William K. Hartmann – “Searching for Golden Empires: Epic Cultural Collisions in 16th Century America”
Meeting will be held in room 5403 of the UMC not DuVal Auditorium
Bill Hartmann will be offering signed copies of his book at the meeting with a special AAHS price of $30.00 (regularly $39.95). Cash or check only.
This talk, based on Hartmann’s new book Searching for Golden Empires (U of A Press, 2014) traces Spanish explorations in the 1500s, from Mexico City northward through Sonora and Arizona, all the way to Kansas. Coronado’s famous 1540 expedition was a race with Cortés, who was sending his ships north on the “Sea of Cortés.” In our area, Coronado chroniclers used recognizable place names (“Valle de Senora,” “Arispe”) and camped at the west base of the Chiricahua Mountains, then traveled north to “Cíbola” (the pueblo of Zuni, in western New Mexico). New linguistic evidence suggests that the modern name for the Chiricahua Mountains (Opata for “Turkey Mountain”) derives from a name recorded in 1540 for those mountains, “Chichiltiecally” (phonetically close to Opata for “mountain of many turkeys”).
A side trip across Arizona from Cibola produced the first written records of the Hopi pueblos and the Grand Canyon. Meanwhile, a seaward half of the expedition explored the Colorado River and entered the lower Gila River near Yuma. New finds of Coronado artifacts (even in southeast Arizona) clarify the Coronado route, indicating locales of indigenous towns and describing native clothing and lifeways in the last day of prehistory. The records include remarkable “news networks” over distances of 500 miles. For example, Marcos de Niza, in central Sonora, interviewed villagers who had worked in Zuni, and Expedition ships near Yuma received news from native travelers, describing the arrival of the Spaniards in Cíbola/Zuni only 2-4 months before.