|Wupatki National Monument Near Flagstaff, Arizona|
Not eager for the future (health insurance, disability hearing, unemployment for my sweetheart), I've tried diving into the past. Two time periods are in my sights--June's wonderful vacation and the 1000-1300 AD time period when the Archaic Pueblo sites we visited were thriving towns. I'm trying to reach both by reading Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest by Stephen Plog.
So far, it is a struggle. Although not technically academic writing, this book sure feels that way to my addled and idled brain. I feel like I'm getting lots of information on climate patterns and dating techniques. These are important to understanding how and when people where able to thrive in this difficult area, but I''m wanting to know more of what archaeology has a hard time telling--what was daily life like for people? I want to know what they wore and ate, how they spent their time, what their religion was like.
The book is only beginning to describe the time periods of sites we visited, so there is a lot yet to learn. I will need to seek out newer books as well. This one is from 1997. I keep forgetting that the nineties were a long time ago, back when my now-adult babies were born.
I've found a source for very current archaeological topics through the Archaeology Podcast Network. The shows are intelligent and there is one focused on Native American perspectives, so I can hope they will eventually cover topics I want to learn about.
For future travels, I probably need to investigate Hopi tribal information to seek web pages and museums sponsored by the living descendants of these people who may be qualified to speculate.
The Museum of Northern Arizona, which we hope to spend lots of time visiting in the future, may be able to link me up with some good sources of information as well. They do a better job than the federal parks themselves at describing both the history and the geology of the region. They also seem to be working with Native Americans to obtain information on the past and the present.
One issue from the past that may require a time machine to resolve is the purpose of the ball pits at some of the Southwestern sites.
Sadly not the germ-ridden ball-pits I let my kids drool in, these are actually ball courts similar to ones found as far north as the Colorado Plateau and as far south as Maya areas in Central America. Since so many pueblos had them, Archaeologists think the game had to have deeper meaning than just a game. Maybe there was a religious, status, or trade element to the ball games.
I'm a Mormon. Most of our church buildings in the US, and many world wide have basketball courts inside. The courts fill one purpose of a large multipurpose room we call the "cultural hall." This room is used for wedding receptions, talent shows, scout meetings--anything that requires a big room. It also serves as overflow space for our chapels.
As back-row worshippers, my family has been praying under a basketball hoop for years. I would love to travel to the future and see what archeologists guess about the religious or community status purpose of basketball may be .
Though I keep trying to make things up, I have yet to find the relationship.
If there is anything sacred about basketball, BYU is sinful in its emphasis on football.
While reading, I have been playing with my brand new tens-machine to see if it can do anything to help my locked-up shoulder muscles. Throughout my first three 80 minute sessions, I wasn't sure anything was happening at all. I didn't feel anything resembling a massage, but thought maybe the electricity was doing something. Finally I dropped the machine. accidentally changing the setting, and actually felt something.
I can now program in 8o minutes of pounding and vibrations. It is at least distracting from pain while the program runs, but I'm not sure it is any more effective than stretching.
THE PODCAST this week is on a poem called, "Before I got my eye put out." It is about how cautious the speaker is now about the vision that remains.
THE KNITTING consists of a sweater made from most of the rest of the recycled yarn from my Shakespeare adventure.
I'll need to work up a Christmas inventory soon, but will probably start the fuzzy goat sweater first .
I also need to get a lot of stuff listed in my shop.