Friday, November 28, 2008

Contentious Leases Deferred, Financial Crisis Impacts Major Anthropology Museum, AAHS Raffle

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

- BLM Will Not Lease Drilling Parcels Near Arches, Canyonlands: In the face of intense opposition from the National Park Service, members of Congress and a top official from President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management backed down Tuesday from its plan to sell oil and gas leases near national parks and wilderness-quality areas in Utah on Dec. 19. - The Moab Times-Independent

- Penn Museum Forced to Drastically Cut Staff: The Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is the latest to be affected by the financial crisis. Museum director Richard Hodges announced in a memo last Friday that the museum would discontinue 18 "research specialist" positions that have been part of the curatorial departments and the Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology, in addition to disbanding the MASCA division as a whole. - The Daily Pennsylvanian

- Traditional Hopi Garden Project Thrives at Montezuma Well: There is a fable told in many ways and in many cultures of a solitary traveler or group of travelers who arrive in a village looking for something to eat. Denied a handout, they concoct a plan that will not only sate their hunger, but leave the villagers with an understanding that there is value in sharing. - Camp Verde Bugler

- Tucson-area Students Discover Hohokam Lifeways: It’s the middle of a school day, and a bunch of fourth-graders in bandanas and face paint stand at the trailhead of an ancient path. “It’s illegal to go up on your own and dig,” says Kimberly Robinson, a teacher with double jagged lines painted across her cheeks. “That’s called treasure hunting. You can come here to enjoy the site, but you can’t take from it.” - The Explorer

- Support AAHS Scholarship Fund: The annual Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society raffle to raise money for scholarships will be held December 15th at the Duval Auditorium, University Medical Center, 1501 North Campbell Avenue (north of Speedway) in Tucson. The meeting will start at 7:00 pm rather than 7:30. Please join us for refreshments, last-minute raffle tickets, and a viewing of auction items. For more information on the Society, refer to the following link.

- Seminar Opportunity, National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers: An opening has become available for the upcoming director's seminar "Development & Cultivation of Community Support for Tribal Museums," that is scheduled for December 4-6, 2008, in Chandler, Arizona. For more information, follow the link below.

Thanks to Gerald Kelso for contributions to today’s newsletter.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Threats to Parks and Sites in Utah, Repatriation Proponent Honored, Call for Applicants to SAA Native American Scholarships

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

- Decision Forthcoming on Drilling Near Utah’s National Parks: More talks set for Tuesday could resolve objections to oil and gas drilling near some of Utah's national parks. Denver-based regional Park Service director Mike Snyder is trying to stop the auction of 50,000 acres of drilling parcels on or near the borders of Arches National Park, Dinosaur National Monument and Canyonlands National Park.,5143,705265756,00.html

- Mixed Reaction to BLM Plan for Southeastern Utah: The Monticello field office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Monday released its long-term plan for 1.8 million acres of public property in San Juan County and parts of Grand County, home to thousands of ancient Indian relics in one of the nation's most significant archaeological regions.

- World Archaeological Congress Honors Repatriation Pioneer Larry Zimmerman: Archaeologist Dr. Larry J. Zimmerman turned the page on the world of archaeology with the discovery of the eroded and looted site of the 1330s Crow Creek Massacre along with nearly 500 human remains in central South Dakota. Zimmerman’s insistence on reburial put him in the midst of a brewing controversy pitting the established archaeological practice of cataloging and storing human remains for later study against the very real concerns of the living Native people, who insisted on the respectful treatment of their ancestors.

- Kudos to Arizona Archaeologist Jerry Howard: Dr. Howard is the recipient of the 2008 Historic Preservation Award for "Lifetime Contribution to Archaeology" from the Mesa Historic Preservation Committee. Dr. Howard was recognized for his efforts to preserve the Mesa Grande ruins as an educational and cultural site. He was also honored for leading a team of volunteer archaeologists known as SWAT (SouthWest Archaeology Team) on numerous projects around Arizona that include survey work, excavation and the stabilization of historic sites including old adobe schoolhouses and stagecoach stops. - Phoenix Travel Examiner

- Museum Event Yields Information on Paleoindian Sites: Utah State University’s Museum of Anthropology saw some of the highest attendance numbers in its history Saturday, hosting about 200 people during its first “Prehistoric Artifact Roadshow.” Following the structure of PBS’s popular program, “Antiques Roadshow,” the participants sat across from experts who analyzed their treasures, relating information about their age and history.

