Friday, August 31, 2007

BAE Reports Now Online, Learning About Ancient Foodways from Cabeza De Vaca, Arizona's Most Enangered Places

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

- Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnography Reports Now Available On-Line: The Gallica project, a division of the Bibleotheque national de France, has digitized the entire Ethnography Report collection. The reports are served as indexed PDF files.

- Learning from Cabeza de Vaca - Revelations about Hunter-Gatherer Foodways at the Dawn of Written History in Texas: The earliest accounts of Texas' native peoples were given to us by Cabeza de Vaca and his companions. Shipwrecked on the Texas Gulf Coast in 1528, these men made their way from the shores near present-day Galveston to Mexico City during a seven-year ordeal. Their reports of that amazing journey provide fascinating--albeit enigmatic--glimpses of native people and the various odd-sounding foods they hunted, gathered, and plucked from often harsh landscapes. In a new exhibit on Texas Beyond History, anthropologist and archeologist Alston Thoms draws on his own studies of traditional foods and cooking technologies to speculate what the various roots, tubers, nuts, fruits, and fish may have been, how they were prepared, and much more. A colorful interactive for K-12 audiences follows the explorer on his journey and provides learning opportunities using primary documents and bilingual vocabularies. A standards-based lesson plan for teachers is correlated to the activity drawing on the accounts of Texas' first historian, Cabeza de Vaca.

- Arizona Preservation Foundation Names Arizona's Most Endangered Historic Places: The Arizona Preservation Foundation has released its 2007 list of Arizona's most endangered historic places. Compiled by preservation professionals and historians, the list identifies critically endangered cultural resources of major historical significance to the state. "Each of the sites we have named are important historic landmarks in Arizona, but unfortunately are in grave danger of collapse, demolition, or destruction," said Vince Murray, APF Board President. "It is critical that residents and government officials act now to save these elements of their cultural heritage before it's too late."

- The Dilemma of Preservation and Growth - What Will the 202 Loop Bury? Is the lot where your kids play baseball on top of a Hohokam ruin bearing priceless historical objects? Do Ahwatukee Foothills high school football fields cover Hohokam buildings? As the Arizona Department of Transportation considers flattening 255 homes to make way for the Loop 202 maybe, just maybe, it is a situation of what goes around comes around. These days we are talking about stucco homes with basements and barbecue pits. All of that is the same and literally just classic upgrades to the Hohokam way of life. Are those 255 homes earmarked for destruction going to be just another layer for another soccer mom 300 years from now to park her version of an SUV?

- Volunteers Needed For Historic Preservation Commission in Northwest Tucson: The Town of Oro Valley seeks to fill two volunteer positions on the Historic Preservation Commission. Commissioners are required to fulfill a two-year term. Commission meetings are held the second Monday of every month. The role of the Historic Preservation Commission is to promote conservation of historic buildings, landmarks, photos and documents important to the history and heritage of Oro Valley. Individuals interested in the positions can pick up applications at Oro Valley Town Hall, 11000 N. La CaƱada Drive, or on the town Web site, Click the “Town Clerk” icon. Completed applications are due Friday, Sept. 7.

- Public Input Sought on Preservation of the Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley: Oro Valley residents can voice their own opinions beginning next week on how the town should preserve the historic Steam Pump Ranch. Steam Pump Ranch encompasses 15 acres on North Oracle Road between First Avenue and Tangerine Road. It was established by George Pusch and John Zellweger when they settled there in the 1870s in what would become Oro Valley.

- Employment Opportunity, Archaeology Laboratory Manager (Redlands CA): Statistical Research, Inc. (SRI), a multidisciplinary cultural resources consulting firm, has an immediate opening for a full-time manager of the archaeological laboratory in our Redlands, California, office. The person filling this position will work closely with SRI's laboratory director located in Tucson, AZ. The laboratory manager (LM) will oversee all regular functions of an archaeological laboratory and supervise a staff of 2-10 technicians and volunteers. Responsibilities include caring for and tracking archaeological collections and associated field and laboratory data, assigning tasks and evaluating the work of laboratory technicians, assisting analysts and project staff with their collections needs, supporting the laboratory needs of SRI's other California offices, and working with the laboratory director to keep the permits and repository agreements for SRI's California offices current.

- Employment Opportunity, Director of Development. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center seeks a Director of Development - Primary responsibility is to lead, guide, and supervise the overall development program; and participate in the formation and execution of the strategic plan, to achieve the established fund-raising goals. Qualification: A bachelor’s degree and seven years of progressively responsible experience with development programs and management Strong candidates will have demonstrated leadership in and involvement with a capital campaign; expertise in planned giving and gift accounting principles. For complete job descriptions see our Web site

- Employment Opportunity: Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd. (ACS), an environmental firm located in Tempe, AZ, is seeking to hire a principal investigator and/or a senior project manager, and/or a project director. We are looking for at least one person, but may hire two. We are in need of staff members who can hit the ground running in project management, whether at the highest, PI, level, or at the next level as a project director (both field and office) or senior project manager (primarily office). Please send a cover letter identifying the position(s) for which you are applying, a copy of your vitae or resume, three references, and your salary requirements to by September 30, 2007 (although the position may be filled sooner if a qualified applicant is identified). ACS offers a competitive salary range and benefits, including participation in a 401(k) program, once certain criteria have been met. ACS does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. Please check us out on the web at

Thanks to Tom Weiss and Susan W. Dial for contributions to this issue of Southwestern Archaeology Today.