Friday, October 31, 2008

Magdalena Pilgrimage Discouraged, Bush Administration Steps Up Threat to Nine Mile Canyon

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

- Increased Violence Impacts Centuries-old Pilgrimage: Officials with the Tohono O’odham Nation are recommending that members of the nation not make the annual pilgrimage to the Church of St. Francis in Magdalena, Mexico, due to the threats of violence in the area. For a number of months the region has been experiencing heightened violence between competing drug cartels. - Fox 11 News

- Potential Wilderness Areas Threatened by Proposed Energy Development: And on Election Day, when citizens most likely will be focused elsewhere, the BLM will announce an oil- and gas-lease sale involving large swaths of public land considered worthy of wilderness status - including artifact-rich Nine Mile Canyon, Desolation Canyon and areas around Dinosaur National Monument.

- Interview with UA Anthropology Department Head: In September, Barbara Mills became the first woman to lead the University of Arizona Department of Anthropology, but that wasn't the first time Mills broke gender records.

- Concerns over Allocation of NAGPRA Funds: Each year, the office responsible for administrating the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act offers grant money to tribes to help them work to get back human remains and artifacts, as mandated by the law. Tribes have sometimes complained that there isn’t enough money to do this work, but this year there was actually money left over in the funds allocated by Congress.

- Kumeyaay Repatriation Request Denied: In the latest twist in the tug-of-war between Native Americans and anthropologists, officials at the University of California have decided not to repatriate a pair of well-preserved skeletons that are nearly 10,000 years old.

- Colonial Hohokam Village Unearthed at Cordes Junction: While performing a planning study for a new traffic interchange at Cordes Junction in 1998, the Arizona Department of Transportation came across a sizable scatter of surface artifacts lying adjacent to the current interchange.

- Arizona Historical Society Hires Architect for New Facility: The Arizona Historical Society has selected an architect for its museum at Rio Nuevo. The museum, expected to cost up to $80 million to build and equip, will be designed by the Denver firm of Fentress Architects.

- Museum Expansion Results in Relocation of Graves, New Legislation: The disturbance of graves at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum grounds in Waco will result in an omnibus grave protection bill in the coming state legislative session, the head of a House committee said after a five-hour meeting on the matter Tuesday. - Waco Tribune

- Excavations in Santa Fe Expose Remains of 19th Century Sanitarium: Test pits under way off Palace Avenue will explore the history of Santa Fe's east side, where a national hotel chain hopes to redevelop the site of Santa Fe's first hospital. So far, the excavations, which began Monday, have turned up no surprises—mostly bricks, linoleum and other debris from previous buildings.

- In Defense of Saltcedar: There is nothing neutral about saltcedar. Imported to America's East Coast from Eurasia as a nursery plant in the early 1800s, the hardy shrub's popularity grew beyond ornamental purposes in the early 1900s, when thousands were planted out West to stabilize irrigation canals and control erosion along elevated Southern Pacific rail lines. Satisfaction turned to alarm when the eight imported species of saltcedar, also called tamarisk, escaped cultivation and spread too fast.

- Participation Forms for the 2009 Archaeology Expo Now Online: The 2009 Arizona Archaeology Expo will be held on March 14-15, 2009 (Saturday and Sunday) at the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park (PGM) in Phoenix. If you would like to participate in the Expo, please fill out the attached form and return to SHPO by November 28, 2008. The form can also be downloaded at the link below. (Please note that the SHPO has the right to refuse participation. All excavations and research featured at the Expo must meet state and/or Secretary of Interior standards for archaeological investigations.)

- New Documentary on the Antikythera Mechanism: Improved technology increasingly is revealing unimagined facts about the impressive accomplishments of ancient societies. To see a fascinating account of modern imaging techniques uncovering the complexities of an ancient machine, watch The Antikythera Mechanism: Decoding an Ancient Greek Mystery, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

- Employment Opportunity, Pima Community College: Laboratory Specialist-Archaeology. $17.66 Per hour. Support field and laboratory classes offered through the Archaeology Centre by helping to plan, organize and coordinate technical work in the preparation and maintenance of set-ups, handouts, forms, supplies and equipment for archaeology field and indoor laboratory; and to assist students in field and laboratory projects. demonstrate correct field/laboratory methods, practices and techniques; provide assistance and instruction to students on matters related to field/laboratory assignments and projects. Requirements: Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology, Archaeology or related field, or Associate's Degree in Anthropology/Archaeology and two years archaeology field and/or archaeology lab experience; knowledge of operational characteristics of archaeological field/laboratory apparatus, equipment and materials as well as the use of high tech equipment associated with archaeology (e.g. computers, GPS, electronic survey equipment, etc). Complete job description available below.

Thanks to Adrienne Rankin, Brian Kenny, and Dan Garcia for their contributions to today's newsletter.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Breast Cancer Gene Tracks Spanish Crypto-Jews in New World, Rio Nuevo Audit.

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

- Genetic Mutation Linked to Breast Cancer Also Tracks Spanish Crypto-Jews in the New World: Some people in the valley were reluctant to confront such questions, at least initially, and a handful even rejected the overtures of physicians, scientists and historians who were suddenly interested in their family histories. But rumors of secret Spanish Jewry had floated around northern New Mexico and the San Luis Valley for years, and now the cold hard facts of DNA appeared to support them. As a result, families in this remote high-desert community have had to come to grips with a kind of knowledge that more and more of us are likely to face. For the story of this wayward gene is the story of modern genetics, a science that increasingly has the power both to predict the future and to illuminate the past in unsettling ways.

