Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shrinking Lake Mead Reveals St. Thomas Settlement, Architectural Pulp Fiction

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

- A Shrinking Lake Mead Reveals the Remains of a Town with a Lesson for the Southwest: Water gave birth to the town, and then buried it. Now years of drought combined with the thirst of a burgeoning Las Vegas Valley have forced Lake Mead to give up all of St. Thomas’ silted remains. A historian documenting the old Mormon settlement for the National Park Service visited its ruins for the first time Feb. 27 amid a growing belief that St. Thomas may never be covered by water again.

- Local Architect Decries Mass-Market "Pulp-Fiction" Architecture across the Southwest: As an architectural educator, I introduce to my students the notion that our buildings have a cultural responsibility to interpret both our place and our time. Arizona and its buildings are often the subject of my first lecture as we are so fortunate to live in a part of the world that has a particularly rich architectural history, from ancient Hopi villages such as Oraibi, (the oldest continually inhabited community in the United States), to civic buildings such as the Burton Barr Central Library, which drew the world's attention to the emergence of what has been called the Arizona School, a set of buildings that embody a commitment to both time and place. - The Arizona Republic

- Linking Rock Art to Acoustical Analysis of Place, Archaeoacoustics: Steven Waller has an educational art exhibit/installation continuing through March 21, 2008 in Ocean Beach, CA (near San Diego). The theme is "Echoes Inspired Cave Art", and the purpose is to raise awareness of connections between sound and rock art. All proceeds go toward efforts to preserve the natural soundscapes of rock art environments. See more about Rock Art and acoustics" at:

- Preservation Effort for Galisteo Basin: (From Bob Powers) Dear Friend of Archaeological Preservation, The Galisteo Basin Archaeological Coordination Group has recently submitted a Vision and Action Plan, and a Budget to the New Mexico Congressional delegation. The plan and budget, if funded, will finally allow implementation of the Galisteo Basin Archaeological Sites Protection Act, passed by Congress in 2004. The prospect of future oil and gas drilling in the Basin makes it ever more important to obtain funding that will allow preservation and protection of some of the most important Puebloan and Spanish Colonial sites in the Southwest. Senators Bingaman and Domenici, and Representative Udall have been supportive of the Act, but because of the many competing demands for federal dollars, they need to hear from us. So, please take a few minutes and send a letter or email voicing your support for funding of the Galisteo Basin Archaeological Sites Protection Act. Attached to this message are letters to both Senators and to Congressman Udall that you are welcome to use as is, or change to suit your taste. Senators Bingaman and Domenici, as well as Congressman Udall, also have contact pages on their websites, where you can enter your message and send it electronically.
Thank you for your help and support, Bob Powers, Galisteo Basin Archaeological Sites Coordination Committee.

Sample support letters:

Links to legislators: