Taos Archaeological Society

TAS Monthly Meeting/Lecture

  • 14 Feb 2012
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Kit Carson Electric - 118 Cruz Alta Rd, Taos



Date:              Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Location:        Kit Carson Electric - 118 Cruz Alta Rd., Taos                               

Title:               Update on National Register Designation


Speaker:         Hannah Kligman, Intern for BLM, TAS, and Columbia University

TAS 2012 Annual Meeting – Feb 14, 2012

Our Annual meeting will include voting for the new officers for TAS, approving the minutes and the budgets, and a brief report from each of the committees.  The minutes and budgets can be found at the TAS website.

There is a new page at our website called "TAS Rock Stars".  This page is just a small way for TAS to recognize the many members who have contributed so generously to the Organization, in support of our Field Work and School Education programs. 

The current slate of officers is as follows:  Carmen Acosta Johnson, President; Paul Williams, Vice President; Anna Walters, Treasurer; Carol Farmer, Secretary; Chris Riveles, Officer-at-Large.  The slate is open to nominations between now and the election.

Program Information

The Rio Grande Gorge of New Mexico, roughly from Velarde to the state border with Colorado, is filled with archaeological sites, most often marked by extensive rock art panels. The geological feature of the Gorge contains these sites, which mark the places in which past people traveled through the Gorge, leaving evidence of the ways in which they interacted with their environment. Under the National Record of Historic Places criterion D, the rock art and associated archaeological features and sites are physical evidence of the history of human travel through the Gorge. Often historic and pre-historic roads follow the rock art site locations, connecting various associated features and artifact scatters. Not only do petroglyph sites in this area illuminate routes of movement through the Gorge, but also show the interactions of different cultural groups throughout time. Cultural interactions can be seen on the rocks themselves, from archaic glyphs to early 20th century names-and-dates. While the archaic features have been studied for years, new survey research has recorded subtle scratched features previously un-recorded. These features seem to be rare evidence of traveling bands of plains people coming into the Taos area during the eighteenth century. Interactions of these plains tribes with the other major cultural groups of the Taos area (Pueblo, Hispanic, Anglo) are recorded in these glyphs and associated features.

The Gorge’s legacy of cultural interaction and land-use still effects us today, making the recording of petroglyphs and associated archaeological sites within the Gorge important to Taos locals and visitors alike. Some aspects of archaeologic study seem irrelevant to most members of the public, but archaeology is in fact very important to everybody. Kligman argues that a leave-no-trace ethic in landscape archaeology can be beneficial at the local level to people today, especially in the American Southwest where a higher percentage of the population works out-of-doors on a regular basis than in other parts of the United States. If archaeologists find the proper balance between site protection, resource management and information sharing, they can make their work beneficial both to members of their own profession and the public, at the same time that they help to protect sites and cultural knowledge.

Through a series of photographs Kligman hopes to introduce the petroglyphs of the Gorge, and one possible organization of petroglyph styles represented here. People should be excited about protecting these archaeological features, and Kligman wants to motivate people to share good site stewardship practices with the rest of the Taos public.  Archaeology is often portrayed as an exciting profession, but the general public is often unfamiliar with what archaeologies are in their immediate area. Kligman hopes to show the relevance of what is here in Taos, and why people should be concerned with these resources as important public property, beyond the enjoyment of being an archaeological tourist. Tourism is important, but public education on the hard facts of archaeology and survey work is probably more beneficial to our local communities. We need to focus our energies locally if we are to succeed in preserving the archaeological resources on our public lands in Taos County. 

Bio: Hannah Kligman, Taos Archaeology Intern 2011-2012, BLM-Taos Field Office, Taos Archaeology Society, and Columbia University- Gorge Project

Born in Miami FL and raised near Valley Forge National Historic Park PA, Kligman inherited a passion for landscape early on from her parents and grandparents. Family vacations were always to wildlife refuges and national parks, and hiking and camping were on the agenda every summer. After spending her early teenage years obsessed with the history of world exploration, Kligman matriculated at Columbia University as an art history and visual arts major. She quickly learned that the archive-based discipline of art history was not for her, and promptly switched to studying archaeology, art history’s down-to-earth cousin. After taking Professor Severin Fowles’ Archaeology of Idols class, Kligman traveled to Taos, NM for Professor Fowles’ summer field school, entitled the Gorge Project. Hooked on Southwest, and specifically Gorge, archaeology, Kligman returned the next three summers, working on a variety of different field projects run by Professor Fowles and other Columbia graduate students. In August 2011 Kligman accepted the position as the first annual Taos Archaeology Intern, and has been working on the petroglyphs and associated sites of the Gorge ever since. An avid trail runner you may have seen Kligman running around town, and she also volunteers as a ground search trainee for Taos Search and Rescue, hosts a Monday night radio show on KLDK Dixon Community Radio, and plays mandolin and fiddle in various local jam sessions when given the chance. 

Dinner Plans ?

 Dinner will be at 5 p.m. at The Trading Post Cafe in Ranchos de Taos.

 Please RSVP to Anna Walters by Tuesday, February 14 at noon if you plan to join us for dinner.
Reservations are especially important this month as Valentine's Day is one of the busiest days of the year for the restaurant.

annabeth3004@gmail.com or 758-8696

Taos Archaeological Society

PO Box 143

Taos, NM, 87571


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