conference papers

Members of the Gorge Project—professors, graduate students, and undergraduates—regularly present on results of our research at professional anthropological meetings. Two conferences sessions devoted to the project have been convened: a 2013 session at the Rocky Mountain Anthropological Meetings (Taos) and a 2011 session at the Theoretical Archaeology Group Meetings (U.C. Berkeley). Individual papers and research posters are also delivered by project members each year at the Society for American Archaeology Meeting, the American Anthropological Association Meeting, and many others (listed below).


Archaeologies of Taos: The New Past

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Rocky Mountain Anthropological Association meeting in Taos, NMSeptember 28, 2013. Chaired by Severin Fowles.

Session Abstract:  The Rio Grande Gorge is an iconic feature of the northern New Mexican landscape, a subterranean world filled with rock art, shrines, hunting sites, trails, tipi camps, and more that collectively archive thousands of years of local history. Since 2007, the crews of the Gorge Project have studied the archaeology of the gorge and adjacent areas with two broad goals: (1) to document the history of the Taos region from Archaic times to the present, and (2) to develop new theoretical and methodological approaches to landscape archaeology. Here, we present the results of the first seven field seasons.

Gorge Project Participants:

  • Severin Fowles (project co-director) “Opening Remarks”
  • Benjamin Alberti (project co-director) “On the Making of Archaic Images”
  • Emma Gilheany (Columbia ’14) “Hunter-Gatherer Perceptions of the Rio Grande Gorge”
  • Natalie Hill (Barnard ’15) “Houses of the Holy: A Ceremonial Cave Complex Near Pilar, NM”
  • Emilio Santiago (Columbia ’13) “The El Bosque Site, a Thirteenth Century Village Near Dixon, NM”
  • Lindsey Bishop (Columbia MA candidate) “Puebloan Shrines at the Edge of the Cosmos”
  • Lindsay Montgomery (project co-director) “Equestrian Nomads of the Northern Rio Grande”
  • Severin Fowles and Jimmy Arterberry “Biographic Tradition Rock Art of Eighteenth Century New Mexico”
  • Darryl Wilkinson (project co-director) “Penitent Landscapes of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”
  • Maud Reavill (Barnard ’14) “Descansos of the Northern Rio Grande”
  • Hannah Kligman (Columbia ’12) “The Manby Hot Springs Site and the Emergence of a Capitalist Landscape”
  • Maura Schlagel (Barnard ’14) “The Embudo Land Grant: A Tercentenary Perspective”
  • Kaet Heupel (Columbia PhD candidate) “The New Buffalo Commune: Archaeology of Los Hippies”

Maud Reavill presenting copyMaud Reavill (Barnard ’14) presents her paper “Descansos of the Northern Rio Grande” before a large RMAA audience. Maud’s research focused on the roadside shrines of New Mexico, investigated as archaeological sites within a contemporary Catholic landscape. Her work explored the difficult relationships between death, the road, substance abuse, the historic loss of land grants, and cultural resilience among contemporary Hispano communities in northern New Mexico—themes that formed the basis of her senior thesis at Barnard College.

Maura Schlagel Presenting copyMaura Schlagel (Barnard ’14) presents her paper “The Embudo Land Grant: A Tercentenary Perspective.” Maura’s presentation combined historical research, oral histories and archaeological excavations in the old Embudo plaza to trace the history and ongoing significance of the Embudo land grant, established in 1725. Expanding upon this work in her senior thesis at Barnard, Maura explored the role of the contemporary acequia system as a key means of preserving and reinventing a political and ecological ethos that developed historically during the land grant era.

Natalie Hill presenting copyNatalie Hill (Barnard ’15) presents her paper entitled “Houses of the Holy: A Ceremonial Cave Complex Near Pilar, NM.” During her two seasons as a member of the Gorge Project, Natalie took the lead in the documentation of a large shrine complex with significant Archaic and Apachean components. An interpretative study of the site is forming the basis of her senior thesis at Barnard College.


The Persistence of the Sixties: Countercultural Archaeologies of New Buffalo.

