Monday, July 30, 2007

Southwestern Archaeology Today for July 30, 2007

Archaeology Making the News - A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Payson Archaeological Museum to Close: The Museum of Rim Country Archaeology will soon be out of commission and closing its doors. A proposed lease agreement that would have allowed the MRCA to remain on Main Street in its current location was unanimously turned down by the Payson Woman’s Club on Tuesday.

- Climate Change Responsible for Ancient Puebloan Migrations? As modern officials try to assess the risk global warming might present to the American Southwest, they're paying a lot of attention to what scientists say about how climate changes affected the region's ancient past. Archaeologist Kristen Kuckelman has spent many years digging in the ruins of ancient farming villages on the Colorado Plateau and analyzing the artifacts and specimens she takes from them. The people who lived in these ancient villages, which are known as pueblos, were part of a large culture that thrived for several hundred years in the high desert plain that covers parts of modern Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. Archaeologists call them Anasazi, or Ancient Pueblo People. One of the best known of their pueblos is in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. -

- Studying Ancient Water Management at Mesa Verde: Almost every visitor to Mesa Verde wants to see the big cliff side ruins. Not Ken Wright. Since 1995, the renowned Denver water engineer has studied four piles of dirt atop the mesas and in canyon bottoms. Those piles turned out to be reservoirs that were built hundreds of years before Cliff Palace and the other famous villages. - The Cortez Journal

- Reflections on Sprawl and the Hohokam of the Phoenix Basin: When I was a kid, my father owned Aerial Mapping Co. and took aerial shots of vacant land from a small fixed-wing plane for the Arizona Highway Department (now known as the Arizona Department of Transportation). His black-and-white photos in the late 1960s revealed dark lines of an ancient irrigation system built by Hohokam Indians. A similar irrigation system likely lies beneath the path of the proposed South Mountain Freeway, archaeologists say, and could impact construction there even more than it did when the Superstition Freeway was built. - The Arizona Republic

- Hidden Ancient Places of Southern Utah: Seconds after explaining that visitors to this remote canyon often have difficulty finding signs of the ancient Fremont people who lived here 1,000 years ago, Mark Connolly comes across a man with a quizzical look. "We knew it was going to be hard, but we didn't think it would be this hard to find things," Ken Duncan, of Houston, tells Connolly. "Maybe you could give us some help." Connolly's job is not to act as a guide, but to protect the numerous and varied artifacts that have put the rugged Range Creek on the "must visit" list of anybody with even a hint of interest in the ancient peoples of the Southwest.

- Archaeologist Preserves Sites in Path of Wildfire: When lightning sent flames ripping across a Southern California mountain ridge last summer, fire officials wanted to cut firebreaks with bulldozers. But first they called U.S. Forest Service archaeologist Doug McKay. McKay knew the remote area east of Big Bear Lake was the ancestral home of Serrano Indians and told fire crews to hold off. After walking around the area, McKay warned officials the bulldozers likely would churn up innumerable ancient sites, crushing pieces of history and costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair. Officials took his words to heart and instead had firefighters clear brush by hand. Using shovels, firefighters carved a 2-foot-wide buffer that helped stop the 361-acre fire near Arrastre Creek. - The Press Enterprise

- Lecture on the Ancient Native American Pottery of Southern Arizona: On August 11th, Old Pueblo Archaeology’s Allen Dart will present an Arizona Humanities Council Speakers Bureau presentation on ancient ceramics. Using slides and actual ancient pottery, archaeologist Allen Dart shows Native American ceramic styles that characterized specific eras in southern Arizona’s prehistory and history, and discusses how archaeologists use pottery for dating archaeological sites and interpreting ancient lifeways. He discusses the importance of context in archaeology, how things people make change in style over time, and how different styles are useful for identifying different cultures and for dating pottery. Date: Saturday August 11, , 2007. Time: 10 a.m. to noon. Place: Yavapai Apache Nation Tribal Headquarters, 2400 W. Datsi, Camp Verde, Az. - Ms Word Format

- Employment Opportunity Senior Curator of Archaeological Collections: The Huhugam Heritage Center, a state of the art interpretive facility managed by the Gila River Indian Community, is seeking a full-time Senior Curator of Archaeological Collections to manage the Central Arizona Project (CAP) federal repository. The Curator will be responsible for all collections management activities within the repository. This is a key position and may also be involved in long-range exhibit planning and implementation as we move into the next phase or our development. Requires a master’s degree in an appropriate field and/or relevant work experience and a working knowledge of Southwestern archaeological materials. To learn more about this new facility please visit our website at Position includes full-benefits and generous leave and training package. Starting Salary is $42,543.00. To see the full announcement, or apply on-line visit and select employment. Please apply by August 30th, 2007.

