Monday, September 29, 2008

Guide to State Antiquity Law Now Online, NAGPRA Review, Archaeology Cafe 2.0

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

- National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers Publish On-Line Comprehensive Index of State and Tribal Laws Regarding Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management: In response to increasing concerns over the looting of cultural resources, including sites containing human remains and funerary objects, many states and tribes have enacted legislation and codes to protect burial sites. These laws and codes often require special treatment of burial sites and objects and many have penalties for failure to comply. This project is a compilation of existing state and tribal cultural resource laws and codes and we encourage you review, comment, and suggest additional information and web links.

- Native Leaders Support NAGPRA Review: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs leaders support a federal investigation aimed at strengthening the implementation of a top cultural preservation law involving tribes. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., plans to soon call for a report and study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office to explore federal government compliance and enforcement of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is set to join Dorgan in his call for a GAO study, according to her staff. She serves as the committee’s vice chairwoman.

- Archaeology Cafe (Tucson): Ancient Astronomy of Northern Arizona. At the Center’s second Archaeology Café, learn more about archaeoastronomer Ken Zoll's meticulous study of rock art and what it may reveal about ancient calendars and astronomical observation in the Southwest. Enjoy delicious tapas and cool beverages on the patio of Tucson’s own Casa Vicente, 375 S. Stone Avenue. We meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.; presentations begin at 6:15 p.m. This happy-hour style forum opens with a short, casual presentation, followed by questions and discussion. Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 6:00 pm on the patio at Casa Vicente, 375 S. Stone Avenue, Tucson, AZ. Free and open to the community.

- BLM Releases New Management Plan For Public Lands in Southeastern Utah: The Bureau of Land Management is touting its plan for managing 1.8 million acres of public lands in southeastern Utah as a means to protect important environmental values and sensitive resources "while allowing for an appropriate level of development.",5143,700256859,00.html

- Kiva, the Journal of Southwestern Archaeology and History, Seeks Outstanding Works in Cultural Resource Management: In an effort to make the “gray” literature of the CRM world a little more black and white, Kiva, is instituting a new program to list outstanding CRM reports among their Book Reviews. This list will be published quarterly. In addition, the Book Reviews Editor will solicit the best and the brightest of these reports to be reviewed by experts in the field. If your company is interested in having publications listed, please contact Anna Neuzil, Kiva Book Reviews Editor at You will need to provide a bibliographic reference and short summary (no more than 100 words) for each report listed, as well as information on where each report can be obtained. This opportunity is available only to companies who practice archaeology or conduct research in the Greater Southwest. Determination of which reports are listed and reviewed is at the discretion of the Book Reviews Editor.

- AZSITE Open Meeting Scheduled for Wednesday October 22. The AZSITE Advisory Committee Open Meeting will be held on Wednesday October 22, 2008, beginning at 10am, at the State Historic Preservation Office, 1300 West Washington, Phoenix, Arizona. Room to be announced, so check the website for full details. The current "Unofficial" tentative agenda is now posted on-line.

- Casa Grande National Monument Seeks Public Comment on Visitor Center Replacement: Casa Grande Ruins National Monument hosts 90,000 visitors annually. Between 1910 and 1941, nine buildings were constructed within the known site boundaries of Compound A to house visitor services, staff and administrative functions. The Visitor Center was constructed in 1931 as an adobe block structure with detached bathroom facilities and an ornamental garden. In 2009-2011, the park will conduct analysis to determine the best use of existing space within the Visitor Center.

- New Mexico's Fort Bayard Faces an Uncertain Fate: Fort Bayard sprang to life in August of 1866 because early settlers, miners and folks trying to get across New Mexico to California were having problems with Apache Indians. The fort was build near what are today Santa Clara and Bayard. Today the 142 year-old fort faces an uncertain future. "About four years ago the department of health decided they didn't want to be a landlord anymore," sighed Bell. Heat from the hospital plant steam plant was cut off to the century old homes. "This had become a haven for all employees of Fort Bayard," she said. "The rent was cheap, their water and heat was provided. The minute you take people out of houses ... what happens? What happens when you turn off the water and heat?" The once elegant homes are rotting. The laughter of children has been replaced by the sound of gnawing rats. "Decay, deterioration ... if something breaks, it doesn't get fixed," Bell said. - Las Cruces Sun News

