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.