Monday, December 29, 2008

Mount Taylor GIS Coming Soon, Archaeology Cafe, Ancient American Horticulturalists

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

- The State of New Mexico and Tribal Governments Move to Map Traditional Cultural Properties on Mount Taylor: The Navajo Land Department would provide Geographic Information Systems mapping services to further the permanent classification of Mount Taylor as a Traditional Cultural Property under a cooperative agreement approved Monday by the Resources Committee. The Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe, and the Pueblos of Acoma, Laguna and Zuni would share in the $143,841 cost for the mapping under the agreement and use the information to pursue the permanent nomination of Mount Taylor as a Traditional Cultural Property.

- The Horticultural Lifestyles of the Ancient Americans: Long before early humans in North America grew corn and beans, they were harvesting and cooking the bulbs of lilies, wild onions and other plants, roasting them for days over hot rocks, according to a Texas archaeologist. The evidence for this practice has long been known of in fire-cracked rock piles found throughout the continent, but archaeologists have tended to ignore it "because a new pyramid or a Clovis arrow point is much sexier," said archaeologist Alston V. Thoms of Texas A&M University.,0,6385869.story

- Archaeology Cafe (Tucson) " Human Adaptation to Catastrophic Events: Lessons from the 11th Century A.D. Eruption of Sunset Crater Volcano ." What happens when your world seems to come to an end? Archaeologist Mark Elson shares the story of the prehistoric farming communities that lived around Sunset Crater Volcano at the time of its eruption in the 11th century A.D. Learn what happened to the refugees and how their agricultural strategies-and indeed their worldview-were forever changed. Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 6:00 pm on the patio at Casa Vicente, 375 S. Stone Avenue, Tucson, AZ. Free and open to the community-all are welcome. Guests are encouraged to support our host, Casa Vicente, by buying their own food and drinks.

- Arizona Republic Offers Guide to the Old and Ancient Southwest: Let's face it. We know more these days about lattes than lassos. More about stocks than livestock. Spurs, in our book, are nemesis athletes from Texas. Cowboys, likewise. And chaps - isn't that what they call guys in England? We tenderfeet might as well admit as to how we're not exactly a ridin,' ropin' and wranglin' bunch out here in the Southeast Valley, where some of us can watch jetliners almost at eye-level from our high-rise condos and where the Old West might as well, like darlin' Clementine, be lost and gone forever. - Arizona Republic

- Volunteers Make a Difference at Salmon Ruins: Larry Baker has been the director since 1993 and says he considers it a "terminal sentence." This affable man obviously is doing work he loves. Salmon Ruins offers a variety of programs. The research library is a treasure, and the museum itself and the gift shop are real treats, widely expanded since my first days there. Larry and I talked about volunteers to help keep all the programs going. He indicated those on board were invaluable, but he could certainly use more. He particularly praised the dedication of Victor Boulanger who comes in faithfully every Wednesday to work as a docent and at the reception desk.

- Field School Announcement, NIU Archaeological Field School in Sicily: The primary goal of this program is to teach practical archaeological skills in a research environment. The field school is part of the Monte Polizzo Archaeological Project, a multinational Sicilian, Scandinavian, and American project focusing on the site of Monte Polizzo and the surrounding Belice Valley in the western-central portion of the Sicily. Monte Polizzo is a proto-urban hill top site used for nearly 1200 years and encompasses the Bronze, Early Iron, Elymian, and Hellenistic periods in the island's history. The surrounding valley settlement system is filled with additional Neolithic, Hellenistic and Roman sites. The valley's long occupation period, coupled with the diversity of archaeological cultures present in the area, make it an ideal training ground in archaeological methodology and provide ample evidence for introducing participants to the fascinating aspects of both classical and prehistoric archaeology. This field school is undertaken in conjunction with the universities of Gothenburg, Oslo, Palermo, and Stanford.

Thanks to Brian Kenny for Contributions to today's newsletter.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Presidential Pardon for Pothunter, New Discoveries in Sierra Vista

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

- President Bush Pardons Pothunter: A St. George man convicted in 1992 of digging up ancient Indian ruins on public lands in Garfield County has been pardoned by President George W. Bush. David Lane Woolsey is among 19 people being pardoned for various crimes as the president prepares to leave office. Woolsey was convicted of an aiding and abetting violation of the federal Archaeological Resources Protection Act and sentenced to three years probation and 100 hours of community service.,5143,705272608,00.html

- Early Pithouse Village Located in Sierra Vista: Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient village in the West End. Based on artifacts found there, the prehistoric pit-house village is believed to have belonged to a desert Mogollon people who lived here early in the first millennium. “It’s amazing,” property owner Karol George said during an interview in May. “You can always find something out there when you’re kicking around, but this site is a very unique site, is what I’m being told.”

- Related Story, Inscribed Stone Artifact Found in Sierra Vista Fascinates Archaeologists: A mysterious “circle stone” is puzzling archaeologists who unearthed it with an ancient village in the West End. “You don’t find little pieces of rock art like that very often,” archaeologist Avi Buckles said Wednesday. Buckles works for WestLand Resources Inc., an Arizona engineering and environmental consultancy that has been studying the site for more than a year. The company has offices in Tucson and Phoenix.

- Volunteers Prove Priceless at Aztec Ruins National Monument: People who are able to volunteer their time at Aztec Ruins National Monument enter a world where they can choose anything they want to do. The only hitch is the lack of salary, but volunteer Judy Hollar said her pay comes in myriad other ways. "What a great opportunity volunteering there can be," she said. "You get to do what you want to do and you get paid in other ways."

- Mesa Verde Requests Economic Stimulus: Washington lawmakers are talking about an $850 billion economic stimulus, and Mesa Verde National Park leaders want a share of it. The park has requested stimulus money for three projects - reconstruction of the main park road, work on a new visitor center and weed control. - Durango Herald

- Preserving Ancient Chinese Sites the Newest Release on the Archaeology Channel: Ongoing changes in China are accompanied by significant threats to some of the world’s most remarkable cultural heritage sites. Efforts to address this issue are highlighted by Saving the Last Living Ancient Town in China: Lijiang, Yunnan, China, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Financing Archaeological Preservation, Suburban Petroglyphs

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

- New Publication Examines Innovative Financing for Cultural Heritage Preservation: From a farmer’s field in Cambodia to a mantle in a New York penthouse, the path of a looted antiquity is profitable for some, but leaves behind a wide swath of economic, environmental and cultural degradation. Despite increased awareness and global attempts at enforcement, the growth of the illicit antiquities trade into a $4 billion market is a clear sign that there are more rewards than actual risks. However, according to this report from the Milken Institute, an overhaul of incentives could change the market to create significant cultural and economic value. According to Financial Innovations for Developing Archaeological Discovery and Conservation, there are market-based solutions that can promote legal discovery and conservation, while at the same time stop or at least mitigate the effects of looting. The report offers three possible solutions to explore: long-term leases for museums and exhibitions, museum/collector partnership sponsored digs and the design and development of archaeological development bonds. - The Milken Institute

- Restoring American National Parks Would be an Excellent National Economic Stimulus Package: The nation's crown jewels, 391 National Park Service properties, are losing their luster. Years of deferred maintenance and inadequate federal funding have taken a terrible toll on our national parks, monuments, seashores, lakes, battlefields, recreation areas and historic sites. Bridges need replacing, roads need repaving, and historic buildings need restoring. Visitor centers, restrooms, trails, boardwalks, piers and outbuildings need refurbishing. The price tag: $8.7 billion, and growing at a rate of $700 million a year. It sounds like a lot, but it's not. The money needed to restore and preserve our parks would be just a fraction of the massive stimulus plan -- estimates range from $400 billion to $1 trillion -- that the Obama administration and a Democratic Congress hope to approve in January to stoke the embers of a dying economy. And it would be money well spent.

- Petroglyph National Monument Preserves Ancient Art in a Suburban Context: Suburbia is on one side of the street, traces of an ancient people on the other. But it's easy to forget the 21st century within Petroglyph National Monument, which is home to more than 20,000 images pecked into dark boulders by the ancient ancestors of today's American Indians, Spanish settlers and later visitors. - Dallas News

- Deer Valley Rockart Center is Another Suburban Preservation Success Story: The quail are calling, the cottontails stirring. It's late afternoon, and the desert has come to life outside Deer Valley Rock Art Center. Two owls sit in a Paloverde and wait things out while a few visitors stroll and look up at a rocky hillside. Thousands of years ago, travelers scratched symbols on these rocks, symbols now preserved in a family-friendly museum setting in north Phoenix. Javelina, bobcats and coyotes wander from the surrounding desert into the 47-acre park. The owls wait and shadows grow long.

- Help Study Petroglyphs in Suburban Tucson: Old Pueblo Archaeology Center to offer archaeological field school training in cultural resources survey techniques. - MS Word Document

- National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers Offer Museum Design Workshop: " "Telling Our History I: Exhibition Development." This week-long workshop is four and one-half days of learning through presentations, dialogue, and a site visit to museums in area. Tribal museum and cultural center directors and staff will learn about and share information that address the basics of exhibit development. Each day will include interactive activities, lessons from case studies and model museums, and opportunities for participants to learn from one another.

- Numerous Archaeological Titles Make Reviewer's Lists of the Top 12 Southwestern Books of 2008: Just in time for Christmas giving, the Pima County Public Library's Southwest Literature Project has announced its top Southwest reads for 2008. Eight panelists, two who concentrated on children's books, reviewed more than 270 books with a Southwest theme or setting published this year.

- Controversial Changes at University of Pennsylvania Archaeology Musuem: A venerable archaeology museum plans to lay off 18 researchers and focus on upgrading its exhibits in an effort to attract more visitors and shore up its finances. Several prominent scientists are among the researchers being laid off from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, though some could keep their jobs if grant money to cover their salaries is found. - Art Info

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Archaeological Controversy Continues in Waco, Spanish Trail Reception at Anasazi Heritage Center

Archaeological Controversy Continues in Waco, Spanish Trail Reception at Anasazi Heritage Center

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

- Waco Texas Ranger Archaeology Controversy Continues: The Waco City Council today will be asked to bite the bullet once again for the Texas Ranger Museum annex project and spend another half-million dollars for its archaeology and construction budget.. That brings the city’s total tab to about $1.9 million for dealing with the unmarked graves that stand in the way of utility lines needed for the new Texas Ranger Company F headquarters and education center behind the museum. That’s in addition to the $2.1 million the state of Texas had agreed to pay for the new building. - Waco Tribune

- Old Spanish Trail Exhibit Reception & Program At Anasazi Heritage Center: Dolores – The public is invited to the Bureau of Land Management Anasazi Heritage Center for a special reception on Sunday, December 14, 2008 from 1pm to 3pm. The reception celebrates the new special exhibit “The Old Spanish Trail: A Conduit for Change” which was jointly produced by the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango and by the Museum of New Mexico’s Palace of the Governors. This exhibit traces the trail's history through Spanish colonial artifacts, textiles, maps, and illustrations. Special guest Jeanne Brako from the Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies, will conduct a tour through the exhibit beginning at 2pm. The Bureau of Land Management Anasazi Heritage Center is 3 miles west of Dolores on State Highway 184. The museum is free during the winter. Hours are 10 to 4 daily (November through February). The Center will be closed Christmas Day and New Years Day. For more information, call the Center at (970)882-5600.

- Construction on Tucson Rio Nuevo Musuem Complex to Begin in 2009: There's been a lot of talk for many years, plenty of false starts, endless chapters of public discord. No construction cranes currently fill downtown, but two major Rio Nuevo projects have quietly reached milestones, with real start dates on the horizon. Construction is set to start in the summer on the $130 million University of Arizona Science Center/Arizona State Museum just west of Interstate 10. Formal design work will start next week on the hotel for the Tucson Convention Center following a Monday open house where public input will be sought for the hotel's look.

- Public Historian Noel Stowe Passes Away: Dr. Noel J. Stowe died on December 13, 2008 Professor Stowe came to Arizona State University in 1967, after receiving his B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and teaching briefly at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. In 1978, he became the History Department's director of graduate study. In his eight years in that position he expanded the master's and doctoral degree programs and founded the Public History Program, which under his direction achieved national and international recognition. He directed more than fifty graduate theses and dissertations. His students have gone on to direct public history programs at other universities, and to work in museums, historical societies, and archives across the country. - Ms Word Document

- Nevada Historian and Preservationist Frank Wright Honored with Courtyard Dedication: A courtyard at the restored Fifth Street School in downtown Las Vegas has been named in honor of Frank Wright, the late historian known for his infectious enthusiasm for local history and historic preservation. "Frank really loved this building," said his wife, Dorothy, at a ceremony Thursday night. "He spent a long time working with the state historic preservation office to get it on the national register. He was so pleased, as we all were, when it was listed."

- Archaeology Magazine Lists the Top Ten Archaeological Discoveries of 2008: Archaeology magazine's top 10 finds of 2008 include Maya paint and ancient poop. And there are bonus finds as well, including a monumental discovery that the discoverers have been trying to keep under wraps. Most of these revelations haven't gotten the kind of hype that we saw this year for "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Agua Fira National Monument, Nine Mile Canyon Struggle Continues

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

- Auga Fria National Monument a Hidden National Treasure: It is a noticeably barren and often windswept tract of low-lying hills and volcanic grasslands that, at first glance, lack any redeeming value. But don't be fooled by the cover. The Agua Fria National Monument is worth a closer look. President Bill Clinton created the monument in 2000 at the behest of his Secretary of the Interior, former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt. Babbitt was one of a limited group of Arizonans keenly aware of what lay among the basalt hills and remote canyons. From the 13th through the mid-15th century, the intermittent waters of the Agua Fria River, Silver Creek, Larry Creek, Sycamore Creek, Ash Creek, Bishop Creek, Indian Creek and a handful of lesser drainages across the mesa supported a thriving culture.

- The Struggle to Save Nine Mile Canyon Continues: Preservation groups said Monday they want the Bureau of Land Management to pull 16 parcels near Utah's famed Nine Mile Canyon that are proposed for oil-and-gas lease sales. The National Trust for Historic Preservation said additional energy activity in the area will drive up truck traffic and raise the risk that dust will damage thousands of prehistoric paintings and carvings in the canyon. - MyFox Utah

- Lecture Opportunity, Raffle, and Live Auction at This Month's Meeting of the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society (Tucson): December 15th, 7:00 pm. "An Instance of Hopi Clowning? The Case of Juan Suni, 1659" sponsored by the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society and given by Anton Daughters. DuVal Auditorium, UMC, 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson. The annual raffle and live auction, featuring Jeff Reid as auctioneer, will also be held at the December meeting. The raffle raises funds for student grants. Note that the meeting starts one half hour earlier than usual.

- New Home for Arizona State Archives: Asked to show some of the more notable items in the Arizona State Archives, Jennifer Albin held up a rusty hatchet used in 1926 to commit one of the state's most notorious murders. It might seem out of place amid the documents, maps and records dating back to territorial days, but this too tells Arizona's story, she said.

- University of Arizona Press Publishes Several Interesting Archaeology Texts in Time for the Holiday Gift Season: New titles in categories such as anthropology, American Indian studies, border studies and archaeology have been published by The University of Arizona Press, including Kristin T. Ruppel's "Unearthing Indian Land" Eugene S. Hunn's "A Zapotec Natural History. Trees, Herbs, and Flower, Birds, Beasts, and Bugs in the Life of San Juan Gbëë," "Cultural Transmission and Material Culture. Breaking Down Boundaries" edited by Miriam T. Stark, Brenda J. Bowser and Lee Horne, and Stephen W. Silliman' "Collaborating at the Trowel's Edge."

- Does a Remote Mexican Pyramid Signify a Previously Unknown Ancient Culture? Several stone sculptures recently found in central Mexico point to a previously unknown culture that likely built a mysterious pyramid in the region, archaeologists say. Archaeologists first found the objects about 15 years ago in the valley of Tulancingo, a major canyon that drops off into Mexico's Gulf Coast. - National Geographic

- Peru Files Lawsuit Against Yale Over Machu Pichu Artifacts: Peru has filed a lawsuit against Yale University to recover relics taken nearly a century ago from the ancient Incan capital of Machu Picchu, the country's top tourist spot, the American school said on Wednesday. Peru says Yale has more than 40,000 pieces -- a precious mix of mummies, pottery and jewelry -- taken by U.S. explorer and Yale alumnus Hiram Bingham after he rediscovered the ancient city in 1911. Yale said it was disappointed by the suit, which Peru had threatened to file for years, and promised to fight it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Excavations at Antler House Village, Arizona's King Cotton has an Ancient Southwestern History

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

- Archeologists Uncover Ancient Civilization: Where wide concrete ribbons of Interstate 17 and State Route 69 intersect is the community of Cordes Junction, Ariz. Little else of significance marks the area, other than the presence of the ADOT maintenance office, a DPS outpost, and a motel. A McDonald’s restaurant and a Subway sandwich shop offer an oasis of sorts in an otherwise rural setting where long ago, there once was a thriving community. These devoted sleuths are archaeologists, piecing together the tapestry of history, much like they piece together the shards of found pottery. They are attempting to assemble from artifacts, a picture of the people who lived centuries ago in the Antler House Village.

- Ancient Southwestern Roots of a Modern Commodity - The History and Marketing of Superior Pima Cotton: On the dusty fringes of Phoenix where Arizona still looks like itself - a little rough and tumble with barbed wire 'round the edges - lies a cotton field gone fallow. It's sprinkled with tumbleweeds, beer bottles and a cast-off couch cushion, cotton upholstery peeling in the sun. This little plot of nothing is where one of the world's finest cottons began, where Supima was born in 1910. Later it would get all gussied up to travel the globe, tucked into the briefcases of the Supima cotton posse, two men strong, with something to tell the world. - Arizona Republic

- Mesa Museum to Host Holiday Themed "Nights at the Museum:" Enjoy holiday themes from around the world at the next “Nights at the Museum” at the Arizona Museum of Natural History, 53 N. Macdonald, Friday, Dec. 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

- Book Collection Helps Debunk Pesudohistory: In the expertly researched and nicely sardonic "Fantastic Archaeology," Stephen Williams -- a former professor of archaeology at Harvard -- explores "the wild side of North American prehistory." The pages brim with cranks, mystics and peddlers of dubious historical claims who were determined to prove that America was discovered by -- well, take your pick: Phoenicians, Africans, Irish monks, Lost Tribes of Israel.

- New Navajo Hotel Shares Monument Valley with a Fascinated Public: The hotel clings to the cliff face, its long, angular lines and rust-red stucco mirroring the vibrant contours of the rock. Far below, a Jeep labors across the desert floor: a silver speck against a vast canvas of earth and sky. It disappears into the folds of the land like an ant exploring an eiderdown, emerging now and then in a cloud of dust. Before it, the earth rises in tortured peaks and spires, sculpted by wind and time – or perhaps the hands of some diabolical god. - Daily Telegraph

- Website Helps Explorers Explore Modern Episodes of Abandonment: WebUrbanist has covered everything from abandoned wonders of the world to the illicit art of exploring deserted places. These thirty-three core articles cover hundreds of abandoned buildings, vehicles, towns and cities from around the world - highly organized, summarized and collected for the very first time. Consider this our must-bookmark essential guide to the world of haunting abandoned places and daring urban exploration.

- Editor's Note to Comcast Internet Subscribers: Despite numerous attempts to reassure Comcast that the Southwestern Archaeology Today Newsletter is not "spam," the delivery of this newsletter is being blocked on a regular basis. Should you be missing past issues of Southwestern Archaeology Today, you can find all of our newsletters stored at the web links provided below. Given the degree to which Comcast is blocking legitimate internet traffic, I would now advise Comcast customers to find a more reliable Internet service provider.

Thanks to Dan Garcia and Brian Kenny for contributions to today's newsletter.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Story of Folsom and Clovis, Innovative History Program from PBS Coming Soon.

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

- Correction: "Set in Stone but Not in Meaning: Southwestern Indian Rock Art" free presentation at the Pima County Public Library will be held on December 11, instead of December 9th, as was listed in the Dec 2 issue of this newsletter. On December 9th, Allen Dart will present "Ancient Native American Pottery of Southern Arizona" in a free presentation for the Friends of Sonoita Creek, at Sonoita Creek State Natural Area Visitor Center near Patagonia, Arizona. Cosponsored by the Arizona Humanities Council. 7-8:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public

- Folsom and the First Americans: The countryside around Folsom, New Mexico, is possessed of an air of primeval antiquity. Ragged hills and mesas rise wild to the west and north. Eastward lies a sloping, undulating plain, its contours engraved in hardened lava from prehistoric eruptions. Southward lies Mount Capulin, the mortal remains of a volcano. Outcroppings of lava rock, splashed with varicolored lichens and crowned with evergreens, lend an eerie texture to the grassy valleys.

- "We Shall Remain" PBS to Air 350 Years of History from Native American Perspectives: After almost five years of planning and production, a groundbreaking television series depicting more than 350 years of history from an American Indian perspective is scheduled to premiere next spring. Producers of the award-winning PBS history series “American Experience” are nearing completion of “We Shall Remain” – a five-part series of 90-minute documentary films that will air each week for five consecutive weeks beginning on April 13.

- Native Americans Examine Heritage Tourism as a Possible Avenue for Economic Development: "Job creation on tribal land means economic opportunity but also translates into cultural preservation," says Joe Shirley, president of the Navajo Nation. "When family members can find employment close to their traditional homes, they stay connected with their culture and their language."

- Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's 2009 Course Offerings Now Online:
The only Section 106 course taught by the federal agency responsible for administering the National Historic Preservation Act’s Section 106 review process, this two-day course is designed for those who are new to Section 106 review or those who want an in-depth refresher on its basic operation. The 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.

- Volunteers Invaluable in Southwestern Archaeology: Archaeology is good dirty fun! Or so proclaims the bumper sticker on the truck owned by the Kaibab National Forest's heritage program manager. And, many people seem to agree, if the volunteer turnout at this year's Passport in Time project is any indication. From Sept. 21-27, 17 volunteers contributed 880 hours to helping Forest Service archaeologists understand more about the prehistoric people who lived in the lands south of the Grand Canyon that are now part of the Kaibab National Forest. - Williams

- Mesa Verde Holiday Celebration Scheduled for Dec 11: People of all cultures and traditions are invited to join the park staff in this holiday celebration featuring special tours, luminarias, musical entertainment and refreshments. The regularly scheduled ranger-guided tours of Spruce Tree House, the third largest cliff dwelling in the park, will be presented at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Special evening tours will be offered at 4:30, 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Luminarias will glow along the pathways throughout the headquarters area, a National Historic Landmark District, and along the trail to Spruce Tree House. The Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum will remain open until 9 p.m. Dress warmly and bring a flashlight. - Cortez Journal

Employment Opportunity (Phoenix): Cultural Resources Program Manager, State of Arizona Military Affairs & Emergency Management. - Arizona State Jobs

Thanks to Gerald Kelso and Brian Kenny for contributions to Today's Newsletter

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Archaeology Café Tonight, Escalating Collections Management Costs, Field School Promotes Heritage Management

Southwest Archaeology Making the News – A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Archaeology Café Tonight with Paul F. Reed: Join the Center for Desert Archaeology at Tucson’s own Casa Vicente tonight, December 2, at 6:00 pm for the third meeting of Archaeology Café, a happy hour-style forum. Paul Reed will lead us in a consideration of "Chaco’s Unruly and Disobedient Prodigies" and share his insights about the distinctive nature of Puebloan culture and settlement history in the Middle San Juan region of northwest New Mexico. More information is available at the link below.

- The Cost of Curation: "A Decade of Study into Repository Fees for Archeological Curation" is the sixth in the series Studies in Archeology and Ethnography on the National Park Service's Archeology Program's website. The report, authored by S. Terry Childs and Seth Kagan, presents the results of a third informal study into fees charged by non-federal repositories for the long-term curation of archeological collections. The report also examines trends in the cost of archeological collections management over the last decade.

- Boston University Field School Embraces Heritage Management: But according to Ricardo Elia, a College of Arts and Sciences associate professor and archaeology department chair, the field school training has yet to address one critical component of excavation: what now? So this summer, he will join the field school as its co-director and leader of a new heritage management curriculum. “There’s a responsibility we have as archaeologists that goes beyond pure research,” says Elia. “Sites are being destroyed, lost to development, and looted to fuel the antiquities trade. In recent decades, there’s been a growing awareness that archaeologists need to engage in policy-making and with the public to protect sites and plan for preservation, which has really transformed the field.”

- 9 out of 10 Dentists Might Not Agree on This Way to Ensure Your Archaeological Significance: Thanks to the poor dental hygiene of people who lived thousands of years ago in what is now Peru, researchers are getting a more detailed understanding of what they ate. Dental plaque scraped from the teeth of people who lived as much as 9,200 years ago revealed traces of cultivated crops, including squash and beans, according to a report in the latest online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

- Research, Scholarship, and Travel Grant Opportunities, Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society: Awards are offered to students and researchers who are members of AAHS and involved in the study of archaeology, anthropology, American Indian studies, ethnohistory, and history of the Greater Southwest. Applications must be postmarked no later than February 15, 2009. Awards will be made by the AAHS Board of Directors and announced during Arizona Archaeology Month. All of the details, including instructions and application forms, are available at the following link. - Ms Word Document

- Rock Art Tour Rescheduled: Old Pueblo Archaeology Center's "Deer Valley & Spur Cross Ranch Petroglyphs" guided fundraising "flex-tour" that was originally scheduled for Saturday December 6, 2008, has been rescheduled to Saturday February 28, 2009. Contact Old Pueblo at (520) 798-1201 or for more information or to make reservations.