- Research and Archaeology of Historic Downtown San Diego: For the past five summers, San Diego State anthropology students have been rewriting San Diego County's history. Their main accomplishment has been correcting the story of local legend Nate Harrison, San Diego's first African-American resident. Students have been heading up to Mount Palomar to excavate the site where Harrison used to live, uncovering Harrison's puzzled life. - San Diego Aztec

- Is Economic Downturn Driving Increased Incidents of Archaeological Looting? Walking along a creosote-dotted bench a few hundred yards above the Rio Grande, archaeologist Mark Hungerford suddenly stops and points to something lying among the rocks in the shadow of a creosote bush. "There's a potsherd," he said, picking up the black-and-white, triangular relic, once part of a pot created by the Mimbres people who lived here more than 1,000 years ago. Moments later, Hungerford finds two more shards, including the alabaster lip of another pot. A few feet away, dozens of filled-in holes provide stark evidence of what is missing: The site has been picked over by looters. "They did some real damage," Hungerford said. "It's all ruined."

- Petroglyph Theft Near Colorado City: The federal Bureau of Land Management says an ancient petroglyph has been chiseled from the face of a sandstone cliff in northern Arizona. BLM officials announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to the culprit's arrest and conviction on Wednesday.

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): Tuesday, October 7, 2008, "Welcome to the Anthropocene", an illustrated talk by William Debuys, award-winning author and conservationist from the college of Santa Fe, 7 p.m. At CESL auditorium 103. Enjoy a post-lecture reception at Arizona State Museum. Anthropocene refers to the most recent period in the Earth’s history, beginning in the late 18th century, when human activity first began to have an impact on global climate and ecosystems. The landscapes of the Southwest, for example, while seemingly timeless and unaffected, have experienced enormous change over the past century. These human-induced changes are becoming harder to predict, harder to live with, and for many, harder to accept. Left unchecked, a warming and increasingly variable climate promises to usher in a period of unprecedented impact.

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): Wednesday, October 1, 2008. "Getting into the Battle: Hughes and Munds, Arizona Suffragettes." Presented by Historian Reba Wells Grandrud, Ph.D. Two determined and talented women found common ground in the Women's Christian Temperance Union as they fought to bring about voting rights for women in pre-statehood Arizona. Lecture presented as part of the Arizona Historical Society Wednesday Evening Lecture Series, "Women at Work: Pioneers of the Modern Age." Arizona History Museum Auditorium. 949 E. 2nd St. Tucson, Arizona 85719. Lectures begin at 7:00 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $8.00; $6.00 for AHS members. - Arizona Historical Society (PDF)

- Peopling of the Americas - Update on 14,000 Year Old Human Coprolite Evidence: University of Oregon archaeologist Dennis Jenkins and his students started digging where no one had dug before. What the team discovered in an alcove used as a latrine and trash dump has elevated the caves to the site of the oldest radiocarbon dated human remains in North America.

Thanks to Gerald Kelso, Brian Kenny, and Adrianne Rankin for contributions to today's newsletter.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Rabbit-Hunting Clovis Culture, New Mexico Archaeology Fair

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

- Were the Clovis Hunting Megafauna or Rabbits? Clovis points are the hallmark of one of America's earliest cultures: the Paleoindians. Since archaeologists found Clovis points lodged in the skeleton of a mammoth, they have viewed Paleoindians as big-game hunters par excellence. Nearly every book on the subject includes an image of a brawny hunter thrusting his spear into the side of a trumpeting mammoth. This macho view of Paleoindian prehistory has prevailed even though surprisingly little evidence exists to support it. - The Columbus Dispatch

- Preserve America Program Conducting Preservation Survey: The Expert Panel Examining the Structure of the Federal Historic Preservation Programs would like input from the historic preservation community. Please go follow this link to complete a survey. The survey asks for your preferences on the structure of the federal historic preservation programs.