- Employment Opportunity, Archaeological Field Technician (Mesa): Transcon Environmental, a growing environmental consulting firm, needs one archaeological field technician on a temporary, as-needed basis (project based). Candidates should have some coursework in archaeology at the University level. In addition, previous field experience is preferred. Project activities may include conducting archaeological testing and data recovery excavations and performing field survey. Other responsibilities may include office activities, such as report preparation, background literature research, and providing support for multi-disciplinary senior staff. Experience working with maps (topos, etc.) and word processing software is desired, but not required. This position is open until filled. The main Transcon office is located in Mesa, Arizona. Transcon specializes in environmental planning and analysis on projects throughout the western United States. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Contact Heather Louis, Archaeologist (480) 807-0095

- Employment Opportunity, Archaeologist / NEPA document reviewer and editor (Mesa): Transcon Environmental, a growing environmental consulting firm, is looking for one full time archaeologist primarily to act as a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document reviewer / editor for its main office in Mesa, Arizona. Besides NEPA document review and editing other duties may include archaeological survey, report preparation, project coordination, administrative activities, and other as-needed tasks. Ability to walk 5-10 miles in extreme heat, and work with minimal supervision in a multitasking environment is a plus. Experience with maps (topos, etc.) and word processing software is desired. Must posses a B.A. in Anthropology, Archaeology, or a closely related field,. An understanding of NEPA, the National Historic Preservation Act, and other relevant historic and cultural resource laws is required. This position is open until filled. Please submit a cover letter, resume (with at least three references), and a short writing sample of a NEPA compliance document. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Contact Heather Louis, Archaeologist, (480) 807-0095

Friday, July 27, 2007

Southwestern Archaeology Today for July 27, 2007

Archaeology Making the News
A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Anthropologist and Former Hopi Tribal Chairman Ferrell Secakuku Passes Away: Former Hopi Chairman Ferrell Secakuku, who helped resolve a longtime land dispute between his tribe and the Navajo Nation, died Wednesday at a friend's home in Flagstaff. He was 69. Secakuku, who disclosed earlier this month that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, had been in hospice care. He was surrounded by family and died peacefully, his daughter, Kim, told The Associated Press. - Arizona Daily Sun

- Rock Art Archaeologist Alanah Woody Passes Away: Alanah Woody, died July 19th following a heart attack suffered a few days earlier. She was surrounded by her family throughout her hospitalization; her family and friends are devastated and shocked as Alanah was in good health. Alanah was a vibrant, energetic woman who transformed the lives of those fortunate to have known her. Famed for her wit, compassion, good humor, and drive, she was a co-founder of the Nevada Rock Art Foundation and its first Executive Director. . Alanah specialized in the archaeology of rock art and was a well-known researcher in the field with numerous professional publications and magazine articles about her. She always felt a connection with the past and the peoples of the past by being at rock art sites—her primary interest was always the human aspect of the material expression of past cultures. Alanah was a tireless advocate for the protection of the rock art of the Desert West, and developed public interest in the cause in a way that no other professional archaeologist could do.

- Schedule for Pecos Conference now Available:

- American Indian Groups Protest Closure of Museum NAGPRA Department in Berkeley: A group of American Indian tribes has formed a coalition asking for a chance to voice their opinions on last month’s decision to eliminate a campus museum department created to mediate claims of tribal representatives. A coalition of five tribes is asking for a review of the decision to integrate the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology’s department focused on compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act into the broader museum structure.

Texas Archaeologist Jay Blaine Given SAA Crabtree Award: Allen archeologist Jay Blaine turned a hobby into a profession that has gained him national recognition, he was presented with the Society for American Archaeology’s Crabtree Award for his services to the archaeological communities. “There were thousands of people there from everywhere,” Blaine said, “I was tickled to death, because this was the first plaque I had gotten. There it was a piece of wood with all that stuff on it.” - Allen American

- Travelogue, Sunset Crater: The mountain we see today, almost 1,000 feet high, formed as a lava fountain spewed magma, cinders and ash. It must have been an interesting time for the ancient Hisatsinom, ancestors of the Hopi and Zuni people, who lived in the area. - Arizona Republic

- Employment Opportunity, Principal Investigator (El Paso) A national consulting firm needs a Principal Investigator (Archaeologist) with extensive writing experience in our El Paso office to direct compliance projects for both federal and commercial clients. Successful candidate will direct and conduct work in southeastern New Mexico and west Texas. Prior archeological experience in the Southwest and a research interest in the dynamics of hunter/gatherer subsistence are preferred. Requirements - Responsibilities will include the direction of archeological projects being conducted by the El Paso office. Linear right-of-way experience and prior experience with NEPA documentation is a plus. Demonstrated experience in directing the production of quality reports, managing multiple projects, and budgeting is essential. Individual must meet permitting requirements for work in multiple BLM districts. Previous experience with working with SHPOs of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona is desired. Candidates must have an M.A. degree in Anthropology, 8 years of work experience and three-five years of experience as a Principal Investigator. Compensation package will be commensurate with experience. We are presently accepting applications only from US Citizens and permanent residents. To apply, send resume to Steve Silva, Recruiter, at