Theoretical Archaeology Group meetings, UC Berkeley, May 2011. Co-chaired by Severin Fowles and Kaet Huepel.

Session Abstract: In 1967, the New Buffalo Commune was founded in rural New Mexico as a principled experiment in the reinvention of American society. Drawing energy from the radicalism of the 1960s counterculture, those who came to stay at New Buffalo deployed political protest, spiritual revival, back-to-the-land agriculture, primitivism, communalism, Hippie aesthetics, drugs, sex and exuberant naïveté as strategies to escape the war, consumerism, industrialization, patriarchy and restrictive cultural norms of mainstream society. The result was a lifestyle that was part cultural critique, part manifesto, and part theater; and while New Buffalo’s particular experiment did not survive the 1970s intact, it helped define a historical moment that continues to give shape to many persistent forms of American activism today. In 2009, archaeologists from Columbia University came to New Buffalo to participate in the efforts of its owner, Bob Fies, and current residents to construct a “new New Buffalo” based upon reasserted principles of environmental sustainability, social communalism, education, and spirituality. The archaeological contribution to this project has been to excavate portions of the original commune as a springboard for fresh conversations about the successes, failures, struggles, and ongoing significance of the 60s counterculture in northern New Mexico. The result has been an archaeology of the contemporary past that is part cultural critique, part manifesto, and part theater. This session brings together the project’s archaeologists as well as past and current members of New Buffalo for a collective conversation about the site, its heritage, and the future of American counterculture.

Gorge Project participants:

  • Severin Fowles (project co-director) and Kaet Heupel (PhD candidate, Columbia) “Countercultural Archaeologies”
  • Bob Fies (project consultant) “New Buffalo, Now and Then”
  • Iris Keltz (project consultant) and Kaet Heupel, “Scrapbook of a Taos Hippie”
  • Elizabeth Angell (PhD candidate, Columbia) “Excavating Images: Archaeological Photography at New Buffalo”
  • Kaet Heupel, “Digging the Sixties”
  • Lindsay Montgomery (project co-director) “Hippies as Indians and Artifacts”
  • Severin Fowles, “The Stone Age in Light of the Stoned Age”
  • Albert Gonzalez (PhD candidate, SMU) “Destroy the Hippies! An Archaeology of the Chicano-Hippie War”
  • Annie Danis (Barnard ’10) “On Beer, Bras, and Breast Cream (or What the Counterculture Threw Away)”
  • Joe Frustaci (project consultant) “Mandate to Create / From Dystopian Detritus”
  • Michelle Rosales (Columbia ’11) “Clockpunk Earthships: Recycling Material and the Counterculture”
  • Andrew Heinrich (project consultant) and Hannah Kligman (Columbia ’10) “Farming on Mars”
  • Robbie Gordon (project consultant) “My Experiences as a Cultural Revolutionary”

Individual Conference Papers and Posters

by the Gorge Project team, drawing upon project data

2016

  • Bondura, Valerie and Severin Fowles. 2016. San Antonio del Embudo: Archaeologies of Precarity, Faith, and Fiestas. Poster presented at the Southwest Symposium, Tucson.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2016. Comanche visual culture and the theater of war. Invited lecture, University of Texas, Austin
  • Fowles, Severin. 2016. Comanche visual culture and the theater of war. Invited lecture, Costen Institute, UCLA.

2015

  • Fowles, Severin. 2015. Comanche visual culture and the theater of war. Invited lecture, Columbia University, Center for Archaeology
  • Fowles, Severin. 2015. Embudo archaeology: results of the 2015 field season. Invited lecture, Embudo Valley Library, NM.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2015. The Catholicization of the New Mexican Landscape. Invited lecture, Petroglyph Platica Lecture Series, Los Luceros, NM.
  • Damick, Alison and Severin Fowles. 2015. Abrasive rituals of the Northern Rio Grande. Invited paper, presented as part of the “Bedrock Features (Mortars, Slicks and Grooves): Documentation, Analysis and Interpretation” session at the Society for American Archaeology meeting, San Francisco.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2015. On the identification of Ute, Comanche, and Jicarilla Apache rock art in the Rio Grande del Norte (with a bit of hand-wringing over Kiowa, Navajo, Pawnee, Shoshone, Cheyenne, etc., etc.). Invited paper, Archaeological Society of New Mexico meeting, Taos.
  • Hayflick, Emily. 2015. The archaeology of hot springs in the Northern Rio Grande. Poster presented at the Archaeological Society of New Mexico meeting, Taos.
  • Borenstein, Gabriel and Lucy Gill. 2015. The zooarchaeology of Spanish colonial Dixon. Poster presented at the Archaeological Society of New Mexico meeting, Taos.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2015. Comanche visual culture and the theater of war. Invited lecture, University of New Mexico, Department of Anthropology.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2015. Comanche visual culture and the theater of war. Invited lecture, University of San Diego, Department of Anthropology.

