Friday, February 6, 2009

Homolovi Ruins Closure Looms, New Perspectives on the Hohokam, Chaco Chocolate

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

- Homolovi Ruins on List of Recommended Closures: Arizona officials are recommending closures of five state parks immediately and three more in coming months because of midyear budget cuts made to eliminate a revenue shortfall. The parks recommended for closure include the Homolovi Ruins State Park in Winslow.

- Cacao at Chaco: For years Patricia Crown puzzled over the cylindrical clay jars found in the ruins at Chaco Canyon, the great complex of multistory masonry dwellings set amid the arid mesas of northwestern New Mexico. They were utterly unlike other pots and pitchers she had seen.

- Salazar Cancels Drilling Leases: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Wednesday canceled leases to drill for gas and oil on 77 parcels of public land in Utah. The leases, which cover more than 100,000 acres, including lands near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, were auctioned in the last weeks of the Bush administration. They were among 11th-hour actions taken by the Bush Interior Department that have been criticized by environmental groups and are being reviewed by Obama officials.

- Historic Home in Downtown Tucson to Close: The Sosa-Carrillo-Frémont House, one of Tucson's oldest structures, will be shuttered by the Arizona Historical Society because of state budget cuts. The territorial-era home that sits next to the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall on South Granada Avenue will be closed within "the next couple of weeks," said Deborah Shelton, director for the society's Southern Arizona district.

- Exhibit Opening, “Pieces of the Puzzle: New Perspectives on the Hohokam.” A collaboration between the Center for Desert Archaeology and Pueblo Grande Museum, this dynamic exhibition explores the Center’s long-term research on the Hohokam and population decline in late prehistory. The exhibition runs from February 13 through October 4, 2009, at Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park. For more information on location and hours, follow the link below.

- Exhibit Opening, “Circles of Life: Katsina Imagery in Hopi Basketry.” February 7–July 3, 2009 at the Arizona State Museum. The importance and impact of the katsina [kachina] religion is pervasive in Hopi culture. Many people are familiar with carved representations of katsinas, but images of the beneficent supernatural messengers also appear on Hopi pottery, paintings, and basketry. Historic pieces and the work of eight contemporary weavers demonstrate the continuing vitality of this art form. Enjoy a historic overview of the Hopi basket-making traditions, techniques and types, and learn how to "read" and identify distinguishing katsina iconography.

- Disturbing Vandalism near Canyon of the Ancients: The Bureau of Land Management is looking for whoever is responsible for destroying signs and dumping hundreds of pounds of rotting carcasses on national land near the Canyon of the Ancients. The BLM says in mid January, officers found 700 pounds of processed body parts of elk and cattle were dumped near the mouth of Rock Creek Canyon in Montezuma County.

- 2008 NAGPRA Developments: 2008 may be viewed as one of the most momentous years for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act since the federal law was passed in 1990. The first big fireworks occurred in April when Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff announced that NAGPRA was one of several federal laws that would be waived to speed construction of a border fence between the U.S. and Mexico.

- Internship Opportunity: The Robert L. Akerley Anthropology Collections and Archaeological Research Intern at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science will participate in all aspects of anthropological collections management activities related to managing a world-class and extensive material culture collection. The intern may also participate in archaeological fieldwork and laboratory work. For more information, refer to the following link. - Denver Museum of Nature & Science

- Lecture Opportunity, "Environmental and Biotic Consequences of Major Extraterrestrial Impact over North America 12,900 Years Ago.” On February 12, 2009, Dr. James P. Kennett will speak at a meeting of the Pacific Coast Archaeological Society. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 7:30 pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA. For information, follow the link below.

- Lecture Opportunity, “Historic Landscape Preservation through Geographic Information System.” Paul Dolinsky, chief of the National Park Service's Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS) and John Knoerl, chief of NPS Cultural Resources GIS, will speak on Monday, February 9, as part of the University of Arizona College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture’s Spring 2009 Lecture Series. The lecture will begin at 5pm at AME Room 202. This lecture is sponsored in part by the Preservation Studies program and the National Park Service's Desert Southwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit. More information is available at the first link. A map is accessible at the second link.

Thanks to Gerald Kelso for his contribution to today’s newsletter.