Monday, July 14, 2008

More on Possible Clovis Era Comet Impact, Revisions to ARPA May Increase Jail Time for Archaeological Crime.

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

- New Findings Support Clovis-Era Comet Catastrophe: Was the course of life on the planet altered 12,900 years ago by a giant comet exploding over Canada? New evidence found by University of Cincinnati Assistant Professor of Anthropology Ken Tankersley and colleagues suggests the answer is affirmative. Geological evidence found in Ohio and Indiana in recent weeks is strengthening the case to attribute what happened 12,900 years ago in North America - when the end of the last Ice Age unexpectedly turned into a phase of extinction for animals and humans - to a cataclysmic comet or asteroid explosion over top of Canada.

- Revisions to the Archaeological Resources Protection Act now Before Congress: Resolution S. 1860- Violent Crime Control Act, Sponsored by Sen. Cornyn (R-TX), is now pending before Senate Judiciary Committee. The legislation contains a provision to move the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) to Title 18 of the United States Code. This makes forfeiture and restitution easier. The bill also increases the penalties to ten years for a first offense and 20 years for a second offense and appears to lengthen the statute of limitations to 20 years. Similar legislation was introduced in previous Congresses. The companion measure, H.R. 3156, is identical and is pending before the House Financial Services Committee.

- Tainted Soil and Witchcraft Accusations Delay Construction of Navajo Casino: Soil from an archaeological site within Churchrock Chapter has inadvertently been used for fill at the site for the Navajo Nation's first casino, and the Resources Committee says proper clearances were not obtained. "My understanding is that the casino is going to come to a halt probably this week as far as the activities over there," Resources Chairman George Arthur told the committee Thursday. "They don't have a clearance — they have nothing that Resources Committee approved. I guess what they are going by is what Churchrock Chapter approved." However, one chapter official says the delay might be because of witchcraft.

- Waco City Council Appears Ready to Properly Fund Archaeological Mitigation for Texas Ranger Museum: The city of Waco is poised to give an Austin firm $433,000 more to study and clear gravesites around the new Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum office annex, pushing the project’s archaeology cost up to nearly $1.2 million. The Waco City Council on Tuesday will consider the contract amendment for PBS&J, which has been excavating and analyzing bones found in the path of utility lines the city is trying to run to the new buildings. - Waco Tribune Herald

- Arizona SHPO Creates New Guide to Tribal Consultation: The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is pleased to announce a new guide to tribal consultation under the National Historic Preservation Act. This document may also be downloaded at the at the link provided below. f you have any questions about this document, please feel free to contact Ann Howard, at the Arizona SHPO office. Ann Valdo Howard, Public Archaeology Programs Manager and Archaeological Compliance Specialist, State Historic Preservation Office, Arizona State Parks, 1300 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007. (602) 542-7138 (work), (602) 542-4180 (fax)

- Obituary for Hartman Lomawaima Published in Tucson Citizen: "Hartman was one of the few people who knew how to work on something tirelessly for 30 years, ensuring that museums were places where Native American voices were heard and respected," said Nancy Parezo, a UA professor of American Indian Studies and longtime colleague of Lomawaima's.

- Editor's Note, on Hartman's Passing: Many people have written Southwestern Archaeology Today asking where cards or other notes of sympathy may be sent. If you would like to send such a message to the Arizona State Museum, or Hartman's wife Tsianina, the appropriate address is Arizona State Museum, attn: Tsianian Hartman (or) ASM Staff, PO Box 210026, Tucson AZ 85721-0026.

- Artifacts Encountered During Park Construction in Marana, Az: Preliminary work on a new 58-acre park along the Santa Cruz River in southern Marana has been halted after the discovery of prehistoric artifacts. Town officials say that the work stoppage is only temporary, and that it will not affect the planned summer 2009 opening of Silverbell-Cortaro District Park, which will be on the east side of North Silverbell Road between North Cortaro and West Ina roads.

- Travelogue: Hassle-Free Heritage Tourism at Canyon de Chelly: Strange formations dot Canyon de Chelly, along with petroglyph carvings and pictograph drawings created by ancient races. While the major national parks draw millions of visitors each year, Canyon de Chelly draws only about 825,000 visitors annually. And while temperatures throughout the Southwest often soar during August and September, the temperature in Canyon de Chelly is generally moderate. It should be - the floor of the canyon is more than a mile above sea level and humidity levels are typically in single digits.

- Internship Opportunity: Fall 2008 Collections Management Intern, Anasazi State Park Museum, Boulder, Utah. The Intern will assist the museum curator with various projects related to cataloging new acquisitions, completion of condition reports and measurements, physical application of numbers onto the objects, photographing objects, housing of material, and entry into the collection database. The internship will also familiarize the intern with projects and duties in all areas of a state park museum. The intern will spend a certain amount of time in other areas of the museum including visitor services: Provide visitors with area information, fee and gift shop sales collection. However, the focus of the internship will be a specific project in collections management. The project involves cataloging a new accession of prehistoric projectile points. The collection of objects is cataloged in the Re:discovery collections management software system. Qualifications: Must have completed at least one year of graduate college coursework in museum studies, anthropology, or archaeology. A background in Southwest or Great Basin archaeology is preferred with experience in lithic analysis. Computer literacy: Microsoft Office, Adobe Products, Re:discovery Basic photography skills, including use of a digital camera. Employment Period: 10 weeks @ 40 hours per week, August through October. Salary: $75 a week with housing provided. How to apply: Please fax, email or mail your resume with three professional references to the address listed below by August 2, 2008. If you have additional questions please contact:
Don Montoya, Museum Curator, Anasazi State Park Museum. PO Box 1429, Boulder, UT 84716, Phone: (435) 335-7308 Fax:, (435) 335-7352.

Thanks to Gerry Cantley and Brian Kenny for contributions to today's newsletter.