Friday, August 1, 2008

Arizona State Museum Collections Honored, Troubling Preservation Issue in Santa Fe, Pecos Conference Update

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

- Arizona State Museum Honored with National Preservation Award: The Arizona State Museum and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners have been selected to receive the 2008 Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections from Heritage Preservation and the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. The Arizona State Museum is the oldest and largest anthropology museum in the Southwest caring for a world-renowned collection of artifacts from indigenous peoples of the American Southwest and northern Mexico.

- Demolition of Homes on Santa Fe Indian School Raises Troubling Preservation Questions: Elaine Bergman, executive director of the Historic Santa Fe Foundation, said it was unfortunate no one from the school or pueblo council had alerted preservation groups of their plans. "At the minimum, it would have been nice to document the homes before they were demolished," she said. "We can learn from the interiors and exteriors about how they were constructed. But once they're gone, they're gone." - Santa Fe New Mexican

- New Website for the Arizona Archaeological Council: The Arizona Archaeological Council is pleased to announce the unveiling of the organization’s new website. Along with the new look, we have added some new features. For example, newsletters from 1977 to 2007 are now accessible as pdf files; the Links section has been expanded; previous conferences are listed and abstracts are included where available. We have plans for additional features so stay tuned.

- Advance Schedule for Pecos Conference now On-line: Brian Kenny has complied the initial conference speaker's abstracts and schedule of Presentations. - Conference Abstracts - Afternoon Speaker's Schedule

- Digital Video Recording at Pecos Conference: The Center for Desert Archaeology and Southwestern Archaeology Today would like to record a variety of presentations during the Pecos conference, with the goal of placing the resulting digital video online for future research and educational uses. Participation is strictly voluntary, and the digital videos will be released with a creative commons license so that the resulting presentations can be shared freely within the southwestern archaeological community. All digital video will be carefully examined to ensure that sensitive information such as specific site locations are not publicized. If you have any specific questions, comments or concerns regarding this effort, please contact Doug Gann at

- Controversial Merger of Southwest Museum and the National Autry Center Sparks an Interesting Blog: The purpose of the blog is to reach out to museum, accounting, legal, education professionals, students, and concerned individuals across the nation to inform, discuss, and analyze the implications of an ongoing effort of the former Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage to move the entire Southwest Museum from its nationally significant landmark campus into an expanded single Autry Museum building in Griffith Park. The proposal has been severely condemned by historians, archaeologists, historic preservationists, civil rights leaders, and community activists. Over 7,000 people have signed a petition demanding that the Autry not be granted City of Los Angeles permission to use City park land to carry out this plan.

- Detailed Journal of Archaeological Reconnaissance along Utah's Green River: As we clamor up the scree slopes and up on the lower ledges of the cliffs, someone spots an unrecorded granery. Now the real work began. It isn't like the movies where Indiana Jones swoops in and sees if there are treasures to take. Mostly, it is about careful measurement, sketching the site and surroundings. It also involves the recording of details on the paper work that is brought to each site. They do not dig into a site, but leave it as untouched and undisturbed as they can.

- Theories of Possible Polynesian Migrations to the Americas Challenged by Reanalysis of the DNA of South American Chickens: A new study of DNA from ancient and modern chickens has shed light on the controversy about the extent of pre-historic Polynesian contact with the Americas. The study questions recent claims that chickens were first introduced into South America by Polynesians, before the arrival of Spanish chickens in the 15th century following Christopher Columbus.

- Employment Opportunity (Field Directors and Principal Investigator): Environmental Planning Group (EPG) is looking for 2 field directors for our Arizona office. These individuals will have experience leading field crew, writing up sections of larger reports, and completing smaller survey reports. The ideal candidate will have an advance degree in Anthropology/History, at least five years of experience, and is already permitted in Arizona (ASM, BLM, etc.). These positions are for full time salaried staff for our Phoenix Office. This position requires the ability to complete tasks in a timely and efficient manner while managing field personnel. Salary is negotiable. EPG is also looking for a senior archaeologist/principal investigator. This individual will have a Masters Degree or PhD in Anthropology or History, experience managing projects and/or people for at least 10 years, and is permitted as P.I. for Arizona. Other areas of expertise such as ceramic or lithic analysis is also a plus. This candidate will have an attention to detail, the ability to review documents for technical completeness, and exceptional communication skills (both written and oral) for interacting with other disciplines within the company and also agency personnel. This position is for a full time salaried staff for our Phoenix Office. This position requires the ability to complete tasks in a timely and efficient manner while managing field personnel. Salary is negotiable. Please send curriculum vitae to

Thanks to Brian Kenny, Mark Kenyon, and Adrianne Rankin, and for contributions to today's newsletter.