- Financial Audit of Tucson's Stalled Rio Nuevo Project: They promised buildings — hotels, an aquarium and museums. Nine years later, Downtown Tucson has two refurbished movie theaters, a re-creation of the Presidio wall and a wider freeway underpass. A comprehensive Star analysis of the $63 million in taxpayer dollars paid to outside vendors since voters approved Rio Nuevo in 1999 shows that much of the money has been spent to plan projects that stalled. It also went to pay for things that while not prohibited, are not what excited voters about Rio Nuevo. That includes paying to sponsor events with loose ties to Downtown development and on public relations to promote Rio Nuevo to an increasingly impatient population.

- Black Mesa and Peabody Coal Proposals Impact Hopi Tribal Politics: A push to approve a Peabody Western Coal Co. project in northern Arizona may be dividing the Hopi Tribal Council and fueling an attempted ouster of the tribal chairman. “They have suspended my authority and one of the principal reasons is they want to ramrod the [Black Mesa project] EIS [environmental impact statement] through,” said Ben Nuvamsa, who asserted Oct. 17 that he plans to file a motion to quash an arrest warrant issued by a tribal judge over his contested chairmanship.

- Visiting Palatki: It is Friday afternoon, and a slow, steady stream of visitors makes its way to Palatki Ruin. By the end of the day, 79 people will have visited. Only 10 of them will be Arizonans. That's typical. "Yesterday we only had two visitors from Arizona," said Bud Vancura, a volunteer at the site, about 8 miles southwest of Sedona. Pity. Palatki Red Cliffs Heritage Site is a nice place to explore when the sun is out and the weather is nice. It might be even better on a stormy day. - The Arizona Republic

- Reduced Hours, Free Admission at Anasazi Heritage Center: The Bureau of Land Management’s Anasazi Heritage Center will adapt to the changing season with a slight reduction in museum hours, and the suspension of all entry fees through the coming months. Beginning November 1st and continuing through February 2009, the museum
will remain open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. though 4:00 p.m. It will close only on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The regular $3 adult admission will not be charged until March 1. Minors and nonprofit educational groups are never charged.

- Exhibit Examines Five Generations of Apache Life: An exhibit celebrating the cultural survival of an Apache family will be unveiled today at the Oklahoma History Center, 2401 N Laird Ave. Spanning five generations of the Houser/Haozous family, the exhibit examines war, incarceration and attempted cultural genocide along with family survival, personal expression and the strength of the family. - The Oklahoman

- Fort Hood Archaeology Fair Shares Research With Texas Families: The fair offered several opportunities for the community to get involved. Crafts involving beaded jewelry, rock art and the opportunity to grind dried corn for corn meal in traditional Native American fashion brought smiles to visitors' faces, said Heidi Fuller, the Fort Hood archaeologist who organized the event.

- Meadowcroft Rock Shelter Becoming Heritage Tourism Destination: Meadowcroft is a word very familiar to archaeologists and less to tourists. But that could be changing. The world-famous Meadowcroft Rockshelter, a rock overhang southwest of Pittsburgh, has reshaped thought on what prehistoric people first came to North America and when. Now the cave is striving to become a bigger tourist draw. Improvements costing $1.3 million include a wooden roof that better protects the archaeological site and a wooden deck that improves accessibility for visitors.

- Call for Abstracts, Society for Applied Anthropology: Program Chair Jeanne Simonelli announced today that the deadline for submitting abstracts for the Program of the 2009 Annual Meeting (Santa Fe, NM) had been extended to November 3rd. Prof. Simonelli has taken this action in response to the many requests that she has received from members who have been until recently in the field. This extension will provide additional time for those members who have not yet submitted an abstract. Prof. Simonelli also announced that there would be an expanded and innovative set of poster sessions at the Santa Fe Meetings. A spacious venue for the poster session has been identified and the Program Committee is giving consideration to holding two sessions (on Thursday and Friday). To register and submit abstracts, use the link below.

- Museum Association of Arizona Seeks Help Planning Annual Meeting: The following message sent on behalf of Ryan Flahive at Sharlot Hall Museum. Please contact him directly for more information. - Dear Friends: I am trying to organize an affinity session for archivists that work in museums at the Museum Association of Arizona (MAA) annual meeting in Bisbee. The MAA conference will take place May 13th - May 16th, 2009. The theme of the meeting is Mining for Change: Transforming Our Museums. I am looking for session participants who will help museum archivists explore how museum archives can move confidently into the coming decades through transformation in: new technology, fresh ways of conveying knowledge, increased accessibility to our collections, interdisciplinary collaboration and enhanced methods for connecting to our users. This is part of a new initiative by the Friends of Arizona Archives (FAzA) to more fully involve professional archivists with its statewide organization. The affinity session will give those of us that work in museums a chance to compare notes, get to know each other, and forge relationships that will improve our working conditions and help us assist our customers better. I am looking for three or four folks that would be willing to help me get this process started. If you can help, please contact me Ryan S. Flahive at (928) 445-3122 x.15 or

- Lecture Opportunity, Archaeology of Polynesia Presented at Cochise College, Sierra Vista AZ: Over the years, the distant pasts of Polynesia - from the Hawaiian archipelago to the remote outpost of Rapa Nui - have become better understood by scholars as well as better appreciated by society at large. As archaeological research continues across the Pacific today, this talk will discuss how new light is being shed on central themes - and also revealing significant new details - of how humans reached across one of the globe's most wild expanses: Oceania. - MS Word Document

- Ability to Use Fire Key to Early Hominid Migrations Out of Africa: The ability to make fire millennia ago was likely a key factor in the migration of prehistoric hominids from Africa into Eurasia, a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute of Archaeology believes on the basis of findings at the Gesher Benot Ya'aqov archaeological site in Israel.

