Friday, December 19, 2008

Financing Archaeological Preservation, Suburban Petroglyphs

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

- New Publication Examines Innovative Financing for Cultural Heritage Preservation: From a farmer’s field in Cambodia to a mantle in a New York penthouse, the path of a looted antiquity is profitable for some, but leaves behind a wide swath of economic, environmental and cultural degradation. Despite increased awareness and global attempts at enforcement, the growth of the illicit antiquities trade into a $4 billion market is a clear sign that there are more rewards than actual risks. However, according to this report from the Milken Institute, an overhaul of incentives could change the market to create significant cultural and economic value. According to Financial Innovations for Developing Archaeological Discovery and Conservation, there are market-based solutions that can promote legal discovery and conservation, while at the same time stop or at least mitigate the effects of looting. The report offers three possible solutions to explore: long-term leases for museums and exhibitions, museum/collector partnership sponsored digs and the design and development of archaeological development bonds. - The Milken Institute

- Restoring American National Parks Would be an Excellent National Economic Stimulus Package: The nation's crown jewels, 391 National Park Service properties, are losing their luster. Years of deferred maintenance and inadequate federal funding have taken a terrible toll on our national parks, monuments, seashores, lakes, battlefields, recreation areas and historic sites. Bridges need replacing, roads need repaving, and historic buildings need restoring. Visitor centers, restrooms, trails, boardwalks, piers and outbuildings need refurbishing. The price tag: $8.7 billion, and growing at a rate of $700 million a year. It sounds like a lot, but it's not. The money needed to restore and preserve our parks would be just a fraction of the massive stimulus plan -- estimates range from $400 billion to $1 trillion -- that the Obama administration and a Democratic Congress hope to approve in January to stoke the embers of a dying economy. And it would be money well spent.

- Petroglyph National Monument Preserves Ancient Art in a Suburban Context: Suburbia is on one side of the street, traces of an ancient people on the other. But it's easy to forget the 21st century within Petroglyph National Monument, which is home to more than 20,000 images pecked into dark boulders by the ancient ancestors of today's American Indians, Spanish settlers and later visitors. - Dallas News

- Deer Valley Rockart Center is Another Suburban Preservation Success Story: The quail are calling, the cottontails stirring. It's late afternoon, and the desert has come to life outside Deer Valley Rock Art Center. Two owls sit in a Paloverde and wait things out while a few visitors stroll and look up at a rocky hillside. Thousands of years ago, travelers scratched symbols on these rocks, symbols now preserved in a family-friendly museum setting in north Phoenix. Javelina, bobcats and coyotes wander from the surrounding desert into the 47-acre park. The owls wait and shadows grow long.

- Help Study Petroglyphs in Suburban Tucson: Old Pueblo Archaeology Center to offer archaeological field school training in cultural resources survey techniques. - MS Word Document

- National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers Offer Museum Design Workshop: " "Telling Our History I: Exhibition Development." This week-long workshop is four and one-half days of learning through presentations, dialogue, and a site visit to museums in area. Tribal museum and cultural center directors and staff will learn about and share information that address the basics of exhibit development. Each day will include interactive activities, lessons from case studies and model museums, and opportunities for participants to learn from one another.

- Numerous Archaeological Titles Make Reviewer's Lists of the Top 12 Southwestern Books of 2008: Just in time for Christmas giving, the Pima County Public Library's Southwest Literature Project has announced its top Southwest reads for 2008. Eight panelists, two who concentrated on children's books, reviewed more than 270 books with a Southwest theme or setting published this year.

- Controversial Changes at University of Pennsylvania Archaeology Musuem: A venerable archaeology museum plans to lay off 18 researchers and focus on upgrading its exhibits in an effort to attract more visitors and shore up its finances. Several prominent scientists are among the researchers being laid off from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, though some could keep their jobs if grant money to cover their salaries is found. - Art Info