Message #63:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: AAHS Presentation on Hattie Cosgrove
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 96 10:50:00 MST
Encoding: 87 TEXT

Carolyn O'Bagy Davis will present material from her recent book _Treasured 
Earth: Hattie Cosgrove's Mimbres Archaeology in the American Southwest_ on 
Monday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. in DuVal Auditorium, University Medical 
Center, 1501 N. Campbell, Tucson.  The monthly program of the Arizona 
Archaeological and Historical Society (AAHS) is free and open to the public. 
A book-signing will follow the talk. For more information about the 
meeting, contact Laurel Cooper at (520) 327-7235 or

When Hattie Cosgrove moved from Kansas to New Mexico in 1907, she could not 
have known of the profound influences and new directions the Southwest would 
bring into her life. A hardware store heiress, Hattie was a typical young 
woman of her time.  She became a wife and mother to one son, and was active 
in her church and the Ladies' Aid Society. She enjoyed an affluent and 
comfortable, but unremarkable life in Atchison.

Everything changed when she and her husband, Burt, and their son settled in 
Silver City in southwestern New Mexico. Burt joined the Elks Club, and 
Hattie was a member of the Episcopal Church and the Silver City Women's 
Club, but gradually the young family began spending all of their free time 
exploring the countryside, camping, picnicking, and like other locals, 
digging in the abundant ruins for the painted bowls and other treasures 
found in the floors of the sites.

But Hattie and Burt proved not to be typical after all. They soon recognized 
that digging just for treasures was destroying a vast body of information 
about the Mimbres people who had lived in the mountains and valleys of 
southwestern New Mexico. The Cosgroves began to search out professional 
archaeologists who shared their skills and knowledge with the interested 
amateur couple.

After spending time with F.W. Hodge at Hawikuh, Neil Judd in Chaco Canyon, 
and A.V. Kidder at Pecos, Hattie and Burt returned to Silver City to conduct 
excavations that were, for their time, thoughtful and scientific. They 
mapped and recorded as they dug. They purchased their own Mimbres ruin which 
they named Treasure Hill, and they published a brief report of their 
findings. It was also at this time that Hattie began recording every Mimbres 
bowl she came across in full sized pen-and-ink drawings. The Cosgroves began 
recording other Mimbres sites and urged local landowners to post their 
property against trespassers who were only interested in pot hunting.

In 1924 A.V. Kidder, on behalf of Harvard University, hired the Cosgroves to 
lead the Peabody Museum's Mimbres Valley Expedition in New Mexico. This 
remarkable opportunity was the result of the friendship and respect that the 
Cosgroves earned in the early community of southwestern archaeologists.  And 
it was not just Burt who was employed by the Peabody Museum. Hattie's
name appears on the payroll records, and in fact she may well be the first 
woman formally hired to conduct archaeological excavations in the Southwest. 
Hattie was forty-seven years old, and it was her first job. She worked for 
Harvard University for another two-and-a-half decades.

Over the years Hattie and Burt went on to do surveys and research throughout 
the Mimbres country and at the Hopi site at Awatovi. In a tribute to their 
careful years of work, A.V. Kidder called them Mr. and Mrs. Mimbres. 
Although Burt died during the first year at Awatovi, Hattie worked three 
more seasons there, spent a season with the Carnegie Institution in 
Guatemala, and volunteered with Frank and Brownie Hibben at Pottery Mound. 
The hardware store heiress from the Middle West loved the archaeological 
life. She packed into the Gila Wilderness and slept in the rain in a canvas 
bedroll. She climbed into caves on a crude pinetree ladder
and was lowered over a cliff edge with a rope held by a cowboy. In her 
sixties she camped at Awatovi for months at a time, living with students and 
joining in with their games and even sand-dune skiing.

At a time when the young discipline of southwestern archaeology was 
conducted by a small,  close-knit group of friends and associates, Hattie 
formed enduring friendships with all of the leading southwestern 
archaeologists of the first half of the twentieth century. Her work made 
lasting contributions and is still cited. At the end of her ninety four 
years, when she was asked about her life, her reply was that if she could 
just lop off three or four decades, she would love to do it all over again.

About the speaker:
Carolyn O'Bagy Davis is the author of _Treasured Earth: Hattie Cosgrove's 
Mimbres Archaeology in the American Southwest_. A fourth-generation quilter 
and founding president of the Tucson Quilter's Guild, she has also written 
and lectured about western women who made quilts. A graduate of the 
University of Arizona, she founded Sanpete Publications, specializing in 
images of the Southwest, folk art and minerals. She is a guest curator for 
three upcoming museum exhibits: on a prairie woman's life for the Colorado 
Springs Museum; on Hopi quiltmaking for the Museum of Northern Arizona; and 
on Hattie Cosgrove for a 1998 traveling exhibit. She is president of Old 
Pueblo Archaeology Center in Tucson and is co-chairman of the Emil Haury 
Endowment Fund for AAHS.