Monday, December 31, 2007

More on NPS Move, Vandalism at San Xavier

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

- Moving National Park Service Employees in Santa Fe Causing Controversy: National Park Service employees and retirees are angry about a plan to move the agency's Santa Fe staff to a historical building on Old Santa Fe Trail. Placing too many employees in the building "is no less than vandalism," J.W. "Bill" Wade, chairman of the executive council of the Coalition of Retired National Park Service Employees, wrote to National Park Service Director Mary Bomar.

- Vandalism at San Xavier Shrine: Two long-standing religious statues that graced the grotto at Mission San Xavier del Bac were smashed last week by a man police found yelling on the hillside, a Tohono O'odham police spokesman said.

- Realtor and Paleontologists Join in Familiar Conflict over Development North of Las Vegas: Local real estate agent Sandy Croteau made a somewhat surprising pitch as she traipsed through a vacant, gravel-filled wash: She wants to spare the expanse from home developers. Trying to halt this city's growth may be a Sisyphean task, but Croteau, 60, is counting on help from some sun-worn mammoth bones. About 10,000 bison, camel and mammoth fossils have been unearthed in recent years in a nearly 13,000-acre ribbon of the Upper Las Vegas Wash just south of Desert National Wildlife Refuge. And with builders champing to get at the property, the federal Bureau of Land Management must figure out how much of the land to preserve. - Los Angeles Times

- Mesoamerican Find May Push Back Date for the Beginning of the Aztec Empire: Archeologists have discovered the ruins of an 800-year-old Aztec pyramid in the heart of the Mexican capital that could show the ancient city is at least a century older than previously thought.Mexican archeologists found the ruins, which are about 36 feet (11 metres) high, in the central Tlatelolco area, once a major religious and political centre for the Aztec elite.

The Center for Desert Archaeology wishes you a happy new year. We have some great things planned for archaeology on the internet in 2008!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rethinking Jared Diamond, SAA Responds to Time, Santa Fe NPS Questions

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

- Rethinking Jared Diamond: At the seminar, Dr. McAnany suggested that the very idea of societal collapse might be in the eye of the beholder. She was thinking of the Maya, whose stone ruins have become the Yucatan’s roadside attractions. But the descendants of the Maya live on. She recalled a field trip by local children to a site she was excavating in Belize: “This little girl looks up at me, and she has this beautiful little Maya face, and asks, ‘What happened to all the Maya? Why did they all die out?’” No one visits Stonehenge, she noted, and asks whatever happened to the English. - New York Times

- Society for American Archaeology Responds to Time Magazine's Stance on Antiquities Trade:

- Concern Grows Over Park Service Plans to Reorganize Regional Office in Santa Fe: The National Park Service plans to cut its staff in Santa Fe by a quarter, leave its leased building on the south end of town and consolidate its remaining 70 Santa Fe employees in its historic building on Old Santa Fe Trail. But the Park Service strongly disputes allegations by some Santa Fe employees and retirees that the federal agency will damage the building by putting too many employees there, that it is removing the building's valuable artifacts or that it plans to close Santa Fe operations altogether. - Santa Fe New Mexican

- Texas Students Learn About Archaeological Fieldwork (and Get Some Really Bad Career Advice): San Marcos students received an introduction to professional archaeology recently when they spent a morning walking a local archaeological site with professors at Texas State University-San Marcos. The students, fifth- and sixth-graders in the Hernandez Intermediate School Gifted and Talented Program, walked a site at Texas State's Freeman Ranch, near San Marcos, with Britt Bousman, Jon McGee and John Lohse of the Department of Anthropology.

- Surviving Lewis and Clarke: Native American tribes have suffered enormous losses of both territory and cultural heritage in the course of their dealings with the United States. A good example of this past is that of the Nez Perce Tribe, headquartered in Idaho, who relate their history and their cultural pride in Surviving Lewis & Clark: The Nimiipuu Story, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel

Monday, December 24, 2007

Rock Art Vs Sprawl in Utah, Imapct of Arizona Ruling on Development, 2008 ICOMOS Meeting

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

- Rock Art vs. Urban Sprawl in Utah: An ancient 40-ton jungle gym of sorts, the massive burnt umber boulder anchors a neighborhood park and beckons suburban kids to clamber over its mysterious Anasazi etchings. And climb aboard they do, sometimes even attempting to scratch their own marks before the adults run them off, neighbors say. Archaeologists typically warn against even smudging natural skin oils on the chiseled drawings or the rock's natural mineral glaze so they won't slowly melt away.

- Settlement Against G. Johnson Seen as a Wake Up Call to Developers: Developers don't get to ignore the rules that protect Arizona's resources and heritage. That should be the bottom-line message from a $12 million state settlement with developer George H. Johnson, several of his companies and three contractors. The Wild West, no-holds-barred, rip-out-the-vegetation, throw-up-the-houses style of development has no place in modern Arizona.

- Travelogue - Visiting Betatikin: Located in a side canyon to the magnificent Tsegi Canyon, a deep gorge cut through this part of northern Arizona. The village is nestled in the blind end of the canyon perched above a grove of oak, juniper and aspen that fill its floor with brilliant foliage in the fall. Just beyond the grove, at the canyon's deep bottom, a small spring gurgles as it cascades down the rock-filled slot that it has cut through the layers of rock that make up the floor.

- Call for Papers - 16th General Assembly of the International Council on Monuments and Sites: Quebec, Canada, September 29 - October 4, 2008. This years theme focuses upon the spirit of place - between the intangible and the tangible. Participants are invited to submit papers for the symposium. All papers must fall under one of the four sub-themes mentioned below. Selected papers that cannot be presented orally can be presented in the form of posters (poster session). The Sub-themes include "Re-thinking the Spirit of Place," "The Threats to the Spirit of Place," "Safeguarding the Spirit of Place," and "Transmitting the Spirit of Place."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Developer Agrees to Major Fines in Blading Case, Emory Sekaquaptewa Passes

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

- Developer Agrees to Pay 7 Million Dollars for Illegally Grading Hohokam Sites: An Arizona developer and his company agreed to pay $7 million to the state for his role in the illegal blading of more than 200 acres of state trust land and the destruction of several Hohokam sites. In the deal announced Thursday, George H. Johnson and Johnson International admit no guilt for those events nor other allegations, including that they caused the deaths of 21 bighorn sheep by putting domestic goats on the land he intended to develop into a new city in southern Pinal County.

- Settlement in Johnson Case the Largest Environmental Damage Fine in Arizona History: The state will collect more than $12 million from the settlement of a 2005 lawsuit against land developer George B. Johnson, several of his companies, excavation contractor Jack McCall, 3F Contracting Inc. and Preston Well Drilling. The money will settle all claims in the case.

- Hopi Linguist and Anthropologist Emory Sekaquaptewa Passed Away Last Friday: Emory Sekaquaptewa, a Hopi educator, judge, artist and cultural treasure as well as a noted research anthropologist at The University of Arizona’s Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, died on Dec. 14. Although his birth was never recorded, he is believed to have been born in 1928 and celebrated his birthdays on Dec. 28.

- The Center for Desert Archaeology is currently undergoing a self-assessment and strategic planning process. The plans that result from this process will guide our efforts for the next three to five years. We need your input. Please help by taking our online survey. All answers are anonymous, and the survey should only take 5-10 minutes of
your time. Thank you! You will find the survey at:

- Anasazi Heritage Center Announces Winter Hours: Looking for something fun and free to do over the holidays? Have friends and relatives visiting? Now’s your chance! The Bureau of Land Management’s Anasazi Heritage Center located near Dolores, Colorado, is open for winter visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year the Center will only be closed December 24th (Christmas Eve), December 25th (Christmas Day), and January 1st (New Year’s Day). Right now in the museum’s special gallery is the exhibit Stanton Englehart: Seasons on the Plateau which includes many never before seen paintings by this life long and nationally recognized painter of the Four Corners.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Michael Collins Purchases and Donates the Gault Site, More on the I-10 Bypass, Another Ancient Asteroid Impact Discovered