2014

  • Alberti, Benjamin and Severin Fowles. 2014. Surface ecologies of rock and art. Invited paper, presented in “The Convergence of History and Space:  Historically-charged places in the archaeological record of North America” session at the Society for American Archaeology meeting, Austin.
  • Fowles, Severin and Benjamin Alberti. 2014. Surface ecologies of rock and art. Invited paper, presented in “The Convergence of History and Space:  Historically-charged places in the archaeological record of North America” session at the American Anthropological Association meeting, Washington DC.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2014. Comanche visual culture and the theater of war. Invited lecture, University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2014. On the antiquity of Eastern Pueblo moiety organization. Invited lecture, Symposium in Honor of Dave Warren. Museum of New Mexico.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2014. Comanche New Mexico: indigenous archives. Invited lecture, School for Advanced Research.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2014. The archaeology of colonial New Mexico: Testimony of the Rio Grande Gorge. Invited public lecture, Taos Archaeological Society.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2014. The archaeology of the Embudo valley. Invited public lecture, Embudo Public Library.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2014. God is red. Still. (Part 2). Invited lecture, Southwest Seminars, Santa Fe.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2014. God is red. Still. Invited lecture, New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2014. Northern Tiwa Social Organization (AD 1200-1906). Invited paper, presented as part of “The Present in the Past: Rethinking Ethnographic Analogies in Puebloan Social Formations” session at the Society for Applied Anthropology meeting, Albuquerque.

2013

  • Santiago, Emilio and Severin Fowles. 2013. The Evolution of Moieties in the Northern Rio Grande: New Evidence from the El Bosque Site. Poster presented at the Society for American Archaeology meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Santiago, Emilio and Severin Fowles. 2013. Sovereign mountains: panoptic moiety in the post-Chacoan northern Rio Grande. Poster presentation, Theoretical Archaeology Group meeting, Chicago.
  • Fowles, Severin and Benjamin Alberti. 2013. On revelation and the knowledge of surfaces. Invited paper, presented as part of the “Ecologies of evidence, life and politics” session at the American Anthropological Association meeting, Chicago.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2013. Towards an archaeology of Comanche imperialism in the American West. Invited lecture, presented at the Department of Anthropology, Yale University.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2013. An archaeology of Comanche imperialism in the American West. Invited lecture, presented at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2013. On Pueblo emergence. Invited presentation, presented as part of the “Social Identity in Frontier and Borderland Communities” advanced seminar, Amerind Foundation, Dragoon, AZ.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2013. Biographic Tradition rock art of early eighteenth century Taos. Invited paper, Rocky Mountain Anthropological Association meeting, Taos.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2013. Towards an archaeology of Comanche imperialism in the American West. Invited lecture, Archaeological Institute of America, New York.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2014. The new American (Indian) imperialism. Invited lecture, Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University (SUNY).
  • Fowles, Seveirn. 2013. On Pueblo emergence. Invited paper, presented as part of the “Social Identity in Frontier and Borderland Communities of the North American Southwest” session at the Society for American Archaeology meeting, Honolulu.

2012

  • Fowles, Severin. 2012. Comanche archaeology and the making of eighteenth century New Mexico. Invited paper, presented as part of the Pecos Conference, Pecos National Historic Park, NM.
  • Fowles, Severin and Jimmy Arteberry. 2012. Gesture and performance in Comanche rock art. Invited paper, presented as part of the “Art Makes Society” session at the Society for American Archaeology meeting.
  • Montgomery, Lindsay, Severin Fowles and Jimmy Arteberry. 2012. The horse, the horseman, and the nomadic empire of the Southern Plains. Invited paper, presented as part of the “Theories of Entanglements: Movement, Agents, and Worlds-in-Transformation” session at the Society for American Archaeology meeting.
  • Santiago, Emilio, Emma Gilheany, Ana Frosch, Severin Fowles, Heather Atherton. 2012. The Archaeology of Uncertainty in Colonial New Mexico. Poster presentation at the Society for American Archaeology meeting, Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Atherton, Heather and Severin Fowles. 2012. Comanche archaeology and the making of eighteenth century New Mexico. Invited paper, presented as part of the “Transformations During the Colonial Era: Divergent Histories in the American Southwest” session at the Society for American Archaeology meeting.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2012. The new American (Indian) imperialism. Invited lecture, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2012. The new American (Indian) imperialism. Invited lecture, Hillel Center, Columbia University.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2012. One thousand years of New Mexican counterculture. Invited lecture, presented as part of the Southwest Seminars Lecture Series, Santa Fe.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2012. Comanche archaeology and the making of eighteenth century New Mexico. Invited lecture, presented as part of the colloquia lecture series, Southern Methodist University in Taos.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2012. Comanche archaeology and the making of eighteenth century New Mexico. Invited lecture, presented as part of the Southwest Seminars Lecture Series, Santa Fe.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2012. Comanche archaeology and the making of colonial New Mexico. Invited lecture, presented to the Taos Archaeological Society, Taos, NM.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2012. Aqua-sociology: How water built society in pre-Columbian New Mexico. Invited keynote lecture, presented as part of Celebrando las Acequias, Dixon, NM

2011

  • Fowles, Severin. 2011. The archaeology of Comanche imperialism: Colonizing the colonizer. Invited lecture, Stony Brook University, Department of Anthropology.
  • Fowles, Severin and Kaet Heupel. 2011. Countercultural archaeologies. Presented as part of The Persistence of the Sixties: Countercultural Archaeologies of New Buffalosession at the Theoretical Archaeology Group meeting, UC Berkeley.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2011. The Stone Age after the Stoned Age. Presented as part of The Persistence of the Sixties: Countercultural Archaeologies of New Buffalo session at the Theoretical Archaeology Group meeting, UC Berkeley.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2011. On the problem of Comanche imperialism. Invited paper, presented as part of the Questioning Assumptions: Celebrating the Work and Influence of John Speth session at the Society for American Archaeology meeting.
  • Wilkinson, Darryl and Severin Fowles. 2011. Roman Catholic rock art of the northern Rio Grande. Poster presented at the Society for American Archaeology meeting.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2011. The Gorge Project: An interim report. Invited lecture, presented to the Taos Archaeological Society.
  • Fowles, Severin. 20112. Comanche archaeology and the making of colonial New Mexico. Public lecture at the Dixon Community Center.

2010

  • Danis, Annie and Severin Fowles. 2010. Ute-Comanche rock art in the northern Rio Grande. Poster presented at the Annual New Mexico Archeological Council Meetings, Albuquerque.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2010. Indios Bárbaros: on the origins of Comanche imperialism. Invited lecture, Dartmouth College, Department of Anthropology.
  • Fowles, Severin. 2010. An archaeological history of the Rio Grande Gorge. Public lecture presented at the Bureau of Land Management Visitor Center, Pilar, NM.

2009

  • Fowles, Severin. 2009. The Gorge Project: icon and place along the Rio Grande. Invited paper, presented as part of the Archaeology of the Northern Rio Grande session, New Mexico Archaeological Council Meetings, Albuquerque.

2008

  • Heupel, Kaet and Severin Fowles. 2008. The Gorge Project: iconology and ethnogeography along the mighty Rio Grade. Poster presented at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

2007

  • Fowles, Severin. 2007. The archaeology of the Rio Grande Gorge. Public lecture presented at the Bureau of Land Management Visitor Center, Pilar, NM.