Friday, January 30, 2009

Ancient Olla Repatriated to Acoma, Hopi Basketry Exhibit to Open at Arizona State Museum

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

- Ancient Jar Repatriated to Acoma Pueblo: The U.S. Attorney's Office and investigators with the Bureau of Land Management returned an ancient clay jar to its rightful owners Wednesday after it had been stolen from a New Mexico archaeological site. Dignitaries of Acoma Pueblo accepted the jar, called an olla, during a ceremony. The jar was made sometime between 900 and 1100 A.D. - Santa Fe New Mexican

- Hopi Basketry Exhibit to Open at the Arizona State Museum: On the surface, they're just baskets. Take a second look, and the hand-woven works of art become insightful symbols of an ancient culture full of mystique. The Arizona State Museum is hosting the Opening Celebrations for a new exhibit, "Circles of life: Katsina Imagery in Hopi Basketry." - Arizona Daily Wildcat

- Arizona National Parks Intend to Fight Invasive Plants: The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to treat invasive plant species at Chiricahua National Monument in Willcox, Ariz., Fort Bowie National Historic Site in Bowie, Ariz. and Coronado National Memorial in Hereford, Ariz. An invasive plant inventory has been completed by the NPS Sonoran Desert Inventory and Monitoring Network, Tucson, Ariz. We are assessing the impacts of implementing integrated pest management practices to treat non-native and native plants that become invasive (or out of balance) with the natural plant communities, primarily due to disturbance. Treatments on invasive species that are present in the monuments or become established over the next ten years will be assessed.

- Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument Centennial Celebration Lecture Series Begins in February: Join the SPMNM every Friday Evening in February and March to hear visiting scholars from all over New Mexico share their stories, expertise and experience as a part of the Monument's Centennial Celebration.

- Southwestern Artistic Dynasties: There are dynasties in art. Consider the Carter Family in country music or the Brueghels in painting. In Germany, there once were so many Bachs in music, the family name became a synonym for musician. It would be difficult to count the Nampeyos in Hopi pottery. And among the Santa Clara Pueblo potters, there is the extended Naranjo family, descended from matriarch Rose Naranjo (b. 1915). - Arizona Republic

- Registration Now Open For the 12th ICOMOS International Symposium on Preservation: March 11-15, 2009 in New Orleans, "Preservation in Peril -Disaster Planning, Rapid Response, and Sustainable Recovery in the 21st Century."

- ICOMOS Earthen Architecture Bilbleography Now Online: This bibliography is based on the publications on this topic available at the Documentation Centre. It includes also the earthen architectural heritage on the UNESCO World Heritage List. - ICOMOS

-Summer Heritage Documentation Internship/Fellowship Opportunites With HABS/HAER: Heritage Documentation Programs seeks applications from qualified individuals for summer employment documenting historic sites and structures of architectural, landscape and technological significance throughout the country. Duties involve on-site field work and preparation of measured and interpretive drawings and written historical reports for the HABS/HAER/HALS Collections at the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Projects last 12 weeks, beginning in late May or early June. Salaries range from approximately $6,000 to approximately $11,000 for the summer, depending on job responsibility, locality of the project, and level of experience. Applications Due: February 17, 2009 (postmark date).

Call for Volunteer Assistance (Tucson) Old Pueblo Archaeology's new home is located at the Tucson Unified School District's Ajo Service Center: 2201 W. 44th Street, about 1/4-mile west of La Cholla Blvd. (44th Street is between Ajo Way (on the south) and 22nd Street/Starr Pass Blvd.). Our next big thing that we need some volunteers to help with is the construction of our new simulated archaeological dig site - the "OPEN3" site - that will be used to teach classrooms of children about archaeological fieldwork and interpretation methods. We will be constructing the site the coming Saturday starting at 9 a.m., so if you'd like to get your hands dirty with us (and probably some of your other body parts and clothes) and can spare some time, could you please volunteer to help us with this effort? We need to have the new "dig" site ready in time for our first school program of the year on February 6, so this weekend is our biggest push to get it done. We really need some help this Saturday, so if you can join in please contact our children's program instructor Cris Wagner at Old Pueblo's phone number 520-798-1201 or at Cris's email address:

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

Monday, January 26, 2009

AIA Claims Discovery Channel Profiting From Looting, Apache Playing Cards Talk at Heard North

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

- American Institute of Archaeology Claims Discovery Channel is Profiting from the Looting of Underwater Sites: Shipwrecks! Treasure! Gold, gold, gold! The hallmarks of treasure-hunting are the stuff of adventure stories, more than fun enough to make archaeologists, who are mounting increasing complaints against the pillaging of sunken ships, seem like wet blankets. But more is at stake than just a few loose doubloons, they say. "The big picture is that a fair amount of humanity's past we don't know, and it's important we don't let it become lost forever," says maritime archaeologist James Delgado, head of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology. - USA Today

- Lecture Opportunity, Apache Playing Cards at Heard North: While other American Indian groups enjoyed playing cards, only the Apaches appeared to have crafted their own deck. Hand-painted on horsehide rectangles, the 40-card deck at first resembled the Spanish deck from which it was adopted. The Chiricahuas and Western Apaches later came to design their own cards and invented new games and new tales of how they learned of the cards, said Alan Ferg, archivist at the Arizona State Museum.Ferg will share more about the culture of Apache playing cards Wednesday at the Nights at North presentation at Heard Museum North Scottsdale. 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Jan 28, 10 dollars. - Arizona Republic

