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Preserving archaeology and culture for our future

Arizona Humanities Presentations

Mr. Allen Dart, RPA, has worked and volunteered as a professional archaeologist in New Mexico and Arizona since 1975 for state and federal governments, private companies, and nonprofit organizations. He is employed full-time as State Cultural Resources Specialist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Arizona, and is the volunteer Executive Director of Tucson’s nonprofit Old Pueblo Archaeology Center. He served as President of the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society (AAHS) in 1991-1993, and founded Old Pueblo in 1993 to provide educational and scientific programs in archaeology and culture, and to create programs involving public outreach and participation in archaeology. He is a Registered Professional Archaeologist, and a member of several archaeology advocacy organizations. Mr. Dart has received the Arizona Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission Award in Public Archaeology (1997), the Arizona Archaeological Society’s Professional Archaeologist of the Year Award (2012), the AAHS’s Victor R. Stoner Award, and other honors from the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, Arizona Archaeological Council, and AAHS for his research and his efforts to bring archaeology and history to the public.

Since 1997 Mr. Dart has been a speaker for the Arizona Humanities (AH) nonprofit organization, Arizona’s liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities. As an AH speaker he currently offers the following presentations about archaeology and cultures to nonprofit organizations throughout Arizona.

“Set in Stone but Not in Meaning: Southwestern Indian Rock Art” Presentation:

Ancient Indian pictographs (rock paintings) and petroglyphs (symbols carved or pecked on rocks) are claimed by some to be forms of writing for which meanings are known. But are such claims supported by archaeology or by Native Americans themselves? Mr. Dart illustrates southwestern petroglyphs and pictographs, and discusses how even the same rock art symbol may be interpreted differently from popular, scientific, and modern Native American perspectives.

“Ancient Native American Potters of Southern Arizona” Presentation:

In this presentation Mr. Dart shows and discusses Native American ceramic styles that characterized specific peoples and eras in the U.S. Southwest prior to about 1450, and talks about how archaeologists use pottery for dating archaeological sites and interpreting ancient lifeways. He discusses the importance of context in archaeology, how the things people make change in style over time, and how different styles are useful for identifying different cultures and for dating archaeological sites. His many illustrations include examples of ancient pottery types made throughout the American Southwest from about 2000 to 500 years ago.


AH Program Requirements: Eligible applicants for Arizona Humanities “AZ Speaks” presentations are organizations constituted for nonprofit purposes including libraries, historical societies, museums, social-service organizations or community centers; and educational institutions, tribal entities, government entities, and other organizations at AH’s discretion. Presentations must be free and open to the public. The programs may not be for closed audiences such as classrooms, membership meetings, docent trainings, or conferences. Participants may not be required to pay a fee or buy a meal to attend.

AH requires that its speakers must be scheduled for 60 to 90 minutes to include, at a minimum, an introduction, a 40-minute or longer talk, and at least 15 minutes for questions. The host organization will introduce the speaker and acknowledge Arizona Humanities in the organization’s introduction. (Note that each of Allen Dart’s programs described here takes a little more than one hour, so host organizations must schedule at least 90 minutes for each one.) The host organization must generate publicity for the event, working to secure, to the best of its abilities, an audience of at least 30 people, and acknowledging AH in all printed materials. Publicity must be generated beyond the organization’s membership, and the meeting space must comfortably accommodate at least 30 people.

There is a $100 administrative fee for host organizations for each program arranged through AH, and a limit of eight presentations (or as otherwise determined by AH) that an organization can request in a given AH fiscal year (November 1 through October 31). The $100 administrative fee applies to each presentation.

To schedule a presentation call AH at 602-257-0335 ext. 23 to inquire whether your organization is eligible and funding is available. If so, contact Allen Dart at 520-603-6181 or adart@oldpueblo.org to discuss the presentation you wish to schedule and Mr. Dart’s availability for a particular date. Once a date is agreed on, go to the AH web site azhumanities.org/ and click on Programs then on AZ Speaks to apply for the program. The online application must be received by AH at least four weeks before the presentation.


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