- Associated Press Corrects Detail in Last Week's Story on the Navajo Nation and Canyon de Chelly: In a Sept. 11 story about the Navajo Nation seeking full control of Canyon de Chelly National Monument, The Associated Press erroneously reported that Canyon de Chelly is the only national monument entirely on tribal land. According to the National Park Service, nine national monuments are within Indian reservation boundaries.

- New Mexico Archaeology Fair to be Held Sept 26th and 27th: "Habia una vez ... Once upon a time ..." That's the theme as tales of conquistador Juan de Oñate and his expedition crossing the Rio Grande, life in Chaco Canyon and the Civil War Battle of Peralta come alive next week as the New Mexico Archaeology Fair comes to Los Lunas. The event, which features lectures, tours, fun for children and a matanza, will be held on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26 and 27. The fair's main exhibits will be located at Daniel Fernandez Park on N.M. 314, with programs and lectures at the historic San Antonio Chapel in Los Lentes and at the new Los Lunas Transportation Center. All events are free of charge.

- New Mexico Archaeology Fair by Train: or the first time in its 15-year history, the New Mexico Archaeology Fair can be reached by train. The state's Historic Preservation Division announced the fair, the highlight of New Mexico Archaeology Week as proclaimed by Governor Bill Richardson, will be held in Daniel Fernandez Park just one block from the RailRunner commuter train stop in Los Lunas. The fair dates are Sept. 26-27. “One of the features of this year's fair is the transportation routes that passed through the Los Lunas area, including El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro and Route 66 along with Los Lunas early railroad history when it was an important hub for moving livestock, supplies and general merchandise,” said Glenna Dean, former New Mexico State Archaeologist who recently resigned the post to work with the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area.

- Call for Papers, The George Wright Society Conference: In March 2009, the George Wright
Society (GWS) Conference will be held in Portland, OR. The GWS Conference
is held every other year at various locations across the United States. The GWS is a non-profit organization "dedicated to the protection, preservation, and management of cultural and natural parks and reserves through research and education." The Conference is an
"interdisciplinary professional meeting on parks, protected areas, and cultural sites."
October 3rd, 2008 is the deadline for submitting presentation proposals and applications for Native and Student travel grants. Registration simply to attend the conference does not have a deadline.

- Call for Papers, Arizona Preservation Conference: We are pleased to announce the 2009 Historic Preservation Partnership Conference Call For Proposals. This is an opportunity for professionals from the public and private sector, along with students from Arizona's major universities and colleges to submit for consideration an outline for a paper or presentation to be offered at the upcoming conference in June, 2009 in Phoenix. Please read the specifications below for more information and a complete list of related topics and categories. If you know someone who may be interested, please forward this email right away. Submissions are due no later than November 15, 2008 for inclusion in the 2009 conference.

- Rosemont Mine Will Destroy Hohokam Village Site Near Tucson: The proposed Rosemont copper mine has been the focus of a huge amount of attention in the Tucson area, but one issue has largely evaded public concern so far: the impact of the mining operation on ancient Hohokam archeological sites in the area. The site of the mine contains the ruins of a Hohokam ball field and a large village, says Gayle Hartmann, an archeologist with the Arizona State Museum in Tucson. The earliest ruins on the property date back almost 1,900 years. “There’s lots of reasons why this mine shouldn’t be there, and this is certainly one of them,” she says. - Zonie News

- Video on Native American Heritage Will be One of the Longest Video Segments Ever Recorded: A2aMEDIA Inc., a privately-held next generation media company that designs, installs and operates large-scale LED media screens as transparent building facades, today announced the first US installation inside California State University, Fresno's new Henry Madden Library... The video installation, created by artist and architect Susan Narduli, is made possible by a $10 million donation by the Table Mountain Rancheria and will depict a master basket weaver at work. Filmed over a twelve month period, the video will show the artist weaving the basket from start to finish, making this one of the longest art films ever made.

