Thursday, February 14, 2008

California Museum Raids Yield New Mexican Artifacts, Galisteo Basin Updates

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

- Raids on Southern California Museums Lead to New Mexican Looting: A ceramic pot and a 1,000-year-old ladle looted from New Mexico's El Malpais National Monument are among the stolen artifacts identified in a five-year federal investigation into the smuggling of Asian and American Indian antiquities. Dozens of federal agents raided a Los Angeles gallery and four museums in Southern California, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, searching for artifacts taken from protected archaeological sites in Thailand, Myanmar, China and New Mexico.

- Galisteo Basin Update, Tecton Energy Plans Lawsuit: Tecton Energy, which is seeking to drill for oil in the Galisteo Basin, lambasted Santa Fe County officials Wednesday for considering a yearlong drilling ban and said it is considering its legal options. The Houston company said in a news release that it feels the county and state "struck a huge blow to a key source of state revenue" with their recent actions aimed at delaying oil and gas development in the region. The statement also raises questions about the legality of the proposed ban, which must be discussed in two more public hearings before becoming law. - Santa Fe New Mexican

- Community Reaction to Tecton Plans: If Tecton were to begin drilling for gas and oil in the Galisteo Basin, the "takings" would be our groundwater aquifer, our property values, our health, our safety, the destruction of our cultural-historical archaeological heritage, our fiscal and economical engine, and be a public nuisance. Tecton is only leasing oil & gas minerals. Tecton has not demonstrated that there is viable oil & gas development in the Galisteo Basin from those leases. Tecton has not demonstrated that there would be "a huge blow to a key source of state revenue."

- Gila Cliff Dwellings to Honor Aldo Leopold: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Superintendent Steve Riley announced today an upcoming event to honor Aldo Leopold. Saturday, March 8, 1:30 – 3:30 pm at the Gila Visitor Center Readings from A Sand County Almanac and 25% off Leopold books. Leopold, an early 20th century author, teacher, and conversationalist -- was instrumental in the 1924 establishment of southwestern New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness. The first weekend in March has been declared “Aldo Leopold Weekend” in his home state of Wisconsin where communities read his book A Sand County Almanac aloud from cover to cover.

- Apache Ancestors Series Continues in Eastern Arizona Courier: Weeks passed before our men returned from their trip into Mexico (to our camp near present-day Cedar Creek). Again, our women folk prepared food for another social gathering in celebration of the warriors’ safe return. These warriors traded such things as medicine plants, mescal, deer/elk hides, antlers and baskets for bullets, tarps and clothing. They also raided for horses and mules, but the favorite trading goods were Mexican playing cards (still being played in present-day Bylas by the older folks). - Eastern Arizona Courier

- Heard Museum West to Honor Local Donors: Heard Museum West in Surprise has received generous gifts from residents in Surprise and the Sun Cities, and the museum will recognize these donations in its newest exhibition, "Gifts From the Community." The exhibition opens April 12, and will continue through Oct. 12. - Arizona Republic

- Nevada's Desert Research Institute Garners Substantial Support: A Reno couple has pledged $100,000 over four years to the Desert Research Institute to buy equipment for its archaeology lab. DRI officials say the gift from Tom E. and Mary Kay Gallagher will allow the lab to identify biological and archaeological materials such as hair, charcoal and bone.

- Call for Papers "All Trails Lead to Santa Fe:" Historically, the theme of “All Trails Lead to Santa Fe” chronicles the historical evolution of how Santa Fe became the great southwestern city that it is. Metaphorically, “All Trails Lead to Santa Fe” is about connecting historical and cultural values from prehistoric to modern times with the many stories about the people whose lives shaped the epical history of Santa Fe. The History Task Force Committee for the 400th Commemoration on the Founding of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Essays should reflect original scholarly research based on primary, archival sources and must not have appeared previously in another publication. Manuscripts are accepted in either English or Spanish. Authors should submit three hard copies of the manuscript as well as a diskette containing the manuscript in Microsoft Word format or another PC compatible software. A copy of the author’s curriculum vitae is appreciated.

- Corrected URL for Texas Beyond History exhibit: