About our web presence or disturbing lack thereof:
We have been working with our Communication Services Department for some months now to develop a new and better website that is university sanctioned. Until recently, blogs like mine, had to be maintained “unofficially” as there was this great fear of rogue blogging. When I started in this position, and for the subsequent few years, it was nearly impossible to control content or make changes to our “official” website leading to angry complaints about out of date information, incorrect hours and dates for our museums, and a general lack of useful or real information about this world-class National Landmark. Adding new blog-like posts were out of the question as there was a two-week delay between submission and publication.
I believe we have (finally) entered a new era in social media and we even maintain a relatively active Facebook presence (and no, we don’t have the time, nor are we exciting enough to use Twitter).
Changes to the Museum:
YES! We are finally in the process of updating our museum. It is always a shock to avocational and professional archaeologists that there is not an enormous edifice with an attached research center at the Blackwater Draw National Historic Landmark or nearby on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University. I know, I felt the same when I first visited this Mecca. This massive archaeological landscape has been largely overlooked and held in statu quo for decades now while some serious myths have made it into print about the nature and status of the cultural resources here.
I have sacrificed much to remedy this and I think, maybe, we are now on the right path. We have been allocated a small but significant amount of money to create new displays in a better space on campus. I don’t even care that others have taken credit for this many year long struggle, I’m just glad it is getting done.
Creating a museum, even a small one, does not happen overnight and it isn’t a matter of just moving a truck load of 45 year old, outdated displays to a new room. We intend to do this right, and that means a complete re-vamp of the story we tell and how it is told. Please bear with us during the coming year while we make these changes.
I will continue this blog though it will soon be mirrored, in an edited form, elsewhere and we will, I hope, produce something to further the understanding of the Clovis site and the spread of early humans on the Southern High Plains.
To the many individuals and institutions who have worked with us in recent years to return materials taken, borrowed, or purchased unscrupulously from the site, I thank you.*
George Crawford, Director – Blackwater Draw National Historic Landmark
*Despite rumor and legal hearsay, there is no legitimate way to own specimens from this site, whether you work for the Federal Government, another state, or you purchased something from someone who worked for the mine company.
And on a personal note: I sincerely hope that some of the people and institutions who have taken artifacts and other specimens from our site will be able to let them go to be returned to our research collection. Greed for possession and the ego boost of having something from the type-site do not advance our field, they only serve to divide us and blur our understanding of the past.