Monday, March 30, 2009

New Early Dates for Maize Domestication, Correction on Border Fence Article

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

- New Dates for Maize Domestication in the New World: Among the hundreds of plants that have been domesticated in the New World, none has received as much attention or been subject to as much debate as corn, or maize (Zea mays L.), arguably the most important crop of the Americas. Controversies have existed for years over what the wild ancestor of maize is and where and when it was domesticated. An international team of scientists led by Dolores Piperno, archaeobotanist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and Anthony Ranere, professor of anthropology at Temple University in Philadelphia, have discovered the first direct evidence that indicates maize was domesticated by 8,700 years ago, the earliest date recorded for the crop. The research findings will be published March 23 in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

- Research Suggests that the Adoption of Agriculture can be Found in Domestic Faunal Remains: Unraveling the origins of agriculture in different regions around the globe has been a challenge for archeologists. Now researchers writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences report finding evidence of early human experiments with grain cultivation in East Asia. They gathered this information from an unlikely source―dog and pig bones.

- Correction and Update to Last Week's Story on Border Fence Excavation, by Jackson Underwood: The article in SW Archaeology Today about the Border Barrier Archaeological Project originally appeared in City Beat, a weekly San Diego Newspaper. The undercover reporter did a good job covering this large, low profile excavation. The most glaring inaccuracy is the cited budget, $3 million is a bit over $2 million too generous. Of course, we could use the extra money. Nancy Parish, ACOE Archaeologist at Ft. Worth and other ACOE folks have been very understanding and helpful throughout the process. One of the main challenges to the excavation, was that the fence itself was a design-build contract. That is, the construction plan, project footprint, schedule, etc., were subject to change as the project went forward. We had to be pretty flexible and nimble to stay on that wave. Also, the main players and roles were not made clear in the article. Dr. Claude Warren is my co-Principal Investigator; Mark Peterson is our stats and systems guru, Richard Shultz is our Field Director and Lab Director, and Sandy Scheneeberger is Project Manager. The prime contractor is Sandy's company, Golden State Environmental of Whittier, California. RECON is a sub to her.
Cheers, Dr. Jackson Underwood, R.P.A.

- Development and CRM Practice Collide at Historic Cemeteries: Construction crews expanding the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum here were surprised when, while burrowing utility lines, they dug up a human bone. Then another. Then a coffin. Then an entire field of human remains. The crews had stumbled onto an unmarked cemetery, with some coffins dating back to the mid-1800s. The $2 million project is currently stalled, awaiting approval from federal historical regulators.

- Virtual Pueblos and Traditional Maize Agriculture at Crow Canyon: Ancestors of the Mesa Verde region's Puebloan people are helping researchers gain insight into the area's sustainable farming practices. Two Hopi farmers with the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, Donald Dawahongnewa and Marvin Lalo, shared their experiences with a standing-room-only crowd at the Crow Canyon Archeological Center near Cortez this month as part of the Pueblo Farming Project. As a descendant of Ancestral Puebloans, Dawahongnewa said growing corn is a strong tradition that was handed down to him through the ages. - Cortez Journal

- Tularosa Basin Conference Scheduled for May 8-10: A number of local historical societies and archaeologists are organizing a first-ever major conference to bring the wealth of scientific findings in archaeology and anthropology in the Tularosa Basin to the public. The group already has a Web site, an opening evening chuck wagon dinner and keynote speaker, the Tularosa Community Center for a full day of professional presentations, and tours of local sites lined up for the weekend planned for early May.

- Archeaoastronomy Conference Agenda Set: To mark the International Year of Astronomy 2009, and to provide a forum to promote research and a better understanding of the cultural significance of astronomical knowledge among American Southwest cultures, we are inaugurating a biennial Conference on Archaeoastronomy of the American Southwest. June 11-13, 2009, will mark the first conference with the theme "Creating Sustainability in American Southwest Archaeoastronomy Research." This conference will be held in Camp Verde, Arizona.

