Woman showing a book with three other women looking over her shoulder.

Someone Who Inspires Me

Howdy, everyone. Thanks again for (virtually) joining me in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This week’s blog topic is relevant to what I have been working on for the past two weeks. This past week I gave a practice tour to the staff here and demonstrated the stories of the people I’ve been getting to know through the archives. Granted, the curator and the archivist helped a lot with the formation of this tour because they know this collection better than I do. However, in all my research throughout the collection I was most struck by the number of women involved in the excavation of Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Aztec Ruins National Monument.

Image split in two. one side is a historical photograph of female archeologist's portrait. The other half is a booklet of the Bureau of American Ethnology

Starting with a feminist archaeologist and activist, Matilda Coxe Stevenson, was one of the first women to survey the cultures of the Southwest. She is part of the reason women have a voice in the discipline of anthropology; when women weren’t allowed in the American Association of Anthropology, Matilda helped for the Women’s Association of Anthropology.

Another woman that I am inspired me to read about is Florence Hawley Ellis, who was born in Mexico and then moved to Arizona. She was one of the first archaeologists to integrate statistics into fieldwork and associate tree ring dates with different stages of pottery at different levels of excavations.

Women sitting on the edge of an archeological pit holding a trowel

I’m looking forward to talking about these women on my tours and knowing that they will continue to be part of the Chaco-Aztec Museum and Archives Facility public tours after my internship. I’m also grateful to experience the female legacy at the park. Believe it or not, most of the Chaco-Aztec Museum and Archives Facility staff are women! It has been incredible to experience this legacy where women built up women.

Woman showing a book with three other women looking over her shoulder.
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