Friday, April 11, 2008

Beating Looters to the Punch, the Fate of National Parks, Ancient Sailing

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

- Federal Archaeologists Pre-empt Looters In Burial Excavations: Working in secret, federal archaeologists have dug up the remains of dozens of soldiers and children near a Civil War-era fort after an informant tipped them off about widespread grave-looting. The exhumations, conducted from August to October, removed 67 skeletons from the parched desert soil around Fort Craig — 39 men, two women and 26 infants and children, according to two federal archaeologists who helped with the dig.

-"Ghosts of the Hohokam and the Fate of National Parks: pair of Brits, a Vietnam vet, a sullen teen and a dozen or so retirees gathered under the Sonoran Desert sun to try to decipher some of the clues left behind by people who lived here nearly 1,000 years ago. Who were these Hohokam people who thrived in a compact urban village built around a Great House? They knew astronomy and irrigation and how to construct a four-story building with little more than mud. They played sports on their ball courts, fermented wine from cactus fruit and made sure their walls faced the four cardinal points of the compass.

- Cultural Resources for Native Cultural Empowerment: A Lecture by Teresa Lorden and Lisa Woodward, April 13 at the Anasazi Heritage Center.
Http:// - Ms Word Document

- Ancient Sailing Between Mexico and South America: Western Mexico and countries on the west coast of South American had ancient relationships, involving trade in goods and culture. Now MIT students have analyzed just how this communication and transportation system worked. The research was published in the Journal of Anthropological Research. - Scientific American

- Interview with University of Arizona Archaeologist Mark Aldenderfer, places Discovery of Ancient Gold in Context: Anthropology professor Mark Aldenderfer began his career in archaeology as an undergraduate student in 1970. Since then, he has excavated national and international sites, including those in Ethiopia, Guatemala and Peru. On a dig in the late 1990s in the Peruvian Andes, Aldenderfer and his team unearthed the oldest known gold artifact to be found in the Americas. - Arizona Daily Wildcat

- Arizona Legislature Funds New Archive Building, but Threatens to Cut Monies for Moving Artifacts: Capitol Museum Curator Brenda McLain is working against the clock — and a state budget deficit — for the big move. Some 8,000 items in storage at the old Capitol are slated for transfer to the new Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building, 19th Avenue and Madison. Preparations for the fall move began last summer. Artifacts can't just be tossed onto the back of a truck. They have to measured and carefully packed. Their condition and catalog numbers have to be written down, then keyed into a database that tracks museum items using special software. Money to complete the move is in jeopardy, as Gov. Janet Napolitano and the Legislature scramble to find ways to plug budget deficit for the current fiscal year that stands at $1.2 billion and counting.

- Memorial for Chester Shaw: (From Sharon Urban) On the afternoon of March 27, 2008 Chester Shaw passed away after a two year battle with cancer. He was under hospice care and thought to be stable. His passing was quick and peaceful. He was employed by Harris Environmental Group, Inc. of Tucson, AZ as a Principal Investigator and Senior Project Manager. A memorial service for Chet is being held in Hot Springs Arkansas which is where Chester and his family are from originally. The service is this Saturday, April 12th at 2:00 p.m. Chet's sister Sharon and her youngest son Ryan will be conducting Chet's service. Chet's sister and family will be staying at the Village Inn in Hot Springs, AK from this Friday noon to Sunday a.m. Anyone interested in sending condolences should send them care of the Village Inn listed below which is where the family will be staying this weekend. The address is: The Village Inn, c/o Sharon Shaw, 4429 North Hwy. 7' Hot Springs Village, Arkansas 71910. - We may still yet organize a local memorial service, but I wanted to get this information out in case people are interested in sending condolences direct
to Chet's family.

- Employment Opportunity: URS Corporation is looking for 2-4 temporary Field Archaeologists. Minimum Requirements: BA in Anthropology or related field Archaeological excavation experience Ability to recognize and excavate archaeological features and prepare accurate, thorough, and legible field documentation Ability to conduct field work during summer desert conditions. For a detailed description and to submit your resume, please visit our website at and apply to requisition URS28153.

Thanks to Brian Kenny, Michael J. Williams and Sharon Urban for contributions to today's newsletter.