- Learning About the Contact Period from the Teeth of Columbus Crew Members: The adage that dead men tell no tales has long been disproved by archaeology. Now, however, science is taking interrogation of the dead to new heights. In a study that promises fresh and perhaps personal insight into some of the earliest European visitors to the New World, a team or researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison is extracting the chemical details of life history from the teeth of crew members Christopher Columbus left on the island of Hispaniola after his second voyage to America in 1493-94.

- Interesting Lecture Series at Prescott's Sharlot Hall Musuem: The museum’s Humanities Lecture Series delves into two intriguing and engaging topics in its upcoming lectures on Sunday, April 5th and Sunday, May 3rd 2009. On Sunday, April 5th at 1:00 p.m Christy Hastings discusses the medical resources that were available to the early settlers of Prescott in a lecture titled “Every Man His Own Physician: Frontier Medicine or What to Do Before You Called the Doctor.” Hastings will recount the story of Celia Sanders and how she treated her son’s gunshot wound on the trail in 1864 en route to Prescott. Her lecture will also explain various medical practices of the time and the contents of a generic “medicine box.” - Read It News

- Utah Pottery Project Displays Findings in Cedar City: Utah's pioneer past will be on display this spring at the Mission State Park Museum in Cedar City, courtesy of a Michigan Technological University archaeologist who is unearthing 19th century pottery in the area. Potters helped build a society in a desert, Tim Scarlett said in announcing the team's research under way at 45 sites in 26 Utah towns from Logan to St. George and from Panguitch to Vernal.,5143,705293520,00.html

- Lawmakers Need Education in Native American History: lack of knowledge about American Indian history hinders politicians as they deal with issues important to Arizona's tribes, a Navajo lawmaker said Wednesday. "We need to educate them on the foundations of native governments," Sen. Albert Hale, D-Window Rock, said as the Legislature's Native American Caucus held its first meeting. "We can step forward and be an example of how we can deal with these issues in Arizona."

- Archaeological Petrography Field School Opportunity: This field school is designed to familiarize students with an archaeological view of quarry (stone procurement) sites and stone tool technology in the North American Southwest, by a field examination of obsidian, chert, and other volcanic sources used for the last 13,000 years. Through in-the-field classroom and field sessions, students will learn field collection strategies, sampling, mapping the secondary distribution of sources, geological and topographical map reading, field portable XRF, and an introduction to the identification of rocks in the field. The course will involve a week or more camping in the Jemez Mountains, northern New Mexico, and Mule Creek in western New Mexico, and other trips from the base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Thanks to Adriaane Rankin for contributions to today's newsletter.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Early Agricultural Period Archaeology Broadcast Tonight, Mesa Grande Part of Arizona Centennial Legacy, Several Upcoming Lectures

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

- Early Agricultural Period Archaeology on Tucson's "Arizona Illustrated" Tonight: Archaeologists from Desert Archaeology Inc. have been working on a large project for Pima County at the Ina Road Sewage Treatment Plant. Tune in to learn about the extensive, remarkably well-preserved agricultural fields they have uncovered and what these findings are contributing to our understanding of early agriculture in the Southwest. Irrigation is now well-documented in Tucson going back some 3,500 years (to roughly 1500 BC). Early corn (maize) goes back to roughly 4,000 years ago (2000 BC). The team has documented primary, secondary, and tertiary canals and even the small field plots where water was actually delivered to crops. Within those field plots are preserved the planting holes where individual corn plants (and probably other crops) were planted and grew. These fields date to roughly 3,000 years ago, or 1000 BC. The program begins at 6:30 PM, Thursday, March 19, on KUAT/channel 6. It will also be posted online after it airs -- go to to view the segment.

- Mesa Grande Designated a Arizona Centennial Legacy Project: The Arizona Historical Advisory Commission has designated Mesa Grande as an Arizona Centennial Legacy Project. Mesa Grande is a major prehistoric Hohokam site that flourished from about 1000-1450 A.D. The main feature of Mesa Grande is a large platform mound, about 27 feet high and covering the size of a football field. The site is administered by the Arizona Museum of Natural History and within the City of Mesa.

