Marking the location of deaths with crosses or descansos is a very old custom which has been traced back to twelfth-century Europe. The custom diffused to the Americas with the arrival of the conquistadors in the sixteenth century. This presentation traces the evolution and diffusion of the roadside memorial, the typology of the crosses, states’ policies on the placement of roadside shrines, and the controversy surrounding the placement. The roadside memorial is truly a cultural icon from the past.
With a Ph.D. in geography, it comes as no surprise that Barbara Jaquay has hosted visitors from many countries and that she herself has traveled to over forty, including India, Bhutan, Nepal, China, Cuba, and out-of-the way islands such as Robinson Crusoe, Easter Island and the Galapagos. She has even hiked the Himalayas in pursuit of furthering her knowledge of archaeological, historical, and geographical mysteries. Jaquay has written several publications on topics concerning Middle America and Arizona Native Americans. Currently, she is working on several Arizona geographical projects and publications, as well as a children’s chapter book on penguins.