Week #1 PECOS FIX!
August 1-7, 2020
To begin the first installment of the PECOS FIX! we would like to thank Dennis Rochay for tirelessly recording talks from the past several years of the conference. Thanks to Dennis we now have a video record of some of the most memorable moments under the tent.
This week we will explore the spirit of the Pecos Conference. Enjoy.
What is the Pecos Classification Anyway?
The Pecos Conference was initially born in 1927 out of a desire for scientists of multiple disciplines to come together and develop a singular temporal classification system for work being done in the Southwest. This first conference produced the Pecos Classification, which is still widely used today.
Does this classification system still hold up almost a century later? Take a moment to listen to Kyle Bocinsky's award-winning Cordell talk on the subject from 2015. If you want to dive deeper into Kyle's research, he has generously offered a link to the full paper.
The Age of the T-Shirt
Below, Richard Woodbury presents an anthropological perspective on the development and importance of the, now annual, Pecos Conference T-Shirt:
"One other innovation deserves mention, the Conference T-Shirt, made possible by the improved technology of silk-screen printing, which has also produced a flood of T-shirts of many other kinds. A special Pecos Conference T-shirt first appeared in 1977, according to the records of Sharon Urban. For the 1983 Conference at Bluff a special T-shirt sold for $6. The next year at Flagstaff a T-shirt with an elaborate logo suitable to the location was available. The following year at Salinas I35 Conference T-shirts were sold at $6.50 each. The new tradition was clearly established. In 1986 there was not only a Conference T-shirt but also a conference hat, both with a design showing Shoofly Village, where the host institution was digging. For some of the recent years the T-shirts have been produced by June Lipe of Pullman, Washington (whos husband is the archaeologist William Lipe of Washington State University) at her Triticum Press.Who else may have designed and sold T-shirts remains unknown, but the annual Conference T-shirt is another sign of keeping up with the times, like the musical entertainment at the barbecue."
For most recent attendees, the live entertainment and community meal are one of the most enjoyable and memorable portions of the conference. Beginning in the 1950s a group barbecue and live entertainment became a staple of the last night of the conference whether it was local Indigenous dancers, a mariachi group, or a bluegrass band. This portion of the conference is undoubtedly here to stay.
Books, Books, and More Books
An essential activity of the Pecos Conference is perusing the stacks of books for sale and going home with an extra fifty pounds of books. If you find yourself missing a casual stroll (or two) through the vendor tent and browsing rare anthropological books, check out one of our favorite vendor's website! Joe the Book Guy has become a staple of the conference and has a substantial website with intriguing books and manuscripts available to purchase.
Talks Under the Big Tent
The soul of the Pecos Conference is the big tent and the diverse talks that take place beneath its canopy. These short presentations allow archaeologists to share recent work, seek help for issues, and make calls to action in the community. These 10-15 minute extemporaneous talks have shaped the development of Southwestern archaeology in an immeasurable way over the last century.
Above are a few highlights from recent years that demonstrate the breadth of content and presentation style that this conference fosters. Don't see your favorite talk or speaker? No need to worry, we will be sharing many more throughout August.
A Virtual Campfire For You
Finally, the Pecos Conference would not be complete without evenings spent conversing around a campfire. Since we are guessing that many of you are in the Southwest, with burn bans in-place, we would like to offer this virtual campfire for you to enjoy in isolation. Use the form below to share your favorite Pecos Conference stories, and we just might feature it in the PECOS FIX!