The Cuyamungue Institute hosted a collaborative project of the ancestral Tewa site on our land, with our neighbor, the Pueblo of Pojoaque, and the project lead, Scott Ortman, who brought in teams from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Scott presents his illustrated talk, Cuyamungue as a Center Place, to turn back the clock on the once thriving village known as K’uuyemugeh (the traditional spelling, translated as ‘place where the rocks slip’ or ‘stones falling down place’) The project’s goals: “increase awareness of local ancestral sites in contemporary Pueblo communities, to strengthen local community identities, and to integrate archaeological, historical and traditional knowledge in telling the story of the land of the Cuyamungue Institute,” says Scott. His work focuses on the contemporary relevance of archaeological research, historical anthropology, and integrating theory and data from many fields to better understand the long-term histories of indigenous peoples. From Tewa Pueblo origins in the Northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico, to the growth and collapse of villages in the Mesa Verde region of Colorado, he is especially interested in the causes and consequences of major transitions – periods when new societies formed, old ones collapsed, or new scales of organization emerged. What insights from the past can we apply to our present and future, as, on a global scale, we reach unprecedented rates of growth, change, and complexity?
Scott Ortman holds many posts: Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder, Research Affiliate of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, Associate Editor for Anthropology and Archaeology with Science Advances, Faculty Affiliate with CU Population Center, and Director of the Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology within the Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado Boulder. He is author or co-author of numerous papers on Pueblo Indian historical anthropology, archaeological demography, and complex systems approaches in archaeology. His books include Winds from the North: Tewa Origins and Painted Reflections: Isomeric Design in Ancestral Pueblo Pottery.