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