- New Book Explores the Places and Spirit of the Western Apache: Who knew that Apacheria held so much abundance for those who knew where to look? All over Southern and Central Arizona, where the Western Apache once wandered unchallenged according to a seasonal schedule held deep in their cultural memories, there is food: acorns, agave, wild spinach, wild onions, mesquite beans, cactus fruit and more--all integral to the once-diverse Apache larder. There are sections of Ian W. Record's debut book, Big Sycamore Stands Alone: The Western Apaches, Aravaipa, and the Struggle for Place, out now from the University of Oklahoma Press, that read like the dream menu of an extreme locavore.

- The Story of the Amerind Museum: In the 1930s, Fulton started to build a laboratory and museum, which would become the Amerind Foundation. The Amerind holds an impressive collection of materials. Like many modern museums, it is more than just a place where old things gather dust. The foundation helps researchers understand the Southwest, both past and present.

- Hushed Excavation Recovered Data Before Border Wall Construction in California: During the past year, archaeologists have been digging like mad to preserve one of the last remaining ancient Indian village sites in coastal Southern California, racing against the claw of the bulldozers and massive grind of the steam rollers to get the work done before the federal government erases in one year what had managed to survive for millennia. And they did it in almost complete secrecy.

- Nominations Committee Seeks "Utah's History Heros:" Nominations of persons or organizations who have given extraordinary service or completed outstanding projects are being sought for the Utah State History Conference. The annual awards recognize individuals and groups who have made a significant contribution to history, prehistory, or historic preservation in the state of Utah. Winners will be honored Sept. 17 at the 57th Annual Utah State History Conference in Salt Lake City.

- Tucson's Mission Garden Reconstruction Nears Completion: Mission Gardens is an agricultural area along the bank of the Santa Cruz River associated with the Mission San Agustín — Tucson's cultural birthplace. Rio Nuevo is re-creating the gardens as part of its replication of the mission complex, which included a two-story convento, a granary and other buildings.

- Open House this Weekend at Tonto National Monument: Tonto National Monument will join the statewide celebration of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month by hosting an open house Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22. Visitors may hike to the Upper Cliff Dwelling on their own. The Upper Cliff Dwelling is normally available only on ranger-guided tours and requires an advance reservation. During this weekend activities will also include various prehistoric technology and traditional Native American craft demonstrations. Volunteers from the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center in north Phoenix will present an assortment of live animals and birds. - The Payson Roundup

- Lecture Opportunity (Santa Fe): Monday evenings at 6 pm at hotel Santa Fe
offered as a benefit for the Archaeological Conservancy, a public program graciously assisted by hotel Santa Fe, a Picuris Pueblo enterprise. On March 23, Dr. John D. Speth, archaeologist, and Arthur Thurnow Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan, will present "Hunter-Gatherers and Hunting Motivation."

- Brown Bag Lecture Opportunity (Santa Fe): 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. On March 24, 2009 OAS presents “Santa Fe’s La Garita Camposanto: a Forgotten Cemetery Remembered.” OAS Brown Bag talk by H. Wolcott Toll, Ph.D., OAS project director. As late as 1936 Santa Fe city maps show a camposanto above the Scottish Rite Temple. By 1940 the area had been subdivided and houses built. A series of utility projects encountered burials there, bringing the cemetery back into public consciousness. Wolky will discuss the nature of the burials, the loss of the camposanto, and its reentry into public consciousness.

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): Old Pueblo Archaeology Center's "Third Thursdays" free presentation: "Archaeology, History, and Historic Preservation in the Southern Chiricahua Mountains" with Coronado National Forest archaeologist William B. Gillespie at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 2201 W. 44th Street, Tucson (in Tucson Unified School District's Ajo Service Center, just west of La Cholla Blvd., ½-mile north of John F. Kennedy Park). 7:30 to 9 p.m. Free. No reservations needed. 520-798-1201 or

- Travelogue - Tucson as a Heritage Tourism Destination: Most people don’t think of Tucson as a center of Native American culture. We tend to think of the Navajo and Hopi when we consider Native American tradition and art. But the people to the south have much to offer the visitor. Whether its “man in the maze” baskets, saguaro syrup or unusual polka music, the traditions of the desert people to the south will fascinate you.

