Friday, May 29, 2009

New Dating Technique for Fired Ceramics Announced

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

- New Dating Technique for Fired Ceramic Objects Announced: Scientists at The University of Manchester have developed a new way of dating archaeological objects – using fire and water to unlock their 'internal clocks'. The simple method promises to be as significant a technique for dating ceramic materials as radiocarbon dating has become for organic materials such as bone or wood. A team from The University of Manchester and The University of Edinburgh has discovered a new technique which they call 'rehydroxylation dating' that can be used on fired clay ceramics like bricks, tile and pottery.

- Could a "Kelp Highway" have Driven the Peopling of the Americas? The Pacific Coast of the Americas was settled starting about 15,000 years ago during the last glacial retreat by seafaring peoples following a "kelp highway" rich in marine resources, a noted professor of anthropology theorized Wednesday. Jon Erlandson, director of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon, suggested that especially productive "sweet spots," such as the estuaries of B.C.'s Fraser and Stikine rivers, served as corridors by which people settled the Interior of the province. - Vancouver Sun

- Workshop for Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights and Cultural Resource Management Scheduled for June 16-17 in Denver: Who owns tribal stories? Who owns the traditional knowledge of native peoples? What information can a tribe post to its website? Can our genes be patented? Does the tribe have bootlegged or pirated copies of software on its computers? Do the reading materials for courses in the tribal college and high school violate any laws? What is the tribe's liability for copyright violations? The intellectual property issues confronting tribal decision-makers are more varied and more complex than for most businesses. On one hand tribes need to protect their stories, knowledge, and symbols but on the other, indigenous peoples are generally opposed to the notion of calling these parts of their heritage property. Recent developments, nationally and internationally, are challenging tribal efforts to manage their cultural resources. The Navajo Nation wants to protect the San Francisco Peaks by having it designated a World Heritage Site.

- Archaeology Day at Elden Pueblo (Flagstaff): Learn about Pueblo culture and how archaeologists work at the Elden Pueblo Archaeological Project's field day this weekend. The free event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at 1824 S. Thompson St., Flagstaff. Elden Pueblo is a 60- to 80-room village built by the Sinagua people. It is thought to be about 800 years old and was first studied in 1926 by archaeologist Jesse Walter Fewkes. Since then, the Forest Service has established a public archaeology education program on-site. Bring water, sunscreen, a hat and lunch. An adult must accompany children ages 8 to 16. Tours of the pueblo begin at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. - Arizona Republic.

- Protests Over Plans to Build Hazardous Waste Dump Near Sacred O'odham Site: The O’odham have held an annual ceremony at the Quitovac spring and pond since their people were created. At protests in Quitovac, protestors have blocked the highway and sung traditional songs in ceremony. Mexico’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) quietly approved plans for a landfill near Quitovac in 2005 apparently without notifying the U.S., despite the 1983 La Paz Agreement requiring notification and discussion regarding hazardous waste facilities within 100 kilometers of the border.

- Review of Mesa Verde Indian Art Festival: From the open-air Chapin Ampitheater in Mesa Verde National Park, spectators watched the Acoma Pueblo traditional dancers perform hunter and rainbow dances throughout the weekend. "Seven hundred years ago, it would have been just like this," said Acoma Elder, Bert Leno, who drummed. "The (hunter) dance is a prayer for the hunters to go out and kill their food - deer, bison, anything in wildlife. The girls would stay behind and sing to welcome the hunters back home to the house."

Thanks to Gerald Kelso and Adrianne Rankin for contributions to today

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Earliest Known Southwestern Canals, Aztec Threatened By Oil Drilling

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

- Southwest's Earliest Irrigation Features Discovered at Las Capas: Archaeologists preparing for the expansion of a Tucson wastewater treatment facility have discovered the remains of the earliest known irrigation system in the Southwest, a farming community that dates to at least 1200 BC. That predates the well-known and much more sophisticated Hohokam tribe's canal system, which crisscrossed what is now Phoenix, by 1,200 years. The find suggests that the people who inhabited the region began with relatively simple irrigation systems and built up to more complex projects as the climate became hotter and drier. - Los Angeles Times

Oil Exploration Drilling to Move within 45 Yards of Aztec National Monument: natural-gas company plans to drill a well less than 45 yards from a corner of Aztec Ruins National Monument, and the director is concerned about possible damage. Maana Gas Inc. plans to use directional drilling to tap resources on 160 acres it leases beneath the national monument, going 1,000 to 2,000 feet deep. The well pad will be 125 feet from the northwest corner of the monument. Larry Baker, executive director at nearby Salmon Ruins, said Aztec Ruins has many culturally significant artifacts that could be damaged, and even building new trails could be curtailed by potential vapors from drilling. - The Durango Herald

- Nine Mile Canyon Coalition Honored by ARARA: The rural residents who wanted to educate the public about the wonders of Nine Mile Canyon didn't realize when they formed their coalition in 1991 they were in for a fight. Eighteen years later, the Nine Mile Canyon Coalition has not only battled its way to the table with federal officials considering a massive natural-gas drilling project, the group has won an award from an international cultural preservation group. The coalition, along with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance, were honored Saturday night with the Conservation and Preservation Award from the American Rock Art Research Association during its annual conference in Bakersfield, Calif.

- New Mexico History Museum Opens in Santa Fe: Deep in the bowels of the Conservation Laboratory on Museum Hill in Santa Fe, Rebecca Tinkham uses a thin bamboo skewer to remove more than 20,000 flyspecks from one of the oldest textiles in New Mexico: a devotional medallion that arrived in the late 16th century with Juan de Oñate, the explorer, conquistador and colonial governor. On a nearby table, Conor McMahon polishes a 56-piece Tiffany silver set made in 1917 for the USS New Mexico. One dessert plate is adorned with an image of Kit Carson and a wagon train; a humidor depicts the Taos Pueblo so realistically that cracks in the adobe walls appear in the silver.

- Related Story - Museum of New Mexico's Friends of Archaeology Manufacture Replica Arrows for Pueblo Revolt Exhibit: Eric Blinman originally thought the idea of hanging a canopy of arrows from the ceiling of the new History Museum's exhibit on the Pueblo Revolt was "nuts." He admits he's more about reality than image. At the same time, knowing what bad arrows are sold on the open market, the Museum of New Mexico's director of archaeological studies said, "I didn't want to turn this into a Route 66 roadside attraction." - Santa Fe New Mexican

Preservationist Argues for Saving Downtown Tucson Hotel: During the 1970s, many Downtown Tucson buildings, including the 1917 Santa Rita addition, were covered with layers of stucco and new facades, obscuring their original designs. Today, many of these buildings are being "excavated" and restored to their earlier glory. For example, many of the original details of the Compass Bank at 120 N. Stone were revealed after a concrete covering was removed. The Roy Place (Walgreens) Building at the corner of Stone and Pennington is now being restored. Regrettably, buildings such as the Thrifty Drugstore on Congress Street were torn down before it was known that the original building was well-preserved beneath the false facade. In that case, a beautiful concrete art deco building was lost.

Friday, May 22, 2009

O'odham Perspectives on Repatriation, Mammoth Excavation In-Situ and Indoors in Waco

Southwestern Archaeology Today - A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

- O'odham Perspectives on Repatriation: The Tohono O'odham Nation will soon rebury the remains of nearly 200 of their ancestors, dug up in the late 1970s and early '80s by teams of archaeologists working on what was then known as the Anamax/Rosemont site. They fear further disturbance of their ancestors' graves if permission is given to Rosemont Copper to dig an open-pit copper mine in the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains — an area rich with archaeological evidence of Hohokam and other settlements.

- Archaeology, Architecture, and Preservation Cross Paths at the Waco Mammoth Site: To preserve the prehistoric bones at Waco Mammoth Site, Cotera+Reed Architects has strived to intertwine the firm’s creative vision with the immutable realities of sunlight, Central Texas heat, and the rigors of scientific preservation. The Austin-based firm has designed an 8,400-square-foot shelter for the dig site that will be open to the public. It will be one of fewer than a dozen buildings in the United States that enclose prehistoric remains in situ—that is, located where they were first discovered. Portions of at least 25 Colombian mammoth skeletons, dating back some 68,000 years, have been identified at the Waco site since the first mammoth bone was spotted there in 1978 protruding from a creek bed.

- Meeting on Mt. Taylor TCP Designation Creates Confusion: Pithy remarks by one opponent summed up the overall effect to Friday’s meeting after the nomination has been presented and discussion begun. “I have more questions than when I came in,” he said. Key questions about the boundaries of the proposed “contributing” arose with Navajo, U.S. Forest Service, legal and other representatives presenting maps of the area for the TCP nomination. “I have seen four maps and they don’t match each other,” said a man who identified himself as an owner of Lee Ranch Coal Mine northwest of Grants.”

