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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.