- Employment Opportunity, Temporary Field Technicians (Arizona): EcoPlan is seeking several temporary archaeological field technicians to participate in ongoing field projects throughout Arizona. The successful applicant will have previous archaeological survey and excavation experience and a familiarity with current archaeological methods.
Preference will be given to applicants with a Bachelor's degree in anthropology or archaeology who are currently based in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Upcoming projects may require the ability to hike for up to 10 hours over rough terrain in extreme heat. Wages for field technicians generally range from $12 to $15 per hour, commensurate with experience. Applicants must provide their own transportation and
lodging for projects based in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Projects outside the metropolitan area include travel, per diem, and lodging. If interested in this position, please send resume, cover letter, and list of references by mail, fax, or e-mail to: Cultural Resources Group, EcoPlan Associates, Inc., 701 West Southern Avenue, Suite 203, Mesa, Arizona, 85210, Email:, FAX: 480 733 6661. No
telephone calls, please.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Southwestern Archaeology Today for July 25, 2007

Archaeology Making the News
A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance Donates Textbook to Utah Classrooms: Think Utah history. Do Mormon pioneers, handcarts and "This is the right place" spring to mind? Archaeologists think more about the ancients, and the remote Utah treasures that offer a window to their lives. But with those thoughts come worry, too, that the window to the past is cracking under the acts of vandals and uneducated visitors. So last week, the nonprofit Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance unveiled a book it's donating to every Utah fourth- through seventh-grade teacher. The group hopes teachers will pass a trove of ancient history to their students - with a lesson in stewardship.,1249,695194369,00.html

- Adult Campers Brush Up on Archaeological Osteology at Arizona State Museum: The participants in the first-ever Archaeology Summer Camp, all adults, are looking to know more about osteology, the study of bones. They come from different backgrounds and have different experiences with skeletons. Some, such as McNew and Jean Giliberto, 56, are new to the field. They're taking the course to satisfy their curiosity and learn a new subject.

- Historic and Prehistoric Archaeology in Nevada: Virginia City was arguably one of America's most important assets of the 19th century. However, Virginia City's true importance and numerous contributions usually go unnoticed. It was in Virginia City where Sam Clemens became a budding writer and conjured up his now world famous pen name, Mark Twain. Discovered in 1859, the richest deposit of silver ever to be found in North America, the Comstock Lode, was mined out of Virginia City's surrounding hills. Equating to more than five billion dollars at today's prices, the precious metals exploited from the Lode financed the Union Army, helping the North to win the Civil War and ultimately end slavery.

- A Heretical Hypothesis to be Presented at San Diego County Archaeological Society's Summer Saturday Lecture Series: July 28, 2007. Eleanora Robbins, PhD (SDSU) will present " A Heretical Hypothesis: Middle Paleolithic Transport of Medicinal Plants to North America-When, What, Where, How, Why, and Who?." The public is invited to arrive at Los Peñasquitos Ranch House around 7:00 p.m. and bring a picnic dinner, chairs, and drinks. There will be a docent-led tour of the ranch house starting at 7:00 p.m. as well. It can get cool so long-sleeves and/or blankets are recommended. SDCAS will provide dessert. The meeting begins at 8:00 p.m. with the lecture following some short announcements. July 28th, (Saturday), 8:00 pm, at Los Peñasquitos Ranch Adobe, 12122 Canyonside Park Drive, San Diego, CA 92129
For more info on the Preserve call: (858) 538-8066 or visit

- Anthropology Field Notes on the Archaeology Channel. News about archaeological discoveries and indigenous cultures plays an increasing role in media around the world today. A new made-for-TV news program that caught our eye is Anthropology Field Notes 1, the latest video feature on the nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.


Hi. I'm Doug Gann, I edit a newsletter called Southwestern Archaeology Today for the Center for Desert Archaeology. The newsletter service is now two years old, with a few thousand subscribers. The format of the newsletter was already much like a blog, so now we will also be posting the SAT newsletter in a Blog format.

We have developed the SAT newsletter to further its use as a networking tool for professional, academic, and avocational archaeologists working in the American Southwest and Mexican Northwest.

Issues of SAT are published when enough news has accumulated in the aggregators to get at least 3 or 4 articles of interest to our readers. We do not post traditional advertising, however we do keep our readers informed about various not-for-profit events, and we do post listings for archaeological employment.

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