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Preserving archaeology and culture for our future

Arizona Humanities Presentations

Registered Professional Archaeologist Allen Dart has worked in Arizona and New Mexico since 1975 and has been an Arizona Humanities speaker since 1997. He is the executive director of Tucson’s nonprofit Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, which he founded in 1993 to provide educational and scientific programs in archaeology, history, and cultures. Al has received the Arizona Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission Award in Public Archaeology, the Arizona Archaeological Society’s Professional Archaeologist of the Year Award, the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society’s Victor R. Stoner Award, and other honors for his efforts to bring archaeology and history to the public.

As an Arizona Humanities speaker, Al 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:  Ancient American Indian petroglyphs (symbols carved or pecked on rocks) and pictographs (rock paintings) 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? Archaeologist Allen Dart illustrates how petroglyph and pictograph styles changed through time and over different parts of the U.S. Southwest both before and after non-Indian peoples entered the region, and discusses how even the same rock art symbol may be interpreted differently from popular, scientific, and modern Native American perspectives.

Southwestern Rock Calendars and Ancient Time Pieces:  Southwestern Native Ameri­cans developed sophisti­cated skills in astronomy and predicting the seasons, cen­turies be­fore non-Indian peoples first entered the region. In this presenta­tion Mr. Dart discusses his­toric­ally known sky-watch­ing prac­tices of various southwestern peoples and how their an­ces­tors’ obser­va­tions of the heavens may have been com­memorated in an­cient architecture and rock symbols. The program illustrates astronomi­cal align­ments and possible calendrical reckon­ing features at such places as the Hoven­weep area of Utah, the Mesa Verde and Chim­­ney Rock regions of Col­o­rado, New Mexico’s Chaco Can­yon archaeo­logical district, and sites in Ari­zo­na including Ancestral Pueb­lo ruins in north­eastern Arizona and the Ca­sa Grande Ruins and Picture Rocks Hohokam sites farther south.

What Arizona Humanities Provides: Arizona Humanities lists all AZ Speaks presentations on its website calendar and promotes each presentation to various organizations throughout Arizona. Arizona Humanities provides each AZ Speaks presenter with an honorarium to cover his or her time for each speaking engagement, plus reimbursement for travel, lodging, and meals, if applicable. Arizona Humanities reviews and approves program applications and processes honorariums/reimbursements.

Speaking Dates that Can Be Scheduled: Presentations described on page 1 are listed in the current Arizona Humanities “AZ Speaks” catalog and must be scheduled to take place between November 1, 2022, and October 31, 2023.

Arizona Humanities 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 Arizona Humanities’ 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.

Arizona Humanities requires that its speakers 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. (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 will introduce the speaker and acknowledge Arizona Humanities’ support in the program’s introduction. The host organization must generate publicity for the event, work to secure, to the best of its abilities, an audience of at least 30 people, and acknowledge Arizona Humanities in all printed materials. The host organization must generate publicity beyond the organization’s membership and must secure an audience of at least 20 people.

Arizona Humanities charges a $100 administrative fee to the host organization for each program arranged through Arizona Humanities and limits how many AZ Speaks presentations (or as otherwise determined by Arizona Humanities) an organization can schedule in a given Arizona Humanities fiscal year (November 1 through October 31). The $100 administrative fee applies to each presentation.

To schedule a presentation call Arizona Humanities at 602-257-0335 ext. 23 to inquire whether your organization is eligible and whether 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 Arizona Humanities’ azhumanities.org web site and click on Programs then on AZ Speaks to apply for the program. The online application must be received by Arizona Humanities at least four weeks before the presentation date.

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