What caused the demise of southern Arizona’s Hohokam culture? What happened to New Mexico’s ancient Mimbres people?
Allen “Al” Dart, a Registered Professional Archaeologist, returns to the Arizona Senior Academy’s Great Room at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (June 1) to discuss these and other questions in a talk entitled “Archaeology’s Deep Time Perspective on Environment and Social Sustainability.”
Dart will argue that the “deep time perspective” that archaeology provides on natural hazards, environmental change, and human adaptation not only helps us understand the past but also gives us perspectives that modern societies can use to make present-day decisions affecting social sustainability and human safety.
He will offer archaeological evidence that virtually all prehistoric farming cultures in Arizona and the Southwest eventually reached a threshold of unsustainability which probably called for major reorganization of their societies.
As a modern-day example, he will ask whether the disastrous damage to nuclear power plants caused by the Japanese tsunami of 2011 could have been avoided if the engineers who decided where to build those plants had not ignored evidence of prehistoric tsunamis?
Dart has worked and volunteered in Arizona and New Mexico since 1975, for government, private companies, and nonprofit organizations. Employed fulltime by the U. S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, he is also the volunteer executive director of Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, a nonprofit he founded in 1993 to provide programs in archaeology and culture. He received the Governor’s Award in Public Archaeology and the Arizona Archaeological Society’s Professional Archaeologist of the Year award for his efforts to bring archaeology to the public.
His presentation is an Arizona Humanities “AZ Speaks” program, designed to connect Arizonans statewide with engaging, informative, and stimulating humanities presentations.
Written by Sharon Stetz, Academy Village Volunteer