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

- University of Texas Professor Purchases the Gault Site for Preservation: A University of Texas professor who for five years has sought to procure an archaeological dig site north of Austin for his colleagues has finally closed the deal: by cashing out his personal savings. Michael Collins, associate researcher at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at UT's J.J. Pickle Research Campus, bought the 33-acre Gault site in southwestern Bell County and donated it to the Archaeological Conservancy. - The Statesman

- Opportunity for Public Comment on I-10 Bypass Opens Tomorrow Morning at the Pima County Board of Supervisors Meeting: The Pima County Board of Supervisors will be discussing the ecological considerations relative to the proposed construction of an Interstate 10 bypass route around Tucson. Please attend if you can and show that the public supports this strong resolution in opposition to the bypass concept. The Pima County Board meeting will be held at 9am, Tuesday December 18, BOS Hearing Room, 130 W. Congress, 1st Floor. While this meeting will also start at 9 AM, you will need to show up by 8:30 AM if you wish to sign up to speak (3 min limit). If you haven't yet submitted your comments on the Bypass Feasibility Study, please do so ASAP, at the very latest by December 20th.

- (Related Story) International Herald Tribune Declares San Pedro Valley an Imperiled Landscape: The sign on the dusty road running past Andy Smallhouse's cattle ranch reads "No Pavement 50 Miles," and he would rather it stay that way, especially since the alternative could be a freeway. The biggest road in the area now is Interstate 10, about 40 miles away. But state planners are drawing lines on a map, and some of them would route a proposed I-10 bypass right through his southern Arizona spread. "We don't see any way possible for an interstate to come through the middle of us and not interrupt what we're doing," said Smallhouse, whose great-great-grandfather established the ranch in 1884. "We might possibly profit from it, but we're not really interested in that aspect."

- Researchers Discover Another Instance of Meteorite Damage to Ancient North American Megafauna: An ancient meteor impact in North America sent up waves of rock fragments that peppered prehistoric mammals with "space shrapnel" about 34,000 years ago, scientists say. Many of the animals, particularly in the region near present-day Alaska, didn't survive. That's the story being pieced together by a research team led by Richard Firestone of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California. - National Geographic

- Planned Pima County Wastewater Plant is Relocated to Avoid Hohokam Site, Saving County 2 Million Dollars: Rather than excavate the archaeological site, the county covered it up again.
"Over the last decade or so, there has been a change in archaeology ethics," Anyon said. "So much development has taken place along the Santa Cruz River, and there has been so much archaeology lost … that when we find something we can conserve, we prefer to conserve it." County officials don't know yet if the site will be disturbed when they build the new plant. They will try to design around it, but they may not be able to.
But if the site is excavated at a later date, the archaeological techniques might be better and more might be gleaned from it, Anyon said. "In a way, it's banking the archaeology for the future," he said.

- Call for Participants, Arizona Archaeology Expo: This is a call for 2008 Arizona Archaeology Expo participants!! Participant forms for the Arizona Archaeology Expo to be held at the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson on March 1-2, 2008 are due! We still have room, so take advantage of this great opportunity to meet your public outreach goals and responsibilities! Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks, Ann Howard.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Time Magazine Advocates Antiquity Trade, Joe Ben Wheat Scholarship

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

- Time Magazine Advises the Public that Investment in Antiquities is "Hot:" The good news is that it is possible for the individual investor to buy antiquities — and for a surprisingly moderate sum. According to John Ambrose, founder and director of Fragments of Time, a Boston-area antiquities dealer, they're within even a modest investor's reach. "For under $10,000 a year you could acquire two to four quality objects with good provenance that you could expect would not only hold their value but increase in value over time," he says. In the past, the increase was anywhere from 8 to 9% annually, but in recent years that figure has gone up.,8599,1693792,00.html?xid=rss-business

