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