- Arizona State Museum Bioarchaeologist Examines Impact of Transitions to Agriculture on Women's Oral Health: The prehistoric transition to agricultural dependence has been well-studied for a number of regions of the world; yet the effects on maternal health have been largely overlooked. A massive population expansion associated with the advent of agriculture, referred to as the Neolithic demographic transition, has largely been considered a consequence of higher fertility rates associated with a decrease in the period between the birth of children. These processes would have imposed considerable biological demands on the bodies of Neolithic women.

- Author Challenges Notions of "Collapse" for Ancestral Puebloans: Eric Skopec demonstrates that global warming did not destroy the Ancestral Puebloan civilization. Although some authors bolster their warnings with historical references, many misrepresent the archeological record. According to Dr. Skopec, “much of what popular authors say about the Ancestral Puebloans is incomplete, misleading, and just plain wrong. They get away with it because the general public knows little more than the myth that the Ancestral Puebloans mysteriously disappeared.”

- Natural Fiber Arts of the Southwest Celebrated at Pagosa Springs Festival: For the second year, the two-day Pagosa Fiber Festival will take place May 30-31 in Town Park. Festival organizers say it will be hard to miss the big white tents. The fiber arts workshops will be at the community center on Thursday and Friday preceding the festival. The festival-sponsored, annual Navajo Rug Auction will be held at the community center at 5 p.m. Saturday.

- There is Still Time to Register for the Arizona Preservation Conference: The conference will be featuring a wide range of sessions on archaeological research and preservation topics. This year’s conference, ”Arguing For Preservation: Building a Case For Communities,” is being held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix, June 18th-20th, 2009. The goal of the Conference is to bring together preservationists from around the state to exchange ideas and success stories, to share perspectives and solutions to preservation issues and to foster a sense of cooperation between the diverse Arizona preservation communities.

- National Register Workshop Scheduled With National Trust Conference: National Register Workshop - Wednesday, October 14th in Nashville, TN. The Tennessee SHPO is hosting a free, one-day workshop for SHPO/THPO/FPO staff during the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) Conference. NPS NR staff will offer more in-depth training on developing historic contexts and evaluating/documenting landscape resources. This workshop is not affiliated with the NTHP Conference. To help us better coordinate, let us know if you and/or other preservation staff will be able to attend this NR workshop. Please contact Jim Gabbert at (202) 354-2275 or with any questions. We will be sending out additional Nashville NR workshop information within the next few months.

- Call for Papers, 16th Jornada Mogollon Conference: The El Paso Museum of Archaeology will host the 16th Jornada Mogollon Archaeology Conference 2-3 October 2009 in El Paso, Texas. - MS Word Document

- Arizona Universities to Digitize Historic Records for Centennial: Hidden archives will be discovered by Arizonans when they help the three state universities build Why Arizona? The Arizona Migration Digital Library. "Everyone is invited to participate in this project by offering their stories or suggesting topics or events they would like to see documented here", said Rob Spindler, University Archivist at Arizona State University. "This is a rare opportunity for Arizonans to construct their own online legacy from archives the universities have preserved on their behalf". At public meetings this month Arizonans will learn about the progress of the project, see samples and descriptions of materials nominated for public access and add their voice to our work! Comments may also be sent via email through the project website at

- Tubac Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society Seeks a New Chapter Advisor: Tubac Chapter of the Arizona Archaeology Society Seeks Chapter Adviser: Our chapter was founded in the fall of 2007 and meets monthly (except for summers) in Tubac. We present lectures to our members and the public at each meeting, and these generally deal with the archaeology of Arizona, with an emphasis on Southern Arizona and the Santa Cruz Valley. - MS Word Document

- Photograph of Kiva Honored By Smithsonian: The photograph, "Ancestral Dimension", conveys more than beautiful warm color and the drama of a striking shaft of light in the darkly confined underground space of an ancient Indian kiva. The evocative image, captured by acclaimed Fine Art Photographer, Stephen W, Oachs, pulls the viewer inside to experience the close, rough sandstone walls, the low and encroaching ceiling, and an almost haunting sense of tranquility.