- Ancient Responses to Catastrophe in the Southwest: The earth trembled. The rock smoldered. The forest burned. And the holy man danced, his turquoise and coral beads bouncing on the chest of his finely woven tunic. The low wall of glowing lava rolled inexorably toward him at a slow walk, swallowing everything in its path with a gulp of flame and smoke. The shaman danced up to the edge of the molten rock, feeling its heat on his face. Then he bent down before the molten rock, with the grace of a bow, and arranged three ears of corn in front of it — an offering, a frail prayer. Then he danced backward, chanting — as the lava took the corn in a gulp, then rolled on toward the holy man’s doomed village — unappeased. Countless such scenes no doubt attended the most recent volcanic outpouring in the 8-million-year process of building Mount Humphreys, the tallest mountain in Arizona. Archaeologists have unearthed the ash-smothered villages, and the lava-created casts of the corn placed carefully in the lava’s path. - Payson Roundup

- Hohokam Irrigation System Documented In Mesa: Less than 360 yards away from where the Wenzlaus played with their grandchildren, the faint remnants of those ancient canals straddle a languishing state of resilience and invisibility. You can’t see them with the naked eye. “Through satellite imagery, sometimes we can actually see the canals, kind of a signature of them,” said Jerry B. Howard, curator of anthropology at the Arizona Museum of Natural History. “The soil in them is different than the other soil around them — more porous and moist — still conducting water, if you will.”

- National Park Archetype - Utah's Natural Bridges National Monument: This monument of slickrock, ancient rock writing, American Indian ruins and three natural bridges is one of the most remote and least populated places in the lower 48 states. The nearest town is Blanding, 40 miles to the east. Though reasonably close to Monument Valley, Lake Powell and Canyonlands National Park, Utah¹s first national monument and one of the first dozen in the nation requires effort to visit. Tourists must really want to come here. Perhaps that is part of its magic.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Puye Cliff Dwellings to Reopen, Field School Announcements

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

- Puye Cliffs to Reopen for Public Visitation: Santa Clara Pueblo, which owns and operates the site, reopened the ruins for group tours last fall. The landmark will open to the general public in late May. But self-guided tours of the site are a thing of the past — partially because of the theft of artifacts and vandalism that occurred when the site was virtually unmonitored. Now tours of the cliffs will be conducted by guides who can keep an eye on tourists and educate them about the history of the place.

- Historian Seeking Historic Photos of Downtown Chandler: Chandler’s historic downtown area has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with renovated buildings becoming home to new restaurants, art galleries and other businesses. In another effort to share downtown Chandler’s unique story, the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership, Chandler Arts Commission, and the City’s Museum Division are partnering to create special tile plaques for downtown buildings. Artists will design each plaque that will be placed on designated historic buildings around Dr. A.J. Chandler Park. Each plaque will feature historical photographs and information.

- Field School Announcement: University of Arizona Dendroarchaeology Fieldschool, May 18-June 5, 2009, 3 credits, 9am-4pm daily The Laboratory of Tree-ring Research at the University of Arizona is pleased to offer its 9thannual presession course devoted entirely to the collection, analysis, and interpretation of archaeological tree-rings. Participants (undergrads, grads, professionals) will learn the most accurate and precise dating method used by archaeologists via lectures, laboratory exercises, and field work. The first week in Tucson will provide participants with a basic background in dendrochronology and dendroarchaeology. The second week of this intensive 3-week course is a field trip to various archaeological sites in the western New Mexico led by Drs. Ronald H. Towner and Jeffrey S. Dean. During the third week back in Tucson, participants will prepare, crossdate, and interpret the dendroarchaeological samples collected during the field trip. Non-credit option is available. For more information, contact Dr. Towner directly. phone: 520 621-6465;

- Field School Announcement: Archaeological Field School, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona. Northern Arizona University and the Kaibab Vermilion Cliffs Heritage Alliance invites applications for a field school of archaeology in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, north of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The field school will be directed by Michael O'Hara from June 1 - July 10, 2009. Students will learn about surveying, excavation, mapping, artifact analysis, and cultural resource management primarily at West Bench Pueblo, a Late Pueblo II (A.D. 1050-
1200) Virgin Anasazi village on the Colorado Plateau. To apply or for
more information on this field school, contact or go to

- Publication Announcement, "Las Capas: Early Irrigation and Sedentism in a Southwestern Floodplain", Edited by Jonathan B. Mabry: This volume summarizes the results of archaeological data recovery fieldwork at the Early Agricultural period site of Las Capas undertaken by Desert Archaeology, Inc., personnel in 1998 at the request of the Arizona Department of Transportation for a redesigned on-ramp to the Interstate 10 highway in the western Tucson Basin, southern Arizona. - MS Word Document

