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.