- Musuem of Northern Arizona Offers Youth Summer Camp Program: The Museum of Northern Arizona’s summer Discovery Program aims to inspire a sense of love and responsibility for the Colorado Plateau, while providing a pathway into the future. Discovery 2009 offers 50 classes and summer camp sessions that connect youths ages 4-18 to this region and draw out their natural curiosity, creating a thirst for knowledge through direct experience. - NAZ Today

Thanks to Gerald Kelso for Contributions to Today's Newsletter

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pueblito Signaling Systems Examined, Joint Courts Excavation Reburials

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

- Archaeologists Examine Navajo Signaling Systems: Archaeologists and volunteers armed with special flares will fan out over part of the Four Corners region on Saturday to study how early Navajos could have used smoke signals to warn against invaders. There are more than 200 pueblitos — usually high on rock outcroppings overlooking the San Juan Basin — that archaeologists believe were built by Navajos three centuries ago to protect against Spanish explorers and neighboring tribes. “If you hear an enemy approaching, you climb into these things and pull up the ladder, and you can seal yourself in for a while,” said Ron Maldonado, program manager of the Navajo Nation Historic Preservation Department.

- Soldiers from Tucson Cemetery Excavation Reburied: In what may be the largest troop funeral ever in Arizona, the bones of nearly 60 soldiers from the Civil and Indian wars were reburied Saturday in a hail of pageantry, two years after their remains were dug up in Downtown Tucson to make way for a new court complex. Cannons boomed. Cavalry horses pranced. A band dressed in Civil War garb played 150-year-old music on replica instruments in a patch of graveyard done up to look like an 1800s military cemetery.

- NPR Examines Ancient Uses of Agave (Video Presentation): Perhaps best known as the source of tequila, agaves were an important crop long before the invention of the margarita. Botanist Wendy Hodgson says pre-Columbian farmers cultivated agaves for food as far back as 800 A.D.

- College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum Receives Reccreditation: The College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum was recently awarded reaccreditation from the American Association of Museums, landing them in an elite group consisting of only 4 percent of the nation's museums. - Deseret News

- Account of Camp Grant Massacre Wins Prestigious RFK Award: Karl Jacoby's "Shadows at Dawn," one of three books written recently about the Camp Grant Massacre, was singled out for special recognition by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. The awards were announced Friday. The book, one of 85 entries for the 29th annual RFK Book Award, was the only one besides winner "The Dark Side," by Jane Mayer, to receive recognition, said Simone Greggs, a spokeswoman for the center. "The judges thought it, too, was deserving of the prize," she said

Friday, May 15, 2009

Findings at Las Capas may "Re-Write Southwestern Prehistory"

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

- Findings at Las Capas Have Potential to Re-Write Early Southwestern Prehistory : On the grounds of Pima County's Ina Road waste water treatment facility, archaeologists have unearthed the remains of an ancient farming community that could potentially rewrite the history of human settlement in the Southwest. The less than auspicious setting might not inspire today — the scent of human waste at times overwhelming the senses — but scientists say the site was ideally suited for organized agriculture when the ancients farmed the area more than 3,000 years ago. "This was the perfect place to start irrigation agriculture, and these guys did it in spades," James Vint said. - NW Explorer News

- New Mexico State Historic Preservation Officer to Become US ICOMOS Chief: New Mexico's historic preservation officer has been selected to become the executive director of the United States Committee for the International Council on Monuments and Sites. The state Department of Cultural Affairs says Katherine Slick was selected from a nationwide pool of candidates.

- Southwestern Archaeologist Meliha Sue Duran Passes Away: Meliha Sue Duran, 59, passed away peaceably at Mountain View Hospital, Las Cruces on May 11, 2009, with her husband, David T. Kirkpatrick, and daughter, Leyla D. Kirkpatrick at her bedside. She fought a courageous 13-year battle against a reoccurring benign brain tumor and its complications.“ Meli earned a BA in Anthropology (1971) at the University of Washington, Seattle, a MA in Anthropology (1977), Washington State University, Pullman and a M.A. English: Technical Communications (1986), New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. Her career involved working as an archaeologist and technical editor. As an archaeologist she worked on sites in Washington State and then on a wide variety of sites throughout New Mexico. By 1983, Meli became more involved in technical writing and the production of archaeological reports, eventually becoming the Director of Publications for Human Systems Research, Inc., a non-profit archaeological consulting firm in Las Cruces. In 1999 she took medical retirement, but continued as volunteer assisting in the analysis of artifacts from several prehistoric sites in central New Mexico. She also read extensively on western Women’s history. At Meli’s request, cremation has taken place. There will be a celebration of her life for family an d friends to be held at the family home later this year. Her obituary will appear in the Las Cruces Sun News ( and the newsletters of the archaeological societies of which she was a member.