- New Video on the Archaeology Channel Highlights Indus Culture: Among the least heralded of mankind’s founding civilizations is that of the Indus Valley. The remarkable Indus Civilization of India and Pakistan was contemporaneous with other early civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Iran and influenced later cultures, including that of modern India. A new institution setting out to fill that information gap is the Indus Heritage Centre, featured in Saving the Indus Valley: Gujarat, India, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

Employment Opportunity (Springerville, AZ): The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, located in east-central Arizona, will soon be filling a Forest Archeologist position. This position is a permanent full-time position at the Supervisor’s Office with a duty station of Springerville, Arizona. This position is currently advertised on an open continuous roster as 0193-12. This notification is being circulated to inform prospective applicants of this upcoming opportunity. If you are interested in applying for this opportunity, please call or send an e-mail message to: Robert S. Taylor – Resources Staff Officer, email:

Thanks to Brian Kenny For contributions to today's newsletter.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Rio Nuevo News, Significant Findings from Icelandic DNA, Stowe Memorial

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

- Latest Design Concepts for Rio Nuevo, Part II: Economics, City Council reluctance and a public uproar about the cost of the University of Arizona's initial proposal for its Science Center at Rio Nuevo caused the consolidation of the center and the Arizona State Museum building at the site. Architect Rafael Viñoly's $350 million Rainbow Bridge design, which would have spanned the Santa Cruz River and Interstate 10, will now use construction techniques that are "a lot like a precast-concrete parking garage," according to Viñoly's nephew and project director, Rafael Viñoly-Menendez. Bob Smith, UA vice president for Facilities Design and Construction, said the scaled-down design recognizes that "what's most important is what's inside these buildings."

- Mammoth Remains Begin Journey to Rio Nuevo: The opening of the Arizona State Museum at Rio Nuevo is three years away, optimistically, but its oldest artifact has already been moved. A cache of mammoth bones, containing the spear points of the migrant Clovis-era hunters who slew the beast 13,000 years ago, made its way last Friday from the museum's venerable building on the south side of the UA Mall to its conservation laboratory on the north side of the mall. The display was wrapped, loaded on a cart and pushed very carefully up ramps, down Park Avenue and over elevator thresholds, said conservator Nancy Odegaard.

- Higher Rates of Genetic Drift Found in Icelandic Populations: Archaeological and historical records suggest individuals from the British Isles and Scandinavia settled Iceland about 1,100 years ago. Based on studies of today's Icelanders, researchers have suggested that less than 40 percent of Icelandic mtDNA — representing matrilinear ancestry — originated in Scandinavia, while as much as 75 to 80 percent of their paternal ancestry, gauged by Y-chromosome DNA, is Scandinavian. That is consistent with the notion that Scandinavian men, namely Vikings, frequently settled the area with women from other regions. - Genome Web Daily News

- Sustainability and the Hohokam: The Earth is warming. The economy is reeling. The housing market has collapsed, and the future is unclear. We drink coffee from a paper cup, talk about the environment, the need for sustainability. A mound of dirt and rock near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport can tell us much about sustaining life in the desert. That mound now is part of a museum, but archaeologist Todd Bostwick believes it was built as a temple of sorts by the Hohokam, who lived in the Sonoran Desert for 1,000 years.

- Memorial Tribute to Noel Stowe Set for January 31: Dear colleagues and friends, we invite you to attend a memorial tribute and celebration of the life of Noel Stowe, who died December 13 of last year. The tribute will take place on Saturday, January 31, in the Carson Ballroom of Old Main from 2-4 pm. We look forward to seeing you. For more information and to RSVP, contact Norma Villa, 480-965-5779,

- Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Urges Obama Administration to Properly Consult on Eagle Matters: Federal laws require the United States government to consult with Indian tribes on eagle matters, but the SRPMIC said these laws have been disregarded. According to the SRPMIC, the Fish and Wildlife Service has continually failed to respond to requests for individual meetings with tribal officials; scheduled meetings with tribes only days before expiration of comment deadlines; refused tribal requests to extend comment deadlines; declined to act on comments submitted by tribes; and failed to adequately recognize the importance of the eagle species to tribal culture, religious, historic, and environmental interests. -

- Utah Museum of Natural History Prepares for New, State-of-the-Art Facility: Moving a museum is not something you do every day. Nor it is something that can be done in a day — or even in weeks and months. And that's why the staff and volunteers at the Utah Museum of Natural History — now, when the new museum is barely more than a big hole in the ground; now, while completion is as least a couple of years away — are already starting to focus on their Big Move.,5143,705278106,00.html?pg=1

- Position Announcement (closing date 01/21/2009), Cultural Resources Program Manager, Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs: Reporting to the Natural & Cultural Resources Manager and under general direction, the Cultural Resources Program Manager performs professional, administrative, and field work assignments required for managing a major cultural resources management program. Coordinates with the Facilities Management Office on all future construction related projects on all Arizona Army National Guard managed military training lands and installations. Serves as the project manager on cultural resources projects conducted by outside contractors, including Environmental Assessments, Section 106 consultation, tribal consultation, integrated cultural resource management plans, and historic buildings. Provides major input for rules / regulations and policy / procedure development/modification in cultural resources on all Arizona Army National Guard managed training lands. Ensures compliance with Federal, State, and Army regulations. More information is available at the following link. -