- Nominations for the 2008 Joe Ben Wheat Research Scholarship are Being Accepted
at the University of Colorado Museum: The scholarship was established to honor the memory of Joe Ben Wheat, a leading scholar of the American Southwest. Dr. Wheat was a curator at the University of Colorado Museum for over 40 years. He was a consummate scholar of the anthropology of the American Southwest and Colorado Plains. His work in Southwestern Indian jewelry, textiles, and pottery significantly expanded the scope and quality of the Museum's collections. His archaeological research in Paleoindian and Puebloan archaeology was original and challenging. The scholarship supports graduate studies in Dr. Wheat’s areas of research. - Ms Word Document

- Native American Protests Begin at 9th Circuit Court of Appeals: Chanting and beating drums, American Indians marched to a federal appeals court to oppose the use of treated sewage to make snow in Arizona mountains they hold sacred. About 150 activists marched Tuesday to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a hearing in the case.

- National Spatial Data Infrastructure Program Open for Cooperative Programs and Projects: You may want to pass this information along to your state, local, tribal, and academic partners for their interest: the 2008 National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP) is still open for proposal submittal and will close on December 18, 2007. The purpose of the NSDI CAP is to fund innovative projects in the geospatial data community to build the infrastructure necessary to effectively discover, access, share, manage, and use digital geographic data. A short description of this year's categories and a link to the full 2008 NSDI CAP announcement can be found at

- Lecture in Tucson to Discuss Hohokam Survival in the Arid Desert Southwest: "Ancient Farming Strategies: How Did the Hohokam Survive in Our Arid Landscape?" will be presented by archaeologist John Madsen, Thursday, Dec. 20th at 7:30 p.m. at the Old Pueblo Archaeology auditorium, 5100 W. Ina Road Bldg. 8, Our guest speaker, Mr. John Madsen, is an Associate Curator of Archaeology at the Arizona State Museum, John’s research interests have included close examination of early and late Classic period Hohokam platform mound communities. He has coauthored and authored articles and books on Hohokam prehistory within the region of the lower Santa Cruz River basin. The presentation, part of Old Pueblo's Third Thursday lecture series is free and open to the public.

- Lecture in Tucson to Explore the Topic of Preservation Archaeology in the Upper Little Colorado Basin. As part of the Arizona Historical and Archaeological Society's December meeting, Doug Gann will present "Preservation Archaeology at Casa Malpais." Doug is a preservation archaeologist at the Center for Desert Archaeology in Tucson. He has been assisting the Little Colorado Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society as they continue their heroic efforts to preserve and understand the unique ancestral Puebloan site of Casa Malpais. Lecture will be held at 7:30 pm, Monday, December 17th at the Duval Auditorium, within the Arizona Health Sciences Center, 1501 N Campbell Ave, Tucson.

- Employment Opportunities (Casa Grande Ruins): Casa Grande Ruins National Monument (CAGR) will be filling three to four jobs in the Cultural Resources Division this year. The first job is being advertised as a GS-5 Archeological Technician right now. The others will be advertised on the website between now and January 30 as GS-7 Archeological Technicians and a GS-5 Laborer. These positions are all entry level. Due to the small size of our park, these new staff will have a unique opportunity to participate in various aspects of resource management. Upcoming projects at CAGR include the drafting, compliance and implementation of the Compound B Preservation Plan, documentation and condition assessment work, treatment history research projects, site impacts monitoring, and preservation of both historic buildings and prehistoric sites. Skill with databases, word processing, and mapping programs will be helpful. Though these positions are being advertised under the archeological technician and laborer series, students with a background in historic preservation, materials science, natural resource management, biology, ecology, archeology, museum studies, and/or
archeology are all encouraged to apply for these positions. Please be sure to include a short essay with your application materials that answers the set of 3-5 questions listed under "How you will be evaluated:" in the "Qualifications & Evaluations" tab of each Job Announcement. Please also indicate if you are only available for summer employment. Each announcement is scored separately according to applicants' qualifications, so submitting your resume to more than one announcement will only increase your chances of getting hired. CAGR website:

Thanks to Gerald Kelso for contributions to today's newsletter.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ancient Puebloan Beer, New Genetic Evidence on Peopling of the New World.