- Employment Opportunity: Cultural Resources Specialist, Phoenix. This position entails 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.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Excavations in Grand Canyon, Lectures, World Archaeology News

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

- An Archaeological Race Against Time in the Grand Canyon: Archaeologists are excavating sites along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon in hopes of saving artifacts before they wash away. Although the National Park Service typically leaves such artifacts alone, about 60 sites are being undercut by water, or unearthed by wind, topography, and a lack of sand, which is largely blocked from getting into the canyon by Glen Canyon Dam upriver. National Park Service archaeologists and the Museum of Northern Arizona are working to uncover nine of the sites, which are mostly about 1,000 years old. - ABC News 15

- Colorado "Underground Mystery Room" is a Fantastic Find for Historical Archaeologists: A Colorado Springs man finds what appears to be a hidden underground room in his back-yard and it’s filled with all kinds of old artifacts. A UCCS archaeologist tells 11 News the hidden room is actually an old water cistern. It's believed the old underground water tank was abandoned more than 100 years ago, around the year 1900, when the house that is now on the property was built.

- Lecture Opportunity (Irvine, CA): The Pacific Coast Archaeological Society will present Dr. James Snead speaking on "The Archaeology of Annihilation: Place, Meaning, and Destruction" on March 19, 7:30 pm, Irvine Ranch Water District,15600 Sand Canyon Avenue, Irvine. The intentional destruction of homes, monuments, and cities is often treated as a grim sidelight to warfare in human society. Annihilation is, however, a complex cultural phenomenon, both in the ancient world and in our own, bound up in ideas of place, meaning, and legitimacy. Archaeologists view destruction through our own cultural lenses, often leading us astray. This talk will examine the cultural aspects of annihilation, with specific reference to the study of an intentionally destroyed archaeological site in northern New Mexico, Burnt Corn Pueblo.The meeting is free and open to the public.

- Lecture Opportunity (Farmington Region) Center for Desert Archaeology Preservation Archaeologist and Chaco Scholar Paul Reed will present " The Diversity of Chacoan Great Houses: The View from the Middle San Juan." at 7pm, March 17th. A Book-signing will follow the lecture.

- Reminder, Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): Tonight, Monday, March 16th, Dr. Paul Minnis Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma will present the monthly Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society lecture. Casas Grandes (A.D. 1200-1450) is one of the premier archaeological sites of the greater Southwest. Dr. Minnis' research concentrates on the local environment of this astonishing site and its relationship to the nearby settlements. 7:30 PM, Room 5403, University Medical Center, 1501 N Campbell Ave., Tucson. Free and open to the public.

- Networks of Plunder - A Scientific Analysis of Illegal Antiquities Trade: Every day for months, Morag Kersel walked through the streets of Jerusalem to interview researchers, antiquities dealers, museum officials and others about the trafficking of ancient goods: pottery, sawed-off pieces of statues, decorated blocks sliced off the tops of ancient door frames, and biblical coins, to name a few.

- Lidar Assisted Excavation: Could computers eventually replace shovels in archaeological research? At least one Brown researcher thinks they might. To prove it she's taking on the Crusader Castle, one of the world's most endangered archaeological sites. For decades, archaeologists have puzzled over what the Castle, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea from high atop a cliff along the central coast of Israel, might have looked like. Built in the mid-1200s by the Crusaders after their conquest of the Holy Land, it was sacked a few decades later by Egyptian Mamluks, who had their captives demolish the structure. The 6,500-square-foot stone fortress lay in ruins.

