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Next Meeting

Dr. David Batten
Associate Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
Eastern New Mexico University
Bringing the Field into the Office (Part 2)
Water Action and the Distribution of Artifacts
November 14, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Baldridge Hall, Montrose United Methodist Church
(at the corner of S. 1st Street and Park Avenue)
Guadelupe Ruin

This is the second half of Dave Batten’s personal exploration of the use of Geographic Information Systems software in archaeology, following up on a talk he presented in 2014 about least cost pathways and ancestral Puebloan communities. In this presentation, he describes research into the nature of the artifact distribution at Guadalupe Ruin, the easternmost Chacoan great house, and its surrounding community of small houses.

The Guadalupe Ruin is in a topographically dramatic location on top of a narrow and rather inaccessible mesa top along the Rio Puerco of the east in Sand-oval County, NM. As such, it provides a good location for examining the importance of hydrology to site formation. A 2001 Eastern New Mexico University field school, run by colleagues Steve and Kathy Durand provided the opportunity and the data for this analysis, and asked the question: why does the artifact distribution not associate with the small house structural sites in the community? Starting with three hypotheses that might help answer this question, Batten finds that hydrology is the likely culprit. And he uncovers a surprising window into social behavior at the site.

Dave Batten grew up and went to college in Colorado, earning a bachelor’s degree in forestry at CSU in 1971. After a requisite interval of life-as-education in Wyoming and Montana, he returned to graduate school, earning his Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1993 from the University of New Mexico. His dissertation addressed the impact of transportation system differences among historic and prehistoric urban societies of Eurasia and the Americas. Af-ter a brief stint in Kansas, he taught for 15 years at Eastern New Mexico University, where his teaching and research interests included landscape archaeology at the interface of the Great Plains and Pueblo regions in eastern New Mexico, and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a research tool. In 2012 he returned to retirement, this time in Montrose. He now spends most of his time hiking, cross-country skiing, and playing mu-sic, but he also maintains his interest in GIS. He continues to be amazed by its potential, along with other modern technologies, to revolutionize archaeological analysis.