Steve Lekson Beloit College2011 Distinguished Explorer Announced

Dr Lekson specializes in the archaeology of the U.S. Southwest, particularly Chaco Canyon and the Mimbres region. He has been chose as the recipient of the 2011 Roy Chapman Andrews Distinguished Explorer Award.

The tenth explorer and first archaeologist to receive the Distinguished Explorer Award, Steve Lekson has been discovering and digging ancient sites for nearly 40 years.

Archaeologist Steve Lekson is changing the past, or at least our ideas about the past. His work at prehistoric ruins throughout the Southwest convinces him that ancient Native American societies were more complex, connected, and cosmopolitan than the average textbook leads us to believe.

Distinguished Explorer Award Presentation

  • Friday, February 4, 2011
  • 4:30 pm
  • Eaton Chapel, Beloit College
  • FREE!  (bring the kids!)

Steve Lekson’s Presentation

“The Rhythm of Regional Interaction in the Ancient Southwest”

Dr. Lekson, will discuss his explorations, discoveries, and controversial ideas.

School Program:  My Life as Indiana Jones

Date: Friday Feb. 4, 2011
Time: 9:45 am
Location: Beloit Memorial High School Auditorium (1225 4th St. Beloit WI)
Grades: 6 – 12  (open to the public)
For More Information: 608-514-1722

Roy Chapman Andrews Society School Program

“Great things happened in the ancient Southwest”

More about Steve Lekson

Dr. Lekson, a professor and curator of anthropology at the University of Colorado, is an archaeologist, working in the U.S. Southwest. Most of his fieldwork has been in the Mogollon and Anasazi (Ancestral Pueblo) regions, but he has also dabbled in Hohokam, Casas Grandes, Jornada, and Rio Grande areas.

His principal interests are human geography, built environments, and government; but his current research projects have more to do with migrations (Pinnacle Ruin, in southern New Mexico) and household archaeology (Yellow Jacket, in southwestern Colorado).

Dr Lekson is also interested in museums  (Curator of Anthropology at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History) and archaeology’s role in American and global intellectual life.

Before moving to the University of Colorado, he served as President and CEO of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado, and as an archaeologist with museums in Arizona and New Mexico. His explorations have been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, and National Park Service.

Steve Lekson | Crow Canyon Archaeological CenterA History of the Ancient Southwest

Mass migrations, alignments that connected ancient towns, rulers who were really kings—these are part of the new picture, the “big picture,” of Southwestern archaeology that Dr. Lekson proposes. “Great things happened in the ancient Southwest,” he says.

Not all archaeologists buy into his theories. Still, reviewers have called his new book, A History of the Ancient Southwest, a “magnum opus—a highwire act that strings hundreds of bold ideas into a dazzling new synthesis” and “one of the most provocative and forward-looking books in archaeology today… written with literary flair, wit, and a dash of sarcasm.”

Recent Excavations

Dr. Lekson’s most recent excavations have been at Black Mountain pueblo, a huge ruin in the bleak Chihuahua Desert of southern New Mexico. The site may be a “missing link” between the famous Mimbres and Casas Grandes cultures of the Southwest.

READ Report from the Field: Stephen H. Lekson