Thanks to Brian Kenny for contributions to today's newsletter.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Danny Lopez Passes, Ugly Account of Historic Tucson

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

- O'odham Elder and Educator Passes Away Tuesday: Danny Lopez, a widely known Tohono O'odham poet, storyteller and educator who worked to preserve the tribe's culture and language has died. He was 71. Mr. Lopez died Tuesday and will be buried this weekend in the village of Gu Oidak.

- Historic Era Tucson was a Tough Place to Live: J. Ross Browne wrote in his book “A Tour Through Arizona, 1864 or, Adventures in the Apache Country,” that he was, in a modern term, clueless there was “within the territorial limits of the United States a city more remarkable in many respects than Jericho — the walls of which were blown down by horns; for, in this case, the walls were chiefly built up by horns — a city realizing, to some extent, my impressions of what Sodom and Gomorrah must have been before they were destroyed by the vengeance of the Lord.” - Northwest Explorer

- New Article Highlights Human Impacts of Sunset Crater Eruption: The hot off the presses issue of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research (JVGR Volume 176, Issue 3, October 2008) is a special issue on archaeology and volcanology entitled "Volcanoes and Human History." Of interest to Southwest archaeologists is an article by Michael Ort, Mark Elson, Kirk Anderson, Wendell Duffield, and Terry Samples, comparing two, possibly contemporaneous, eruptions that affected groups in the prehistoric southwest: the well-known Sunset Crater Volcano and the less well-known Little Springs Volcano. New interpretations for prehistoric adaptation to the Sunset Crater eruption are discussed. Most significantly, this is the first time that data are presented on Little Springs Volcano that erupted in the Arizona Strip Area (just south of Mt. Trumbull) sometime between A.D. 1050-1200. For those with connections, you can get the entire JVGR volume off of Science Direct. For additional information, contact Dr Elson at

- Aztec New Mexico Seeks to Highlight Ancient Assets: Aztec City Commissioners created a budget through which they will disburse a $28,000 New Mexico Department of Tourism grant to the city's Chamber of Commerce. "It's an annual grant that we apply for every year," said Becky Christensen, executive director of the Aztec chamber. The organization will use the funds to promote and educate tourists about the "North Road Experience," created about an Anasazi-built road running from Chaco Canyon through Salmon Ruins, Aztec Ruins, passing through some of Aztec's arches to Durango, Colo., then branching to Chimney Rock and Mesa Verde.

-Citizens of Mesa, (AZ) Seek to Renew Park Honoring Ancient Canals: The historic Park of the Canals in Mesa will hold an event Saturday to focus on revitalizing the now failing and unpopular park. Bert Millett, neighbor and member of the Committee for the Restoration of the Park of the Canals, remembers the park at 1710 N. Horne from childhood as "vibrant" and without a bad reputation.

- Seeing Plant Species As Artifacts of Ancient North Americans: As an archaeologist, Daniel F. McCarthy has uncovered many items from the earth. But it is learning what Native Americans do with things grown from the land that has fascinated him for years. He said he would find artifacts and not understand the archaeological record. "I made an attempt to contact elders and shared my findings with them while they shared their knowledge of how their ancestors lived," he said. - The Press-Enterprise, Riverside

- World's First Prepared Cereal Dish Was Much Like Today's Instant Breakfasts: European diners around 8,000 years ago could enjoy a bowl of instant wheat cereal that, aside from uneven cooking and maybe a few extra lumps, wasn't very different from hot wheat cereals served today, suggests a new study that describes the world's oldest known cooked cereal.

- El Paso Archaeological Society Board Member Passes Away During Cave Tour at Fort Stanton: The man was identified on the Web site of the El Paso Archaeological Society as Thomas Gulczynski, treasurer for the group. Hummel said the stricken man was one of 10 society members who were touring the non-technical portion of Fort Stanton cave with two cavers from El Paso Grotto and a team leader, when he complained of feeling tired. "They entered the cave about 2 p.m., Saturday, and it takes about 45 minutes to an hour (for the tour)," said Hummel, an avid caver. "This was a permitted cave trip to look at historical signatures on a rock about a half mile from the entrance and they were on their way out.

- Reminder - AAHS Book Sale This Saturday! The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society is please to announce its next used book sale. The large collection available for this sale represents a wide variety of topics and geographicalinterests with a special emphasis on the anthropology, archaeology, and ethnohistory of the Southwest United States and Mexico. Saturday, October 25, 2008, 9-4 PM. AAHS and ASM members, admitted at 8 AM for exclusive shopping. Sale will be held at the Arizona State Museum South Building (southeast corner Park Ave and University Blvd).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Havasupai Accuse ASU of Misusing Bio-Anthropological Data, Archaeology and Threats to Archaeology in Utah

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

- Members of Havasupai Tribe Accuse ASU Researchers of Serious Misconduct: Aral Putesoy Kaska knows all about the Arizona State University research project on diabetes. She remembers the debate among the tribe, the reluctance, the questions of trust. But in the end, she gave her blood, convinced by her Havasupai Tribal Council that scientists in Tempe could find answers to stop the disease from spreading to her daughters and the grandchildren she hoped one day to have. It never occurred to her – and she wouldn’t know for 13 years – that the blood of an isolated group of Native Americans, among the oldest blood on the continent, would be considered so rare it would be a “gold mine” to scientists – not to study diabetes, but to study mental illness, inbreeding and Indian migration patterns, studies that assaulted both her culture and her religion. On top of that, she and the tribe discovered they were never going to get the precious answers they sought, because in all those years, ASU had not done the genetic diabetic research it promised. - Phoenix Magazine

- Archaeologists Complete Survey of Remote Desolation Canyon: History buffs have wrapped up a three-year project exploring one of Utah's most rugged places, a stretch of the Green River called Desolation Canyon. What they found is evidence of a mysterious people from 1,000 years ago who may have earned a living there but didn't actually live there. Desolation Canyon is so remote and rugged the only practical way to explore the archaeology is by river. Dennis Willis, with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, said, "It was one of those kind of things where everybody knew there was a lot of archaeology there, but nobody knew what or where."

- Oil and Gas Industry Ignorant of Impacts to the Archaeology of Nine Mile Canyon: As it is, the ancient rock-art figure and dozens around it in Rasmussen Cave are cordoned off for belated protection behind a log fence built by the new owner, Denver-based Bill Barrett Corp. The whir of the energy company's 10 natural gas compressors pulses like a nearby freeway. A fine cloud of Utah silt stirs in the air as the semis pass, some of it settling on the rock - brushing or rinsing it off is like rubbing sandpaper on the stone.

- Santa Cruz Valley Heriatge Alliance Fall Celebration to be Held at Tucson's Historic Hotel Congress: Join us Thursday October 30th for the Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance's Fall Celebration & Fundraiser at the historic Hotel Congress! Please join us for a fun evening of food and drinks, while we celebrate the rich heritage of the Santa Cruz Valley. Meet our Board of Directors and staff. Network with fellow heritage enthusiast. Learn about the proposed Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area. Become a member. Win a heritage prize in our raffle. Participate in our silent auction for a Kino Heritage Fruit Tree, limited-edition art, or a Tohono O’odham turtle basket.

- National Association of Tribal Historic Preseravtion Officers Supprted by Getty Foundation: The Getty Foundation in Los Angeles has announced a grant to the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (“NATHPO”) of $125,000 to support the “National Native Museum Training Program,” which provides training and leadership development opportunities for the directors and staffs of Indian tribes’ museums and cultural centers. Goals of this four-year initiative are to provide a variety of training and leadership opportunities for tribal museum directors, as well as current and future tribal museum personnel, by offering two directors’ seminars, four skills workshops, and up to twenty (20) national fellowships.

- Blogsphere Takes Verison and McCain Ranch Pithouse Story into Absurdity: So there's is a "prehistoric rock ring and possible pit house" on McCain's property and they built a radioactive cell tower on top of it and now he is cursed for a thousand generations, the end. -

- Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society Used Booksale this Saturday: The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society is please to announce its next used book sale. The large collection available for this sale represents a wide variety of topics and geographical interests with a special emphasis on the anthropology, archaeology, and ethnohistory of the Southwest United States and Mexico. There are many hard-to-find titles in an individually, yet reasonably priced section. General book prices start at $1. Journals start at 50¢. Proceeds from the sale help support the Arizona State Museum Library. When: Saturday, October 25, 2008, 9-4 PM. AAHS and ASM members admitted at 8 AM for exclusive shopping. Where: Arizona State Museum South Building (southeast corner Park Ave and University Blvd). More information: Todd Pitezel at 520-730-8686 or

- The Fort Lewis College Department of Anthropology is accepting applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Historical Archaeology starting Fall 2009. The Department of Anthropology is located in the Center for Southwest Studies where it shares space and program interests with the Department of Southwest Studies, the Program in Native American and Indigenous Studies, and the Office of Community Services. The student population of about 4,000 is diverse, with 19% Native American and 5% Hispanic students. - MS Word Document

- Two New Videos on the Archaeology Channel Examine Research on Pre-Clovis Occupations of North America: Recent excavations at a number of sites, including Cactus Hill located along the Nottoway River in southwest Virginia, have provided new evidence and raised new questions about when people ventured into the Americas. For many years, archaeologists thought that people arrived approximately 11,500 years ago. However, stone artifacts, charcoal, and soil, plant and animal remains suggest human habitation at Cactus Hill at least 18,000 years ago, when much of the continent was under ice.

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

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hohokam Site Involved in Presidential Politics, Atlatl Throw Saturday.

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

- Hohokam Site Involved In Presidential Politics: the 200-page environmental assessment Verizon commissioned to study McCain’s land, and filed with the FCC. It was no small process. The group that Verizon hired to conduct the study, EBI Consulting, in turn had to subcontract a local archeological firm, Aztlan Archeology (page 145), to make sure the tower wasn’t erected on Indian burial grounds or risked causing an eyesore. Laurie Slawson, the archeologist who wrote the report, explained to me that Aztlan had examined a “prehistoric rock ring” (page 160) discovered at the proposed site and contacted about a dozen local Indian tribes, from Hopis to Havasupai, to make sure no cell phone tower arose on ancient Indian burial grounds (which, she says, does happen periodically and necessitates an expensive relocation process to less-sacred areas). The McCain site did contain archeological evidence of a long-ago Indian presence—a fire pit that Slawson attributes to the Hohokam, a prehistoric agrarian tribe—though apparently nothing sacred enough to stand in the way of wireless technology.

