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Week #2 PECOS FIX!  

August 9-15, 2020

If things had gone to plan, this morning we would all be waking up from a weekend of fabulous talks, a wild night of dancing, and and we would all be preparing to pack-up and head home or to an exciting field trip. Since we cannot all be together, we hope this second installment of the PECOS FIX! will do the trick.


This week we will explore where we have been and how the Pecos Conference came to be. Enjoy.


Kidder's Own Words

The first Pecos Conference was inspired and organized by Alfred V. Kidder in 1927 at Pecos Pueblo. Many leaders in the field of archaeology were in attendance. At this first meeting, collaborations led to the first widely-accepted cultural classification system for the Southwest. This classification system and the conference have continued until today.

While A. V. Kidder was certainly not the first Southwestern archaeologist to gather colleagues and encourage inter-discipline collaboration, his charismatic nature created a culture within the field that resonated decades out. Below is one of the first letters Kidder sent while developing the concept behind the first Pecos Conference. This letter is addressed to Clark Wissler and is excerpted from 60 Years of Southwestern Archaeology: A History of the Pecos Conference by Richard B. Woodbury. 

January 28, 1927

                I have been talking over Southwestern matters this autumn and winter with Morris and Judd and Roberts, and we all feel strongly that our work would be advanced if all Southwesternists could arrive at an understanding in regard to the underlying problems, the methods of accumulating and presenting data, and (last, but in some ways most important) a standardized nomenclature for artifacts, decorative motifs, and periods of culture. We have considered the possibility of attempting to hold a field conference during the coming summer, and I believe we could get together either at Pueblo Bonito or at Pecos the majority of active workers in this field. 

                I am writing you, who have so much experience with conferences of one sort and another, for your opinion as to whether the project is worth the time entailed; also as to whether you think that Bonito or Pecos would be the better place. I may add that I am not contemplating attempting to raise any money from any source for the meeting. Do you think there is any possibility of your being able to come? If Shapiro would be in the Southwest, I would hope that he might be able to help us out with Physical Anthropology. 

Where We Have Been

Beginning at Pecos Pueblo in 1927 and staying very close to home until 1948, the conference has traditionally been held outdoors in idealistic settings representing the natural and cultural beauty of the Southwest. Over the last several decades, conference locations began to expand outside of New Mexico and have even been held internationally. Explore the map above to see the geographic distribution of conference locations, or check out the list below to see associated conference dates. How many have you been to?

1927 -   Pecos, NM

1929 -   Pecos, NM

1930 -   Pecos, NM

1931 -   Santa Fe, NM

1932 -   Pecos, NM

1938 -   Chaco Canyon, NM

1939 -   Chaco Canyon, NM

1940 -   Chaco Canyon, NM

1941 -   Chaco Canyon, NM

1946 -   Santa Fe, NM

1947 -   Chaco Canyon , NM

1948 -   Point of Pines, AZ

1949 -   Santa Fe, NM

1950 -   Flagstaff, AZ

1951 -   Point of Pines, AZ

1952 -   Pecos, NM

1953 -   Flagstaff, AZ

1954 -   Santa Fe, NM

1955 -  Santa Fe, NM

1956 -   Flagstaff, AZ

1957 -   Globe, AZ

1958 -   Albuquerque, NM

1959 -   Fort Burgwin, NM

1960 -   Flagstaff, AZ

1961 -   Casas Grandes, Mexico

1962 -   Globe, AZ

1963 -   Fort Burgwin, AZ

1964 -   Window Rock, AZ

1965 -   Trinidad, CO

1966 -   Flagstaff, AZ

1967 -   Tucson, AZ

1968 -   El Paso, TX

1969 -   Prescott, AZ

1970 -   Santa Fe, NM

1971 -   Window Rock, AZ

1972 -   Flagstaff, AZ

1973 -   Tucson, AZ

1974 -   Mesa Verde, CO

1975 -   Bloomfield, NM

1976 -   Kino Bay, Mexico

1977 -   Pecos, NM

1978 -   Flagstaff, AZ

1979 -   Tucson, AZ

1980 -   Mesa Verde, CO

1981 -   Fort Burgwin, NM

1982 -   Pecos, NM

1983 -   Bluff, UT

1984 -   Flagstaff, AZ

1985 -   Mountainair, NM

1986 -   Payson, AZ

1987 -   Pecos, NM

1988 -   Dolores, CO

1989 -   Bandelier, NM

1990 -   Blanding, UT

1991 -   Casas Grandes, Mexico

1992 -   Pecos, NM

1993 -   Springerville, AZ

1994 -   Mesa Verde, CO

1995 -   Lake Roberts, NM

1996 -   Flagstaff, AZ

1997 -   Chaco Canyon, NM

1998 -   Pecos, NM

1999 -   Pinedale, AZ

2000 -   Dolores, CO

2001 -   Flagstaff, AZ

2002 -   Pecos, NM

2003 -   Casas Grandes,Mexico

2004 -   Bluff, UT

2005 -   White Rock, NM

2006 -   Navajo Lake, NM

2007 -   Pecos, NM

2008 -   Flagstaff, AZ

2009 -   Cortez, CO

2010 -   Silverton, CO

2011 -   Jacob Lake, AZ

2012 -   Pecos, NM

2013 -   Flagstaff, AZ

2014 -   Blanding, UT

2015 -   Mancos, CO

2016 -   Alpine, AZ

2017 -   Rowe Mesa, NM

2018 -   Flagstaff, NM


A Conference Like No Other

In the fall of 2012, Dody Fugate, former curator for the Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe, wrote a perspective piece for the El Palacio where she calls the Pecos Conference, "one of the most unusual conferences in the world." We think that is an estute perspective on the conference. You can read her full article below:

Sharing Great Photos

Check out this great #ThrowbackThursday post from the Museum of Northern Arizona featuring some awesome images from various conferences in the Flagstaff area. 

We are creating a digital archive of photos from the past Pecos Conferences.


Do you have any photos you would like to share?  

You can email them to:

More Talks Under the Big Tent

Each week in August, we will continue to bring you some of our favorite moments from under the big tent in the last few years. Check out some of these crowd favorites!


Want To Learn More?

Looking for more history about the Pecos Conference? Check out the book entitled 60 Years of Southwestern Archaeology: A History of the Pecos Conference by Richard B. Woodbury. It looks like Joe the Book Guy has a few copies in stock:

Share your Stories

From our experience, the Pecos Conference is an amazing place to learn, network, and make long lasting friendships. 
In the spirit of the Pecos Conference, you can share your favorite conference related stories here and we might include them in one of our weekly roundups.
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