Prof Tom Huffman
Thu, 05/03/2020 - 19:30
The Auditorium, Roedean School, 35 Princess of Wales Terrace, Parktown, Johannesburg
Charge: Non-members: R30, members: free 
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Rock art sites near Trinidad, Colorado are explicable in terms of Puebloan cultural logic. In the Eastern Pueblo world, a concern with cardinal directions in relation to the community was expressed through shrines to twin deities living on sacred igneous mountains. Within this circumscribed world, the sacred mountains formed the furthest zone, and it was here that priests went to ‘earth navels’ to ask the twin deities for rain. Sacred lakes associated with these mountains were the abode of spirit beings that remained behind in the lake of origin – the ‘Dry Food Who Never Did Become’ – and the resting place of the souls of ‘Made People’ who returned to the lake after death. In addition, hunters often put small shrines in sedimentary hills of zone 3 in order to request supernatural help with procuring game. These ‘deer navels’ were often located on passes where game trails crossed or where game concentrated. Likewise, farmers placed shrines around their fields in zone 2 to insure fertility.

Tom Huffman received a BA (1966) from the University of Denver, and a Masters (1970) and Doctorate (1974) from the University of Illinois (Champagne). He was Inspector of Monuments for the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (1970 to 1977), and then Professor and Head of Archaeology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1977 to 2000). He was later Chair of Archaeology in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies (2001-2009) and retired as Professor Emeritus. He was originally trained as a Plains archaeologist, but then specialized on the anthropological archaeology of farming societies in southern Africa. He is the author of Snakes and Crocodiles: Power and Symbolism in Ancient Zimbabwe (Witwatersrand University Press, 1996) and Handbook to the Iron Age: the Archaeology of Pre-Colonial Farming Societies in Southern Africa (University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2007). He is now applying the same anthropological approach to hunter-gatherer and farming societies in Colorado.