- Atlatl Throw This Saturday at the Blackwater Draw Site: Eastern New Mexico University's Department of Anthropology and Applied Archaeology, Blackwater Draw Archaeological Site, and Mu Alpha Nu Anthropology Club will host the eighth annual Blackwater Draw Atlatl Throw on Saturday at the Blackwater Draw Archaeological Site. The site is located along State Highway 467, about six miles north of Portales and one mile north of the turn to Oasis State Park.

- Apache Exhibit Opens in Oklahoma: “Unconquered- Allan Houser and the Legacy of One Apache Family” opens at the Oklahoma Historical Society on October 24, 2008. The exhibition of artworks, artifacts, and photographs will illustrate cultural survival and expression through five generations of one Apache family – the Haozous/Houser family. Spanning the years of 1886 to 2008 the exhibition will trace the family’s history in Oklahoma. Allan’s father, Sam Haozous, was among the Chiricahua Apaches forced from their New Mexico homelands, imprisoned in Florida, then Alabama, and finally assigned to the Ft. Sill Army base in Oklahoma.

- Second Arizona Archaeology Expo Planning Meeting Announced: 2009 Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month. “Celebrate Arizona’s Past: Museums, Places, People. ”Thursday, October 16, 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) continues 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 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,

- Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument to Celebrate Gila River With Special Event: The Monument is celebrating the Gila River on November 8, 2008 from 11am to 2pm with an event featuring new book releases, Gila Libre and Free Flow. The authors will accompany interested participants on a walk along the west fork of the Gila River focused on photography and writing. Along the way, Jan Haley will talk about the natural art of the river and Carol Sinor will focus on the river as inspiration for poetry and nature writing. Participants are encouraged to bring their cameras, sketchbooks, or journals or simply come and enjoy an autumn walk and learn what Dutch Salmon has gleaned from his years spent along the river. For your viewing and buying pleasure Jan will have limited edition large format prints from Free Flow available for the first time. Signed copies of Gila Libre and Free Flow are available for purchase (no sales tax) at the non-profit Western National Parks Association bookstore at the Gila Visitor Center. Proceeds from the sales at the bookstore provide funding for this and other Park programs provided to the public at no cost. Please call (575)536-9461 to place book orders by phone or for more information.

- The Clampers, A Drinking Club with a History Problem: With little more than mortar and their ever-present red shirts, the Clampers, as the organization’s members are known, have placed more than 1,000 bronze, wood and granite plaques throughout California, from the remote stretches of coast to mining towns like this one, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The group’s handiwork appears on roadsides, lakesides and at the sites of former brothels, breweries and ballrooms. Jails and forts have been plaqued, and so have whaling stations. Historical drinks have been commemorated — and, no doubt, imbibed — along with ghost stories, stories of heroism and plenty of tall tales in between.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Massive Cemetery Excavation in Tucson, More Fines for George Johnson

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

- SRI Excavations in Downtown Tucson Opens a Unique View on Southwestern History: They started finding the bodies right away. In November of 2006, excavation began on 4.2 acres near North Stone Avenue and East Alameda Street, site of a planned joint city/county courts complex. It would last 16 months. It would also turn out to be one of the largest single historic excavations in the country.

- La Osa Developer Who Bladed Away Hohokam Villages Faces More Fines for Diverting Santa Cruz River: A Scottsdale developer and his companies have agreed to pay another $1 million in connection with his role in bulldozing, filling and diverting about five miles of the Santa Cruz River in Pinal County. The deal, announced Tuesday, settles a lawsuit filed against George H. Johnson after his firms bladed about 2,000 acres of privately owned land in 2003 to create what was to be the La Osa Ranch community north of Marana. The work, according to the lawsuit, severely damaged what had been an area with rich vegetation, including one of the few extensive mesquite forests remaining in Arizona's Sonoran Desert region.

- Travelogue: Ojo Caliente: Long before the Spaniards discovered these springs, the waters at Ojo Caliente — with their remarkable combination of arsenic, iron, soda and lithium — have been erupting from the earth. A favorite of locals, these springs have special meaning for the descendants of those who inhabited the Ojo Caliente drainage from the late 1300s until the early 1500s. "We live at the gateway to prehistoric New Mexico and have numerous sacred sites that we’re very closely connected to and visit often," said Herman Agoyo, former governor of San Juan Pueblo, one of several nearby Indian pueblos.

- Volume 2 of "Handbook of North American Indians - Indians in Contemporary Society" Published by Smithsonian Institution: The 46 chapters in this volume explore how Indians and Arctic peoples maintain their Native identity in contemporary societies, including their responses to the social forces around them. The major sections include The Issues in the United States, The Issues in Canada, Demographic and Ethnic Issues, and Social and Cultural Revitalization. 589 pp. S/N 047-000-00417-9. 2008. $64. $89.60 international price.

