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Penn Cultural Heritage Center Lecture

Indigenous Archaeology and Pre-Reservation Diné History in the U.S. Southwest

Penn Museum

Thursday, Mar. 14, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm ET

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Stone structures in the desert.

From the northern edge of the San Juan Basin in the east to Black Mesa in the west, nearly 200 stone fortresses are known to be spread across the landscape of the Navajo Nation. These buildings are not Ánaasází in origin, but were instead built over the past three centuries by previous generations of Diné people in order to protect their communities from Utes, Spanish, Americans, and other combatants.

Commonly known as pueblitos, these strongholds represent important points of intervention for better understanding pre-reservation Diné history, a history that has long been constructed without input from Diné people themselves. This presentation reviews the history and extent of previous pueblito-related research in combination with new data from other defensive sites located on the reservation proper. Together, this information demonstrates why these unique voices of Diné strength and resilience in the Southwest must be better documented and protected going forward.

The Penn Cultural Heritage Center is supported by the PennCHC Advisory Committee, the PoGo Family Foundation, and other donors.

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About the Speaker

 Headshot of Dr. Wade Campbell

Dr. Wade Campbell

Dr. Wade Campbell (Diné) is an Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology at Boston University. His research explores the historical relationships between Diné communities and other local groups in the U.S. Southwest, including the Pueblos, Spanish, and Americans. Campbell's work examines longer-term patterns of Diné settlement and economic activity across the greater Four Corners region, with a focus on the origins of the Diné sheepherding tradition and related shifts in land use, social organization, and diet and subsistence practices between AD 1600 and the present day.