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Third Thursday Food for Thought Presention – “The Sinagua: Fact or Fiction?”

September 15, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

On Thursday, September 15, 2022, Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s “Third Thursday Food for Thought” will feature “The Sinagua: Fact or Fiction?” presentation by archaeologist Peter J. Pilles, Jr. This free online Zoom program will be held from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. ARIZONA/Mountain Standard Time (same as Pacific Daylight Time).

“Sinagua” is the name first coined in 1939 to refer to the pre-European people who inhabited the Flagstaff region of north-central Arizona. But what, exactly, does this mean? Does Sinagua refer to a geographic area, a specific kind of pottery, an actual grouping of people, or is it something else? These are difficult questions this presentation will attempt to explore. The Sinagua archaeological area of Arizona has been considered a cultural “frontier,” characterized as a blend of other cultures, yet unique enough to warrant its own cultural designation. However, over the years, this uniqueness dissolved as old interpretations were no longer satisfactorily explaining what archaeologists were finding. By the 1960s, new areas of study and new explanatory models were developed. However, these paradigm shifts have failed to satisfactorily answer the questions posed by past interpretations. These shifts beg the major questions: Who were the Sinagua, how do they fit into the “Big Picture” of Southwest prehistory, and what happened to the culture? In order to bring closure to these questions, archaeologists need to explain how past questions have been . . . not exactly the wrong questions, but they need to be re-fitted and examined under a different lens, focused by degrees of scale. This presentation will attempt to illustrate these different approaches, as well as to demonstrate that the concept of “Sinagua” is both fact AND fiction.

Archaeologist Peter Pilles has studied the Southwest’s Sinagua archaeological culture for decades. In this presentation (rescheduled from March 17 when he was unable to share his PowerPoint file) he will give an overview of Sinagua and how it related to the surrounding, contemporary Hohokam, Mogollon, Ancestral Pueblo, and Patayan cultures.

To register go to https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hLUS_B7-R_exp0XxQAKrBw. For more information contact Old Pueblo at info@oldpueblo.org or 520-798-1201.

Flyer: 20220915(v1)ThirdThursday_PeterPilles_TheSinaguaFactOrFiction

Caption: Honanki cliffdwelling and pictographs near Sedona, Arizona, photograph by Allen Dart.


September 15, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Allen Dart



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