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Archaeology in the Mesa Verde Region: Ancient Ties Across the Southwest

Dr. Fumi Arakawa will present the May 2014 History Notes lecture at Branigan Cultural Center on Thursday, May 8 at 1pm.

Hundreds of years ago, much of the Southwest was settled by Pueblo farmers, the ancestors of today’s Pueblo peoples living primarily throughout Northern New Mexico, on the Hopi Mesas of Northern Arizona, and in North-Central Mexico. In Archaeology in the Mesa Verde Region: Ancient Ties Across the Southwest, Arakawa will examine these deep and far-reaching cultural ties in a lecture that presents a brief chronology of Ancestral Pueblo archaeology followed by a more in-depth look at cultural developments in the Four Corners region. The Ancestral Pueblo occupants of the Mesa Verde Region migrated from that area in the 1300s, a time of cultural change throughout the Southwest. Where did the Cliff Dwellers move to? What was their relationship to the people living in the Gila Cliff Dwellings? Come to this talk to find out more about the Pueblo history of the greater Southwest.

Dr. Arakawa is an archaeology professor in the NMSU Department of Anthropology. His interests lie primarily in the prehistoric American Southwest, lithic technological organization, pottery in the Mesa Verde region, and sociopolitical organization in tribal-level societies, and geology and lithic analyses. He also examines topics including cultural trajectory, gendered division of labor, migration, and exchange systems in his research. Dr. Arakawa presents a new view on the archaeological record rooted in the philosophy and anthropology of Japanese and East Asian cultures. He has been a research associate for the Village Ecodynamics Project (an NSF funded program) since 2002, conducting stone tool and debitage analyses and compiling chipped-stone databases in the Mesa Verde and northern Rio Grande regions.

History Notes, monthly lectures on historical topics, take place on the second Thursday of each month at 1 pm. Please check our webpage for facebook for a full listing of these and other Branigan Cultural Center public programs.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s website at

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