As part of the 2017 Midwest Archaeological Conference, Barbara Mills invites you to her lecture, “Current Debates in the Archaeology of the Chaco World.” The talk will be held at the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute on October 19th at 7pm. Mills is the Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona and Curator of Archaeology at the Arizona State Museum.
Chaco Canyon’s dense concentration of monumental architecture, along with the millions of objects that have been excavated, pose challenges to traditional models of Southwestern societies. The ways in which archaeologists interpret regional systems of interaction like Chaco’s has led to a number of debates. Some of these are about Chaco’s origins, while others focus on its most extensive “Classic” period, and still others consider Chaco’s reorganization and fragmentation. The questions asked are as hotly debated as their answers. This presentation will outline several important debates about inequality, historical memory, economy, migration, and religious ritual that are guiding exciting new research on Chaco.
This event is sponsored by the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute and The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in collaboration with the 2017 Midwest Archaeological Conference.
Free tickets are available at barbara-mills.eventbrite.com.
About the Speaker
Professor Mills is an anthropological archaeologist with broad interests in archaeological method and theory, especially (but not exclusively) as applied to the North American Southwest. Her work has focused on ceramic analysis and, more broadly, material culture as a tool to understand social relations in the past. She is interested in the way depositional practice can be used to understand memory, materiality, and relational logics. Her research on ceramic technology, craft specialization, and accumulations research has led to a series of papers and edited volumes on social inequality, identity, feasting, and migration.
Mills’s interests were fostered by more than a decade of work in the Silver Creek area of east-central Arizona, including a multi-year collaborative project with the White Mountain Apache Tribe. She also has field and research experience in a number of other areas of the Southwest, including Zuni, Chaco, Mimbres, Grasshopper, and most recently the Greater Hohokam area. Outside the U.S. she has research experience in Guatemala (Postclassic Maya), Kazakhstan (Bronze Age), and Turkey (Neolithic). She is currently a lead researcher on the Southwest Social Networks Project, which brings together data and a talented group of scholars to apply social network analysis (SNA) to archaeological data from the Southwest.