- Workshop Opportunity, Flintknapping and Arrowhead-making: On Saturday, January 24, flintknapper Allen Denoyer will teach a hands-on workshop on making arrowheads and spearpoints out of stone. The class is designed to help modern people understand how prehistoric Native Americans made and used artifacts, and is not intended to train students how to make artwork for sale. The workshop will take place at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 2201 W. 44th Street, Tucson, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. There is a fee, and places are limited. For more information and to make required reservations, contact Old Pueblo at 520-798-1201 or

Thanks to Brian Kenny for his contribution to today's newsletter.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Rio Nuevo Designs Presented, Report on Excavations at Las Capas Released, Upcoming Lecture on Archaic Rock Art in Texas

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

- University of Arizona Science Center, Arizona State Museum Present Latest Design Concepts for Rio Nuevo: The University of Arizona Science Center and Arizona State Museum building at Rio Nuevo has been pared back considerably from the iconic Rainbow Bridge first envisioned by architect Rafael Vinoly, but the new boxier design has a couple of advantages, university officials said Wednesday — it can be built on time and within budget.

- Discovery of Possible Mammoth Tusk on Santa Cruz Island: A complete tusk believed to belong to a prehistoric mammoth was uncovered on Santa Cruz Island off the Southern California coast, researchers reported Tuesday. If the discovery is confirmed, it would mean the tusked beasts roamed 62,000-acre Santa Cruz Island more widely than previously thought. - Los Angeles Times

-Las Capas Publication Available Now: The Center for Desert Archaeology announces the release of Las Capas: Early Irrigation and Sedentism in a Southwestern Floodplain (Anthropological Paper No. 28), edited by Jonathan Mabry. This volume summarizes the results of archaeological data recovery fieldwork at the Early Agricultural period site of Las Capas undertaken by Desert Archaeology, Inc., personnel in 1998. The Arizona Department of Transportation requested the work as part of a project to construct a redesigned on-ramp to the Interstate 10 highway in the western Tucson Basin, southern Arizona. The book sells for $24.95 and can be purchased directly from the Center for Desert Archaeology ( or 520-882-6946).

- Professor Barbara Mills to Give 15th Annual Distinguished Archaeology Lecture at UC Boulder: A renowned expert on the ancient Pueblo people of Chaco Canyon will give a free public lecture at the University of Colorado at Boulder on January 24. Barbara Mills, professor and chair of the anthropology department at the University of Arizona, will discuss new interpretations of ancient Chacoan society. Mills said the Chacoan society cannot be fully appreciated without understanding the social networks of the 10th through 12th centuries, including how these networks were created and maintained through "social memory."

- Two Phoenix-Based CRM Firms Announce Merger: Soil Systems, Inc. has completed a merger with PaleoWest Solutions in Archaeology. Based in downtown Phoenix, SSI is a 25-year-old archaeological consulting firm that enjoys one of the finest reputations for scientifically outstanding archaeology in the American Southwest. PaleoWest is a 3-year-old archaeological firm that recently re-headquartered to the historic Oldaker House at 649 N. 3rd. Ave. in downtown Phoenix. SSI President Cory Breternitz will serve as Principal and Senior Archaeologist for PaleoWest. More information is available at the following link.

- Penn's Museum Director Responds to Protests over Layoffs: These days, finding a balance between academics and economics is crucial. That balance motivated the museum's administrators to discontinue 18 research specialist positions at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology last November, effective May 31. But more than 2,000 people in a variety of fields around the world signed an online petition, posted Jan. 7, claiming the museum went too far. - The Daily Pennsylvanian

- Gila Archaeological Project Field School Investigates Apache, Buffalo Soldier Battlesites: During the summer of 2008, the Black Range Ranger District of the Gila National Forest hosted the Gila Archaeological Project Field School, where numerous Apache and Buffalo Soldier battles occurred from 1860 through the 1890s. Field participants included two students from the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation in Mescalero, N.M., and 10 university students from Howard University and Indiana University. Howard University is a private, historically black university located in Washington, D.C., while Indiana University is located in Bloomington, Ind.

- Pablita Velarde Honored with New Historic Marker: The state Historic Preservation Division has announced that it has approved eight new scenic historic markers that highlight the past of a dozen New Mexico counties. Among those recognized by the markers is a prominent American Indian painter whose works hang in museums in New York and San Francisco. Pablita Velarde was just 19 when she was commissioned to create scenes of traditional Pueblo culture for the museum at Bandelier National Monument as part of a New Deal program. - Santa Fe New Mexican

- Nevada Boomtown Named as a "Distinctive Destination": The National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2009 Dozen Distinctive Destinations range from a quintessential New England waterfront community to an Old West boomtown. Virginia City, Nevada, a historic mining boomtown, is among this year's selections. Mansions, saloons and old mines provide a backdrop for silver and gold rush lore and a glimpse into life on the frontier. -

- The Truth About Kokopelli: Modern marketers use the image of Kokopelli to sell everything from beer to skis. It's almost impossible to walk into an art gallery in the Southwest without seeing a rendition of the flute-playing hunchbacked character many view as a fertility god. The problem with this conception is that it is both inaccurate and offensive to Hopis.