- Celebrate the Holidays at Gila Cliff Dwellings: Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Superintendent Steve Riley announced that through the generous donation of the Monument’s volunteers’ time, both the Gila Cliff Dwellings and the multi-agency Gila Visitor center will be open on all three holidays this winter: Thanksgiving, November 27; Christmas, December 25; and New Year’s Day, January 1, 2009. The trailhead to the dwellings is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. On holidays, the Gila Visitor Center will be open on slightly reduced hours of 9:00 am to 4:00 pm; regular hours on all other days are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Call the Gila Visitor Center at 575-536-9461 or check the website below for current road and weather conditions.

- Position Announcement, University of Colorado at Boulder: Curator of Cultural Anthropology and Assistant Professor, tenure-track position, jointly with the Museum of Natural History and Department of Anthropology. Applicants should have a Ph.D. with specialization in cultural Anthropology, as well as museum experience. Strong preference is for candidates with Southwestern and/or Plains material culture research and publication, NAGPRA experience, teaching experience, and strengths in contemporary anthropological and museological theory. Responsible for curation of cultural anthropological collections from the Native American Southwest, West, and Plains (and limited materials from the Pacific, Africa, Asia); teaching graduate and undergraduate courses; and advising M.A. and Ph.D. students in Anthropology and Museum & Field Studies. Applications will be reviewed beginning November 2008, and continue until the position is filled. Steve Lekson ( may be contacted for further information. Apply to posting #805531 at the following link.

- Scholarship Opportunity, Society for American Archaeology: Over the last decade, the Society for American Archaeology has awarded 11 Arthur C. Parker Scholarships and 31 National Science Foundation Scholarships to Native American and Native Hawaiian students and professionals. These scholarships have provided a range of training opportunities in archaeological methods, including fieldwork, analytical techniques, and curation. The deadline for the 2009 competition is December 15, 2008. For more information on the program and the silent auction that supports a portion of it, refer to the following link. - MS Word Document
Application materials may be found at the website below.

- Tour Opportunity, Deer Valley & Spur Cross Ranch Petroglyphs: On Saturday December 6, Allen Dart and Shelley Rasmussen will offer a guided fundraising tour to see hundreds of ancient petroglyphs and the museum at Deer Valley Rock Art Center north of Phoenix, and more petroglyphs in Spur Cross Ranch Regional Park near Carefree, Arizona. For more information about the tour and fees, and to make reservations, contact Allen Dart at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 520-798-1201, or Information is also available at the following link.

- Free Publications on Conservation Documentation: The Getty Conservation Institute is pleased to announce two new publications on conservation documentation for cultural heritage places, Guiding Principles and Illustrated Examples. These two publications are now available as free downloads at the following link.

- New Documentary on Heritage Preservation in Eastern Turkey: An ancient Armenian capital in the heart of the South Caucasus region, Kars alternately came under Byzantine, Turkish, Georgian, Russian, and Armenian control. Until recently, the Kars Historic District was a poor squatter settlement, a backwater without city services such as sewage, waste management and utilities. Global Heritage Fund is working with the Kars Municipality, the Turkish Government, and others in eastern Anatolia to mix historic preservation and urban revitalization with community development and sustainable tourism. The project is described in Saving Turkey’s Treasures: Eastern Anatolia, Turkey, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

Thanks to Brian Kenny and Adrianne Rankin for their contributions to today’s newsletter.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nevada Archaeological Crime Prosecuted, New Home for Arizona Archives, Lecture on Hohokam Rituals Tonight

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

- Father and Son Plead ‘Not Guilty’ to Looting Charges: A father and son from Northern California have pleaded not guilty to charges alleging they illegally collected Indian artifacts in Nevada. Donald Parker, who is 69, and his 42-year-old son, Steven Parker, were arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.

- Arizona Archives Move to New Facility: As constitutions go, it doesn’t exactly evoke a sense of history. It’s typewritten. Typewriters, after all, were the latest thing in 1910, when the state Constitution was drafted. Still, the document is a part of history. It’s an archive. And it will soon have a new home, one more modern than a typewriter.

- Homolovi Hosts Hopi Artists: The history of northern Arizona is rooted in the movement of Pueblo clans. The descendents of these people produce art that depicts their stories and traditions, and you can see the artists at work from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Homolovi Ruins State Park. Hopi artist demonstrations will be featured every Saturday through December 20. - The Arizona Republic

- Non-Native, But Still Heirloom: The Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project involves finding the oldest heirloom trees, taking cuttings and planting them. The project's goal is to replant the heirloom trees at the mission gardens in Tumacácori National Historic Park, south of Tucson. Heirloom trees will also be planted in Tucson in the Rio Nuevo gardens of Origins Heritage Park on the west bank of the Santa Cruz, near the nursery.

- Accomplished Prescott Craftsman Entrusted with Katsina Restorations: Hopi and Zuni carvers entrust Neely with their personal doll repairs, and he in turn promises that he would never carve his own katsina doll. "The Hopi have a very complex religion and culture. I respect that and treat the dolls that way," he said.

- Lecture Opportunity Tonight, “Hohokam Rituals: The Meso-American Connection.” Dr. Stephanie Whittlesey of SWCA Environmental Services will speak at 7:30 pm at the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society’s free monthly lecture. The event, which is open to the public, will be held tonight, November 17, at the DuVal Auditorium of the University Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson. For more information, refer to the following link.

- Lecture Opportunity, “In the Aftermath of Ancestral Puebloan Migrations to Southern Arizona.” Dr. Anna Neuzil of EcoPlan Associates will speak on Thursday, November 20, at 7:30 pm at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 5100 W. Ina Road, Bldg. 8, Tucson. Old Pueblo’s lecture program, which occurs on the third Thursday of every month, is free and open to the public. For more information on the lecture series and other exciting activities happening this week, visit Old Pueblo’s website below.

- Exhibition Opening, BLM Anasazi Heritage Center, “The Old Spanish Trail: A Conduit for Change.” On the day after Thanksgiving the Anasazi Heritage Center will open a special exhibit about the Southwest’s earliest and most important historic trade route, which ran from northern New Mexico to the Pacific coast. The exhibition traces the trail's history through artifacts, maps, and images. It was developed by the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado in conjunction with the Old Spanish Trail Association, and made possible in part by a cost share grant from the NPS National Trails System Office in Santa Fe. The exhibition continues through October 2009. For more information, call the Center at (970) 882-5600 or visit the website below.

- Travelogue – History of Natural Bridges National Monument: The monument now features a paved entrance road, a campground, a fancy visitor center, video program and modern ranger residences. But it began simply with the dream of pioneers who believed in conservation and stewardship of special places. "We owe them a great debt," said Ryan. "It is overwhelming."

Thanks to Doug Kupel for contributions to today’s newsletter.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ancient Places on Google Earth, Nabhan Joins UA Southwest Center, Antler House Village Tour Update

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

- UCLA/UVA Team and Google Earth Present Digital Visualization of 4th-Century Rome: Obviously, there were no satellites to snap pictures of Rome two millennia ago. But that hasn't stopped experts from giving Web surfers a bird's eye view of the ancient city.

- Grant Money Furthers Site Protection, Part I (Goat Camp): The grant would pay for about 1.5 miles of trail leading from the Payson Campus of the Gila Community College to Goat Camp Ruins, the inconspicuous remains of a village that once formed the hub for a network of surrounding settlements. - The Payson Roundup

- Grant Money Furthers Site Protection, Part II (Mesa Grande): After more than 20 years, Mesa finally has enough money to begin work on an architectural park at the Mesa Grande ruins. A $100,000 grant from the Arizona Historic Preservation Heritage Fund, coupled with a previous $150,000 from Indian gaming money, will allow the public to begin touring the ruins as early as next year.

- Renowned Heritage Foods Scholar Returns to Tucson: Calling all locavores: It’s celebration time! Gary Nabhan has come home. This longtime mover and shaker on the American heritage foods scene recently left his post as director of the Center for Sustainable Environments in Flagstaff for a research social scientist position at University of Arizona’s Southwest Center. - Northwest Explorer

- Additional Opportunity to Tour Antler House Village: Due to overwhelming response, Arizona Department of Transportation and EcoPlan Associates will offer professional archaeologists a second tour of the "Antler House Village" archaeological site in Cordes Junction. Tours will now be offered at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesday November 18. Advance reservations are required and should be made no later than Friday November 14. For more information and to make reservations contact Allen Dart (EcoPlan) at or 480-733-6666, extension 168.

- Native Eyes Film Festival Begins Today: The Hanson Film Institute and the Arizona State Museum, in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution, began the Native Eyes film showcase five years ago. Included in the film offerings from across the United States are movies with Tucson ties. The murder-mystery "Imprint" was produced by Chris Eyre, a UA media arts alum and the director of the widely successful 1998 independent film "Smoke Signals."

- Fossil Pelvis Provides Evidence for Larger-Brained Newborns: “This is the most complete female Homo erectus pelvis ever found from this time period," said Indiana University Bloomington paleoanthropologist Sileshi Semaw. "This discovery gives us more accurate information about the Homo erectus female pelvic inlet and therefore the size of their newborns.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

UNM Retirements Cause Concern, Important Early Agricultural Site in Tucson

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

- Powerhouse Department Grapples with Impending Retirements: The UNM Department of Anthropology is expected to be in the top 20 anthropology programs in the nation, according to its chairman. "Anthropology is one of the strongest programs at UNM," chairman Michael Graves said in an e-mail to the Daily Lobo. "I am hopeful it will continue as such." However, the department's reputation could be in jeopardy, because four ethnology professors will retire in the next three years, Graves said. - New Mexico Daily Lobo

- Early Agricultural Site in Tucson Rich with Evidence: In 2004, voters approved bonds to upgrade and expand the wastewater facility at Ina Road and Interstate 10. But before anything new can be built, the state and county require a dig for any archaeological ruins. Archaeologists from Desert Archaeology say they shouted when they found an ancient village which they estimate is 3,500 years old. Fred Nials says, "On a scale of 1 to 10 this is about a 9.9."

- Sky Island Alliance Urges Support of Conservation-Based Management Plan: This November the Coronado is resuming public meetings to present draft sections of the revised Forest Management Plan. The new Plan will affect management of the Forest for the next twenty years or more. The Coronado Planning Partnership has released a report entitled “State of the Coronado National Forest: An Assessment and Recommendations for the 21st Century.” The Sky Island Alliance presents more information on meeting locations and dates as well as advocacy for the aforementioned report at the following links.

- Concerns Escalate over Threats to Parks, Potential Wilderness Areas: A high-level fight has erupted within the Interior Department between the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service over plans to sell leases for oil and gas drilling near Arches, Canyonlands and Dinosaur National Monument. The Park Service wants to delay the Dec. 19 lease sales. The BLM has refused to do so.

- Monsoon Cycles Tied to Rise and Fall of Dynasties: A stalagmite rising from the floor of a cave in China is providing clues to the end of several dynasties in Chinese history. Slowly built from the minerals in dripping water over 1,810 years, chemicals in the stone tell a tale of strong and weak cycles of the monsoon, the life-giving rains that water crops to feed millions of people.

- Exhibition Opening, New Mexico State University Museum, “From Above: Images of a Storied Land.” On Saturday, November 15, the Center for Desert Archaeology and New Mexico State University Museum will host a special reception at the University Museum in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 4:00 p.m. with a presentation by the photographer, Adriel Heisey, followed by a panel discussion with archaeologists William Walker, Karl Laumbach, and Bill Doelle, and a subsequent gallery tour led by Heisey. More information is available at the following link.

- Exhibition, Western New Mexico University Museum, "Our Fathers, Our Grandfathers, Our Heroes." Modern technology has made the United States Armed Forces efficient at keeping secrets. Sixty years ago, Navajo Code Talkers were just as capable. The Western New Mexico University Museum will feature the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II in the exhibition "Our Fathers, Our Grandfathers, Our Heroes."

- Exhibition, James A. Michener Art Museum, "Claus Mroczynski: Sacred Places of the Southwest." The Michener Museum recognizes the important legacy of this late, outstanding German-born New Hope photographer. The 46 featured black and white photos represent 18 years spent, starting in the mid-1980s, constantly traveling back and forth from New Hope to remote sacred grounds of ancient Indians in Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. This show turns against the idea that everything exciting has to be new. Instead, this stunning exhibit is about memory. - The Philadelphia Inquirer

- Lecture Opportunity, "Prodigy, Rebel, or Stepchild? Salmon, Aztec, and the Middle San Juan Region in the Chacoan and Post-Chacoan Periods." In conjunction with the New Mexico Archaeological Council's 2008 Fall Conference, Paul F. Reed will give a public talk at 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 13. This free lecture will take place at Hibben Center 105, University of New Mexico main campus. A book signing for Paul's recent edited volume, Chaco's Northern Prodigies, will follow. For more information, follow the link below.

- Lecture Opportunity, "Santa Catalina Island: Perspectives on Pimu." Pacific Coast Archaeological Society's November 13th meeting will feature archaeologist Ivan Strudwick, who will review the natural and cultural history of the island once known to the Gabrielino as Pimu (Pemuu'nga).The talk will also present the results of a cultural resource survey of a 51-mile electrical distribution system on Santa Catalina Island. The meeting is free and open to the public, and it will take place at 7:30 pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District, Irvine, CA. Additional information may be found at the following link.

