Chapter meeting at no charge, except for the holiday party in December. The AAS-DFC meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month, September through May. There are refreshments available at 7:00 PM and the meeting begins at 7:30 PM, usually ending prior to 9:00 PM. The meetings are held in the community building (Maitland Hall) at The Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331.Visit www.azarchsoc.org/desertfoothills.