- Lecture Opportunity, "Drawing from the Past: Interpreting the Rock Art of the Lower Pecos, Texas Archaic," by Dr. Carolyn Boyd, Executive Director of the Shumla School. Lecture sponsored by the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society, 7:30 pm, Monday, January 19, DuVal Auditorium, University Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson.

- Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month Posters Available for Distribution: The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is pleased to announce that the posters for the March celebration of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month (AAHAM) are ready! The posters feature a wonderful aerial photograph by Adriel Heisey of the Pueblo Grande Ruins in their urban Phoenix setting. Please help save the State of Arizona funds by picking up your posters directly from our office, if you can. Copies are located outside of the SHPO office, on the 2nd floor, just beyond the elevators; you will need to check with the Arizona State Parks receptionist in order to get access to the 2nd floor. Thank you for your assistance in distributing the posters and posting them for the public to see. More information on 2009 AAHAM and the Archaeology Expo is available at the following link.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Climate Change May Recreate Ancient Southwestern Climate, Twin Migrations Postulated for the Peopling of the Americas

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

- Climate Change May Send Southwestern Environments Back to Ancient Conditions: Why did the ancestral Puebloans move? One theory: climate change. A megadrought coincided with the abandonment of the Four Corners region of the US in the late 1200s, where they’d lived for perhaps 1,000 years. The drought link is less clear in settlements like Bandelier in north-central New Mexico, abandoned by 1550. But soil exhaustion from centuries of farming and deforestation may have also played a role, says Rory Gauthier, archaeologist at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. - Christian Science Monitor

- New Theory on the Peopling of the Americas Posits Two Distinct Migrating Groups: Diversity ruled among the first American settlers. Within a relatively short time span, at least two groups of people trekked across a land bridge from Asia to Alaska and then went their separate ways, one down the Pacific Coast and the other into the heart of North America, a new genetic study suggests. A team led by geneticist Antonio Torroni of the University of Pavia in Italy estimates that these separate migrations into the New World occurred between 17,000 and 15,000 years ago. - Science News

- Restoration and Preservation Complete on the West Tower of San Xavier del Bac: It's a jewel in our desert. But at more than 200 years old, Mission San Xavier del Bac has needed some major polishing. Now an important milestone has been reached: The restoration of the west tower. When you see San Xavier you immediately know why it's called the White Dove of the Desert. It sparkles where it sits, on the Tohono O'odham Reservation. And now, the west tower sparkles even more. If you take a closer look, you'll see the difference between the west tower and the east tower of the church. We were there Tuesday to see the "new" west tower. "This is our community landmark and it's worth every penny and every effort that we've put into it," architect Bob Vint says. He and the Morales family of masons have been working on the church's west tower for five years. Could the Jesuit missionary Father Eusebio Francisco Kino have known that the Catholic mission he founded in 1692 would still be with us. The current church was finished in 1797.

- Research, Scholarship, and Travel Grant Opportunities, Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society: Awards are offered to students and researchers who are members of AAHS and involved in the study of archaeology, anthropology, American Indian studies, ethnohistory, and history of the Greater Southwest. Applications must be postmarked no later than February 15, 2009. Awards will be made by the AAHS Board of Directors and announced during Arizona Archaeology Month. All of the details, including instructions and application forms, are available at the following link. - Ms Word Document

- Talk Details Archaeology of a Village Site on the Upper San Pedro: The construction of the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border in 2007 led to the find of a prehistoric village east of the San Pedro River. Some of those findings were presented Thursday evening to the Tubac/Santa Cruz County Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society. Twenty people attended the event. “The San Pedro is a special place,” said archaeologist Maren Hopkins, the project director. Hopkins said the village was probably the biggest data recovery project that she has directed. The 27-year-old has been digging for 10 years in many places in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.

- Small Puebloan Village Found Near Las Vegas: A team of scientists exploring Springs Preserve with remote-sensing gear have found what is believed to be a prehistoric village of pit houses where as many as 30 Anasazi lived about 1,300 years ago, the preserve's archaeologist said Friday. The discovery of two and possibly four pit house structures was made "in the last few days" by researchers from Ithaca College in New York who used ground-penetrating radar to probe beneath topsoil in the northwest corner of the 180-acre preserve along U.S. Highway 95, Springs Preserve Archaeologist Patti Wright said.

- Public Lands - Private Ceremonies: Conflicts which arise over the use of public lands by the dominant culture, for either extractive or non-extractive purposes, and which are inconsistent with traditional religious or cultural uses made of the same lands by Native Americans, will be explored January 21 from 7-9PM at the Wittemyer Courtroom at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder. Speakers include Patty Limerick (CU Boulder), LouAnn Jacobson (Canyons of the Ancients NM), Robert Lawrence (Davis, Graham & Stubbs) and Steve Moore (NARF). A presentation of the Boulder County Bar Association and Center of the American West, CLE credit is available. - MS Word Document

- Deer Valley Rock Art Center Now Available as a Venue for Private Ceremonies: Imagine reciting your wedding vows at sunset in the midst of looming hills and ancient petroglyphs, with desert wildlife joining the crowd of well-wishers. This scenario now can be a reality, thanks to Arizona State University’s Deer Valley Rock Art Center, which has begun offering the use of the center and its facilities for weddings and other private events.