- Call for Participation, Museum Association of Arizona Annual Meeting, Bisbee: Museum archivists are invited to participate in a proposed affinity session at the MAA conference, May 13-16, 2009. The session will give archivists that work in museums a chance to network and forge relationships that will improve working conditions and customer service. For more information and to support the proposed session, contact Ryan S. Flahive at (928) 445-3122 x.15 or

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Upcoming Antler House Village Tour, Navajo Language Textbook Adopted, Life at the Presidio of Tucson

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

- Nation's First Navajo Language Textbook Adopted in New Mexico Schools: People come from all over the world to experience the American Indian culture of the Southwest, so it's disheartening to see the Four Corners lose more of that culture with each generation. The recent celebration of a Navajo language textbook is a reassuring sign that an effort is being made to help bring our American Indian culture back to life.

- Site Tour Opportunity, Antler House Village: The Arizona Department of Transportation and EcoPlan Associates, Inc. will offer tours of the Antler House Village archaeological site in Cordes Junction. Advance reservations are required. The first tour, at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, November 18, is for professional archaeologists. Three tours are offered for avocational archaeologists and the general public on Friday, November 28. For further details and to make reservations, contact Allen Dart (EcoPlan) at or 480-733-6666 extension 168.

- Lecture Opportunity, "A Day in the Life of the Presidio." Jim Turner, historian at the Arizona Historical Society, will speak as part of the Tucson Presidio Trust's fall lecture series. The talk will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 16, at the presidio, 133 W. Washington, Tucson. For more information, contact Gayle Hartmann, (520) 325-6974.

-Coronado National Forest Encourages Participation in Plan Revision Meetings: The Sky Island Alliance is preparing for public meetings by the Coronado National Forest as it revises its forest-wide management plan. It is important that conservation-minded individuals attend these meetings across Southeast Arizona. For more information, follow the link below. - MS Word Document.

- Louisiana Officials Offer Legal Guidance on Archaeological Finds: So if you do find something that may have historical significance, what should you do? There are laws governing the acquisition and sale of genuine artifacts - and they vary a little from state to state. Ryan Seideman, a lawyer and archaeologist, is the person in Louisiana whose job it is to determine if private citizens have a right to any artifacts in their possession.

- Egypt's Supreme Council Welcomes UCLA Field School, Embraces Blogging: Wendrich also won SCA over by offering to include Egyptian SCA inspectors-in-training in the dig. These future inspectors are all college graduates in archaeology, but few have field experience, Wendrich said. That gives everyone involved not just archaeology experience, but also a deeper exposure to another culture. The new inspectors have blogged enthusiastically about their first field experiences, posting their thoughts in both English and Arabic.

-Travelogue, Canadian Students Discover the American Southwest: There is no better teaching tool than exposing students to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch of a subject. That is the objective behind Okanagan College’s Southwest Studies course, put on by Salmon Arm campus professors Stephen Doyle, Rod Watkins and Tim Walters. “In the text books I use, there are big sections on the Grand Canyon, San Juan River, and it’s one thing to lecture and show pictures but it’s totally another to take students out there... get their hands dirty and hike through there,” said Doyle who teaches geography, earth and environmental science at the college and played an integral part in creating the program.

- Museum of Indian Arts and Culture Hosts Benefit Book Sale: The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe will be holding its 16th Annual Book Sale to benefit the Laboratory of Anthropology Library on Saturday and Sunday, November 8 & 9, 2008. Doors are open from 10 am – 4 pm. Free admission on both days. More information is available at the link below.

- Exhibit Opening, Arizona State Museum, "Beyond the Naked Eye: Science Reveals Nature's Art." Art and science have always been connected - from alchemists' experiments producing art materials to Renaissance explorations of anatomy - and artists still draw on scientific technology in their process and as inspiration. This exhibition aims to reverse traditional roles by presenting science as art and looking beyond what is accessible to the unaided human eye.

- Position Announcement, University of Arizona: The Department of Anthropology seeks an archaeologist on a part-time, temporary basis to teach Tier I level general education course TRAD 101 – Patterns of Prehistory during the 2009 spring semester; contingent upon available funding. This is a course of explicitly global perspective exploring some important events in the history of humankind. The Patterns in Prehistory course examines global migration, sedentism, origins of agriculture, and the development of complex social systems through different times, places, and cultures. The Ph.D. in Anthropology (prior to January 2009) is required. - MS Word Document

- Employment Opportunity, Rocky Mountain National Park: Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is currently advertising for a permanent, full-time GS11 Cultural Resources Specialist. The announcement will be open until December 5. The job announcement may be found at the link below.