Connected Through Time and Space

Chaco research continues to makes connections between New Mexico and Mesoamerica

Visitors to Chaco Canyon National Monument often marvel at what's been lost to time and what remains. As they stand in the shadow of towering stone walls constructed ten lifetimes ago, doorways reinforce images of the humans who once walked there.

Yet, the structures don't tell the stories of the past, so proponents of the sciences of archaeology and anthropology study objects and craft narratives to attempt to learn about how people lived.

Patricia Crown is among them. A book she recently published with the help of other researchers called The House of the Cylinder Jars (2020, UNM Press) reveals the culmination of nearly two decades of work on pottery found in one particular room and what it might represent.

Crown, who teaches archaeology at the University of New Mexico and is a Weatherhead Scholar at the School for Advanced research in Santa Fe, gained notoriety in 2009 with the discovery of chocolate residue in vessels from Chaco. The analysis with the help of a nutritional chemist from The Hershey Company more firmly established a long suspected link with Mesoamerica.

"People in Chaco were aware of materials and species and objects that were thousands of kilometers away and it really indicates how connected the world was 1,000 years ago," Crown says in a video produced by SAR. "People out there were aware of a much wider world than we probably would have anticipated."

Hear more about what Crown learned in an online panel from the School for Advanced Research features Cyler Conrad, an archaeologist and tribal technical liaison at Los Alamos National Laboratory; Jacqueline Kocer, an Indigenous archaeologist and PhD candidate with Native New Mexican ancestry who is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota; and Hannah Mattson, an assistant professor of anthropology at UNM. (Julie Ann Grimm)

Book Talk: The House of the Cylinder Jars:
10 am Thursday, Jan. 28. Free.

Print It

Courtesy LewAllen Galleries

If you're the kind of collector or appreciator who thinks things like "Dang, printmaking is pretty great," then we've got the show for you—LewAllen Galleries' upcoming Lasting Impressions delves into four New Mexico printmakers (Gustave Baumann, Charles M. Caps, Norma Bassett Hall and Gene Kloss). If you know, you're pumped. If you don't, you should get pumped. Between the four's disparate takes on New Mexico lives and landscapes, a broader picture emerges of a state that either raised or imported some of the most enduring artists of all time. To see such works in a gallery setting (read, super up-close) is nothing short of exhilarating. (Alex De Vore)

Lasting Impressions: Four Leaders of New Mexico Printmaking:
All Day Friday, Jan. 29-Saturday, March 6. Free.
LewAllen Galleries,
1613 Paseo de Peralta,

Get Bottom

Courtesty Santa Fe Opera Guild

Ever wish you knew more about how opera works? Y'know, we have the world class Santa Fe Opera here, it's only natural to wonder what the hubbub's all about. Fret no more, and the Santa Fe Opera Guild presents the first of four intro talks on the medium, this one on Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and its themes of isolation. Knowing your Shakespeare certainly wouldn't hurt, but deepening your knowledge of the operatic structure and how it applies to the Bard's tale of horny forest-bound fae and humans can only deepen the appreciation. We'd make more Bottom jokes, but you get the picture. Deisrée Mays leads the lecture. (ADV)

Opera Virtually Unveiled:
1 pm Tuesday. Feb. 2. $10 (free for Opera Guild members).

A Whale of a Good Time

Richard George

Led Zeppelin tribute act Moby Dick is back, dear readers, which is pretty good news since it's been a long time since they rock and rolled. Oh, also—they're back for free (but you should donate)! Streaming live from Violet Crown Cinema, the legendary lovers of all things Led brings it to the fans, baby, baby, and oh, oh, oh, oh, oh—you don't have to go anywhere to see it thanks to the power of streaming. In fact, it should be easy to ramble on over to your couch and watch since we've all been doing that for a year now. Anyway, the point is this—Moby Dick calls Led Zeppelin "the world's greatest rock band," so, like, there you go. AMP Concerts produces and we're real sorry for how we worded this…on Opposite Day! (Riley Gardner)

Moby Dick and the Quest for Violet Crown:
Thursday, Feb. 4-Sunday, Feb. 7, Free (but donate!).