- Volunteers Needed for Arizona Archives Dedication Ceremony: At long last, the day has nearly arrived. But before the building has the official dedication on January 15, one more request for help. We are asking folks to get in touch if they are willing and able to volunteer for the event next Thursday, January 15. We need folks to set-up, direct people to parking, staff registration tables, and clean-up. Plenty of opportunity! We have 250 reservations so far, and are planning for up to 300 people attending. We will have a two-sided tent, heaters, speakers' platforms, the works. This is our day to shine. A continental breakfast will be available after 8:15 (yes, we are feeding you!). Please let me know if would like to volunteer. I would like folks to contact me directly via email at:

- Archaeological Field Training to be Offered at Old Pueblo Archaeology: Old Pueblo Archaeology Center is offering training in archaeological survey methods as part of a research project to identify and record archaeological sites that may be present near the Picture Rocks petroglyphs site northwest of Tucson. Training will be provided in archaeological site identification, recording, and interpretation; use of degree-reading compass and global positioning systems equipment; interpretation of aerial photographs and topographic maps; photography; and other archaeological methods. Archaeological field school session on cultural resources survey techniques led by archaeologist Allen Dart, RPA, starting at the Picture Rocks Redemptorist Renewal Center, 7101 W. Picture Rocks Road, Tucson. Saturday January 17, 2009, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. $20. Advance reservations and Old Pueblo Archaeology Center membership at Individual or higher level required: 520-798-1201 or

- Native Musicians to Gather at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument: Traditional Native American musicians from across the nation will be gathering at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument for the first Native American Music Festival from Feb. 13 to 15. Discussion regarding the festival began about a year ago when Ruins Superintendent Jason Lott and several staff members got together to brainstorm ideas for an annual event at the historic sitew. At first it was unclear as to what the event would be, but those involved knew its main focus had to be awareness of the monument and bringing in more visitors. - Tri Valley Central

- Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Offers Section 106 Training: The ACHP is pleased to announce its very popular Section 106 training schedule for 2009. We are offering the 106 Essentials courses in 6 locations, and the Advanced Section 106 Seminar in 8 locations. All courses are taught by highly knowledgeable ACHP staff who are engaged both on a daily basis and have practical hands-on experience with Section 106 issues. Attendees taking our courses receive an added benefit from the expertise that our instructors bring to the course.

- Employment Opportunity (Washington): The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is pleased to announce it is now recruiting an Assistant Director for the Federal Property Management section (GS-14) position in its Office of Federal Agency Programs (OFAP), Washington, DC. OFAP conducts Section 106 reviews, provides technical assistance, training, and guidance for Section 106 users, and works to improve federal agency programs as they relate to historic properties. Among its other duties, OFAP is responsible for developing a Report to the President under Executive Order 13287 on the state of federal stewardship and interacts directly with federal agencies, State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, Indian tribes, and the public on historic preservation issues across the country. - USA Jobs

Thanks to Gerald Kelso and Terry Colvin for contributions to today's newsletter.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rio Nuevo Open House in Tucson, March 14, Lecture on the Hohokam in Phoenix Tonight, Another Comet Impact Theory!

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

- Public Open House on Tucson's Rio Nuevo Project Scheduled for Jan 14: The University of Arizona will be presenting a design progress update on the University of Arizona Science Center (UASC) and Arizona State Museum (ASM) project, which is part of the City of Tucson's downtown redevelopment project. UASC will be a new state-of-the-art science based center connecting the expertise generated at the UA with the community. The new Arizona State Museum facility will provide easy access for the community and visitors to its unparalleled collections of Southwestern art and archaeology.

- Lecture Opportunity (Phoenix): Center for Desert Archaeology Preservation Archaeologist Jeffery Clark will present "What Became of the Hohokam," in which he will present the results of an extensive research project into the demise of the Hohokam. This research used information from 4000 major sites in the Coalescent Communities Database, 29 test excavations in the San Pedro River Valley, and an analysis of extensive collections from Arizona Museums. The talk starts tonight, Jan 8th, at the Pueblo Grande Museum Community Room, 4619 E. Washington Street, at 7:30 pm, as part of the monthly meeting of the Phoenix Chapter of the Arizona Archaeology Society.

- More Ancient Comet Impacts? Multiple comet impacts around 1500 years ago triggered a "dry fog" that plunged half the world into famine. Historical records tell us that from the beginning of March 536 AD, a fog of dust blanketed the atmosphere for 18 months. During this time, "the sun gave no more light than the moon", global temperatures plummeted and crops failed, says Dallas Abbott of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York. The cause has long been unknown, but theories have included a vast volcanic eruption or an impact from space. Now Abbott and her team have found the first direct evidence that multiple impacts caused the haze. - New Scientist

- Recent Findings in the Amazon Point to Unique Social Adaptations to Life Within Rain Forests: Rainforests are often thought of as virgin habitats: in other words, pristine ecosystems unaltered by the hand of man. A moment’s thought shows that this cannot truly be so. People do live in rainforests, and where people live they must alter things. But the fact that those who live there these days tend to make their living by hunting wild animals and gathering wild plants may suggest that Homo sapiens could, in principle, be just another forest species—a natural part of the ecosystem that alters it only to the extent that any species inhabiting it would. To that extent, the forest is still “virgin”. In the world’s largest rainforest, though, this argument no longer holds. The past few years have brought evidence suggesting that parts of the Amazon forest were settled and farmed before Europeans arrived in the area.

