Prehistoric Salt Procurement, Use, and Ritual in the American Southwest
Speaker: Dr. Todd W. Bostwick, RPA
Senior Research Archaeologist, PaleoWest Archaeology
November 29, 2012, 6pm, ASU Tempe Campus
Business Administration Building, C Wing, Room 316
Salt is necessary for human survival and has been a valuable trade item throughout human history. For the Maya, salt was considered white gold. In the American Southwest, salt procurement involved dangerous journeys and was closely associated with ritual activities and sacred landscapes. Salt was obtained from Gulf of California beaches, from the shores of natural lakes, and from mining buried deposits. This presentation discusses several examples of Native American salt procurement sites in Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Nevada. The tools used for mining are examined, and possible rituals associated with the salt deposits are discussed.
Todd Bostwick has conducted archaeological research in the Southwest for 34 years. From 1990 to 2010, he served as the City Archaeologist for the City of Phoenix. Dr. Bostwick is currently the Senior Research Archaeologist for PaleoWest Archaeology in Phoenix. He has an M.A. in Anthropology and a Ph.D. in History from Arizona State University, and has taught history and anthropology classes at Arizona State University and at Northern Arizona University for seven years. Dr. Bostwick has published a variety of articles and books on Southwest history and prehistory, was the General Editor for more than two dozen volumes of the Pueblo Grande Anthropology Papers and Occasional Papers. In 2005, he was given the Governor’s Award in Public Archaeology.
For a printable PDF flyer for this lecture, click here: Bostwick Flyer