Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mt. Taylor Once Again a TCP, New Book on Orayvi Split

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

- Mt. Taylor Designated Traditional Cultural Property: A state committee has approved a proposal from five American Indian tribes to give central New Mexico's Mount Taylor temporary protection as a cultural property at a contentious meeting. The state Cultural Properties Review Committee voted 4-2 Saturday in Grants for an emergency listing of more than 422,000 acres surrounding the mountain's summit on the state Register of Cultural Properties. - LA Times (Site may require user registration.)

- (Related Post) First Hand Accounts of Mt Taylor Meeting: New Mexico’s Mount Taylor, sacred to several tribes and under threat of uranium mining, has been designated (again) as a Traditional Cultural Property (TCP). Uranium mining historically wreaked havoc in the area and left a legacy of environmental destruction and cancer and among miners and residents, including many Native Americans. The Acoma, Hopi, Laguna, Navajo and Zuni tribes requested the designation after a recent flurry of uranium permits and exploration on the 11,301-foot mountain that disturbed some shrines and grave sites. - The Goat, A High Country News Blog

- New Publication Explores Orayvi Split: Historians may record 1906 as the year of the Great San Francisco Earthquake, but, for anthropologists, it is the year that split the Hopi community of Orayvi, the longest continually occupied settlement in North America. The break-up—which came two mornings after the last complete Snake Dance ever performed in that pueblo and in which half of the pueblo's residents were forced to leave—has been the subject of anthropological debate for the century that followed. Hoping to resolve the debate at last, Peter Whiteley, Curator of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History, offers a compelling new analysis in his book "The Orayvi Split: A Hopi Transformation."

- Audio Podcast Report on Joint Efforts on Preserving Southwestern Villages and Rock Art: Graffiti is plaguing many of our nation’s national parks and monuments, including some ancient Native American cliff dwellings. At Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico, conservators from a government program are taking advice from Natives, whose ancestors built these ancient sites, to make sure the restoration is done appropriately. KUNM’s Jim Williams reports.

- Three University of Arizona Anthropology Students Earn NSF Dissertation Awards: Three University of Arizona graduate students have earned National Science Foundation fellowships. José Manuel Álvarez and Joshua Holst, both anthropology students, along with linguistics student, Kara Hawthorne, have received the prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship, which provides $90,000 over a three-year period.

- "Pueblo Clay, America's First Pottery" Opens at the American Museum of Ceramic Art: The American Museum of Ceramic Art presents Pueblo Clay, America’s First Pottery, on view through July 12th, 2008. This eye-catching exhibition tracks the historic development of Native American Pueblo pottery from its inception as ceremonial and utilitarian vessels to the marketable commodity it is today. The advent of the Transcontinental Railroad system and Route 66 Highway played a key role in this transition. The works in this show will be on loan from the Pomona College Art Museum collection, which is particularly rich in Pre-Columbian and Historic Southwestern ceramics, and from a number of private collectors. Highlights will also include examples of innovative pottery made by up-and-coming Native ceramic artists. This is a rare opportunity to see works that would be otherwise unavailable to the public.

- Ancient Ceramic Found in Chop Shop Raid: A raid on a chop shop turned up more than stolen auto parts; officers found an artifact that is believed to be 1,000-years-old. Police say during a raid last month, 28-year-old Thomas Fenzl was arrested and charged with stealing a motorcycle, altering the VIN number, as well as having a lot drugs on the property. UNM archeology officials say the piece of pottery came from somewhere in the Four Corners area.

- Excavations Continue at Albuquerque Schoolyard: Archaeologists are getting closer to finding some answers from a dig at Alameda Elementary School. For about a month, archaeologists have been chipping away at what used to be the Alameda Pueblo underneath Alameda Elementary School and sifting through the dirt to find remnants of ancient civilization. Archaeologists are mostly finding pieces of pottery and animal bones, but they hope these small artifacts will lead to some big answers.Archaeologists will analyze these remnants, one piece dates from between 1450 and 1515 -- to see if people lived here when the Spanish conquered the area.

- CRM Firm Sues City of Waco: A firm hired to excavate human bones near the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum is suing the City of Waco. The American Archaeology Group said Waco ended its contract without explanation, so it is suing the city for breech of contract. Archeologists said the city mismanaged the project, moving bones without marking them and putting utility lines over areas not yet cleared for construction. The Texas Historical Commission and an Austin firm are also named in the suit. The land being cleared to allow the museum to expand, is also believed to be a cemetery dating back to the 1850s. News 8, Austin

- Tour Opportunity: SHUMLA will bring Australian rock-art researcher Dr. Jo McDonald to act as one of the co-leaders during this fall's Pecos Experience: The Art and Archeology of the Lower Pecos. This week-long program (October 5–10, 2008) offers participants the opportunity to visit spectacular rock-art sites in the Lower Pecos River region of Texas in a small group lead by Dr. Carolyn Boyd, Executive Director of SHUMLA. Each year during this program she is accompanied by a different visiting scholar and by Elton Prewitt, a respected Texas archeologist with many years of research experience in the region. In past years visiting scholars have included Dr. David S. Whitley, Dr. Jean Clottes, and Dr. James D. Keyser. Space is limited to fifteen people. Check the SHUMLA Web site for details.

- Employment Opportunity (NPS Flagstaff): Experience your America and build a fulfilling career by joining the National Park Service. Become a part of our mission to unite our past, our cultures and our special places, to establish important connections to the present and build a rich and lasting legacy for future generations. This American Indian Tribal Program Manager, is located within the Division of Science and Resource Management in Grand Canyon National Park. Duty station will be Flagstaff, Arizona. Applications will be accepted from current and former competitive service Federal employees, and people eligible under special hiring authorities. - USA Jobs

- Career Opportunity: The Fort Apache Heritage Foundation (FAHF) seeks a
Development Director to lead fundraising, revenue-generating efforts, promotion, and budgets in implementing the new master plan for the Fort Apache and TR School Historic District. This leadership position is the pivotal basis for growing an organization to share the rich heritage of the region with others and preserve it for future generations. The position reports to the Fort Apache Coordinator and FAHF Board of Directors. Candidates must demonstrate a successful track-record, as well as capacity for professional growth in fundraising, organization development, diplomacy, project management, budgets, and supervising junior colleagues. FAHF was chartered in Arizona in 1998 by the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT). It assists the Apache people and Tribe in preservation and interpretation of Apache culture and history, principally through implementation of the master plan to revitalize the Fort Apache and Theodore Roosevelt Boarding School National Register Historic District. These landmarks encompass 400 acres, including 27 buildings dating from the founding of Fort Apache in 1870 to continued use today. More information is available at For more on the Tribe, see

Thanks to Bruce Wahle for contributing to today's newsletter.