- Lecture Opportunity, "Set in Stone but Not in Meaning: Southwestern Indian Rock Art." Join Old Pueblo Archaeology Center director Allen Dart at noon on Thursday, December 11, at the Pima County Public Library, 101 N. Stone Ave., Tucson. This free lecture is open to the public. Dart will discuss how even the same rock art symbol may be interpreted differently from popular, scientific, and modern Native American perspectives. For meeting details contact Librarian Coni Weatherford at 520-594-5570 or in Tucson; for information about the presentation subject matter contact Allen Dart at Tucson telephone 520-798-1201 or

- Position Announcement, Heritage Stewardship Group, USDA Forest Service, Supervisory Archaeologist: This position provides leadership and skills required to operate an Enterprise Team based, in part, on private sector principals in order to improve and streamline the business of government. Further, the position provides leadership and management in areas that are distinct to the public sector. In addition, the position also requires the ability to manage a large and diverse group of employees over a wide geographic area. This position also serves as a lead for all heritage resource, both archeological and historical, activities and is responsible for providing program direction and setting priorities for a comprehensive heritage program with emphasis on stewardship and public service. Much more information on this unique opportunity is available at the following link. - MS Word Document

Thanks to Gerald Kelso and Cherie Freeman for contributions to today’s newsletter.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Contentious Leases Deferred, Financial Crisis Impacts Major Anthropology Museum, AAHS Raffle

Southwest Archaeology Making the News – A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- BLM Will Not Lease Drilling Parcels Near Arches, Canyonlands: In the face of intense opposition from the National Park Service, members of Congress and a top official from President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management backed down Tuesday from its plan to sell oil and gas leases near national parks and wilderness-quality areas in Utah on Dec. 19. - The Moab Times-Independent

- Penn Museum Forced to Drastically Cut Staff: The Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is the latest to be affected by the financial crisis. Museum director Richard Hodges announced in a memo last Friday that the museum would discontinue 18 "research specialist" positions that have been part of the curatorial departments and the Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology, in addition to disbanding the MASCA division as a whole. - The Daily Pennsylvanian

- Traditional Hopi Garden Project Thrives at Montezuma Well: There is a fable told in many ways and in many cultures of a solitary traveler or group of travelers who arrive in a village looking for something to eat. Denied a handout, they concoct a plan that will not only sate their hunger, but leave the villagers with an understanding that there is value in sharing. - Camp Verde Bugler

- Tucson-area Students Discover Hohokam Lifeways: It’s the middle of a school day, and a bunch of fourth-graders in bandanas and face paint stand at the trailhead of an ancient path. “It’s illegal to go up on your own and dig,” says Kimberly Robinson, a teacher with double jagged lines painted across her cheeks. “That’s called treasure hunting. You can come here to enjoy the site, but you can’t take from it.” - The Explorer

- Support AAHS Scholarship Fund: The annual Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society raffle to raise money for scholarships will be held December 15th at the Duval Auditorium, University Medical Center, 1501 North Campbell Avenue (north of Speedway) in Tucson. The meeting will start at 7:00 pm rather than 7:30. Please join us for refreshments, last-minute raffle tickets, and a viewing of auction items. For more information on the Society, refer to the following link.

- Seminar Opportunity, National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers: An opening has become available for the upcoming director's seminar "Development & Cultivation of Community Support for Tribal Museums," that is scheduled for December 4-6, 2008, in Chandler, Arizona. For more information, follow the link below.

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Threats to Parks and Sites in Utah, Repatriation Proponent Honored, Call for Applicants to SAA Native American Scholarships

Southwest Archaeology Making the News – A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Decision Forthcoming on Drilling Near Utah’s National Parks: More talks set for Tuesday could resolve objections to oil and gas drilling near some of Utah's national parks. Denver-based regional Park Service director Mike Snyder is trying to stop the auction of 50,000 acres of drilling parcels on or near the borders of Arches National Park, Dinosaur National Monument and Canyonlands National Park.,5143,705265756,00.html

- Mixed Reaction to BLM Plan for Southeastern Utah: The Monticello field office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Monday released its long-term plan for 1.8 million acres of public property in San Juan County and parts of Grand County, home to thousands of ancient Indian relics in one of the nation's most significant archaeological regions.

- World Archaeological Congress Honors Repatriation Pioneer Larry Zimmerman: Archaeologist Dr. Larry J. Zimmerman turned the page on the world of archaeology with the discovery of the eroded and looted site of the 1330s Crow Creek Massacre along with nearly 500 human remains in central South Dakota. Zimmerman’s insistence on reburial put him in the midst of a brewing controversy pitting the established archaeological practice of cataloging and storing human remains for later study against the very real concerns of the living Native people, who insisted on the respectful treatment of their ancestors.

- Kudos to Arizona Archaeologist Jerry Howard: Dr. Howard is the recipient of the 2008 Historic Preservation Award for "Lifetime Contribution to Archaeology" from the Mesa Historic Preservation Committee. Dr. Howard was recognized for his efforts to preserve the Mesa Grande ruins as an educational and cultural site. He was also honored for leading a team of volunteer archaeologists known as SWAT (SouthWest Archaeology Team) on numerous projects around Arizona that include survey work, excavation and the stabilization of historic sites including old adobe schoolhouses and stagecoach stops. - Phoenix Travel Examiner

- Museum Event Yields Information on Paleoindian Sites: Utah State University’s Museum of Anthropology saw some of the highest attendance numbers in its history Saturday, hosting about 200 people during its first “Prehistoric Artifact Roadshow.” Following the structure of PBS’s popular program, “Antiques Roadshow,” the participants sat across from experts who analyzed their treasures, relating information about their age and history.

- Celebrate the Holidays at Gila Cliff Dwellings: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Superintendent Steve Riley announced that through the generous donation of the Monument’s volunteers’ time, both the Gila Cliff Dwellings and the multi-agency Gila Visitor center will be open on all three holidays this winter: Thanksgiving, November 27; Christmas, December 25; and New Year’s Day, January 1, 2009. The trailhead to the dwellings is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. On holidays, the Gila Visitor Center will be open on slightly reduced hours of 9:00 am to 4:00 pm; regular hours on all other days are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Call the Gila Visitor Center at 575-536-9461 or check the website below for current road and weather conditions.

- Position Announcement, University of Colorado at Boulder: Curator of Cultural Anthropology and Assistant Professor, tenure-track position, jointly with the Museum of Natural History and Department of Anthropology. Applicants should have a Ph.D. with specialization in cultural Anthropology, as well as museum experience. Strong preference is for candidates with Southwestern and/or Plains material culture research and publication, NAGPRA experience, teaching experience, and strengths in contemporary anthropological and museological theory. Responsible for curation of cultural anthropological collections from the Native American Southwest, West, and Plains (and limited materials from the Pacific, Africa, Asia); teaching graduate and undergraduate courses; and advising M.A. and Ph.D. students in Anthropology and Museum & Field Studies. Applications will be reviewed beginning November 2008, and continue until the position is filled. Steve Lekson ( may be contacted for further information. Apply to posting #805531 at the following link.

- Scholarship Opportunity, Society for American Archaeology: Over the last decade, the Society for American Archaeology has awarded 11 Arthur C. Parker Scholarships and 31 National Science Foundation Scholarships to Native American and Native Hawaiian students and professionals. These scholarships have provided a range of training opportunities in archaeological methods, including fieldwork, analytical techniques, and curation. The deadline for the 2009 competition is December 15, 2008. For more information on the program and the silent auction that supports a portion of it, refer to the following link. - MS Word Document
Application materials may be found at the website below.

- Tour Opportunity, Deer Valley & Spur Cross Ranch Petroglyphs: On Saturday December 6, Allen Dart and Shelley Rasmussen will offer a guided fundraising tour to see hundreds of ancient petroglyphs and the museum at Deer Valley Rock Art Center north of Phoenix, and more petroglyphs in Spur Cross Ranch Regional Park near Carefree, Arizona. For more information about the tour and fees, and to make reservations, contact Allen Dart at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 520-798-1201, or Information is also available at the following link.

- Free Publications on Conservation Documentation: The Getty Conservation Institute is pleased to announce two new publications on conservation documentation for cultural heritage places, Guiding Principles and Illustrated Examples. These two publications are now available as free downloads at the following link.

- New Documentary on Heritage Preservation in Eastern Turkey: An ancient Armenian capital in the heart of the South Caucasus region, Kars alternately came under Byzantine, Turkish, Georgian, Russian, and Armenian control. Until recently, the Kars Historic District was a poor squatter settlement, a backwater without city services such as sewage, waste management and utilities. Global Heritage Fund is working with the Kars Municipality, the Turkish Government, and others in eastern Anatolia to mix historic preservation and urban revitalization with community development and sustainable tourism. The project is described in Saving Turkey’s Treasures: Eastern Anatolia, Turkey, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

Thanks to Brian Kenny and Adrianne Rankin for their contributions to today’s newsletter.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nevada Archaeological Crime Prosecuted, New Home for Arizona Archives, Lecture on Hohokam Rituals Tonight

Southwest Archaeology Making the News – A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Father and Son Plead ‘Not Guilty’ to Looting Charges: A father and son from Northern California have pleaded not guilty to charges alleging they illegally collected Indian artifacts in Nevada. Donald Parker, who is 69, and his 42-year-old son, Steven Parker, were arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.

- Arizona Archives Move to New Facility: As constitutions go, it doesn’t exactly evoke a sense of history. It’s typewritten. Typewriters, after all, were the latest thing in 1910, when the state Constitution was drafted. Still, the document is a part of history. It’s an archive. And it will soon have a new home, one more modern than a typewriter.

- Homolovi Hosts Hopi Artists: The history of northern Arizona is rooted in the movement of Pueblo clans. The descendents of these people produce art that depicts their stories and traditions, and you can see the artists at work from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Homolovi Ruins State Park. Hopi artist demonstrations will be featured every Saturday through December 20. - The Arizona Republic

- Non-Native, But Still Heirloom: The Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project involves finding the oldest heirloom trees, taking cuttings and planting them. The project's goal is to replant the heirloom trees at the mission gardens in Tumacácori National Historic Park, south of Tucson. Heirloom trees will also be planted in Tucson in the Rio Nuevo gardens of Origins Heritage Park on the west bank of the Santa Cruz, near the nursery.

- Accomplished Prescott Craftsman Entrusted with Katsina Restorations: Hopi and Zuni carvers entrust Neely with their personal doll repairs, and he in turn promises that he would never carve his own katsina doll. "The Hopi have a very complex religion and culture. I respect that and treat the dolls that way," he said.

- Lecture Opportunity Tonight, “Hohokam Rituals: The Meso-American Connection.” Dr. Stephanie Whittlesey of SWCA Environmental Services will speak at 7:30 pm at the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society’s free monthly lecture. The event, which is open to the public, will be held tonight, November 17, at the DuVal Auditorium of the University Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson. For more information, refer to the following link.

- Lecture Opportunity, “In the Aftermath of Ancestral Puebloan Migrations to Southern Arizona.” Dr. Anna Neuzil of EcoPlan Associates will speak on Thursday, November 20, at 7:30 pm at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 5100 W. Ina Road, Bldg. 8, Tucson. Old Pueblo’s lecture program, which occurs on the third Thursday of every month, is free and open to the public. For more information on the lecture series and other exciting activities happening this week, visit Old Pueblo’s website below.

- Exhibition Opening, BLM Anasazi Heritage Center, “The Old Spanish Trail: A Conduit for Change.” On the day after Thanksgiving the Anasazi Heritage Center will open a special exhibit about the Southwest’s earliest and most important historic trade route, which ran from northern New Mexico to the Pacific coast. The exhibition traces the trail's history through artifacts, maps, and images. It was developed by the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado in conjunction with the Old Spanish Trail Association, and made possible in part by a cost share grant from the NPS National Trails System Office in Santa Fe. The exhibition continues through October 2009. For more information, call the Center at (970) 882-5600 or visit the website below.

- Travelogue – History of Natural Bridges National Monument: The monument now features a paved entrance road, a campground, a fancy visitor center, video program and modern ranger residences. But it began simply with the dream of pioneers who believed in conservation and stewardship of special places. "We owe them a great debt," said Ryan. "It is overwhelming."

Thanks to Doug Kupel for contributions to today’s newsletter.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ancient Places on Google Earth, Nabhan Joins UA Southwest Center, Antler House Village Tour Update

Southwest Archaeology Making the News—A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- UCLA/UVA Team and Google Earth Present Digital Visualization of 4th-Century Rome: Obviously, there were no satellites to snap pictures of Rome two millennia ago. But that hasn't stopped experts from giving Web surfers a bird's eye view of the ancient city.

- Grant Money Furthers Site Protection, Part I (Goat Camp): The grant would pay for about 1.5 miles of trail leading from the Payson Campus of the Gila Community College to Goat Camp Ruins, the inconspicuous remains of a village that once formed the hub for a network of surrounding settlements. - The Payson Roundup

- Grant Money Furthers Site Protection, Part II (Mesa Grande): After more than 20 years, Mesa finally has enough money to begin work on an architectural park at the Mesa Grande ruins. A $100,000 grant from the Arizona Historic Preservation Heritage Fund, coupled with a previous $150,000 from Indian gaming money, will allow the public to begin touring the ruins as early as next year.

- Renowned Heritage Foods Scholar Returns to Tucson: Calling all locavores: It’s celebration time! Gary Nabhan has come home. This longtime mover and shaker on the American heritage foods scene recently left his post as director of the Center for Sustainable Environments in Flagstaff for a research social scientist position at University of Arizona’s Southwest Center. - Northwest Explorer

- Additional Opportunity to Tour Antler House Village: Due to overwhelming response, Arizona Department of Transportation and EcoPlan Associates will offer professional archaeologists a second tour of the "Antler House Village" archaeological site in Cordes Junction. Tours will now be offered at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesday November 18. Advance reservations are required and should be made no later than Friday November 14. For more information and to make reservations contact Allen Dart (EcoPlan) at or 480-733-6666, extension 168.

- Native Eyes Film Festival Begins Today: The Hanson Film Institute and the Arizona State Museum, in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution, began the Native Eyes film showcase five years ago. Included in the film offerings from across the United States are movies with Tucson ties. The murder-mystery "Imprint" was produced by Chris Eyre, a UA media arts alum and the director of the widely successful 1998 independent film "Smoke Signals."

- Fossil Pelvis Provides Evidence for Larger-Brained Newborns: “This is the most complete female Homo erectus pelvis ever found from this time period," said Indiana University Bloomington paleoanthropologist Sileshi Semaw. "This discovery gives us more accurate information about the Homo erectus female pelvic inlet and therefore the size of their newborns.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

UNM Retirements Cause Concern, Important Early Agricultural Site in Tucson

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

- Powerhouse Department Grapples with Impending Retirements: The UNM Department of Anthropology is expected to be in the top 20 anthropology programs in the nation, according to its chairman. "Anthropology is one of the strongest programs at UNM," chairman Michael Graves said in an e-mail to the Daily Lobo. "I am hopeful it will continue as such." However, the department's reputation could be in jeopardy, because four ethnology professors will retire in the next three years, Graves said. - New Mexico Daily Lobo

- Early Agricultural Site in Tucson Rich with Evidence: In 2004, voters approved bonds to upgrade and expand the wastewater facility at Ina Road and Interstate 10. But before anything new can be built, the state and county require a dig for any archaeological ruins. Archaeologists from Desert Archaeology say they shouted when they found an ancient village which they estimate is 3,500 years old. Fred Nials says, "On a scale of 1 to 10 this is about a 9.9."

- Sky Island Alliance Urges Support of Conservation-Based Management Plan: This November the Coronado is resuming public meetings to present draft sections of the revised Forest Management Plan. The new Plan will affect management of the Forest for the next twenty years or more. The Coronado Planning Partnership has released a report entitled “State of the Coronado National Forest: An Assessment and Recommendations for the 21st Century.” The Sky Island Alliance presents more information on meeting locations and dates as well as advocacy for the aforementioned report at the following links.

- Concerns Escalate over Threats to Parks, Potential Wilderness Areas: A high-level fight has erupted within the Interior Department between the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service over plans to sell leases for oil and gas drilling near Arches, Canyonlands and Dinosaur National Monument. The Park Service wants to delay the Dec. 19 lease sales. The BLM has refused to do so.

- Monsoon Cycles Tied to Rise and Fall of Dynasties: A stalagmite rising from the floor of a cave in China is providing clues to the end of several dynasties in Chinese history. Slowly built from the minerals in dripping water over 1,810 years, chemicals in the stone tell a tale of strong and weak cycles of the monsoon, the life-giving rains that water crops to feed millions of people.

- Exhibition Opening, New Mexico State University Museum, “From Above: Images of a Storied Land.” On Saturday, November 15, the Center for Desert Archaeology and New Mexico State University Museum will host a special reception at the University Museum in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 4:00 p.m. with a presentation by the photographer, Adriel Heisey, followed by a panel discussion with archaeologists William Walker, Karl Laumbach, and Bill Doelle, and a subsequent gallery tour led by Heisey. More information is available at the following link.

- Exhibition, Western New Mexico University Museum, "Our Fathers, Our Grandfathers, Our Heroes." Modern technology has made the United States Armed Forces efficient at keeping secrets. Sixty years ago, Navajo Code Talkers were just as capable. The Western New Mexico University Museum will feature the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II in the exhibition "Our Fathers, Our Grandfathers, Our Heroes."

- Exhibition, James A. Michener Art Museum, "Claus Mroczynski: Sacred Places of the Southwest." The Michener Museum recognizes the important legacy of this late, outstanding German-born New Hope photographer. The 46 featured black and white photos represent 18 years spent, starting in the mid-1980s, constantly traveling back and forth from New Hope to remote sacred grounds of ancient Indians in Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. This show turns against the idea that everything exciting has to be new. Instead, this stunning exhibit is about memory. - The Philadelphia Inquirer

- Lecture Opportunity, "Prodigy, Rebel, or Stepchild? Salmon, Aztec, and the Middle San Juan Region in the Chacoan and Post-Chacoan Periods." In conjunction with the New Mexico Archaeological Council's 2008 Fall Conference, Paul F. Reed will give a public talk at 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 13. This free lecture will take place at Hibben Center 105, University of New Mexico main campus. A book signing for Paul's recent edited volume, Chaco's Northern Prodigies, will follow. For more information, follow the link below.

- Lecture Opportunity, "Santa Catalina Island: Perspectives on Pimu." Pacific Coast Archaeological Society's November 13th meeting will feature archaeologist Ivan Strudwick, who will review the natural and cultural history of the island once known to the Gabrielino as Pimu (Pemuu'nga).The talk will also present the results of a cultural resource survey of a 51-mile electrical distribution system on Santa Catalina Island. The meeting is free and open to the public, and it will take place at 7:30 pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District, Irvine, CA. Additional information may be found at the following link.

- Call for Participation, Museum Association of Arizona Annual Meeting, Bisbee: Museum archivists are invited to participate in a proposed affinity session at the MAA conference, May 13-16, 2009. The session will give archivists that work in museums a chance to network and forge relationships that will improve working conditions and customer service. For more information and to support the proposed session, contact Ryan S. Flahive at (928) 445-3122 x.15 or

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Upcoming Antler House Village Tour, Navajo Language Textbook Adopted, Life at the Presidio of Tucson

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

- Nation's First Navajo Language Textbook Adopted in New Mexico Schools: People come from all over the world to experience the American Indian culture of the Southwest, so it's disheartening to see the Four Corners lose more of that culture with each generation. The recent celebration of a Navajo language textbook is a reassuring sign that an effort is being made to help bring our American Indian culture back to life.

- Site Tour Opportunity, Antler House Village: The Arizona Department of Transportation and EcoPlan Associates, Inc. will offer tours of the Antler House Village archaeological site in Cordes Junction. Advance reservations are required. The first tour, at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, November 18, is for professional archaeologists. Three tours are offered for avocational archaeologists and the general public on Friday, November 28. For further details and to make reservations, contact Allen Dart (EcoPlan) at or 480-733-6666 extension 168.

- Lecture Opportunity, "A Day in the Life of the Presidio." Jim Turner, historian at the Arizona Historical Society, will speak as part of the Tucson Presidio Trust's fall lecture series. The talk will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 16, at the presidio, 133 W. Washington, Tucson. For more information, contact Gayle Hartmann, (520) 325-6974.

-Coronado National Forest Encourages Participation in Plan Revision Meetings: The Sky Island Alliance is preparing for public meetings by the Coronado National Forest as it revises its forest-wide management plan. It is important that conservation-minded individuals attend these meetings across Southeast Arizona. For more information, follow the link below. - MS Word Document.

- Louisiana Officials Offer Legal Guidance on Archaeological Finds: So if you do find something that may have historical significance, what should you do? There are laws governing the acquisition and sale of genuine artifacts - and they vary a little from state to state. Ryan Seideman, a lawyer and archaeologist, is the person in Louisiana whose job it is to determine if private citizens have a right to any artifacts in their possession.

- Egypt's Supreme Council Welcomes UCLA Field School, Embraces Blogging: Wendrich also won SCA over by offering to include Egyptian SCA inspectors-in-training in the dig. These future inspectors are all college graduates in archaeology, but few have field experience, Wendrich said. That gives everyone involved not just archaeology experience, but also a deeper exposure to another culture. The new inspectors have blogged enthusiastically about their first field experiences, posting their thoughts in both English and Arabic.

-Travelogue, Canadian Students Discover the American Southwest: There is no better teaching tool than exposing students to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch of a subject. That is the objective behind Okanagan College’s Southwest Studies course, put on by Salmon Arm campus professors Stephen Doyle, Rod Watkins and Tim Walters. “In the text books I use, there are big sections on the Grand Canyon, San Juan River, and it’s one thing to lecture and show pictures but it’s totally another to take students out there... get their hands dirty and hike through there,” said Doyle who teaches geography, earth and environmental science at the college and played an integral part in creating the program.

- Museum of Indian Arts and Culture Hosts Benefit Book Sale: The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe will be holding its 16th Annual Book Sale to benefit the Laboratory of Anthropology Library on Saturday and Sunday, November 8 & 9, 2008. Doors are open from 10 am – 4 pm. Free admission on both days. More information is available at the link below.

- Exhibit Opening, Arizona State Museum, "Beyond the Naked Eye: Science Reveals Nature's Art." Art and science have always been connected - from alchemists' experiments producing art materials to Renaissance explorations of anatomy - and artists still draw on scientific technology in their process and as inspiration. This exhibition aims to reverse traditional roles by presenting science as art and looking beyond what is accessible to the unaided human eye.

- Position Announcement, University of Arizona: The Department of Anthropology seeks an archaeologist on a part-time, temporary basis to teach Tier I level general education course TRAD 101 – Patterns of Prehistory during the 2009 spring semester; contingent upon available funding. This is a course of explicitly global perspective exploring some important events in the history of humankind. The Patterns in Prehistory course examines global migration, sedentism, origins of agriculture, and the development of complex social systems through different times, places, and cultures. The Ph.D. in Anthropology (prior to January 2009) is required. - MS Word Document

- Employment Opportunity, Rocky Mountain National Park: Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is currently advertising for a permanent, full-time GS11 Cultural Resources Specialist. The announcement will be open until December 5. The job announcement may be found at the link below.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Magdalena Pilgrimage Discouraged, Bush Administration Steps Up Threat to Nine Mile Canyon

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

- Increased Violence Impacts Centuries-old Pilgrimage: Officials with the Tohono O’odham Nation are recommending that members of the nation not make the annual pilgrimage to the Church of St. Francis in Magdalena, Mexico, due to the threats of violence in the area. For a number of months the region has been experiencing heightened violence between competing drug cartels. - Fox 11 News

- Potential Wilderness Areas Threatened by Proposed Energy Development: And on Election Day, when citizens most likely will be focused elsewhere, the BLM will announce an oil- and gas-lease sale involving large swaths of public land considered worthy of wilderness status - including artifact-rich Nine Mile Canyon, Desolation Canyon and areas around Dinosaur National Monument.

- Interview with UA Anthropology Department Head: In September, Barbara Mills became the first woman to lead the University of Arizona Department of Anthropology, but that wasn't the first time Mills broke gender records.

- Concerns over Allocation of NAGPRA Funds: Each year, the office responsible for administrating the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act offers grant money to tribes to help them work to get back human remains and artifacts, as mandated by the law. Tribes have sometimes complained that there isn’t enough money to do this work, but this year there was actually money left over in the funds allocated by Congress.

- Kumeyaay Repatriation Request Denied: In the latest twist in the tug-of-war between Native Americans and anthropologists, officials at the University of California have decided not to repatriate a pair of well-preserved skeletons that are nearly 10,000 years old.

- Colonial Hohokam Village Unearthed at Cordes Junction: While performing a planning study for a new traffic interchange at Cordes Junction in 1998, the Arizona Department of Transportation came across a sizable scatter of surface artifacts lying adjacent to the current interchange.

- Arizona Historical Society Hires Architect for New Facility: The Arizona Historical Society has selected an architect for its museum at Rio Nuevo. The museum, expected to cost up to $80 million to build and equip, will be designed by the Denver firm of Fentress Architects.

- Museum Expansion Results in Relocation of Graves, New Legislation: The disturbance of graves at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum grounds in Waco will result in an omnibus grave protection bill in the coming state legislative session, the head of a House committee said after a five-hour meeting on the matter Tuesday. - Waco Tribune

- Excavations in Santa Fe Expose Remains of 19th Century Sanitarium: Test pits under way off Palace Avenue will explore the history of Santa Fe's east side, where a national hotel chain hopes to redevelop the site of Santa Fe's first hospital. So far, the excavations, which began Monday, have turned up no surprises—mostly bricks, linoleum and other debris from previous buildings.

- In Defense of Saltcedar: There is nothing neutral about saltcedar. Imported to America's East Coast from Eurasia as a nursery plant in the early 1800s, the hardy shrub's popularity grew beyond ornamental purposes in the early 1900s, when thousands were planted out West to stabilize irrigation canals and control erosion along elevated Southern Pacific rail lines. Satisfaction turned to alarm when the eight imported species of saltcedar, also called tamarisk, escaped cultivation and spread too fast.

- Participation Forms for the 2009 Archaeology Expo Now Online: The 2009 Arizona Archaeology Expo will be held on March 14-15, 2009 (Saturday and Sunday) at the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park (PGM) in Phoenix. If you would like to participate in the Expo, please fill out the attached form and return to SHPO by November 28, 2008. The form can also be downloaded at the link below. (Please note that the SHPO has the right to refuse participation. All excavations and research featured at the Expo must meet state and/or Secretary of Interior standards for archaeological investigations.)

- New Documentary on the Antikythera Mechanism: Improved technology increasingly is revealing unimagined facts about the impressive accomplishments of ancient societies. To see a fascinating account of modern imaging techniques uncovering the complexities of an ancient machine, watch The Antikythera Mechanism: Decoding an Ancient Greek Mystery, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

- Employment Opportunity, Pima Community College: Laboratory Specialist-Archaeology. $17.66 Per hour. Support field and laboratory classes offered through the Archaeology Centre by helping to plan, organize and coordinate technical work in the preparation and maintenance of set-ups, handouts, forms, supplies and equipment for archaeology field and indoor laboratory; and to assist students in field and laboratory projects. demonstrate correct field/laboratory methods, practices and techniques; provide assistance and instruction to students on matters related to field/laboratory assignments and projects. Requirements: Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology, Archaeology or related field, or Associate's Degree in Anthropology/Archaeology and two years archaeology field and/or archaeology lab experience; knowledge of operational characteristics of archaeological field/laboratory apparatus, equipment and materials as well as the use of high tech equipment associated with archaeology (e.g. computers, GPS, electronic survey equipment, etc). Complete job description available below.

Thanks to Adrienne Rankin, Brian Kenny, and Dan Garcia for their contributions to today's newsletter.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Breast Cancer Gene Tracks Spanish Crypto-Jews in New World, Rio Nuevo Audit.

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

- Genetic Mutation Linked to Breast Cancer Also Tracks Spanish Crypto-Jews in the New World: Some people in the valley were reluctant to confront such questions, at least initially, and a handful even rejected the overtures of physicians, scientists and historians who were suddenly interested in their family histories. But rumors of secret Spanish Jewry had floated around northern New Mexico and the San Luis Valley for years, and now the cold hard facts of DNA appeared to support them. As a result, families in this remote high-desert community have had to come to grips with a kind of knowledge that more and more of us are likely to face. For the story of this wayward gene is the story of modern genetics, a science that increasingly has the power both to predict the future and to illuminate the past in unsettling ways.

- Financial Audit of Tucson's Stalled Rio Nuevo Project: They promised buildings — hotels, an aquarium and museums. Nine years later, Downtown Tucson has two refurbished movie theaters, a re-creation of the Presidio wall and a wider freeway underpass. A comprehensive Star analysis of the $63 million in taxpayer dollars paid to outside vendors since voters approved Rio Nuevo in 1999 shows that much of the money has been spent to plan projects that stalled. It also went to pay for things that while not prohibited, are not what excited voters about Rio Nuevo. That includes paying to sponsor events with loose ties to Downtown development and on public relations to promote Rio Nuevo to an increasingly impatient population.

- Black Mesa and Peabody Coal Proposals Impact Hopi Tribal Politics: A push to approve a Peabody Western Coal Co. project in northern Arizona may be dividing the Hopi Tribal Council and fueling an attempted ouster of the tribal chairman. “They have suspended my authority and one of the principal reasons is they want to ramrod the [Black Mesa project] EIS [environmental impact statement] through,” said Ben Nuvamsa, who asserted Oct. 17 that he plans to file a motion to quash an arrest warrant issued by a tribal judge over his contested chairmanship.

- Visiting Palatki: It is Friday afternoon, and a slow, steady stream of visitors makes its way to Palatki Ruin. By the end of the day, 79 people will have visited. Only 10 of them will be Arizonans. That's typical. "Yesterday we only had two visitors from Arizona," said Bud Vancura, a volunteer at the site, about 8 miles southwest of Sedona. Pity. Palatki Red Cliffs Heritage Site is a nice place to explore when the sun is out and the weather is nice. It might be even better on a stormy day. - The Arizona Republic

- Reduced Hours, Free Admission at Anasazi Heritage Center: The Bureau of Land Management’s Anasazi Heritage Center will adapt to the changing season with a slight reduction in museum hours, and the suspension of all entry fees through the coming months. Beginning November 1st and continuing through February 2009, the museum
will remain open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. though 4:00 p.m. It will close only on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The regular $3 adult admission will not be charged until March 1. Minors and nonprofit educational groups are never charged.

- Exhibit Examines Five Generations of Apache Life: An exhibit celebrating the cultural survival of an Apache family will be unveiled today at the Oklahoma History Center, 2401 N Laird Ave. Spanning five generations of the Houser/Haozous family, the exhibit examines war, incarceration and attempted cultural genocide along with family survival, personal expression and the strength of the family. - The Oklahoman

- Fort Hood Archaeology Fair Shares Research With Texas Families: The fair offered several opportunities for the community to get involved. Crafts involving beaded jewelry, rock art and the opportunity to grind dried corn for corn meal in traditional Native American fashion brought smiles to visitors' faces, said Heidi Fuller, the Fort Hood archaeologist who organized the event.

- Meadowcroft Rock Shelter Becoming Heritage Tourism Destination: Meadowcroft is a word very familiar to archaeologists and less to tourists. But that could be changing. The world-famous Meadowcroft Rockshelter, a rock overhang southwest of Pittsburgh, has reshaped thought on what prehistoric people first came to North America and when. Now the cave is striving to become a bigger tourist draw. Improvements costing $1.3 million include a wooden roof that better protects the archaeological site and a wooden deck that improves accessibility for visitors.

- Call for Abstracts, Society for Applied Anthropology: Program Chair Jeanne Simonelli announced today that the deadline for submitting abstracts for the Program of the 2009 Annual Meeting (Santa Fe, NM) had been extended to November 3rd. Prof. Simonelli has taken this action in response to the many requests that she has received from members who have been until recently in the field. This extension will provide additional time for those members who have not yet submitted an abstract. Prof. Simonelli also announced that there would be an expanded and innovative set of poster sessions at the Santa Fe Meetings. A spacious venue for the poster session has been identified and the Program Committee is giving consideration to holding two sessions (on Thursday and Friday). To register and submit abstracts, use the link below.

- Museum Association of Arizona Seeks Help Planning Annual Meeting: The following message sent on behalf of Ryan Flahive at Sharlot Hall Museum. Please contact him directly for more information. - Dear Friends: I am trying to organize an affinity session for archivists that work in museums at the Museum Association of Arizona (MAA) annual meeting in Bisbee. The MAA conference will take place May 13th - May 16th, 2009. The theme of the meeting is Mining for Change: Transforming Our Museums. I am looking for session participants who will help museum archivists explore how museum archives can move confidently into the coming decades through transformation in: new technology, fresh ways of conveying knowledge, increased accessibility to our collections, interdisciplinary collaboration and enhanced methods for connecting to our users. This is part of a new initiative by the Friends of Arizona Archives (FAzA) to more fully involve professional archivists with its statewide organization. The affinity session will give those of us that work in museums a chance to compare notes, get to know each other, and forge relationships that will improve our working conditions and help us assist our customers better. I am looking for three or four folks that would be willing to help me get this process started. If you can help, please contact me Ryan S. Flahive at (928) 445-3122 x.15 or

- Lecture Opportunity, Archaeology of Polynesia Presented at Cochise College, Sierra Vista AZ: Over the years, the distant pasts of Polynesia - from the Hawaiian archipelago to the remote outpost of Rapa Nui - have become better understood by scholars as well as better appreciated by society at large. As archaeological research continues across the Pacific today, this talk will discuss how new light is being shed on central themes - and also revealing significant new details - of how humans reached across one of the globe's most wild expanses: Oceania. - MS Word Document

- Ability to Use Fire Key to Early Hominid Migrations Out of Africa: The ability to make fire millennia ago was likely a key factor in the migration of prehistoric hominids from Africa into Eurasia, a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute of Archaeology believes on the basis of findings at the Gesher Benot Ya'aqov archaeological site in Israel.

Thanks to Brian Kenny for contributions to today's newsletter.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Danny Lopez Passes, Ugly Account of Historic Tucson

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

- O'odham Elder and Educator Passes Away Tuesday: Danny Lopez, a widely known Tohono O'odham poet, storyteller and educator who worked to preserve the tribe's culture and language has died. He was 71. Mr. Lopez died Tuesday and will be buried this weekend in the village of Gu Oidak.

- Historic Era Tucson was a Tough Place to Live: J. Ross Browne wrote in his book “A Tour Through Arizona, 1864 or, Adventures in the Apache Country,” that he was, in a modern term, clueless there was “within the territorial limits of the United States a city more remarkable in many respects than Jericho — the walls of which were blown down by horns; for, in this case, the walls were chiefly built up by horns — a city realizing, to some extent, my impressions of what Sodom and Gomorrah must have been before they were destroyed by the vengeance of the Lord.” - Northwest Explorer

- New Article Highlights Human Impacts of Sunset Crater Eruption: The hot off the presses issue of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research (JVGR Volume 176, Issue 3, October 2008) is a special issue on archaeology and volcanology entitled "Volcanoes and Human History." Of interest to Southwest archaeologists is an article by Michael Ort, Mark Elson, Kirk Anderson, Wendell Duffield, and Terry Samples, comparing two, possibly contemporaneous, eruptions that affected groups in the prehistoric southwest: the well-known Sunset Crater Volcano and the less well-known Little Springs Volcano. New interpretations for prehistoric adaptation to the Sunset Crater eruption are discussed. Most significantly, this is the first time that data are presented on Little Springs Volcano that erupted in the Arizona Strip Area (just south of Mt. Trumbull) sometime between A.D. 1050-1200. For those with connections, you can get the entire JVGR volume off of Science Direct. For additional information, contact Dr Elson at

- Aztec New Mexico Seeks to Highlight Ancient Assets: Aztec City Commissioners created a budget through which they will disburse a $28,000 New Mexico Department of Tourism grant to the city's Chamber of Commerce. "It's an annual grant that we apply for every year," said Becky Christensen, executive director of the Aztec chamber. The organization will use the funds to promote and educate tourists about the "North Road Experience," created about an Anasazi-built road running from Chaco Canyon through Salmon Ruins, Aztec Ruins, passing through some of Aztec's arches to Durango, Colo., then branching to Chimney Rock and Mesa Verde.

-Citizens of Mesa, (AZ) Seek to Renew Park Honoring Ancient Canals: The historic Park of the Canals in Mesa will hold an event Saturday to focus on revitalizing the now failing and unpopular park. Bert Millett, neighbor and member of the Committee for the Restoration of the Park of the Canals, remembers the park at 1710 N. Horne from childhood as "vibrant" and without a bad reputation.

- Seeing Plant Species As Artifacts of Ancient North Americans: As an archaeologist, Daniel F. McCarthy has uncovered many items from the earth. But it is learning what Native Americans do with things grown from the land that has fascinated him for years. He said he would find artifacts and not understand the archaeological record. "I made an attempt to contact elders and shared my findings with them while they shared their knowledge of how their ancestors lived," he said. - The Press-Enterprise, Riverside

- World's First Prepared Cereal Dish Was Much Like Today's Instant Breakfasts: European diners around 8,000 years ago could enjoy a bowl of instant wheat cereal that, aside from uneven cooking and maybe a few extra lumps, wasn't very different from hot wheat cereals served today, suggests a new study that describes the world's oldest known cooked cereal.

- El Paso Archaeological Society Board Member Passes Away During Cave Tour at Fort Stanton: The man was identified on the Web site of the El Paso Archaeological Society as Thomas Gulczynski, treasurer for the group. Hummel said the stricken man was one of 10 society members who were touring the non-technical portion of Fort Stanton cave with two cavers from El Paso Grotto and a team leader, when he complained of feeling tired. "They entered the cave about 2 p.m., Saturday, and it takes about 45 minutes to an hour (for the tour)," said Hummel, an avid caver. "This was a permitted cave trip to look at historical signatures on a rock about a half mile from the entrance and they were on their way out.

- Reminder - AAHS Book Sale This Saturday! The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society is please to announce its next used book sale. The large collection available for this sale represents a wide variety of topics and geographicalinterests with a special emphasis on the anthropology, archaeology, and ethnohistory of the Southwest United States and Mexico. Saturday, October 25, 2008, 9-4 PM. AAHS and ASM members, admitted at 8 AM for exclusive shopping. Sale will be held at the Arizona State Museum South Building (southeast corner Park Ave and University Blvd).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Havasupai Accuse ASU of Misusing Bio-Anthropological Data, Archaeology and Threats to Archaeology in Utah

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

- Members of Havasupai Tribe Accuse ASU Researchers of Serious Misconduct: Aral Putesoy Kaska knows all about the Arizona State University research project on diabetes. She remembers the debate among the tribe, the reluctance, the questions of trust. But in the end, she gave her blood, convinced by her Havasupai Tribal Council that scientists in Tempe could find answers to stop the disease from spreading to her daughters and the grandchildren she hoped one day to have. It never occurred to her – and she wouldn’t know for 13 years – that the blood of an isolated group of Native Americans, among the oldest blood on the continent, would be considered so rare it would be a “gold mine” to scientists – not to study diabetes, but to study mental illness, inbreeding and Indian migration patterns, studies that assaulted both her culture and her religion. On top of that, she and the tribe discovered they were never going to get the precious answers they sought, because in all those years, ASU had not done the genetic diabetic research it promised. - Phoenix Magazine

- Archaeologists Complete Survey of Remote Desolation Canyon: History buffs have wrapped up a three-year project exploring one of Utah's most rugged places, a stretch of the Green River called Desolation Canyon. What they found is evidence of a mysterious people from 1,000 years ago who may have earned a living there but didn't actually live there. Desolation Canyon is so remote and rugged the only practical way to explore the archaeology is by river. Dennis Willis, with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, said, "It was one of those kind of things where everybody knew there was a lot of archaeology there, but nobody knew what or where."

- Oil and Gas Industry Ignorant of Impacts to the Archaeology of Nine Mile Canyon: As it is, the ancient rock-art figure and dozens around it in Rasmussen Cave are cordoned off for belated protection behind a log fence built by the new owner, Denver-based Bill Barrett Corp. The whir of the energy company's 10 natural gas compressors pulses like a nearby freeway. A fine cloud of Utah silt stirs in the air as the semis pass, some of it settling on the rock - brushing or rinsing it off is like rubbing sandpaper on the stone.

- Santa Cruz Valley Heriatge Alliance Fall Celebration to be Held at Tucson's Historic Hotel Congress: Join us Thursday October 30th for the Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance's Fall Celebration & Fundraiser at the historic Hotel Congress! Please join us for a fun evening of food and drinks, while we celebrate the rich heritage of the Santa Cruz Valley. Meet our Board of Directors and staff. Network with fellow heritage enthusiast. Learn about the proposed Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area. Become a member. Win a heritage prize in our raffle. Participate in our silent auction for a Kino Heritage Fruit Tree, limited-edition art, or a Tohono O’odham turtle basket.

- National Association of Tribal Historic Preseravtion Officers Supprted by Getty Foundation: The Getty Foundation in Los Angeles has announced a grant to the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (“NATHPO”) of $125,000 to support the “National Native Museum Training Program,” which provides training and leadership development opportunities for the directors and staffs of Indian tribes’ museums and cultural centers. Goals of this four-year initiative are to provide a variety of training and leadership opportunities for tribal museum directors, as well as current and future tribal museum personnel, by offering two directors’ seminars, four skills workshops, and up to twenty (20) national fellowships.

- Blogsphere Takes Verison and McCain Ranch Pithouse Story into Absurdity: So there's is a "prehistoric rock ring and possible pit house" on McCain's property and they built a radioactive cell tower on top of it and now he is cursed for a thousand generations, the end. -

- Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society Used Booksale this Saturday: The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society is please to announce its next used book sale. The large collection available for this sale represents a wide variety of topics and geographical interests with a special emphasis on the anthropology, archaeology, and ethnohistory of the Southwest United States and Mexico. There are many hard-to-find titles in an individually, yet reasonably priced section. General book prices start at $1. Journals start at 50¢. Proceeds from the sale help support the Arizona State Museum Library. When: Saturday, October 25, 2008, 9-4 PM. AAHS and ASM members admitted at 8 AM for exclusive shopping. Where: Arizona State Museum South Building (southeast corner Park Ave and University Blvd). More information: Todd Pitezel at 520-730-8686 or

- The Fort Lewis College Department of Anthropology is accepting applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Historical Archaeology starting Fall 2009. The Department of Anthropology is located in the Center for Southwest Studies where it shares space and program interests with the Department of Southwest Studies, the Program in Native American and Indigenous Studies, and the Office of Community Services. The student population of about 4,000 is diverse, with 19% Native American and 5% Hispanic students. - MS Word Document

- Two New Videos on the Archaeology Channel Examine Research on Pre-Clovis Occupations of North America: Recent excavations at a number of sites, including Cactus Hill located along the Nottoway River in southwest Virginia, have provided new evidence and raised new questions about when people ventured into the Americas. For many years, archaeologists thought that people arrived approximately 11,500 years ago. However, stone artifacts, charcoal, and soil, plant and animal remains suggest human habitation at Cactus Hill at least 18,000 years ago, when much of the continent was under ice.

Thanks to Brian Kenny and Gerald Kelso for contributions to today's newsletter.