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Speaker Series: Ethics, Aesthetics, and the Preservation of the Arts

Joint Hosted by SAR and MIAC

March 14, 2013 12:00 pm through 1:30 pm

Thursday, March 14, 2013, 12:00 pm, Free

Location:   School of Advanced Research Boardroom

Archaeology in the Southwest: To Collect or Not?

Did you know it is illegal to collect pottery sherds and stone tools from public lands? TJ Ferguson and Don Whyte discuss how to navigate the legalities surrounding archaeology in the Southwest and whether or not there is a way to be a responsible collector.

TJ Ferguson, Archaeologist and Professor, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona

Don Whyte, Chief Ranger, Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Elysia Poon (Moderator), IARC Program Coordinator, SAR

T. J. Ferguson is a professor in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, where he edits the Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona. He also owns Anthropological Research LLC, a research company in Tucson, Arizona, that specializes in archaeological and ethnographic research needed for historic preservation, repatriation, and litigation of land and water rights. Ferguson holds a Masters of Community and Regional Planning (1986) and a PhD in Anthropology (1993) from the University of New Mexico. For three decades, he has conducted archaeological, ethnographic, and historical research of Pueblo and Apache tribes in the Southwest. He is the author of three books: A Zuni Atlas (1985, with E. Richard Hart), Historic Zuni Architecture and Society: An Archaeological Application of Space Syntax (1996), and History is in the Land: Multivocal Tribal Traditions in Arizona’s San Pedro Valley(2006, with Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh). He has also authored numerous articles and book chapters on the archaeology and cultural landscapes of the Southwest.

Don Whyte (Ute Mountain Ute) grew up in the heart of Ute (Mesa Verde) country in Towaoc, Colorado. Early on, Whyte’s parents made him aware of the cliff dwellings, Pueblo surface sites, and all the archaeological resources on his reservation. They felt that it was critical to know these resources despite the cultural taboos most of his tribal members observed.

In the late seventies, Whyte worked as a tribal tour guide for the Ute Mountain Tribal Park, where he conducted regular day tours and special request tours in the park. He then went on to work as a federal law enforcement officer/ US park ranger at Mesa Verde National Park (Yucca House National Monument), Hovenweep National Monument, Petroglyph National Monument, Petrified Forest National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Haleakala National Park, Death Valley National Park, and many other cultural resource-related national parks in the West. Currently, Whyte is chief ranger at Chaco Culture National Historical Park. 

This series is open and FREE to the public. These are brown bag lunch events, so please feel free to bring a meal with you to the lectures. Reservations can be made by calling (505) 954-7205 or e-mailing iarc[at]

The Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research is pleased to announce its partnership with the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture to host the 2013 Speaker Series, Ethics, Aesthetics, and Preservation of the Arts. This speaker series is geared toward individuals and institutions interested in collecting and working with cultural materials. Over the course of several months, speakers will delve into the various legal and ethical issues surrounding art collecting and preservation, and offer some best practice guidelines. Talks will be held at the host institutions, the School for Advanced Research and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe. Please make note of the location of each talk.