Culture Series: Paquimé and the Casas Grandes Culture
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Jeff Romney, the director of the El Paso Museum of Archaeology, will discuss Paquimé as a ceremonial and trade center within the greater Casas Grandes region. The discussion will also include the cliff dwelling sites at Cuesta Blanca, Cave Valley, and Cuarenta Casas and the petroglyph sites at Anchondo, Arroyo de los Monos, and others. Admission is free.
The Casas Grandes Culture inhabited parts of Chihuahua, Sonora, and New Mexico between 700 AD – 1450 AD. During the Medio Period (1200 AD – 1450 AD), the Casas Grandes Culture reached the height of its prominence and influence in the region. It is during this period that Paquimé was built, eventually becoming an important ceremonial and trade center. The largest cache of shells ever found in an archaeological context in North America was excavated at Paquimé. Exquisite ceramics, beautiful works in stone, copper bells, turquoise, and macaw remains were also found at the site. Paquimé was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.
Romney grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico, near Paquimé, which inspired his life-long interest in Southwest Archaeology. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1995 with an emphasis in Southwest Archaeology and Native American Studies. While at BYU, Romney worked at the Museum of Peoples and Cultures as student co-curator, working primarily with the museum’s large collection of Casas Grandes pottery. After graduating from BYU, he accepted the position of Museum Specialist at Wheeler Historic Farm, Salt Lake County’s Parks and Recreation Department. In 2006, Romney joined the El Paso Museum of Art where he served as Head of Development for a decade. He has 21 years of experience in the museums profession. Romney’s research interests include the Pre-Columbian Southwest, Native American cultures, and pottery. When not working, he enjoys collecting Pueblo pottery, gardening, cooking, reading, photography, saltwater coral reef aquariums, and his dog Sadie.