The Earliest Apache in Arizona: Evidence and Arguments

Red Rock State Park

Sunday, September 1, 2019   2 p.m.

Recent research provides evidence of ancestral Apaches in the southern Southwest at least as early as the A.D. 1300s. Some of this evidence comes from chronometric dating of features that comparative ethnographic sources such as land claims, indicates were used for storage. These features, called platform caches, provide rare and ideal material for accurate dating because they are often covered with grass or leaves. Dates from these features, on Apache pottery, and from roasting pits, all in direct association with Apache material culture of other types (including rock art), provide a continuous sequence of use from at least as early as the A.D. 1300s through the late 1700s. New information about a western route south to this region is combined with other evidence regarding the presence of the earliest ancestral Apache three centuries earlier than many have argued, even in areas where Coronado did not see them.

Dr. Deni J. Seymour is an archaeologist, ethnographer, and ethnohistorian with a three-decade personal and professional investment in knowledge about the indigenous tribes of the southern portion of the American Southwest. She is an acclaimed authority on the Spanish colonial period with special knowledge on Apachean archaeology and history. She has a PhD in anthropology and is a widely published award-winning author with over 100 scholarly refereed articles and 6 books. She applies information gained from the study of human behavior and diversity to understand the past and to inform and approach issues of concern to modern-day tribes. The focus of her current work includes the various Apache, Jocome, Jumano, and O’odha. She uses multiple lines and forms of evidence to weave together information relevant to history, heritage, and identity. This lecture is sponsored by Arizona Humanities, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and the Arizona affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This lecture is included with park entrance fees. $7.00 ages 14+; $4.00 ages 7-13; free for ages 6 and under. However, seating is limited and reservations are required.