Friday, September 7, 2007

Museum of Northern Arizona, A Series of Unfortunate Events In Mesa

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

- The Amazing Museum of Northern Arizona: What do you get when you mix Navajo rugs, abstract art, Hopi kachinas, thousands of seed specimens, Zuni jewelry and dinosaurs? The Museum of Northern Arizona. In its ongoing efforts to explore, preserve and enlighten, the museum has been a lighthouse of research and education about the Colorado Plateau. And that explains why the staff studies Native Americans, ancient forest lands and extinct reptilian creatures - at one time or another, all lived on the plateau - and then puts the findings on display. - The Arizona Republic

- Mesa Sued Over Cultural Impact Fees: A homebuilders association is challenging Mesa for imposing a fee on new developments in an effort to raise revenue for museums and to preserve the city’s archaeological finds. The Home Builders Association for Central Arizona is the plaintiff in a suit filed Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court that challenges Mesa’s “cultural impact fees.” On Tuesday, the city raised the impact fees it tacks onto new homes. The goal was to use the extra money to support a range of city services — from new sewage-treatment plants to parks and museums.

- A Graphical View of Egyptian Culture at the Next Meeting of the Pacific Coast Archaeology Society: Pacific Coast Archaeological Society's September 13th meeting will feature Mr. Ahab Afifi speaking on “Egypt's Culture: A Graphic Representation.” Meeting information: Thursday, September 13, 2007, 7:30 pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA. Meeting is free and open to the public. Mr. Afifi’s lecture on ancient Egypt will emphasize the cultural component and the indelible contribution of this ancient society to today’s Egypt and indeed the world at large. He will consider language, religion, architecture, symbols, relief in the round, and time measurement and the calendar.

- (Reminder) Arizona Humanities Council Lecture to Examine Archaeological and Cultural Views of the Treatment of the Dead: Allen Dart Presents " What Do We Do with Our Ancestors" Saturday September 8, 2007, 10 a.m. to noon at the Yavapai Apache Nation Tribal Headquarters, 2400 W. Datsi, Camp Verde. Ever since archaeology became an active intellectual pursuit, many archaeologists have held that all materials left behind by ancient peoples, including human remains as well as artifacts, are proper subjects for scientific study, and that these materials should all be preserved in museums to keep them accessible for study in the future. In contrast, some Native Americans and others believe that human remains and grave objects should not be subjected to any kind of destructive scientific studies, or not even disturbed or studied at all, and that if they are disturbed they should be respectfully reburied.

- Civic Identity Crisis in Mesa? Why are we so afraid to build our own identity here in Mesa? The Mesa Southwest Museum, one of our unknown treasures, has stooped to become the "Arizona Museum of Natural History" in order to attract visitors. Have people thought, "Oh, that museum's in Mesa. Well, they must not have a very extensive collection. It's not even worth the trip." Will naming it after our state give it more clout?,pam.html

- Video on the Desruction of Iraq's Archaeological Heritage Debuts on the Archaeology Channel: The protection of the human cultural record is central to ALI's mission, so we welcome every opportunity to present films that focus on that theme. Now we have a film reminding people around the world about the tragedy that struck Iraq in April 2003 and still is unfolding. The ransacking of the Iraq Museum and the destruction at other Iraqi cultural institutions and sites is the topic of Erasing Memory: The Cultural Destruction of Iraq, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel