Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
Reporter: Robin Haislett
PORTALES—Eastern New Mexico University will host Dr. Patricia L. Crown, a distinguished professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico, lecturing on “Chaco Chocolate: The Recovery of Cacao at Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon” in Room 112 of the Jack Williamson Liberal Arts Building at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 29. It is the eleventh annual Cynthia Irwin-Williams Lecture, sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and Applied Archaeology and the anthropology club, Mu Alpha Nu.
Assistant professor of anthropology David Batten says the lecture is about the recent discovery of pre-Hispanic cocoa by Dr. Crown in Chaco Canyon. Some inhabitants of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon consumed a chocolate beverage, probably from the ceramic cylinder jars found there. The lecture will highlight how this discovery was made, the connection to the Chacoan cylinder jars, and what this means for our understanding of Southwest-Mesoamerican interaction.
Crown has taught at the University of New Mexico since 1993, where she is a distinguished professor of anthropology. Most of her research has concerned the manufacture and exchange of ceramics in the Southwest. In the last decade, she has been concerned with humanizing archaeology by exploring the status of women in the past and how children learned the tasks they needed to become competent adults. She has authored, edited, and co-edited five books and numerous articles and holds two awards for her work.
The lecture series is named for Dr. Cynthia Irwin-Williams, who taught at ENMU from 1964 to 1982. While at Eastern she conceived and carried out several important archaeological projects in the western part of the state that were “nearly unparalleled in North America for their scope and impact,” according to Batten. Although she earned her Ph.D. in archaeological studies at a time when conditions were not favorable to women in higher education, she became one of the pioneering women in the discipline. In 1977, Irwin-Williams became the second woman president of the Society for American Archaeology. She left ENMU in 1982 to become executive director of the Social Science Center in Reno, Nev., and research professor for the Quaternary Science Center. According to Batten, “Her legacy of research still inspires the Department of Anthropology and Applied Archaeology at Eastern and the annual lectureship is named in her honor because she paved the way for many women, especially those in archaeology.”
The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Batten at 575-562-2750.