- Archaeological Tragedies in Iraq on the Archaeology Channel: The destruction and theft of cultural patrimony at the Iraq Museum in 2003 highlights the ongoing threat to mankind’s legacy. This tragedy and its aftermath are recounted in some detail in The Iraq Museum: The Loss of a Nation’s Memory, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

Thanks to Terry Colvin for contributions to today's newsletter.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mining and Gas Drilling Threatening Aztec Ruins and Petrified Forest - Free Guide to Sec 106 Tribal Consultation Online

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

- Mining and Gas Wells Planned for Aztec Ruins National Monument and Petrified Forest National Park? Drilling and mining may soon be affecting Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona and Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico, according to an internal Interior Department document released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Only plummeting commodity prices caused by the current recession have delayed groundbreaking for new natural gas wells and potash mining in or adjacent to the parks.

- John Fowler Announces Online Publication of Free Guide to Tribal Consultation in the Section 106 Process: I am delighted to announce the release of an exciting new publication, Consultation with Indian Tribes in the Section 106 Process: A Handbook. This handbook is a landmark guide to the federal responsibility for tribal consultation in the Section 106 review process. In an easy-to-follow question-and-answer format, the handbook clearly outlines the parameters of tribal consultation both for projects located both off—and on—tribal lands. The handbook provides valuable and insightful tools and tips that will greatly increase the effectiveness of federal consultation with Indian tribes. The primary target audience is federal agencies but the handbook will be of great use to all Section 106 participants. The handbook is available to download for free at the link below.

- Reminder - Archaeology Cafe in Tucson, Tuesday Night " 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.

- Lecture Opportunity (Tubac): Archaeologist Maren Hopkins will talk on Thursday, Jan 8 about working in the U.S.-Mexico political borderlands environment and the results of the archaeological excavation she conducted at the border in Southeast Arizona near the San Pedro River last year. Her discussion will cover details of the results of the archaeological remains that were unearthed there. The discussion will take place during the Tubac/SSC Arizona Archaeological Society meeting in Tubac starting at 5 p.m. with a potluck and at 6 p.m. with the program at the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. There is no charge for the event, though donations are appreciated.

- Texas Archaeological Society Offers Archaeology Academy Training Sessions: Learn how to identify, test, and properly record archeological sites; study lithic tool production; explore prehistoric ceramic identification; discover the world of rock art. Each of these topics is covered by TAS Archeology Academy classes, held in classroom and field sessions located around the state. Refine and expand your expertise in archeological excavation during the summer Field School. Participate in recording Rock Art in the field during winter holidays, spring break or summer vacation.

- Scientific American Examines Clovis-Era Comet Impact Theory: Roughly 12,900 years ago, massive global cooling kicked in abruptly, along with the end of the line for some 35 different mammal species, including the mammoth, as well as the so-called Clovis culture of prehistoric North Americans. Various theories have been proposed for the die-off, ranging from abrupt climate change to overhunting once humans were let loose on the wilds of North America. But now nanodiamonds found in the sediments from this time period point to an alternative: a massive explosion or explosions by a fragmentary comet, similar to but even larger than the Tunguska event of 1908 in Siberia.

- Utah Heritage Foundation Seeks Nominations for Historic Preservation Efforts: The Utah Heritage Foundation is seeking nominations for its annual Heritage Awards honoring excellence in historic preservation throughout Utah. The purpose of the awards is to recognize projects, organizations, agencies and individuals that exemplify the highest standards within the preservation movement. Utah Heritage Foundation accepts nominations in December and January for projects completed in 2008. If you know of a project, individual or group deserving of statewide recognition, complete a nomination form by Jan. 15. For more information, contact UHF public outreach director Alison Flanders at 533-0858, ext. 101. - Deseret News

- Summer Institute Program to Celebrate the Legacy of Aldo Leopold: Next year, 2009, marks the 100th anniversary of ecologist Aldo Leopold’s arrival in the Southwest. Fresh from his classes in forestry at Yale, the 22-year-old Iowan stepped off the train in Arizona in 1909 and would remain in the region until embarking for Wisconsin in 1924. Although Leopold wrote his influential work in Wisconsin after leaving the Southwest, there is little doubt his thinking was shaped by his experiences in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. Aldo Leopold never saw A Sand County Almanac in print, having suffered a heart attack while fighting a grass fire a year before its publication. He might be surprised to learn that his collection of essays helped create the discipline of environmental ethics, that his ideas are central to contemporary issues such as “sense of place” and sustainability, and that his text is taught across disciplines beyond the natural sciences, including literature, history, and philosophy – a variety we hope to see represented among the institute’s participants. To acknowledge Leopold’s centrality to our understanding of the environment, and to celebrate his ongoing legacy, many academic and public events are being planned in Arizona and New Mexico throughout 2009, most of which are described at the Aldo Leopold Centennial Celebration website.