- American Indian Center Dedicated in Oklahoma: An American Indian chief conducted an ancient tribal ceremony Friday to bless the first building to be completed at the site of the American Indian Museum and Cultural Center. Representatives from several Oklahoma-based tribes joined state officials in dedicating a 4,000-square-foot visitor center, part of a complex of buildings, courtyards and earthen mounds that eventually will include a 125,000-square-foot museum at the intersection of Interstates 35 and 40 in Oklahoma City.

- Do Gender Roles and Optimal Foraging Theory Apply to Surfing the Web? Few men are required to go into the wilderness these days to get food for Sunday dinner. But it seems they can't shed their hunter-like tendencies when it comes to the Internet, according to Canadian researchers. Two brothers from Quebec have found that men use hunting skills acquired through years of gender evolution when moving through the World Wide Web. - CTV

Thanks to Cherie Freeman and Brian Kenny for contributions to today's newsletter.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Memorial for Hartman Lomawaima, National Register Status for Nine Mile Canyon, Waco Countersues CRM Firm. National Trust News

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

- Memorial for Hartman Lomawaima Tomorrow at the University of Arizona: A memorial service for Hartman H. Lomawaima will be held on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Student Union Memorial Center, South Ballroom, which is now ADA-compliant. Lomawaima was the director of the Arizona State Museum when he died last July 8 at age 58 after a year-long battle with cancer. A native of Second Mesa on the Hopi Nation in northern Arizona, Lomawaima spent his career bridging Native and non-Native cultures over contentious issues such as repatriation of culturally sensitive materials housed in museum collections.

- BLM to Nominate Nine Mile Canyon Sites to National Register: In cooperation with Utah's historic preservation office, the United States Bureau of Land Management plans to nominate the cultural resources sites within Nine Mile Canyon to the National Register of Historic Places. Nine Mile Canyon is perhaps best-known for its thousands of petroglyphs and pictographs. Listing in the National Register would further acknowledge the unique and irreplaceable cultural resources.

- City of Waco Countersues American Archaeology Group Over Texas Ranger Musuem: The city of Waco is countersuing an archaeological firm, blaming American Archaeology Group for allowing the city to expand the Texas Ranger Museum into an unmarked cemetery. In a counterclaim to the firm’s breach of contract lawsuit, the city alleges AAG was negligent in green-lighting the construction of an annex behind the museum. - Waco Tribune

- Excavations Continue Northwest of Tucson: It was a foregone conclusion that work on a two-pronged construction project along North Silverbell Road would unearth some archaeological findings, Marana officials say. Just not this many. "We knew there would be a few things under the road," said Su Benaron, Marana's cultural resources manager. "But there was a lot we weren't expecting." - Northwest Explorer

- National Trust Launches Website for Heritage Travelers: Washington, DC | The National Trust for Historic Preservation today announced the creation of Heritage Travel, Inc., a comprehensive, online resource for heritage travelers and historic destinations. Heritage Travel, a new, for-profit subsidiary, will launch its new website in early 2009. The site will provide extensive visibility for historic destinations, enable consumers to find and share heritage-rich experiences and provide a professional forum where historic destinations can network and share best practices.

- Heritage Travel, Connecting Places That Matter: Coming in early 2009 – the premier online destination for heritage travel content, planning, and community where people collaborate to enjoy and interpret heritage-rich experiences.

- Lecture Opportunity (Aztec NM): Paul Reed will speak at Aztec Ruins National Monument, Oct. 16, 6pm. The presentation will highlight Reed's new edited book: Chaco’s Northern Prodigies: Salmon, Aztec, and the Ascendancy of the Middle San Juan Region After AD 1100 (University of Utah Press, 2008). The lecture will be followed by a book signing with Reed, and contributors Gary Brown and Linda Wheelbarger.

- National Trust Accepting Most Endangered Places Nominations: National Trust for Historic Preservation is accepting nominations for its annual list of endangered places, which identifies examples of America's architectural, cultural and natural heritage that are at risk. Nominations are due Dec. 5. The 2009 list of 11 endangered historic places will be announced May 6.

-Texas Archaeology Fair has Strong Draw for the Public: (Saturday Oct 11) Anyone who plans to go to the 9th annual Archaeology Fair at Fort Concho National Historic Landmark better plan on spending a few hours. Some people expect to spend an hour or so, but they end up not wanting to leave, said Ginger Hudspeth of the Concho Valley Archeological Society, which sponsors the event.

- Developer Plans to Raze Historic Mesa Home: The fate of what's believed to be the oldest house in Mesa's Temple Historic District will be on the line when the city's Historic Preservation Committee meets Thursday night. But the best the committee can do, chairman Jared Smith said, is give the building a six-month reprieve. After that, the owner will be legally free to tear it down. The property at 55 S. Mesa Drive is owned by T. Dennis Barney, according to Mesa's historic preservation officer, Anne Mullins. - Arizona Republic

- Bubonic Plague Returns to Four Corners Region: A northeast Arizona man has contracted bubonic plague and health agencies are urging Four Corners residents to help prevent the spread of the disease. The Apache County, Ariz., man who contracted the disease began showing symptoms in late September, the Navajo Nation said, including a 103-degree fever, chills, diarrhea and groin tenderness.