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

- A Prehistory of Puebloan Beer? Some archaeologists say in the distant past New Mexico was a dry watering hole, a dark place where no beer, no fermentation existed. Glenna Dean, the state archaeologist, isn't one of them. If New Mexico's Pueblo Indians didn't have beer 800 to 1,000 years ago, then people in the area would be missing something common to other American Indians who lived in surrounding areas like Arizona and Mexico, she said. "I was puzzled by this certainty by archaeologists that people from Spain had brought the first fermentation to New Mexico," Dean said. "Given that just about any liquid that you can think of will ferment by itself if you lay it out for a while — it's amazing to think this wouldn't happen here." - Albuquerque Tribune
- A Genetic Perspective on the Peopling of the New World: A single population of prehistoric Siberians crossed the Bering Strait into Alaska and subsequently fanned out to populate North and South America, according to a new genetic analysis of present-day indigenous Americans. The study also hints that early Americans reached Central and South America by migrating down the Pacific coast by land or sea and only later spread into the interior of South America.

- Third Archaeology Expo Planning Meeting for the 2008 Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month: Monday January 7, 2008 at 10:30 a.m. Room 309, North Building Arizona State Museum, U of A, Tucson. Please come and share your ideas as the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) continues planning for the 2008 Arizona Archaeology Expo that will be held on March 1-2, 2008 at the Arizona State Museum, the University of Arizona in Tucson. We will be exchanging ideas with the various partners; discussing programming, publicity, lay out and organization, sponsors, funding, off-site activities, etc. For More Information, Please Contact: Ann Howard, Public Archaeology Programs Manager State Historic Preservation Office 602/542-7138, or Rich Lange, Arizona State Museum 520/621-6275,

- The Use of Effluent at Snowbowl Moves Back to Appeals Court: In March this year, a California circuit court blocked the proposed ski area expansion and snowmaking with treated sewage and held the U.S. Forest Service had violated its own laws by not fully studying the impact of human contact with fake snow made from the treated sewage. The ruling also determined that the development on the peak would substantially burden the American Indians' religious practice, which the indigenous communities described as a victory for religious freedom, environmental justice and cultural survival. Not pleased with that verdict, the U.S. forest officials and developers took their case to the U.S. court of appeals in Pasadena, California, which is due to hear the arguments next week about the decision blocking the ski resort owners from further development on the San Francisco Peaks.

- Submerged Spanish Galleon Near Oregon Coast the Newest Feature on the Archaeology Channel: Early encounters between Europeans and Native Americans on the West Coast of North America certainly occurred prior to the well documented Spanish explorations of the 1770s, but very little concrete evidence thus far has been documented. An exciting new archaeological exploration of an exceptional case of early contact on the Oregon coast is the subject of Anthropology Field Notes 5: The Beeswax Ship of Nehalem, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

- Position Announcement: Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County, California announces a search for archaeological technology and anthropology instructor (tenure track position). The Archaeology Technology Program and Anthropology Department seek an individual broadly trained in anthropology whose primary teaching
interest is in anthropological and occupational archaeology. The candidate should have expertise in Cultural Resource Management and/or heritage policy and preservation, knowledge of California Archaeology, and experience teaching lower division courses. - Cabrillo College

- Summer Employment Opportunities with HABS/HAER/HALS: The Heritage Documentation Programs (Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey), a division of the National Park Service, seeks applications from qualified individuals for summer employment documenting historic sites and structures of architectural, landscape and technological significance throughout the country. Duties involve on-site field work and preparation of measured and interpretive drawings and written historical reports for the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection at the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Projects last twelve weeks, beginning in May/June. Salaries range from approximately $6,000 to approximately $11,000 for the summer, depending on job responsibility, locality of the project, and level of experience. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens. Applications Due: February 4, 2008 (postmark date). Application forms and detailed information can be found on our web site:

- Employment Opportunities with the BLM: The Bureau of Land Management is currently advertising for archaeologist positions in the Phoenix District. Three job openings are advertised onthe USA Jobs website. These positions are open to federal archaeologists and qualified archaeologists who do not currently work for the federal government. We are advertising two permanent positions in the Hassayampa Field Office and one temporary position in the Lower Sonoran Field Office. "Google" the USA Jobs website and click on "search jobs," then on "agency search." Scroll down and click on Interior, Department of the, Bureau of Land Management. Then under "location search," click on AZ-Phoenix, and finally on "search for jobs." This will take you to the AZ BLM job announcements, all on one page, where you will see several announcements for archaeologists. When you click on an announcement, you will find an
overview of duties and instructions on filing an application on-line.

