Friday, November 9, 2007

More On Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Area, Lectures and Training Opportunities

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

- Correction / Update: The Enigmatic Mystery of Chacoan Cylinder Jars Lecture will be held Tuesday, November 13, 2007. : There are only 210 known ceramic cylinder jars in the prehispanic American Southwest. 192 of those come from Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. Patricia Crown, professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico, explores the production of the unusual vessels and reveals new insights into their use at Chaco. Lecture at 7:00 p.m. at the Center for English as a Second Language, room 102 (one building east of ASM north). Reception follows the lecture at Arizona State Museum. Free and open to the public.

- Progress on the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area: It's fair to say that the idea of heritage tourism found an early life in the wilds of Arizona. While building swanky hotels and lunch counters throughout the southwest along the Santa Fe Railroad, the great travel impresario Fred Harvey noticed how fascinated people were with anything relating to the region's mysterious, seemingly unknowable indigenous people.

- More on Santa Cruz Valley NHA: The cottonwoods, willows, mesquites, and palo verde trees that once towered over the banks of the Colorado River near Yuma, Ariz., have returned. These native trees once again shade hikers and shelter wildlife, thanks to a massive wetlands restoration effort in the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. Since the area was officially designated in 2000, the groups working within its boundaries have also restored a historic bridge and created an $80 million riverfront development plan to revitalize the heart of the town. Now, the West may soon get its sixth national heritage area, in the Santa Cruz Valley of southeastern Arizona.

- Public Comments Sought on World Heritage Site Designations: National Park Service staff recommendations and those of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO regarding sites to be included in a new U.S. World Heritage Tentative List have been published in the Federal Register for public comment. All comments received will be considered by the National Park Service and the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks and the Secretary of the Interior for their use in developing a final U.S . Tentative List, which is to be submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre by February 1st. NPS staff recommendations, along with recommendations by the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, appear at the end of this release. Public comments will be accepted for 30 days. - National Park Service

- Phoenix High School Students Pitch in to Assist Mesa Grande: Students at Westwood High School won't have to leave their neighborhood to get a history lesson about the Valley's ancient culture and maybe a civics lesson as well. The sophomores in teacher Brian Buck's college-bound classes are planning to marshal forces with the Arizona Museum of Natural History to raise money to pay for an interpretative visitors center, dubbed Mesa Grande Cultural Center.

- Safford Lecture Focuses upon Ancient Cultural Melting Pot: The hugely popular Discover Anthropology lecture series will continue Saturday, Nov. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the college’s Discovery Park Campus with “An Ancient Cultural Melting Pot: The Safford Basin in the 13th and 14th Centuries.” The lecture will be presented by Dr. Anna Neuzil, a ceramic analyst for Tierra Right of Way Services. "Dr. Neuzil worked extensively in the Gila and Aravaipa valleys while developing her dissertation. - Eastern Arizona Courier

- Oro Valley Considers Preservation Plans for Steam Pump Ranch: Members of the public came out to voice their opinions and concerns about historic preservation efforts at Steam Pump Ranch, Oro Valley’s territorial-era settlement. Representatives from the architectural firm Poster Frost were on hand to explain three preservation scenarios for the ranch house and 15-acre property, which dates to the 1870s.

- Training Opportunity: The Nevada Archaeological Site Stewardship Program (NASSP) is holding a Basic Site Stewardship Training class in Sparks, NV in November 17th at 9 am at the USFS office in Sparks, Nevada; . We have site stewards assigned throughout the State of Nevada and are in need of help to preserve and protect at-risk sites; if you can’t make this training class we will put your name on a list and let you know when the next class will be held. Space is limited, so all interested volunteers should RSVP to Joanne Murray the Nevada Northwestern Regional Coordinator at or (775) 424-4050 by November 15th. All site stewards are required to complete this class before being assigned a site on public lands located within Nevada, so bring your family and friends so that they too can become a steward and help preserve Nevada’s diverse archaeological and paleontological resources for the future.

- Training Opportunity: Section 106 Procedures: The Section 106 Essentials is a two day course designed for those who are new to Section 106 review or those who want a refresher on its basic operation. Taught by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), this course explains the requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, which applies any time a federal, federally assisted, or federally approved activity might affect a property listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

- Training Opportunity: High Definition Documentation for Archaeology and Architecture. This two-day, 3 hour webinar will provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of high-definition documentation (HDD) for cultural heritage, with the intention of producing digital content that is also useful for public interpretation and tourism. Multiple technologies and methods will be shown and discussed, including GPS, panoramic photography, high-dynamic range photography (HDR), 3D laser scanning (HDS), and data archiving and management. Case studies of the use of HDD at Mesa Verde National Park and the Statue of Liberty will be used to demonstrate field application and usage of this methodology. The webinar, workshops and information on HDD was developed with funding from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). - National Park Service

Thanks to Brain Kenny, Gerard Kelso, and Sali Underwood for contributions to today's newsletter