- Amazing Ancient Maya Carvings Exposed at El Mirador: Archaeologists have uncovered carved stucco panels depicting cosmic monsters, gods and serpents in Guatemala's northern jungle that are the oldest known depictions of a famous Mayan creation myth. The newly-discovered panels, both almsot eight metres long and stacked on top of each other, were created around 300 BC and show scenes from the core Mayan mythology, the Popol Vuh. - Times of Malta - Video Link

Friday, March 13, 2009

Arizona Archaeology Expo This Weekend, Development Vs Archaeology in Utah, Dating Rock Art

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

- Arizona Archaeology Expo This Weekend at Pueblo Grande: Saturday, March 14, 2009, 10am to 3pm and Sunday, March 15, 2009, 10am to 3pm. Pueblo Grande Museum will be hosting the 2009 Arizona Archaeology Expo as part of the 26th Annual Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month put on by Arizona State Park’s State and Historic Preservation Office. This event is an excellent opportunity for professionals, archaeology and history enthusiasts and the general public to discover what resources Arizona has to offer regarding archaeology, history, preservation and the many rich cultures that helped shape our state. Learn why it is important to preserve archaeological and historic sites. Discover what it is archaeologists, historians, native tribes and cultural centers do to preserve, understand and present Arizona’s past. The event will feature archaeological hands-on activities, craft and ancient technology demonstrations, tours, lectures and much more for all ages and interests. Don’t forget to purchase some frybread, an Arizona favorite.

- Critical Habitation Site in Utah Threatened by Development and Unscrupulous Politics: Archaeologists say good enough won't work in this case. The site is too critical. They've found two homes, a fire pit, 30,000 artifacts and, most importantly, corn pollen, suggesting ancient natives farmed this valley long before we thought. "Development is fine and dandy, but this is one case where the importance of the site outweighs the development need," says Jerry Spangler, director of the Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance. "It could literally re-write our understanding of the earliest settled people here."

- Kieran McCarty, 1925-2008: Beloved Priest, Renowned Historian: The modest McCarty was celebrated among historians for his diligence in locating original documents that brought to life the early history of Tucson and the rest of the Pimería Alta. One book on his beloved Franciscans, for instance, took him to parish archives in Altar and Arispe and Hermosillo and Horcasitas and Ures in Sonora, as well as to the big archives in Mexico City, Seville and Rome. He copied hundreds of documents, bringing them back in microfilm form to Tucson for his own study and for future scholars as well. Drawing on his superb Spanish, he translated many of them, making them more available to others.

- New Study Points to Ways to Date Rock Art: A new dating method finally is allowing archaeologists to incorporate rock paintings — some of the most mysterious and personalized remnants of ancient cultures — into the tapestry of evidence used to study life in prehistoric times. That’s the conclusion of a new report in ACS’ Analytical Chemistry.

- Every Thread Tells a Story: Some tell of the traditional Navajo relationship with Mother Earth. Others symbolize a woman's transformation from child to adult. Together, the threads in a Navajo rug communicate more than function, warmth or beauty. They represent culture, geography and a way of life, professional weaver Ron Garnanez said. "It's done with chants and prayers," Garnanez, 56, said while sitting at his loom on a recent Monday. "It's about things that aren't important to Western thought."

- Archaeology Society of New Mexico Annual Meeting Scheduled for May 1-3 in Taos, NM. "Between the Mountains, Beyond the Mountains" Contributions to the archaeology
of the Northern Rio Grande The Taos Archaeological Society is honored to be hosting the annual meeting of the Archaeological Society of New Mexico. We have an exciting weekend planned and hope you will be able to join us.

- Society for Applied Anthropology Meetings Next Week In Santa Fe: It may have an academic-sounding name, but the Society for Applied Anthropology aspires to help solve real-life human problems around the world by applying ideas and research from the field of anthropology. The national organization will hold its annual conference March 17 through March 21 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. During the conference, one of Santa Fe's own will officially be recognized as a newly elected member to the society's board. - The Santa Fe New Mexican

- Arizona State Archives Partially Reopened: (From Doug Kupel) I am happy to report some success in the campaign to re-open the State Archives building. As a result of numerous contacts and hard work behind the scenes, the Library & Archives agency has announced that the building will be open on an appointment only basis for limited hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. Here is the text of the announcement: "The State Archives will be open for research *by appointment only* every Tuesday from noon to 4:00 p.m. and every Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., except for emergencies Please call 602-926-3720 between 10:00 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday to make an appointment. We will continue to accept research requests from patrons, but the response times will be much longer." To view the announcement on the site follow this link:

- Arizona National History Day Seeks Volunteer Judges: National History Day is looking for volunteers to judge the National History Day Competition that will be held Saturday, April 4th 2009 at the Fountain Hills Middle School located at 15414 N. McDowell Mountain Road, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268. If you are available to judge the state contest, please register online. The registration link is posted below.

