Monday, December 29, 2008

Mount Taylor GIS Coming Soon, Archaeology Cafe, Ancient American Horticulturalists

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

- The State of New Mexico and Tribal Governments Move to Map Traditional Cultural Properties on Mount Taylor: The Navajo Land Department would provide Geographic Information Systems mapping services to further the permanent classification of Mount Taylor as a Traditional Cultural Property under a cooperative agreement approved Monday by the Resources Committee. The Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe, and the Pueblos of Acoma, Laguna and Zuni would share in the $143,841 cost for the mapping under the agreement and use the information to pursue the permanent nomination of Mount Taylor as a Traditional Cultural Property.

- The Horticultural Lifestyles of the Ancient Americans: Long before early humans in North America grew corn and beans, they were harvesting and cooking the bulbs of lilies, wild onions and other plants, roasting them for days over hot rocks, according to a Texas archaeologist. The evidence for this practice has long been known of in fire-cracked rock piles found throughout the continent, but archaeologists have tended to ignore it "because a new pyramid or a Clovis arrow point is much sexier," said archaeologist Alston V. Thoms of Texas A&M University.,0,6385869.story

- Archaeology Cafe (Tucson) " Human Adaptation to Catastrophic Events: Lessons from the 11th Century A.D. Eruption of Sunset Crater Volcano ." What happens when your world seems to come to an end? Archaeologist Mark Elson shares the story of the prehistoric farming communities that lived around Sunset Crater Volcano at the time of its eruption in the 11th century A.D. Learn what happened to the refugees and how their agricultural strategies-and indeed their worldview-were forever changed. Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 6:00 pm on the patio at Casa Vicente, 375 S. Stone Avenue, Tucson, AZ. Free and open to the community-all are welcome. Guests are encouraged to support our host, Casa Vicente, by buying their own food and drinks.

- Arizona Republic Offers Guide to the Old and Ancient Southwest: Let's face it. We know more these days about lattes than lassos. More about stocks than livestock. Spurs, in our book, are nemesis athletes from Texas. Cowboys, likewise. And chaps - isn't that what they call guys in England? We tenderfeet might as well admit as to how we're not exactly a ridin,' ropin' and wranglin' bunch out here in the Southeast Valley, where some of us can watch jetliners almost at eye-level from our high-rise condos and where the Old West might as well, like darlin' Clementine, be lost and gone forever. - Arizona Republic

- Volunteers Make a Difference at Salmon Ruins: Larry Baker has been the director since 1993 and says he considers it a "terminal sentence." This affable man obviously is doing work he loves. Salmon Ruins offers a variety of programs. The research library is a treasure, and the museum itself and the gift shop are real treats, widely expanded since my first days there. Larry and I talked about volunteers to help keep all the programs going. He indicated those on board were invaluable, but he could certainly use more. He particularly praised the dedication of Victor Boulanger who comes in faithfully every Wednesday to work as a docent and at the reception desk.

- Field School Announcement, NIU Archaeological Field School in Sicily: The primary goal of this program is to teach practical archaeological skills in a research environment. The field school is part of the Monte Polizzo Archaeological Project, a multinational Sicilian, Scandinavian, and American project focusing on the site of Monte Polizzo and the surrounding Belice Valley in the western-central portion of the Sicily. Monte Polizzo is a proto-urban hill top site used for nearly 1200 years and encompasses the Bronze, Early Iron, Elymian, and Hellenistic periods in the island's history. The surrounding valley settlement system is filled with additional Neolithic, Hellenistic and Roman sites. The valley's long occupation period, coupled with the diversity of archaeological cultures present in the area, make it an ideal training ground in archaeological methodology and provide ample evidence for introducing participants to the fascinating aspects of both classical and prehistoric archaeology. This field school is undertaken in conjunction with the universities of Gothenburg, Oslo, Palermo, and Stanford.

Thanks to Brian Kenny for Contributions to today's newsletter.