- Arizona State Archives Building to be Dedicated Jan 15: No more grandma's attic for the state's important papers and keepsakes. Instead, the new Archives Building is a technological and climate-controlled wonder, especially when compared with the nearly 100-year-old space that housed everything from the original state Constitution to Wyatt Earp's extradition papers. The $38 million Polly Rosenbaum History and Archives Building, which opened late last fall, is being dedicated next week at a ceremony open to the public. It's named after a long-serving lawmaker who was devoted to historic preservation and has already been dubbed "the Polly building."

Thanks to Gerald Kelso, Brian Kenny, and Pam Wheat for contributions to today's newsletter.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Clovis Era Comet Impact Theory Gains Public Exposure - DNA Evidence on the Peopling of the Americas

Southwest Archaeology Today - A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- Numerous Stories in Popular Media Explore Possibility of Clovis Era Comet/Meteorite Impact: At least once in Earth’s history, global warming ended quickly, and scientists have long wondered why. Now researchers are reporting that the abrupt cooling — which took place about 12,900 years ago, just as the planet was emerging from an ice age — may have been caused by one or more meteors that slammed into North America.,0,896970.story

- Editor's Note: Allen West, one of the scientists who first proposed the cometary impact theory will present his research at the Center for Desert Archaeology's Archaeology Cafe Series on Tuesday, March 3, 2009. Mark you calendar for what should be a facinating discussion.

- DNA Studies Link Ancient Alaska With Modern Populations of the Americas: An ancient mariner who lived and died 10,000 years ago on an island west of Ketchikan probably doesn't have any close relatives left in Alaska. But some of them migrated south and their descendents can be found today in coastal Native American populations in California, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina.

- Dedication of Arizona Archives Building set for Jan 15: The Friends of Arizona Archives invite you to attend the dedication of the Polly Rosenbaum State Archives and History Building. This event is presented by Mortenson Construction and Gila County. Thursday, January 15, 2009. Remarks and Ribbon Cutting 9:00 a.m. Honorable Ken Bennett, Master of Ceremonies. Tours at 10:00 a.m. to Noon. 1901 West Madison Street at 19th Avenue Parking available at the State Capitol, Records Building, Wesley Bolin Plaza, and on adjoining side streets where permitted. Refreshments will be served, including cake from Polly Rosenbaum's 100th birthday cake's recipe. Please RSVP by January 7 if you plan to attend. Specify whether you would like to take a tour of the facility after the ceremony. RSVP via email to or by phone to 602-770-5057.

- Mesa Verde National Park Protects Tribal History and a National Treasure: It was cold that day in eighteen eighty-eight in southwestern Colorado. Richard Wetherill and his brother-in-law were trying to find some missing cattle. They were up on Mesa Verde. Spanish explorers had named the area. The high, flat mountaintop is covered with many green juniper and pinon pine trees. It looks like a huge green table, which is "mesa verde" in Spanish. The two men came to the edge of a deep canyon. Through the falling snow, they saw what looked like a small city across the canyon. It was suspended in the middle of the rock wall. There were many connected rooms built into a natural opening in the rock. They named the ruins Cliff Palace. In the next few days, they found two more large ruins. They named one Spruce Tree House. They named the other Square Tower House.

- Native Mineral Pigments the Topic for the Pacific Coast Archaeological Society's January Meeting: The Society's January 8th meeting will feature Paul Campbell speaking on "Mineral Pigments of California Indians." Paul Campbell is the author of "Survival Skills of Native California" and "Earth Pigments and Paint of the California Indians: Meaning and Technology." He has a deep interest in understanding, preserving and practicing skills from California's indigenous past. Meeting information: Thursday, January 8, 2009, 7:30 pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA. Meeting is free and open to the public. For information:

- Fall Issue of Heritage Management Publsihed: Heritage Management is a global, peer-reviewed journal that provides a venue for using scholarly, professional, and indigenous knowledge to address broader societal concerns about managing cultural heritage. We address issues of resource management, cultural preservation and revitalization, education, legal/legislative developments, public archaeology, and ethics. The journal presents an engaging forum for those who work with governmental and tribal agencies, museums, private CRM firms, indigenous communities, and colleges and universities. It facilitates a multivocal arena for disseminating and critically discussing cultural heritage management issues collaboratively among professionals and stakeholders.

- Employment Opportunity (Phoenix): Cultural Resources Program Manager, Papago Park. Description of Duties: Reporting to the Natural & Cultural Resources Manager and under general direction, the Cultural Resources Program Manager performs professional, administrative, and field work assignments required for managing a major cultural resources management program. Coordinates with the Facilities Management Office on all future construction related projects on all Arizona Army National Guard managed military training lands and installations. Serves as the project manager on cultural resources projects conducted by outside contractors, including Environmental Assessments, Section 106 consultation, tribal consultation, integrated cultural resource management plans, and historic buildings. Provides major input for rules / regulations and policy / procedure development/modification in cultural resources on all Arizona Army National Guard managed training lands. Ensures compliance with Federal, State, and Army regulations. State Human Resources Office, Arizona Department of Emergency & Military Affairs Employment Announcement - # 46614

Thanks to Brian Kenny, Terry Colvin, and Caryn M. Berg for contributions to today's newsletter.