Archaeology conference coming to Cortez

Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 12:39 PM
Susan Ryan discusses the Haynie Ruins, which county commissioners have named the first Montezuma County Historical Site. Ryan will be one of the speakers at the Colorado Archaeological Society annual conference Sept. 22.

Hisatsinom, the local chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society, will host the society’s annual conference in Cortez.

Presentations will be made on various topics relevant to archaeology in the Southwest. The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Cortez Elks Lodge, 2100 N. Dolores Rd., with an evening banquet and speaker to be held after the day program.

The CAS 2018 Conference program will include a full day of presentations, including from the Navajo and Ute Mountain Ute tribes, said Dave Melanson of the Hisatsinom Chapter’s executive board.

Speakers will include: Mark Stiger, Western State Colorado University on the Mountaineer Site; William Tsosie Jr., tribal archaeologist, Navajo Nation Heritage and Historic Preservation Office; Mark Varien, Susan Ryan, Shanna Diederichs and others on selected current research through time in Montezuma County.

“Program speakers represent experienced and respected perspectives in the archaeology of the Southwest,” Melanson said. “There will be a series of 10-minute talks from archaeology scholars, including from Crow Canyon.”

This year’s banquet speaker will be Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, presenting “Indigenous Living Knowledge.” Whiteskunk advocated for Bears Ears National Monument as a representative of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and was an educator at the Ute Mountain Ute museum in Montrose.

Tickets to hear the banquet speaker without a meal may be purchased separately.

It is not necessary to be a CAS member to attend the annual conference, but participants must register in advance at the Hisatsinom website.

Tours of local archaeology sites on Sept. 21 and 23 are available for CAS members only.

“This conference is an excellent opportunity for the public to learn more about archaeology in the county from experts in the field,” Melanson said.

CAS began in 1935 and is a statewide organization of avocational and professional archaeologists, as well as, students of archaeology. This nonprofit organization is committed to the stewardship of archaeological resources in Colorado. Members participate in educational, research and conservation opportunities focusing on responsible participation in archaeology.

There are 10 CAS chapters across the state, and the annual conference is held at each town on a rotating basis.

Registration information may be found at the Hisatsinom Chapter website For questions about the conference, contact