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Sierra Voices #1 Featuring Dr. John Pryor

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Date(s) - 05/13/2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Museum of The Sierra


Museum of the Sierra’s Presents Sierra Voices: Dr. John Pryor – Native American Traditions
Presentation Summary:

This talk is part of an ongoing collaborative process to create a new archeology rooted in a Native American tradition of the people who created the archeological deposits I have been excavating. It is based on a Miwuk sense of time, space, and values. I have been working on this collaboration with the help of Waylon Coats (Vice Chair of the Southern Sierra Miwuk). Because it is a fundamental truth that humans create the world we live in through culture, if we are to understand a people through the archeological evidence they left behind, we must view this evidence in their concept of time and space, not Western European concepts. Thus, Archeologists must get away from the artificial concept of sites and rather look for interconnections. We need to look at landscapes and land uses. Our chronologies must be rooted in Native American time rather than Western European categories. Lastly, we need to create archeology that embraces Native Values. We must show respect for artifacts not as objects, but as imbued with the spirit of those that made them. My talk will cover the journey I have been on to create this new archeology.

Dr. John Pryor

Dr. John Pryor is a California Archeologist and Full-Time professor of the Anthropology Department at CSU-Fresno with over 50 years of field experience mostly working in California and archeology on the East Coast and in England. He received his BA in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz in 1979. His BA thesis was a use of Pomo ethnographic information to model how archeological site form across the tribelet (or mini tribe) of Kacha in the Redwood Valley of California.

He received his PhD. In Anthropology in 1988 from the State University of New York at Binghamton. His dissertation was the study of style in Northern California Indian baskets, specifically Pomo baskets. His Master’s thesis was on the study of microwear on lithics due to human treadage. His Archeological Field School at the Grandad Site is located in the foothills near Mariposa, California. He has incorporated Native American involvement in the Grandad field school, which has enriched their students’ s learning experience.

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