- Call for Papers, 11th Annual Julian D Hayden Student Paper Competition: The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society is pleased to announce the competition, named in honor of long-time AAHS luminary, Julian Dodge Hayden. The winning entry will receive a cash prize of $500 and publication of the paper in Kiva, The Journal of Southwestern Anthropology and History. The competition is open to any bona fide undergraduate and graduate students at any recognized college or university. Co-authored papers will be accepted if all authors are students. Subject matter may include the anthropology, archaeology, history, linguistics, and ethnology of the American Southwest and northern Mexico, or any other topic appropriate for publication in Kiva. Papers should be no more than 25 double-spaced, typewritten pages (approximately 8,000 words), including figures, tables, and references, and should conform to Kiva format (see: If the paper involves living human subjects, author should verify, in the paper or cover letter, that necessary permissions to publish have been obtained. Previous entries will not be considered, and all decisions of the judge are final. If no publishable papers are received, no award will be given. Judging criteria include, but are not limited to, quality of writing, degree of original research and use of original data, appropriateness of subject matter, and length. Deadline for receipt of submissions is January 15, 2009; late entries will not be accepted. Send four copies of the paper and proof of student status to: Julian D. Hayden Student Paper Competition, AAHS, Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0026.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Possible Coronado Artifact Found At El Morro, Kokopelli Statue Offends American "Values" in Blanding

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

- Possible Coronado Expedition Artifact Found During Yard Work at El Morro National Monument Residence: Maybe it is not Coronado’s horse’s bit that Leslie Moosman raked up in her back yard, but even the distant possibility has Nation Park Service employees, along with everyone else who has heard the story, thinking about the explorer and his journeys. In early September, Leslie Moosman was cleaning up pine needles in her back yard when she scraped up a bit of rust encrusted metal buried in the needles and loose dirt. Thinking it might be part of something her husband, Supervisory Park Ranger Fred Moosman, had dropped, she put it aside.

- Edge of Cedars Museum Forced to Move Kokopelli Sculpture After Nineteen Years of Anatomically Correct Display: A state park on Thursday moved a statue of a humpbacked flute player over objections the figure was offensive because it is anatomically correct. Edge of the Cedars State Park moved the stick like figure from the front to the back of a museum where it can't been seen from the street, said park manager Teri Paul.,5143,700263534,00.html - UPI News

- Archaeology of a Hohokam Village Exposed Near Tucson: Archeologists say conditions along the Santa Cruz River were ideal for the Hohokam 900 years ago. "An irrigation canal would have watered fields where corn and beans and squash would have grown," says William Doelle, President of Desert Archeology. "Rabbits out in the field, all that sort of thing is right here in the very short distance around the site." By studying what the people have left behind in the 20 pit houses they've unearthed, archeologists have discovered a village of a couple hundred people, including several extended families. Website includes video link.

- Peoria Developing Archaeological Park to Protect Hohokam Village Site: Peoria is moving forward to develop a small park on land where Native American artifacts were discovered. The State Historic Preservation Office has given the green light to develop a portion of the 20-acre Hohokam site near Terramar Boulevard. The park design will adhere to a strict archeological preservation and treatment plan. - Arizona Republic

- Reminder Archaeology Cafe in Tucson This Tuesday: 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.

- Beloit College Continues Pioneering On-Line Museum Collections: Although not everyone can visit the Logan Museum, it will be accessible to all with the help of a new software program. A recent grant will allow Beloit College's Logan Museum of Anthropology to electronically organize its extensive ethnographic and archaeological collection. The organization project will include the posting of data and images online in an easily accessible format through the college's library.

- Ceramic Traditions at Paquime: In about 1955, a teenage Mexican boy named Juan Quezada found a cave near the village of Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua in Mexico, containing some ceramic pots created by the ancient Paquime Indians. He started to experiment with locally available materials to try to re-create the pottery. In 1971, after about 16 years of work, he figured out how to do it. He later taught the skill to his extended family members.

- Travel Along With the Ancient Way Festival: Communities along New Mexico Highway 53, from Grants to Zuni, will be hosting events in celebration of the Ancient Way Fall Festival in the Zuni Mountains. These events are scheduled for this weekend and the following Saturday.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Navajo's Not Sure on Canyon De Chelly Takeover, Hopi Nation Stops 9 Mile Canyon Drilling, and More Preservation News

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

- Majority of Navajo Residents of Canyon de Chelly Oppose Plans for Navajo Nation Takeover of Park: A movement to have the Navajo Nation take over management of this 130-square-mile national monument from the National Park Service is premature and not supported by the majority of the canyon's residents, some residents charged at a public forum here Sunday. Residents expressed fear that a shift to tribal management would result in "chaos," unenforced regulations, and deterioration of the facilities.

- Fusing Theory and Data in Archaeological Research: Arizona State University doctoral student Scott Ortman, a rising star in the field of Southwest archaeology, is helping to close the gap between theory and data with his training in quantitative and qualitative work and his skillful way of linking the two. “A perennial problem in archaeology is that we have many interesting theoretical ideas—for example, how humans perpetuate material traditions—but we often do not know how to apply that theory to our data, such as counts of potsherds,” states archaeologist Michelle Hegmon, a professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ School of Human Evolution and Social Change and chair of Ortman’s committee.

- Maxwell Museum Opens Ortiz Center: The Maxwell Museum opened the Ortiz Center Gathering Space on Friday, which intends to make anthropology more accessible to UNM students and community members. "In public anthropology, we take anthropology out of the academy and into the community," said Elena Ortiz, daughter of the late Alfonso Ortiz, for whom the center is named. - The Daily Lobo

- Updates and Upgrades at Tumacacori Mission: In January 2009, just a few short months from now, the park's new $400,000 museum will open to the public. Eight years in the making, the museum--which the Tucson Weekly previewed last week by portable construction-lamp light, since the all-important museum lighting is yet to be installed--is a long leap forward from the somewhat dusty, early-1970s exhibits that used to tell the mission's history.

- The Hopi Nation's Response to Nine Mile Canyon and the "Drill, Drill, Drill" Mantra: A Denver energy company's plan to drill more than 800 natural-gas wells in eastern Utah's relic-rich Nine Mile Canyon is in trouble with a top federal historical preservation agency. In letters sent this week to Bureau of Land Management officials in Washington and Salt Lake City, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation questions whether the BLM adequately evaluated potential damage from the drilling project on ancient art and archaeological sites.

- Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society Announces a Contest to Redesign the Cover of Kiva, the Journal of Southwestern Archaeology and History: In honor of the 75th anniversary of Kiva, the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society is holding a contest to redesign the front and back cover of the journal, and give the journal a fresh, yet professional look. Kiva is an internationally recognized scholarly journal that publishes original research on the anthropology and ethnohistory of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Journal readers include anthropologists and historians, tribal members, students, and avocational archaeologists. - MS Word Document

- Lecture on Apache History (Tucson): Sunday, 19 October, 3 p.m. As part of the Tucson Presidio Trust’s Fall 2008 lecture series, Julia Arriola, curator at the Arizona Historical Society, will speak on: The Apache Pacification Policy/Pacification by Dependency: Apaches Mansos (Tame or Peaceful Apaches). The talk will be held at the Presidio San Agustin del Tucson, corner of Church and Washington streets, in downtown Tucson. Parking is free on nearby streets. Refreshments will be served. For more information contact Gayle Hartmann at (520)325-6974.

- Earth Ovens and Heated Stone Cooking the Topic of the Next Meeting of the Pacific Coast Archaeological Society: Pacific Coast Archaeological Society's October 9th meeting will feature Douglas H. Milburn speaking on "Prehistoric Heated Rock Cooking Features of the Central Transverse Mountain Ranges." Meeting information: Thursday, October 9, 2008, 7:30 pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA. Meeting is free and open to the public.

- The Challenge of Preservation Presented at New Mexico Archaeology Fair: Dirt to dirt. Ashes to ashes. Some final resting places of early New Mexicans are being lost to the llano. Sitting amid a series of stylized gravestones, Rebecca Procter of Santa Fe New Mexico Archeology Council was at the New Mexico Archeology Fair Saturday to try to enlist support in saving the state's historic cemeteries.

- National Preservation Institute to Host Landscape Preservation Seminar in Phoenix: "Landscape Preservation: An Introduction," November 18-19, 2008, in cooperation with the Public History Program, Department of History, Arizona State University and the State Historic Preservation Office, Arizona State Parks. Review the basics of historic and cultural landscapes, including designed, vernacular, and ethnographic landscapes, and historic sites. Learn about applicable laws and regulations, and to identify character-defining features of a landscape. Explore preservation planning and documentation, and how development of the cultural landscape report assists in managing historic and cultural landscapes. Case studies illustrate realistic approaches to landscape preservation and managing change effectively. An agenda is available online at (sic). Questions? Please contact NPI at

- Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Seeks New Director: This is one of the most visible and important positions in the federal preservation program. This is a permanent position as a federal employee with a starting salary of $115,317 (and a current salary range of up to $149,000) and includes the full complement of federal employee benefits. The position is located in Washington, DC. The director is a critical senior level management position, assisting in the development of policy and providing direction to a major staff unit to enable the ACHP to meet the broad goals established for it under the National Historic Preservation Act. The ACHP is now recruiting. The position is posted at, where you will also find information about the application process; the vacancy number is ACHP-TL-08-MM214526. A copy of the vacancy announcement and the full position description can be found on the ACHP's website.

- Senate Votes to Ratify 1954 Hague Convention on Cultural Heritage and Armed Conflict: On September 25, 2008, the U.S. Senate voted to give its advice and consent to U.S. ratification of the1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Read the statement that was submitted by the Lawyers Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, the U.S. Committee for the Blue Shield, the Archaeological Institute of America and twelve other cultural preservation organizations to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of ratification.

- Two Ancient Technology Workshops at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center in Tucson:
-- Old Pueblo's Hands-On Traditional Pottery Making Workshops With John Guerin. Sundays October 5 through November 16, 2008 Traditional Pottery Making Level 1 Workshop with John Guerin at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 5100 W. Ina Road Bldg. 8 (northwestern Tucson metro area). 2 to 5 p.m. each Sunday. Fee $79; $63.20 for Old Pueblo Archaeology Center and Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary members; includes all materials except clay, which participants will collect during class field trip.
-- Old Pueblo's Hands-On Arrowhead-Making And Flintknapping Workshops With Sam Greenleaf. Choice of three separate workshops on Sunday October 19, 2008, Sunday November 16, 2008, or Sunday December 14, 2008. Arrowhead-making and flintknapping workshop at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 5100 W. Ina Road Bldg. 8 (northwestern Tucson metro area). Noon to 3 p.m. each date. $35 per session; $28 for Old Pueblo Archaeology Center and Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary members.

Advance reservations required: 520-798-1201 or

Thanks to Gerald Kelso for Contributions to today's newsletter.