Thursday, May 22, 2008

NSF's Answer to Indiana Jones, Tony Horwitz to Speak in Tucson

- From Reel to Real - National Science Foundation Responds to Indian Jones with a Detailed Website: As audiences around the world eagerly await the opening of the fourth installment in the Indiana Jones film saga on May 22, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has launched a special report on its Web site that illustrates where the real world of archaeology diverges from the "reel" world, as well as where they infrequently intersect.. NSF-supported archeologists do discover "lost cities." They try to figure out what happened to "vanished civilizations" and whether what caused their collapse may have relevance to contemporary problems. They seek rare and precious artifacts that tell important stories about the past, even if those artifacts are minute snails and the scrapings of ancient teeth and not golden idols. They "deal with Native peoples," though with respect, as partners in the process of learning about the past, rather than with weapons. And certainly, as is jokingly noted in the latest Indian Jones adventure, teaching is an important part of what they do.

- (Related Story) Center for Desert Archaeology's Research Highlighted by National Science Foundation: While the problems Jones faces may not be inconsequential, the structure of good storytelling tends to point the hero toward the light at the end of the tunnel. And even if the tunnel is filled with Nazis and other villains who need to be overcome, the goal, usually a single relic or artifact, almost always is in sight, which is a big help to the audience that has to follow the tale. For real-life archaeologist Jeffery Clark, one of his biggest professional challenges was approached from the opposite direction. To Clark, an NSF-funded researcher at the Center for Desert Archaeology in Tucson, Ariz., the "what" was obvious: sometime between 1300 and 1450—long before Europeans and accompanying diseases arrived—at least 50,000 people "disappeared" from the desert Southwest of the United States.

- A Dissuasion of Coronado and Colonial History Offered In Tucson: The Center for Desert Archaeology is pleased to invite you to a special evening with historian Richard Flint and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tony Horwitz. Richard and Tony will discuss and sign their new books on European exploration of North America at the Tucson Botanical Gardens on Saturday, May 31st, 2008.

- Historic Preservationists Honored In Nevada: Supporters of the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas and the old St. Charles Hotel in Carson City were among those honored for their contributions to the state's historic preservation efforts. State officials presented awards to groups and individuals at weekend ceremonies in Overton and Virginia City. "We are all grateful for what they have done to maintain our quality of life through preservation of Nevada's heritage," said Ron James, the state's historic preservation officer. - Las Vegas Sun

- Slate of Indiana Jones Related Stories Continues:

-- He's no Harrison Ford, but 'Utah Jones' holds his own in archaeology:

-- Archaeology professors and students get inspiration and a few chuckles from the "Indiana Jones" movies:

-- Can you dig it? - Professor: Glamor of screen role overstated:

-- Just because she is an archeologist does not mean she carries a whip and fights Nazis like Indiana Jones:

-- Modern day Indiana Joneses dig in:

-- Indiana Jones and the Real-Life Archaeologist: