Telluride Unearthed Continues At Museum December 8

[click “Play” to hear Susan’s conversation with Dr. Scott Ortman]

Ja_Scott On Tuesday, December 8, 6 – 8 p.m., the lecture series, Telluride Unearthed, continues at the Telluride Historical Museum. The speaker is Dr. Scott Ortman on the subject of “Archaeology, Oral Tradition, and the Mesa Verde Migration.” Ortman is currently Director of Research and Education at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.

Ortman picks up where his Crow Canyon colleague, Dr. Mark Varian, left off on December 1. Varian’s overview,  “Life is Movement: Pueblo Indians of the Mesa Verde Region,” began about 2,000 B.C. Ortman focuses on two of the longest-running debates in North American archaeology: the famous abandonment of the Mesa Verde region in the 13th century, and the relationship between ancient Mesa Verde peoples and the present-day Pueblo peoples of New Mexico.

Ortman reports scholars shake hands over two points: present-day Pueblo groups were in place in the Rio Grande region of New Mexico by the early 14th century, and the diverse languages spoken in these villages reflect diverse origins for these peoples. Then they part company: There is no consensus on how these present-day groups came to be. Some view them as local developments; others see these populations as amalgamations of diverse peoples; and still others are convinced the population reflects lineal descendants of earlier Pueblo societies, including Mesa Verde.

For clues as to where Ortman comes out in the debate, click the “play” button and listen to his podcast.

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