Talk: Archaeologists Discovering Lost Native American Trails – Feb. 14

January 5, 2018

Courtesy DFC-AAS by Roger Kearney

Archaeologist James Snead Explores Lost and Forgotten Travel Routes at DFC-AAS Meeting

James Snead PhD

James Snead PhD

The Wednesday, February 14th meeting of the Desert Foothills Chapter of the Arizona Archaeology Society (DFC-AAS) features PhD James Snead. Snead will present “Obliterated Itineraries: The Archaeology of Roads, Paths, and Trails.”

The meeting is open to the public at no charge. There are refreshments available at 7:00 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7:30 p.m., usually ending prior to 9:00 p.m. The meeting is being held in the community room (Maitland Hall) at The Good Shepard of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331 (near the Dairy Queen).

About the Presentation

Movement is an essential aspect of human lives, yet one that leaves ambiguous traces in the archaeological record. In recent years, archaeologists have begun to systematically explore these faint signatures of travel as important elements of the cultural landscape of the past. From this evidence, we can better understand not only how movement took place, but who did it, how it was controlled, and what it meant from the perspectives of travelers. This lecture uses evidence for several related projects to discuss these ideas, and what they mean to our understanding of the past. Examples include Ancestral Pueblo and Chacoan paths/roads in New Mexico, and stone pathways built by the indigenous inhabitants of Micronesia. Together, they provide a fascinating look at how archaeologists can “move through time,” often in the literal footsteps of those who went before.

About the Speaker

James E. Snead is Associate Professor of Anthropology at California State University, Northridge. Awarded the Ph.D. at UCLA in 1994, he has held numerous fellowships and grants, including funding by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and a postdoctoral appointment at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Current research includes the study of roads, paths, and trails in the archaeological record. His co-edited volume, Landscapes of Movement, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2009. Initial work on this topic took place at Bandelier National Monument, in northern New Mexico. More recently, he has conducted fieldwork on the stone pathways of Yap, Micronesia. Other research interests include historical archaeology of the American West and the history of archaeology. New publications include a 2017 special issue of the journal Kiva on the archaeology of Chaco Roads (83:1), and The Original Jones Boys: Archaeologies of Race and Place in 19th Century America (World Archaeology, forthcoming).


AAS is a 501-C celebrating over 50 years of existence in 2014 and the Desert Foothill Chapter is a youngster at 40 years old. The chapter meets September through May on the second Wednesday of each month in Cave Creek and features well known guest lecturers during these meetings. The meetings are open to the general public at no cost with the exception of the December Christmas Party that is members only.
The meetings are held in the community room (Maitland Hall) at The Good Shepard of the Hills Episcopal Church, 6502 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331 (near the Dairy Queen).

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