- Field School Announcement: 2009 UNM Southwestern Archaeology Field School at the Valles Caldera National Preserve, June 8 to July 10, 2009. This year's UNM Southwestern Archaeology Field School will investigate high altitude hunter-gatherer adaptations and land use in the Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. Join us as we investigate the archaeological record of its prehistoric use through survey, excavation and geoarchaeological field research.

- Field School Announcement: Field Methods in Rock Art (May 11-29, 2009) SHUMLA and Texas State University are once again offering Field Methods in Rock Art. This three-week course gives students the opportunity to earn 3-6 hours of undergraduate- or 3 hours of graduate-level credit while studying with one of the leading rock art researchers in the world. Taught at the SHUMLA campus, located 50 miles west of Del Rio, Texas, the Lower Pecos River region is the home of hundreds of rock shelters, many of which contain some of the finest examples of prehistoric rock art in the world, dating to over 4,000 years old.

- Planning Starts for 2009 Northern Arizona Archaeology Fair: The second annual Northern Arizona Archaeology Fair is being planned for Saturday July 11th, 2009 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on the Show Low campus of Northland Pioneer College. Our goal is to educate the public about cultural heritage preservation, by providing an opportunity for interaction with professionals through talks, hands-on activities and interactive educational displays. This year the fair is being sponsored by Northern Pioneer College. We are currently looking for professional archaeologists and anthropologists, native artisans, authors, educators, agencies and others who would like to participate as demonstrators and exhibitors. If you can give a talk, do a demonstration, set up a poster, or are an author who wishes to promote a book, we would like to have you as part of this special event. There will be no charge for exhibitors. We are particularly looking for those who can provide hands-on educational activities for the public. - Ms Word Document

- Owls "Move In" at Casa Grande National Monument: Visitors are always welcome at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument and their enjoyment and experience is always the staff's No. 1 priority. But what happens when they decide they like it so much that they move in? Believe it or not, it isn't an uncommon thing for the Ruins - but it's not the kind of visitors one would expect. A family of great horned owls has taken refuge atop the west wall of the ``Great House.''

- Lecture Opportunity (Santa Fe): Monday evening at 6 pm at Hotel Santa Fe, offered as a benefit for the Archaeological Conservancy, a public program graciously assisted by Hotel Santa Fe, a Picuris Pueblo Enterprise. On March 16th Ron Barber with the International Research, Analysis and Technology Development at Los Alamos National Laboratory will present "Calendars in Stone."

- Native Perspectives on Southwestern Archaeology Featured on the Archaeology Channel: Filmed at Canyon of the Ancients National Monument and the Pueblo of Acoma, this video explains how Pueblo people feel about visiting archaeological sites. The intergenerational cast from the Hopi Tribe and the pueblos of Santa Clara and Acoma emphasize the living connections between ancestral villages and the modern-day descendants of their builders. For this video, the Colorado Historical Society gave the Caroline Bancroft History Award to the Anasazi Heritage Center, which worked with the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in its production. Plenty of reasons can be cited for visitors to take care while visiting archaeological sites, but one often overlooked is respect for living descendants. Driving this point home with compelling messages is Visit with Respect, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): On Monday, March 16th, Dr. Paul Minnis Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma will present the monthly Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society lecture. Casas Grandes (A.D. 1200-1450) is one of the premier archaeological sites of the greater Southwest. Dr. Minnis' research concentrates on the local environment of this astonishing site and its relationship to the nearby settlements. 7:30 PM, Room 5403, University Medical Center, 1501 N Campbell Ave., Tucson. Free and open to the public.

- Employment Opportunity: Forest Archaeologist, GS-0193-12 Permanent Full Time, Taos, New Mexico, Region 3, Carson National Forest. The Carson National Forest will be filling a GS-0193 permanent full time Forest Archaeologist position through the Open and Continuous Roster (OCR) ADS08-FSJOBS(Archaeologist)-0046G. This position is located in the Supervisor's Office in Taos, New Mexico. The position has overall responsibility for implementing the forest’s archaeology program of work. gs-12_fao.doc - Ms Word Document

Friday, March 6, 2009

Arizona Preservation Conference Stands, New Arizona Archives Closed, Ancient Human Remains Found in Aztec, New Mexico

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

- From Pueblo to Cul-de-Sac - Forgotten Albuquerque: Dennis Herrick, a slight, active man in his late 50s, stands on the ridge of a sand hill and gestures down over a low wall toward a strangely empty lot in one of Bernalillo’s largest subdivisions. “So, there, probably where that cul-de-sac is, that was the plaza,” he says, with the confidence of a man who has studied the archaeological record and pinpointed these features on his GPS. “Or, actually, because of the gravel quarry, the plaza was some thirty feet above the cul-de-sac. And over there, by the white sign, that was one of the kivas.”

- The 2009 Arizona Historic Preservation Partnership Conference Rolls On! Lately there have been a lot of persistent rumors regarding possible cancellation of the 2009 Preservation Conference. Due to the tremendous response from the preservation community and the generosity of our sponsors so far, the Conference Planning Committee has decided to move ahead with the Conference. But, we could still use some help. How can you help? The easiest thing you can do is simply register for the Conference. Although the money we receive from our partners and sponsors helps our cause, it is the registration fees that pay for over 50% of our conference expenses.

- 2009 American Rock Art Research Association Conference Scheduled: Bakersfield, California will be the setting for the 36th annual conference of the American Rock Art Research Association (ARARA), to convene May 22 - 25, 2009. The Bakersfield region is homeland to several Native American tribes, and the cultural evidence of the prehistoric inhabitants is abundant throughout the area.

- Apache Artist Honored for Work with Traditional Violins: Anthony Belvado was awarded for two first place ribbons at the Southwest Indian Art Fair by the Arizona State Museum for his artwork of the Apache Violin. He competed against hundreds of other artists to win the prize. Dating back to the 1800s the making of the Apache Violin has been passed down throughout the generations. The art form was taught to Anthony by his late grandfather Salton Reede, Sr. Anthony has been making the traditional Apache Violins for the past ten years and is now in the process of sharing the art with his grandsons.

- Arizona Archaeology Month in the Verde Valley: Combine the fact that March is Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month and that few places in the state are as rich in reminders of the past than the Verde Valley and you have cause for celebration. Which is precisely what Arizona State Parks, Verde Valley Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society Arizona, Coconino National Forest and the National Park Service are planning to do. - CV

- Ancient Human Remains Found During Construction in Aztec NM: Archaeologists have excavated centuries-old remains of at least seven people discovered during work on a wastewater treatment plant for the community of Aztec, N.M. Scientists estimate the bones are at least 700 years old, based on pottery and other artifacts found near them. - Fox News AZ

- Arizona Closes Recently Constructed State Archives Building: The new, $29 million Polly Rosenbaum State Archives and History Building Reading Room that opened late last year has closed until further notice -- another victim of state budget cuts. - Phoenix New Times

- Travelogue - Education Vacation in the American Southwest: The American Southwest bursts with potential for exploration, and offers opportunities to learn about Native American groups, particularly the Hopi and Anasazi. Discover what it’s like to drive the Trail of the Ancients scenic byway, plan a day trip to New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park or create an itinerary for the Four Corners, a hotbed of Native American history and culture. - Finding Dulcinea

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Plan Now for the 2010 SW Symposium, Arizona Archaeology Month Events

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

- SW Symposium Website Launched: The 11th Southwest Symposium web site is now up and running. This year's web site includes a call for papers and a call for posters - take a look! The deadline for paper submissions is very close (May 30) so please help us to spread the word, and the URL.

