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Southwest Lecture: A History of Archaic Research

Photo of Bradley J. Vierra
Friday, November 9, 2018 - 7:30pm
Maxwell Museum/Hibben Center
Free and Open to All
Bradley J. Vierra

I once gave a lecture entitled “Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology: We Get No Respect”. It eluded to the fact that Southwestern archaeology has traditionally focused on farming communities and not their foraging ancestors. This lecture will attempt to rectify this situation by presenting a review of the history of Archaic research from the turn of the 20th century through today. Much has been learned since the original definition of the Basketmakers, and most of what we know today has been derived from Cultural Resource Management projects. The fact is, the roots of later agricultural society are deeply buried in their Archaic heritage.


Bradley J. Vierra received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 1992. He is currently the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer at the Pueblo de San Ildefonso. Over the past forty years he has conducted pure and applied research in archaeology, most of which has been done in the American Southwest and northern Mexico. However, he has also worked in California, Washington, and Texas, as well as France, Portugal and Senegal. His research interests include hunter-gatherer archeology, stone tool technology, origins of agriculture, Archaic in the American Southwest and Mesolithic in Southwest Europe. The University of Utah Press recently published his edited volume entitled The Archaic Southwest: Foragers in an Arid Land. He has also edited the monograph From Mountaintop to Valley Bottom: Understanding Past Land Use in the Northern Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico, and co-edited a book with Dr. Bousman entitled From the Pleistocene to the Holocene: Human Organization and Cultural Transformations in Prehistoric North America.