Society – Dr. Laurie Webster

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Archaeology Society meeting to feature Southwest anthropologist

Staff ~ 3/25/2015

SCOTTSDALE – Anthropologist Dr. Laurie Webster will speak on ‘Re-excavating the Past: New Work with Ancient Textiles, Baskets, Wood, and Hides from Southeastern Utah’ at the monthly Arizona Archaeology Society – Desert Foothills Chapter meeting on Wednesday, April 8.

During the 1890s, local “cowboy” archaeologists excavated thousands of prehistoric perishable artifacts from alcoves in southeastern Utah.  Most of these objects were shipped to museums outside of the Southwest, where they were largely forgotten by archaeologists and the public.  Who were these early collectors, where did these objects go, and what insights do they provide about the clothing, creativity, and daily lives of the early inhabitants of southeastern Utah? Webster will discuss her recent research with these early collections and highlight some of the extraordinary 1,000 to 2,000-year-old textiles, baskets, hides, wooden implements, and other perishable artifacts recovered from these archaeological sites.

Webster, originally from Mancos, Colo., is an anthropologist earning her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Webster is an expert in Southwestern perishable materials. She has an association with the Arizona State Museum and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, as well as Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History and a visiting scholar in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona.  Webster has studied Southwestern textiles at museums throughout the country with strong prehistoric knowledge of textile and cordage as well as contemporary Navajo, Hopi, and Rio Grande weavers.  Her prehistoric perishable knowledge is sought by many credible institutions publishing numerous books and articles about Southwestern perishable technologies.

The April Arizona Archaeology Society – Desert Foothills Chapter meeting is open to the public; it starts with refreshments at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Holland Community Center, 34250 North 60th Street, in Scottsdale. For more details, see www.azarchsoc.org/desertfoothills.