- Excellent Powerpoint Presentation Highlights the Work of Photographer Edward Curtis: From the Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program Cultural Resources Update (March 2009). Below is a link to a presentation featuring the photographs of Pazola Washte. Washte, also known as Edward Sheriff Curtis, photographed the Native American culture and people west of the Mississippi at the turn of the 20th century. - MS Powerpoint Document

- Arizona Archaeology Month at Chiricahua National Monument and Fort Bowie National Historic Site: Staff at Chiricahua National Monument and Fort Bowie National Historic Site will host several events in honor of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month during March. Tour the Buffalo Soldier Encampment at Chiricahua's Faraway Ranch at noon on Saturdays and Sundays or attend a Saturday evening campground program to learn about the many projects completed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Kathrine Neilsen at 520/824-3560, ext. 303 can provide visitor details. Larry Ludwig at Fort Bowie, 520/847-2500, is accepting reservations for a 10 a.m. tour of the Bascom Affair Site on March 14 and a 10 a.m. tour of the Battle of Apache Pass Site on March 28. For more information, please contact Suzanne Moody at 520/824-3560, ext. 305. - From NPS Parktips.

- Arizona Archaeology Month Events at Red Rocks State Park: The month of March 2009 is Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month around the state and at Red Rock State Park.

- The Importance of Chert: Metates and manos are survivors of the Stone Age when people used rocks to make a wide variety of specialized tools and weapons. Chert, especially the dark variety known as flint, was among their favorite raw materials. Nodules of flint and chert can be easily shattered with a stone hammer or fractured by applying pressure with a stone or a deer antler. Stone age artisans used these methods to skillfully fabricate razor-sharp knife blades, scrapers and arrow and spear points. - San Antonio Express-News

- Apache Family Challenges Repatriation of Geronimo's Remains: A second Mescalero family, also claiming to be descendants of the legendary Geronimo, plans to oppose an attempt to repatriate the Apache warrior's remains to New Mexico. Lariat Geronimo, 39, of Mescalero, said Thursday he is a great-grandson of Geronimo, and his immediate family members are the true descendants of the warrior. He said they oppose an attempt by Harlyn Geronimo of Mescalero, who also claims to be a great-grandson of the warrior, to move the remains. - Las Cruces Sun-News

- Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market This Weekend: The annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, highlights spectacular artwork, music and dance performances, artist demonstrations, book signings and delicious Native foods. The Fair & Market draws more than 600 of the nation's finest Native American artists who show and sell authentic artwork. Peruse booths filled with jewelry, beadwork, pottery, katsina dolls, textiles, clothing, paintings, baskets and more.

- Who Has the Right to Own Antiquities? China fumes over the foreign auction of its looted relics. Cambodia sputters over ancient temple pieces on sale on eBay. Egypt aches for its stolen treasures that are sitting in foreign museums, including the indescribably splendid bust of Nefertiti. Italy and Greece plead for the return of countless antiquities. Countries with rich architectural heritages demand their patrimony back — and they are going to ever-greater lengths to get it.

- Protestor Derails Auction of Chinese Antiquities: A Chinese man’s assertion that he sabotaged the auction of two Qing dynasty bronzes at Christie’s in Paris last week handed Beijing a wry public-relations coup on Monday after it battled for months to block the sale.

- Reminder - Archaeology Cafe in Tucson Tonight: - Archaeology Cafe in Tucson to Explore the Clovis Comet Hypothesis: The Center for Desert Archaeology and Casa Vicente invite you to the sixth meeting of Archaeology Café, a casual, happy hour-style discussion forum dedicated to promoting community engagement with cultural and scientific research. Visit for more information on this exciting grassroots movement. This month, geophysicist Allen West discusses the internationally-debated theory that an enormous space object—probably a fragmented comet—exploded over the northern hemisphere 12,900 years ago. - MS Word Document

Thanks to Terry Colvin and Carrie Gregory for contributions to today's website.