- What Should be Done with Fort Wingate? Perez, who is a Vietnam veteran, thinks a small portion of the Fort Wingate Depot land should be made into a veterans cemetery. A veterans cemetery that would be available for Navajo, Zuni, Anglo, Hispanic and anybody else who served in military service for the U.S. One of his concerns is the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II. “They’re buried here and there, and they should all be buried together,” Perez said. “Everybody I’ve talked to thinks it is a good idea, but nobody has done anything.” The Pueblo of Zuni has a Fort Wingate Project coordinator who said it is a 20-year cleanup that has only been worked on for two years. It will take years for all the ammunition and chemicals to be removed from the land.

- Cochise Stronghold: This is Cochise Stronghold photographed in 1905 by Mollie Fly, wife of famed Tombstone photographer C.S. Fly. Note the young Apache posed high in the rocks aiming his rifle at an imaginary target. From his Stronghold, Cochise commanded a nearly impregnable landscape including a much-coveted fresh water spring at Apache Pass, between Dragoon and the Chiricahua Mountains. When the Butterfield Overland Mail sought permission to build a stage station there in 1858, Cochise agreed. A delicate peace followed.

Thanks to Gerald Kelso for Contributions to Today's Newsletter.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Barbara Mills Takes Charge at U of A Anthropology Department, Navajo Nation Seeks Control of Canyon De Chelly

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

- Dr Barbara Mills Becomes Chair of University of Arizona Department of Anthropology: The anthropology department at The University of Arizona, one of the world's best-known anthropology programs, has a new head. Barbara Mills is only the seventh department head in the unit's 93-year history, and the first woman to hold that post.

- Navajo Nation Seeks Control of Canyon De Chelly National Monument: More than 75 years ago, the Navajo Nation asked Congress to establish Canyon de Chelly in northeastern Arizona as a national monument. The National Park Service was charged with preserving thousands of artifacts and ruins within the monument's towering red sandstone walls, while the land revered by the Navajos as sacred remained tribally owned. Now the Tribal Council is seeking full control of the 83,000-acre monument and the more than $1.8 million in federal funding that goes with it. Doing so would strengthen the tribe's sovereignty and demonstrate its expertise and competence in administering tribal land and resources to benefit Navajo people, supporters say.

- More Sprawl Outside Casa Grande Ruins National Park: Plans for an area development to have residential and commercial buildings near Casa Grande Ruins National Monument were unveiled for the Coolidge City Council, which postponed action on the matter pending decisions on the height of buildings. - Tri Valley Central

- Public Outreach at Casa Grande Ruins: Beginning in 1892, the Ruins was the first ever archaeological and cultural preserve in the nation and is the fifth oldest unit in the National Park Service. Constantly working to keep the Ruins in good condition, the staff works everything it does around the mission statement: "To protect, and preserve the Casa Grande, other ruins of ancient buildings, and objects of prehistoric interest." - Tri Valley Central

- New Mexico County Commissioners Express Frustration at Inability to "Improve" Road to Chaco: San Juan County Commissioners are at their wits' end about needed improvements they want to make to Chaco Road — the road leading into Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Layers of government bureaucracies, federal and tribal, are shackling commissioners' best intent in wanting to improve the road for the residents whose properties front it. Chaco Road leads to Chaco Culture park, a National Historical Park, and also to Chaco Canyon, which is itself a World Heritage Site.

- Travelogue, Chaco Canyon: To sit and study the photographs of Chaco Canyon leads to a phenomenal journey of the imagination. To visit the fabulous Puebloan site in person is beyond fascination! It is like stepping back in time to when the ancients were busy there at their daily tasks and way of life. In the silence of the ruins you can almost hear the tinkering and murmuring of the past.

