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.