Monday, February 23, 2009

Apache Tribe Sues to Repatriate Geronimo's Remains - Homol'ovi Threatened by More than Park Closure

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

- Apache Tribe Sues "Skull and Bones" Society Over Geronimo's Remains: Geronimo's descendants have sued Skull and Bones — the secret society at Yale University linked to presidents and other powerful figures — claiming that its members stole the remains of the legendary Apache leader decades ago and have kept them ever since. The federal lawsuit filed in Washington on Tuesday — the 100th anniversary of Geronimo's death — also names the university and the federal government.

- Homol'ovi Threatened By Flooding as Well State Park Closure: A flood control levee that protects 2,700 residential and business parcels in northern Arizona from the Little Colorado River has diverted water in such a way that it is threatening 700-year-old ruins built by Native Americans, a state archaeologist warns. The threatened ruins at Homol’ovi Ruins State Park are part of a 4,500-acre preserve located about one mile north of Winslow. The ruins, which include two- and three-story pueblos built of sandstone and adobe bricks, were home to ancestors of the Hopi people who farmed and traded for 500 years along the Little Colorado River.

- Mount Taylor Traditional Cultural Property Designation Seeks to Include Private Lands: The current emergency designation boundary, as well as the proposed permanent nomination boundary, does not include privately held land, as provided by the New Mexico Cultural Properties Act. The goal of the nominating tribes is to protect the unimpaired natural and cultural landscape of Mount Taylor by having it designated a Traditional Cultural Property on the New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties. One aspect of the process is determining a proposed boundary.

- New Archaeological Exhibits at New Mexico State University Now on Display: Share a bit of daily life with ancient Pueblo people who made their home in what is now southern New Mexico, get up close and personal with Neanderthals and learn about an ancient Mayan temple at three exhibits opening this month at the New Mexico State University Museum.

- Maricopa County Plans Upgrades for White Tank Mountain Regional Park: The main draw for White Tank Mountain Regional Park, nestled on the outskirts of Surprise, should be its cultural artifacts and natural resources, according to a Maricopa County development proposal. The recommendation for a unique, themed attraction for each of the 10 county parks is part of a proposed strategic plan presented this week to the public for feedback. The plan is meant to guide the development of one of the largest county park systems in the country to meet residents' future needs. - Arizona Republic

- Hohokam History at Casa Grande National Monument: The sun is shining, the day is still, and visitors trickle in on a winter day. Acres of greasewood and dead mesquite dot the monument, created in 1892 to preserve an ancient four-story structure of wood and mud. The Hohokam village that once wrapped around the building lies under centuries of dust. The Casa Grande (big house) still stands. Rainwater has worked rifts and fissures into the walls, but the structure was built to last, even as the modern world closes in around it. - The Arizona Republic

- Pima County Finally Receives the Right to Preserve Tumamoc Hill: With this purchase, we will preserve the remains of Hohokam stone terraces and walls dating as far back as 300 B.C. We will protect dozens of Tohono O'odham burial sites and we will save Sonoran Desert flora that the University of Arizona's Carnegie Desert Laboratory has been studying for more than 105 years. We also will keep open the popular Tumamoc walking path, which is the road leading to the University of Arizona lab, so locals and visitors can maintain their health in this lovely desert setting.

- Lecture Opportunity (Farmington): Center For Desert Archaeology Preservation Archaeologist and Chaco Scholar Paul Reed will present "Prodigy, Rebel, or Stepchild?
Salmon, Aztec, and the Middle San Juan Region." Feb. 25, Farmington Public Library, 7pm. Book-signing to follow.

- Lecture Opportunity (Santa Fe): "A History of Archaeology in Santa Fe." OAS Brown Bag talk by Stephen S. Post, OAS deputy director. Beginning with the arrival of Spaniards in the Santa Fe area in the first decade of the 1600s, people have encountered the remains of those who lived there earlier. Steve will look at how the new settlers incorporated aspects of previous cultures as Santa Fe grew from a small outpost on the edge of empire to the arts and culture center of New Mexico. The OAS Brown Bag talks, given by OAS archaeologists and others, are free to the public. Thanks to the generosity of the New Mexico Film Office, the talks have resumed at the New Mexico Film Museum Theater, 418 Montezuma in Santa Fe. The doors open at 11:45, and the talks begin at noon.

- Arizona Archaeology Month Starts March 1st: We live in a state steeped in human history — ranging from modern times back to the era of statehood in 1912, the Territorial Period, frontier days, an age of exploration and conquest and centuries of prehistoric Indian civilizations. Next month, we'll have a great opportunity to reflect on that colorful past. March is Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month — featuring tours of prehistoric and historic sites, exhibits, open houses, hikes, lectures and a two-day Arizona Archaeology Expo.

- Last Planning Meeting for Arizona Archaeology Expo / Awareness Month to be Held at Pueblo Grande Museum: Friday, March 6, 2009 at 10:00 am at the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park 4519 E. Washington St., Phoenix, Arizona. Please come and share your ideas as the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) finalizes planning for the 2009 Arizona Archaeology Expo (Expo) that will be held on March 14-15, 2009 at the Pueblo Grande Museum (PGM). This public education event is a highlight of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month (AAHAM). At the meeting, learn about Expo logistics, volunteering, programming and other important issues.

- Paleontologists Find New Cache of Megafauna Remains: Scientists are studying a huge cache of Ice Age fossil deposits recovered near the famous La Brea Tar Pits in the heart of the second-largest U.S. city. Among the finds is a near-intact mammoth skeleton, a skull of an American lion and bones of saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, bison, horses, ground sloths and other mammals. - Yahoo News

- Employment Opportunity (Tucson): Archaeological Project Director. Harris Environmental Group, Inc. is seeking an Archaeological Project Director to join our Cultural Resources Division. This position provides a unique opportunity to work with a multi-disciplinary team on archaeological projects throughout the American Southwest. This is an hourly position with potential for development into a salaried position with benefits. Requires Masters degree in anthropology or related field, Bachelor degree candidates with the equivalent of 3 to 5 years experience in southwestern cultural resources management (CRM) also will be considered. Please send a cover letter and your resume with three references to: Sharon Urban, Principal Investigator, Harris Environmental Group, Inc. 58 East 5th Street Tucson, Arizona 85705, (520) 628-7648,

- Employment Opportunity (Tucson): Archaeological Technician. Harris Environmental Group, Inc. is seeking an Archaeologist to join our Cultural Resources Division for project-specific work scheduled to begin in March 2009. This position provides a unique opportunity to work with a multi-disciplinary team on a unique archaeological monitoring project within the International Border area of southern Arizona. Requires Bachelors degree in anthropology or related field with the equivalent of 1 to 3 years experience in southwestern cultural resources management (CRM). To be considered, please send a cover letter and your resume with three references to: Sharon Urban, Principal Investigator, Harris Environmental Group, Inc. 58 East 5th Street Tucson, Arizona 85705, (520) 628-7648,

Thanks to Cherie Freeman for contributing to today's newsletter.