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.