- Historic Preservation Employment Opportunity for Veterans Administration (Job Closes Monday, Dec 17): The position is under the Director, Resource Management Office, Office of Construction and Facilities Management (CFM) under the Office of the Secretary within the Department of Veterans Affairs. The incumbent serves as a Historic Preservation Specialist and provides program support to the National Historic Preservation Officer. Duties include conducting studies and research on VA historic properties holdings and cultural resources; conducting field surveys and evaluating findings; documenting and determining historic value, and writing historic structures reports; prepares nominations for submission to the National Register of Historic Places in all VA properties; develops written Memoranda of Understanding/Agreement and other cooperative agreements with other agencies and represents VA on committee, task forces, with other Federal agencies, state agencies, departments, and professional organizations regarding cultural resources of regional, national, and international significance; develops recommendations to enhance cultural resource management requirements; resolve controversies on property interests to include real property interests through VA Loan Guaranty Program and proposed projects submitted for funding through State Home Grant, State Cemetery Grant and Homeless Grant Programs; reviews and analyzes and interprets proposed legislation and assess the impact to current holdings; prepares briefs and papers for publication of historic history on VA holdings; provides guidance and advice to executives and VA field facilities in preservation and design problems; provides expertise to field engineers on project plans for maintenance and repair, renovations, rehabilitation, leasing to assure compliance; develops ongoing training and conducts training within Central Office and at field facilities; maintains historic resources files including extensive documentation on history of facilities; negotiates on behalf of VA with the Advisory Council on historic Preservations, State Preservation Officers, and other federal and state agencies regarding VA undertakings of a complex and controversial nature; prepares information for testimony for Congressional oversight hearing; establishes and maintains extensive historic files, including facility histories, photographs, slides, and other memorabilia, maintains the files of the Art-in-Architecture program; works as part of Task Force Teams as assigned to provide historic preservation technical direction and review capability.

Thanks to Gerald Kelso for contributions to todays newsletter.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Changes to NAGPRA debated, I-10 Bypass Proposal Meets Strong Opposition

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

- Society for American Archaeology Protests Proposed Changes to NAGPRA: The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) has condemned a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Interior that would put in jeopardy the highly productive compromise that was reached when the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was passed in 1990. On October 16, 2007, the Department of the Interior published draft regulations that would destroy the use of cultural affiliation as the principle for repatriation decisions, which is at the core of NAGPRA and supported by seventeen years of hard work and effort by tribes, archaeologists, and museum personnel, and replace it with an undefined notion of "cultural relationship." “The Department’s proposed regulations have no basis in law or science and reflect an attempt to impermissibly legislate in a manner not prescribed by Congress.

- Public Comment and Discussion of Proposed Changes to NAGPRA will be Managed by Online Teleconference: The teleconference will be on Tuesday, January 8, 2008 from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, unless business is finished earlier. The teleconference provides the Review Committee with an opportunity to comment on the proposed rule regarding the disposition of culturally unidentifiable human remains [43 CFR 10.11]. - Ms Word Document

- Interstate 10 Bypass Proposal Meets Strong Opposition: A proposed bypass of Tucson and Phoenix from Interstate 10 was roundly criticized at a public meeting sponsored by the Arizona Department of Transportation on Thursday. ADOT engineers are looking into the need and feasibility of such a bypass, citing anticipated population and heavy truck traffic growth that might make it desirable in 20 to 30 years. The idea is in the preliminary study stages, said Dale Buskirk, ADOT project manager for the study. He spoke to about 140 people at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, 300 E. River Road.