- Anasazi Heritage Center Offers Free Admission on Museum Day: The Anasazi Heritage Center will suspend its seasonal entry fee to celebrate Museum Day on Saturday, September 27. This national event is a celebration of culture, learning, and the dissemination of knowledge. Last year, Museum Day drew over 100,000 people to 651 participating museums in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico. Museum Day is organized by Smithsonian Magazine, which is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

- First Arizona Archaeology Expo Planning Meeting: 2009 Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month. “Celebrate Arizona’s Past: Museums, Places, People” Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 2:00 PM Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park 4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix, Arizona. Please come and share your ideas as the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) initiates planning for the 2009 Arizona Archaeology Expo that will be held on March 14-15, 2009 at the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park (PGM) in Phoenix. We will be touring the museum grounds, exchanging ideas with the various partners, discussing programming, publicity, lay out and organization, sponsors, funding, off-site activities, etc. For More Information, Please Contact: Ann Howard, Public Archaeology Programs Manager, State Historic Preservation Office 602/542-7138,

- Petroglyph Workshop Will Help Fund Tularosa Library: The Tularosa Public Library is trying something different -- using archaeology to raise funds to buy new books. A program is planned that will focus on the Three Rivers petroglyphs, a site with an estimated 21,000 petroglyphs.

- Antiquities Smuggling a Growing Problem for US Ports: Three years ago, an elderly Italian man pulled his van into a South Florida park to sell some rare, 2,500-year-old emeralds plundered from a South American tomb. But Ugo Bagnato, an archaeologist (sic), didn't know his potential customer was a federal agent.

- Archaeology of Japanese Interment is the Latest Feature on the Archaeology Channel: Historical archaeology takes on special relevance and visibility when it covers times and events of unique importance to the public. The tragedy of Japanese-American internment camps in World War II still touches the nerves of Americans—especially Japanese-Americans—today, as you will note when you see Camp Amache, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Phosphenes and Rock Art , Vanishing Treasures, BLM Threatening Archaeology of Utah.

Southwestern Archaeology Making the News, a Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

Editor's note: Some days we really have to struggle to find enough archaeology news to carry a newsletter. Today is not one of those days.

- A Linguist's Approach to the Study of Southwestern Rock Art: Dr. Malotki’s latest focus is on designs called phosphenes, which are as fundamental to art as time is to language. He said the same 15 abstract geometric constants appear globally in art created as early as 300,000 years ago. They are grids, zigzags and patterns of dots. They are the first objects drawn by children; we doodle them when we talk on the phone.

- Vanishing Treasures Program Highlighted by N.Y. Times: Inside the dark, cliffside space last occupied by the people of Frijoles Canyon some 500 years ago is evidence of more recent human activity: graffiti proclaiming ''2008'' and ''I love you'' carved into a wall. ''Oh, man,'' art conservator Larry Humetewa muttered as he bent to inspect the damage in the ''cavate,'' a large, cave-like room. Vandalism is just one of many threats to the fragile archaeological sites that are the heart of national parks and monuments in the arid West. They're hammered by sun and rain, freezes and thaws, wind and the abrasive sand it carries. They're invaded by pests and human visitors who can't resist touching. In short, the ruins are in ruins.

- Salt Lake Tribune Chastises BLM for Potential Damage to the Archaeological Record: The Bureau of Land Management under the Bush administration is trying to make a clean sweep of it before President Bush leaves office, issuing management plans for Utah public lands that favor all-terrain vehicles and energy development over wildlife, water, scenic beauty and archaeological treasures.

- Oil and Gas Drilling Destroying the Rock Art of Nine Mile Canyon: Last summer, Constance Silver spent a week examining the world-renowned rock art in Utah's Nine Mile Canyon, a two-hour drive south of Salt Lake City. Tucked into the rugged Tavaputs Plateau, the place contains upwards of 10,000 images, painted and pecked onto sandstone walls. Many of them are visible from the curving, roughly graded road. But the respected art conservator wasn't there to admire the renderings of hunters, bighorn sheep and geometric patterns. Rather, she came to study dust. More specifically, to take air samples and observe the brownish-gray clouds kicked up by an armada of oil and gas trucks as they rumbled through the canyon. After wrapping up her fieldwork, Silver stopped by the local Bureau of Land Management office in nearby Price, which oversees Nine Mile Canyon, and sought out its lone archaeologist, Blaine Miller. She informed Miller that the dust was having an "alarming effect" on the rock art and "had to be taken care of immediately."

