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).