- Tucson Citizen Proposes Alternatives to Interstate Bypass: Talk about the wisdom of crowds. At a public meeting last week to help determine if a bypass of Tucson and Phoenix from Interstate 10 should be built, 40 people spoke. All but one opposed the proposal. So do we, for reasons ecological and economic. Plus, the time is right to once again consider an alternative to building more paths for more internal combustion engines: intercity rail service between Tucson and Phoenix. Several of the proposed bypasses would snake through unsullied environs in the San Pedro River Valley and Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness northeast of Tucson.

- Scottsdale Plans Museum of the West: Scottsdale civic leaders are envisioning a $50 million Museum of the West opening on Arizona's centennial - Feb. 14, 2012. A contemporary 48,000-square-foot, solar-powered museum would be built in Scottsdale's downtown gallery district on Main Street Plaza, just blocks from Scottsdale's iconic cowboy sign. - Arizona Republic

- Landscape Art of Stanton Engleheart to be Featured at the Anasazi Heritage Center: An opening celebration will take place at the museum on Sunday, December 9 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. A new book, entitled Stanton Englehart: A Life on Canvas,will be available for the first time at this event. Published by Durango author Jules Masterjohn, the book examines the artist’s career and includes a half-hour DVD featuring interviews with Englehart in the locations that most inspire him. Profits from the book will benefit the Stanton Englehart Scholarship Fund for art students at Fort Lewis College.

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): Saturday, December 8th, "Agave Beverages in Hospitality, Feasting, and Ritual Traditions of Ancient Mesoamerica and the Borderlands", a lecture by Arizona State Museum archaeologist Suzanne Fish. 12 noon and 2 p.m. at the Western National Park Association, 12880 N. Vistoso Village Drive in Oro Valley. Free and open to the public.

- Arizona State Museum Continues Popular Culture Craft Saturday Program: Saturday, December 8th, Tohono O’odham Traditions of Fun and Games, 1-4 p.m.
Free fun for the whole family. Get riled up for high energy, high impact Toka (similar to hockey)! Try your luck in a game of Gins (geents). Doll making, and exploratory writing round out the day’s hands-on activities.

- Employment Opportunity: The Kansas State Historical Society is seeking a Principal Investigator to lead excavations, analyze material, and produce a report on results of investigations at the Pawnee Indian Village (14RP1) to be conducted in Summer, 2008. Laboratory analysis of previously-excavated material would begin January 1, 2008.
Please visit the Kansas Department of Administration website for instructions for submitting a proposal: Scroll down to the date 12/20/2007 in the left column and look for bid number 10931.

- Employment Opportunity: Archaeologist for Rural Utilities Program. Vacancy Announcement No.: 08-RUS-14JL-DEU Archeologist, GS-0193-12/13. Rural Utilities Service
Assistant Administrator - Water and Environmental Programs Engineering & Environmental Staff. Opens: December 5, 2007 - Closes: January 8, 2008. Applications will be accepted from all United States citizens. To view the full text version of the vacancy announcement, please use the link below.

- Employment Opportunity: Utah SHPO office, Vernal Utah. Matthew Seddon writes: This is a really fantastic opportunity. The person will essentially be an on the ground SHPO in the Vernal BLM field office, an office with a huge and interesting array of archaeological and historical sites and a diverse set of projects. The position includes money beyond the salary to assist with housing in Vernal. The person would not necessarily have to reside in Vernal, but instead could simply commute 3-4 days a week. There would be huge flexibility in how the person could approach the job. We anticipate that basic case review might involve no more than 1-2 days per week (depending on the week of course) with substantial time to work proactively on better ways to find, evaluate, manage, and preserve sites in the Vernal area. Working along with the BLM, the person could have a tremendous positive impact on the management, preservation, and public interpretation of the fantastic archaeological record in the Vernal area. This is also a great opportunity for someone to learn about cultural resource management from both the federal agency side and the SHPO side. We expect that a person could walk out of this job highly qualified for any job in CRM, and particularly for the vast and growing set of agency jobs that will be opening up in a few years as long-time agency archaeologists would retire.

Thanks to Gerald Kelso, Teresa Paglione, and Matthew Seddon for contributions to today's newsletter.