Monday, February 4, 2008

"Set in Stone" opens at ASM, Invasive Weeds at Aztec Ruin

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

- "Set in Stone" Exhibit Opens at the Arizona State Museum: A new exhibit at the Arizona State Museum titled "Set in Stone" might be of interest to our modern-day purveyors of Chinese jade, Colombian emeralds, Afghan lapis, Russian amber and New Zealand opal. They are the descendants, in tradition if not lineage, of the maritime shell traders, copper bell casters and turquoise miners who established the earliest gem trade centuries before Europeans arrived in the Southwest. They created art forms still mimicked in contemporary jewelry design.

- Salt River Project Adding Interpretive Signage to Historic Phoenix Basin Canals: The canal system is part of the Valley’s history, Lane said. He said it has been around for almost a century. The first canals were made by the Hohokam people and they were smaller and built by hand, Lane said “The canals we have today are much larger, but they follow roughly the same contours,” he said.

- Invasive Weeds Threatening Aztec Ruin: Invasive species like salt cedar and Russian olive are a hassle wherever they grow, taking over a habitat and choking off other growth. But when their victim is an ancient monument, wild plant growth is more than inconvenient. The Aztec Ruins National Monument staff wants to tackle plant control, and they want your help. "If we don't address the issue it will just get bigger," Park Ranger Terry Nichols said. "It's a losing battle ... some growth from one year to the next is 10 times worse than the year before."

- National Preservation Institute Seminars to be Held Feb 27 - 29 in Phoenix: The National Preservation Institute, a nonprofit organization founded in 1980, educates those involved in the management, preservation, and stewardship of our cultural heritage. The 2008 National Preservation Institute seminar schedule is now available online at The 2008 NPI News Release includes the calendar and seminar descriptions.

- 2008 Arizona Archaeology & Heritage Month Events Listing: The Archaeology Expo is sponsored by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Arizona State Parks, and the Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission. The Arizona State Museum (ASM) is host and partner for the highlight event for 2008 Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month (AAHAM). Many other partners will be joining together to present a varied Expo format offering two days of educational, hands-on archaeology programs to the public. The Expo offers many attractions for those interested in archaeology and history. Over 35 special displays and booths by archaeological and historical organizations, museums, Native American tribes, state and federal agencies, and others will allow you to participate as an archaeologist might in their research today, or make crafts that teach how prehistoric Native Americans survived in the Southwest, or play games like the historic settlers did. Living history re-enactors, Native American demonstrators and entertainers, interactive activities, and tours of archaeology laboratories and museum collection areas and exhibits will help make the past come alive! In addition, tours of local prehistoric and historic archaeological sites will be featured.

- BLM Provides Land for Center for New Mexican Archaeology: The state has acquired 25 acres in Santa Fe for a planned Center for Archaeology. Cultural Affairs Secretary Stuart Ashman has signed an agreement to transfer the site from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

- Journalist Finds Historic Preservation in Dallas Lacking: According to the Dallas Landmark Commission's Web site, historic buildings are structures that possess any of the following properties: character; cultural, economic or social heritage; architectural style or innovation; archaeological significance; identification with a significantly historical event or person; or value as an aspect of community sentiment and pride. So it seems that the Hard Rock building didn't possess any of these merits, otherwise it would have been saved. But the Hard Rock did possess some of these merits. Actually, it possessed a lot of them. Many have asked the question (and we're going to ask it again), what is the point of having a preservation committee if it's not going to preserve anything?

- Brian Fagan to Speak on the Rcent History of Climate Change (Santa Fe): Cathedrals, Droughts, and the Flail of God, Thursday, February 7, 2008, 7:30 P.M. James A. Little Theater, NM School for the Deaf. Global warming--we have been here before! Anthropologist Brian Fagan looks back at four centuries of warming that had a startling but subtle impact on the course of human history. Dr. Fagan will take us on a journey to times when temperatures were warm as today, harvests were abundant, cathedral building was at its peak, Genghis Kahn ruled, and drought was a constant threat. Admission is free to the public. Contact the SAR Membership Office at (505) 954-7203 or email, for more information.

- Native American Art Tours Utah: Marjorie Chan, chairwoman of the University of Utah department of geology, enjoys yard-sale expeditions. "It's a lot like geology," she says. "You don't know what you'll find, and the stories behind it are interesting." A few years ago she struck gold — a collection of more than 600 pieces of American Indian art works, mostly jewelry, collected by the late Dorothy Haslam. It's a discovery that will benefit all Utahns, from visitors to the Utah Museum of Natural History to residents of far-flung communities across the state. Last week, a selection of the treasures were prepared for a two-year jaunt through Utah.,5143,695247756,00.html

- Gila Cliff Dwellings Temporarily Closed, Tours Offered of TJ Ruin: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Superintendent Steve Riley announced today an alternative tour for visitors to the monument while road crews repair the road that leads to the namesake dwellings. Rain on January 27, combined with snowmelt from the Mogollon Mountains, caused impressive flooding along the Gila River’s West and Middle Forks. While much of the flooding has now subsided, sections of Hwy 15, including the approaches to the West Fork bridge that leads to the cliff dwellings, suffered damage. The road near Little Creek, just past the community of Gila Hotsprings, is expected to be re-opened by Saturday, February 2. At that time, the road will be open to the Gila Visitor Center. The cliff dwellings, Upper and Lower Scorpion Campgrounds, TJ and Woody’s Corrals will be closed until repairs are completed, estimated to take at
least one more month.

- Employment Opportunity (El Paso): Archaeology Museum Education Curator. - PDF Job Specification.