Monday, February 18, 2008

Gas Drilling Impacts Nine Mile Canyon, Digging the Gault Site

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

- Gas Well Drilling Threaten Nine Mile Canyon: Eastern Utah's Nine Mile Canyon holds more than 10,000 known American Indian rock-art images. But they may be no match for 800 gas wells. A Denver-based energy company's proposal to drill at least that many wells on the West Tavaputs Plateau threatens the thousand-year-old Anasazi ruins, where dust and chemicals are already corroding peerless rock art.

- Archaeology of the Gault Site: I'm crouched in a hole, raking a trowel over a one-meter-square patch of clay, hoping the next clump of dirt will expose something incredible, like a prehistoric arrowhead. Instead, there's just more clay, which I scrape into shavings the color of dark chocolate. A few snail shells liven up the mix, but otherwise nothing but dirt and stone.

- 20,000 Year "Layover" Scenario Proposed for the Peopling of the New World: The first New World entrants, who likely came from Asia, endured a 20,000-year "layover" on a strip of land called Beringia that once connected Alaska to Siberia, according to a new research model. The model combines genetics with climate, archaeological and geological information to paint a vivid picture of how the Americas were first populated by approximately 1,000 to 5,000 people, instead of just 100, as was previously believed.

- Gila Cliff Dwellings Reopened with a Temporary Bridge: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Superintendent Steve Riley announced today the opening of Gila Cliff Dwellings after two and a half weeks of closure. New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) completed temporary repairs to the flood damaged West Fork bridge on February 14, 2008. These repairs are not permanent and are vulnerable to future floods. However, they will allow access to the cliff dwellings, Upper and Lower Scorpion Campgrounds, TJ and Woody’s Corrals while NMDOT plans future repairs.

- Archaeology Society of New Mexico Offering Scholarship for New Mexcian Anthropology Students: The Archaeological Society of New Mexico (ASNM) has extended the deadline for accepting applications for the ASNM Scholarship Awards for the 2008-2009 academic year to March 31, 2008. The amount of the ASNM Scholarship Award varies from $100.00 to $500.00. Applications are restricted to full time students attending one of the following academic institutions: Eastern New Mexico University, Highlands University, New Mexico State University, San Juan College, and University of New Mexico. Applicants are limited to junior, senior, and Master's degree students in any of the fields covered by the term "anthropology." Students demonstrating a financial need and an anthropological thesis or approved project relevant to the greater southwest will be considered. Further information and application is available at:

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): Ancient Burial Practices at the Yuma Wash Hohokam
Archaeological Site” by Bioarchaeologists John A. McClelland & Jessica I. Cerezo
Rom├ín. 7:30 p.m, Old Pueblo Archaeology Center auditorium, 5100 W. Ina Road, Bldg. 8,. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s recent excavations at the Yuma Wash archaeological site, a Tucson-area Hohokam Classic period (A.D. 1100-1450) settlement, revealed a diverse range of burial practices including primary inhumation, primary cremation, and secondary cremation.

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): Steve Lekson Presets "A Millennium on the Meridian: Chaco Meridian Revisited. Presented as part of the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society Meeting, Tonight (Feb 18) at the Duval Auditorium, Arizona Health Sciences Center, 1501 N Campbell Ave.