- Archaeological Perspectives on Modern Sustainability: Pueblo La Plata didn’t look like much — a low rise of rubble where dwellings once stood, housing perhaps up to 50 people. Archaeologists figured the first inhabitants arrived about AD 1200. Block the rubble pile from view, however, and the modest mesa top in Agua Fria National Monument, just north of Phoenix looked, well, natural. Until Arizona State University archaeologist Katherine Spielmann pointed to the stones around the base of the handful of agave plants that dotted the mesa top. The plants were scattered among grasses and other low-lying shrubs. She explained that the agaves, which looked “natural” to me, were planted by the inhabitants, who placed the volcanic stones around the plants’ bases to ward off frost damage. - Bright Green Blog @ Christian Science Monitor

- Call for Papers, 2009 Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology: Call for Participation by Archaeologists in CRM, Community, Tribal and Academic Settings. 69th Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology Santa Fe, New Mexico Community Convention Center. March 17-21, 2009 In keeping with the Society’s interdisciplinary roots, the Program Committee invites the participation of a wide variety of professionals, students and community partners, working actively inside and outside of academia to understand, document and create sustainable community systems. Posters, papers and sessions are welcome. Deadlines for submission is October 15th.Registration materials and instructions are on the SfAA website.

- Call for Participation, 2009 Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month: The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) would like to announce their call for participation in the 2009 celebration of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month (AAHAM), March 1-30, 2009. If you have an event that you would like to have publicized in the statewide Listing of Events brochure, please complete the form attached to the link below and return it to SHPO by November 1, 2008. We hope to have even more events and activities to promote this coming year than last year, so please consider helping to support public archaeology education in Arizona by sponsoring an event during AAHAM. We need your help! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ann Howard at

- Archaeo-Nevada Society Starts 2008-2009 Lecture Series: This month will start off with Jeanne Howerton who will speak on Tracks in the Desert the Great Race through Nevada. 100 years ago, four nations raced their premiere automobiles around the world, from New York to Paris a portion of the race passed through Nevada where the racers met some of there greatest challenges. Join us for this informative talk. As the oldest archaeology club in Nevada, we are made up of poeple interested in archaeology as well as professional and avocational archaeologists. Our meetings are on the Second Thursday of each month, September through May. Each meeting consists of a no host dinner at 5:00 pm at Denny's on 6300 W Charleston Blvd.Las Vegas,Nv. The regular meeting starts at 7pm across the street on the campus of The College of Southern Nevada in room D-213 of the student services building.

- Lecture in Tucson on Presidio Reconstruction: Sunday, Sept. 14, 3 p.m. The first talk in the Tucson Presidio Trust fall lecture series will present Gayle Hartmann, anthropologist and former president of the Tucson Presidio Trust for Historic Preservation, speaking on "Reconstruction of the Presidio San Agustin del Tucson" Location: Presidio San Agustin del Tucson, 133 W. Washington St. (corner of Church and Washington in downtown Tucson). Parking is free on nearby streets.

- Lecture Opportunity Tonight (Glendale): Archaeologist David Doyel presents the "Hohokam Escalante Community" near Florence at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium of the Glendale Public Library, 5959 W. Brown St. The excavations at Escalante have focused on the Classic period (A.D. 1100-1450) ruins there. Doyel will discuss his research interests in settlement patterns, community organization, cultural ecology and ceramics. Free and open to the public. Information: 602-569-1526.

- Museum and Library Exhibits on Southwestern Archaeology Available in Deming New Mexico: Here's the chance for all those future Indiana Jones to get a look and feel for artifacts of New Mexico's history. The Marshall Memorial Library, along with the Deming-Luna-Mimbres Museum, is welcoming Chuck Hannaford — Education Director for the Office of Archaeological Studies at the Museum of New Mexico — for a two-day hands-on exhibit from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the local museum, 301 S. Silver St.

- Arizona State Museum Book Sale This Weekend: Friday and Saturday, Sept 12-13, 2008 Very Nearly Annual Discount Benefit Booksale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission Save 40-70% on remainders and first-quality NEW books: visual arts, humanities, poetry, ethnology, Southwest studies, world archaeology, anthropology, cooking, lifestyle, architecture, and childrens books. ASM members admitted one hour early on Friday for best selection!

- Native Groups Oppose Trails through Sacred Sites in California: The East Bay Regional Park District and the Livermore Area Recreation and Parks District have considered a trail that would run across the top of Brushy Peak, a landmark and a sacred site to local Native people. Brushy Peak is a 1,702-foot landmark which links the San Francisco Bay Area, the California Delta, and the Central Valley. This area was home to the Ohlones, Miwoks and Northern Valley Yokuts, who traded, socialized and held sacred ceremonies in the area.

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

Friday, September 5, 2008

MNA Turns 80, Freeway Construction May Impact South Mountain Park Petroglyphs Near Phoenix

Archaeology Making The News - A Service of the Center For Desert Archaeology

- Museum of Northern Arizona Celebrates 80th Anniversary and Restored Accreditation: On Saturday, Sept 6th, at 4:30 Pm, Dr Dr. Dave Wilcox will present "Seizing the Moment - Collaboration and Cooperation in the Founding and Growth of the Museum of Northern Arizona" Dr. Dave Wilcox, MNA's senior research anthropologist and recent recipient of the Arizona Archaeological Society's 2008 Professional Archaeologist of the Year Award and the 2007 Byron S. Cummings Award for Outstanding Contributions in Archaeology, Anthropology, or Ethnology. Additional Events Available for Museum Members.

- Confusing Public Meeting Downplays Possible Impacts of New Road Construction on South Mountain Park (Phoenix): The advisory team was also told there were remains of six Hohokam villages on the west side of the proposed path, along with lithic quarries where Indians collected rocks used to make tools, and a petroglyph site and trails in the Ahwatukee Foothills area would also be affected and would require some kind of mitigation. But the big issue, both literally and figuratively, is South Mountain Park, which has both historic and pre-historic elements. SMCAT members were told construction of the freeway through 32 acres, cutting hundreds of feet deep through three ridges, wouldn't be a problem.

- Gila Cliff Dwellings Reopen: Superintendent Steve Riley of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico, today reopened the National Park after successful temporary repairs to the road bridge leading to the Cliff Dwellings were made yesterday Wednesday September 3, 2008. The park, in southwestern New Mexico 40 miles north of Silver City, was forced to close early Sunday morning when heavy rain eroded a highway bridge on the only vehicle access to the site. New Mexico Department of Transportation highway crews finished temporary repairs late Wednesday evening on the New Mexico State Highway 15 Gila West Fork Bridge. The road will be closed to overnight use between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., to permit continued monitoring of bridge and road conditions.

- Polynesians and the New World is the Topic of the Next Meeting of the Pacific Coast Archaeology Society: Pacific Coast Archaeological Society's September 11th meeting will feature Dr. Kathryn A. Klar and Dr. Terry L. Jones speaking on "Polynesians to the New World: The Chumash Connection and Beyond." Meeting information: Thursday, September 11, 2008, 7:30 pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA. Meeting is free and open to the public.

- Arizona Senic Byways Program Seeks Public Input: The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), in cooperation with the Arizona Office of Tourism, Arizona Highways Magazine and the Federal Highways Administration, is developing a statewide series of marketing brochures for Arizona’s Scenic Byways. Studies have identified informational brochures as a useful supplement for byway visitors – both to get potential visitors interested in visiting a byway and also to enhance the experience of visiting the byway itself. The goal is to provide useful, accurate and understandable information to the Arizona traveler. As part of this effort, ADOT wants your opinion! By participating in our survey, you can help determine which of the many attractions along Arizona’s scenic byways we should highlight in the brochures. The survey is brief and takes only a few minutes to complete. Please click to complete the survey located online here: - AZ Dept, of Transportation via Survey Monkey

- Public Input Sought on Management Plan for Chiricahua National Monument: The National Park Service (NPS) is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) in support of a Wilderness Management Plan for Chiricahua National Monument. You may be part of this planning effort by assisting us in identifying issues to be addressed and later by reviewing and providing comments on the draft document. At this time, we are soliciting information to include in the plan and issues that should be considered. Public open house sessions will be held and opportunities for on-line comments are available.

- Travelogue, Utah's Grand Gulch: Over the next five days, we'd hike north 40 miles to Collins Canyon through the Gulch's winding chasms, where at almost every turn lie the homes, tools, and art of the ancient Anasazi, or Ancestral Puebloans, as scientists now call them.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gila Cliff Dwellings Closed, New Publication on Safford Basin Archaeology

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

- Bridge Damage Temporarily Closes Gila Cliff Dwellings: For the second time this year, the National Park Service was forced to shut down visits to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. "The river is low," said Park Service Ranger Dave Young. "We got about three quarters of an inch of rain on Sunday and it was the run- off that caused problems." He said the dirt-and-rock temporary patch has some holes in it and that has caused concerns about vehicles crossing over it safely. Officials from the state highway department are expected to once again look at the bridge and its approaches today and decide how to deal with the latest problem. The National Park Service states that Officials of the New Mexico Department of Transportation are to inspect the bridge on Tuesday September 2, 2008 to determine a course of action and repair plans. The Gila West Fork Bridge, one mile from the Cliff Dwellings, will likely not be reopened until the weekend after Labor Day, possibly around September 6 or 7, 2008 at the soonest. The park’s Gila Visitor Center and museum remain open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily. For up to the moment information, call the Gila Visitor Center between 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 575-536-9461.

- New Publication on Safford Basin Available From Cambridge Press: "Crossroads of the Southwest: Culture, Identity, and Migration in Arizona’s Safford Basin," edited by David E. Purcell. Arizona is a land of diverse landscapes, often strikingly juxtaposed. In the upper Gila River Valley of southeastern Arizona, the basin surrounding the modern town of Safford encompasses the intersection of different environments and prehistoric cultures. The Hohokam of the Sonoran Desert, Mogollon of the San Simon Valley and mountain highlands, Anasazi of the Colorado Plateau, and Apache of the mountains and plains all lived in this region during the Ceramic period, A.D. 600-1450. Crossroads of the Southwest presents the results of new archaeological research that sets aside long-standing theoretical constraints to examine anew three central themes in Southwestern archaeological study—culture, identity, and migration. Six innovative studies by top regional scholars utilize both new data and classic studies to examine a region long overlooked by archaeologists. - Cambridge Press

- Archaeology Channel Presents An Experiment in Streaming High Definition Video: We are staying on the cutting edge of technology to give you the best video quality possible through streaming. Partnering with VIRCAS, we invite you to view five video titles using the new VIRCAS player (so far for Windows users only–the Mac version is coming soon). Depending on your bandwidth and the titles you select, you will be able to watch these films at resolutions ranging from DVD to true HD. This is a test to measure traffic and gain experience with this new mode of video delivery. The titles available through this new service are: Bilad Chinqit: The Land of Chinguetti (Mauritania, 59 min) (DVD quality). A Forgotten Place: The History of an Abandoned Farming Community (North Carolina, 52 min.) (DVD quality). The Greatest Good (United States, 124 min.) (High Definition). n Vivid Color: Voices from Shiloh’s Mound (Tennessee, 22 min.) (DVD quality). Signs Out of Time: The Story of Archaeologist Marija Gimbutas (Worldwide, 59 min.) (DVD quality).

- Lecture Opportunity (Santa Fe): The Archaeology Society of Santa Fe will kick off the 2008-2009 season with a presentation on the Galisteo Basin. Signa Larralde, state archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management, will be discussing one of the pre-eminent archaeological districts in the Greater Southwest. Larralde will give an update on current archaeological evidence found in the basin and will discuss how oil and gas drilling might impact the area. The lecture starts at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 15 at the Courtyard by Marriott, 3347 Cerrillos Road. - Santa Fe New Mexican

- Dig In Tonight at the The Center For Desert Archaeology's "Archaeology Café:" Whether you're a native Tucsonan or a recent transplant, you are sure to learn something new about our city's past at the first (of many, hopefully) Archaeology Café. The "café" is sponsored by the Center for Desert Archaeology and Casa Vicente, and is modeled after the "science cafés" that are popular in Europe, said Kate Sarther of the Center for Desert Archaeology.