- Editorial Argues for Mt Taylor Preservation: Look carefully at Mount Taylor and you'll notice it's missing its top. The original summit was blown off eons ago in an earth-shaking explosion. Look carefully at the proposal to designate Mount Taylor as a protected cultural site, and you'll also notice something missing: every culture with ties to the mountain that isn't Native American. Native American history with Mount Taylor dates back over a millennium. They have used the mountain's bounty in every aspect of their lives. Archeological sites are scattered across its diverse topography. It figures prominently in several creation stories. The mountain, by some accounts, is a spiritual being. - The Albuquerque Journal

- Friends of Arizona Archives Create New Website (From Doug Kupel): I am pleased to announce that FAzA has a new website! Thanks to the hard work by FAzA volunteer Mark Pry, the new website is up and running. Please update your favorites, bookmarks, and links to

- Touring Whiptail Ruin (Tucson): The people in a small tour group from Agua Caliente Park were able to walk in the footsteps of the Hohokam Saturday as they visited the Whiptail Ruins at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. "Holding pottery, holding tools from so many years ago, reminds you somebody else was here," said tour guide Mary Karrels, who in 1978 bought the toured property near the park at 12325 E. Roger Road.

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): On Monday, May 18th the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society will present "Human Adaptation to Catastrophic Events: Lessons from the 11th Century AD Eruption of Sunset Crater Volcano. The lecture will be presented by Dr. Mark Elson of Desert Archaeology and will be held at DuVal Auditorium, University Medical Center, 1501 N Campbell Ave. The lecture begins at 7:30 pm and is free and open to the public.

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): Thursday May 21, 2009, Old Pueblo Archaeology Center's "Third Thursdays" free presentation of "Roadside Religious Art in Sonora" with James S. "Big Jim" Griffith. 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). Guest speaker Jim Griffith describes this talk as follows: "Sonora's highways and byways are lined with religious art - crosses, small and large chapels, and murals painted on cliff faces and on free-standing cement slabs. Some mark death sites, others commemorate favors requested or favors granted. Using slides, I shall discuss these ubiquitous shrines and crosses, and discuss their uses. Unless you know the territory well, you might expect a few surprises." No reservations needed. 520-798-1201 or

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mystery Rock Art Cleaning at Nine Mile Canyon

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

- Who is "Cleaning" Rock Art in Utah's Nine Mile Canyon? An archaeologist claims someone has been secretly cleaning a Utah tourist attraction. If so, the mysterious high-pressure washes may be damaging world-famous rock art in Nine Mile Canyon. A tourist-friendly development was just completed near the rock art. Fence-rails were put up, a pedestrian walkway was created, and the gravel road was moved further away from ancient Indian art called The Great Hunt Panel.

- Relative Solitude Can Be Enjoyed While Exploring Hovenweep Pueblo: Remote, secluded and mysterious, a forbidding landscape. Many such phrases could be used to accurately describe Hovenweep National Monument, straddling a section of southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado. However, you could easily add "uncrowded" to that list, too, as the park only receives about 27,000 visitors a year. That's an average of about 75 people a day, meaning solitude and serenity are plentiful here, though rare in most national park settings today. - Deseret News

- Utah Community Archaeology Project Seeks to Preserve Data Before Townhouse Construction: Someday, it will be a housing development. But for now, residents hope a patch of private property can become an archaeological dig. The Kanab Archaeological Project has teamed up with the developer and Southern Utah University to excavate part of the 280-acre parcel . Their hope: harvest artifacts and other evidence of the Virgin Anasazi who inhabited the area of southern Utah from around 1 A.D. to 1250. "This will help build the economy in the community and provide education opportunities," said Don Sprecher, a member of the group's steering committee. "It is for a good cause."

- Remembering the Excavation of San Fran Francisco Xavier de Horcasitas: In 1967, Dr. Kathleen Gilmore led the premier archaeological expedition at the 18th-century Spanish mission San Francisco Xavier de Horcasitas, aided by interns from Southern Methodist University and an unlikely staff of volunteers - nine members of the Rockdale High School football team.

- Another Story on the Discovery of the Remains of Everett Ruess: Exploring the Southwest on foot and with burros in the early 1930s, 20-year-old vagabond artist Everett Ruess wrote, "I shall always be a lone wanderer of the wilderness. ... I'll never stop wandering. And when the time comes to die, I'll find the wildest, loneliest, most desolate spot there is." Now we know he did. - The Durango Herald

- President Obama Revokes Legislation at the Center of Hopi / Navajo Land Dispute: With the stroke of a pen Friday, President Barack Obama officially ended more than four decades of angst and anger caused by a land dispute between the Navajo and Hopi tribes. The presidential signature formally repealed a federal statute, the so-called Bennett Freeze, that has prevented poverty-stricken members of both tribes from repairing homes or even getting electricity on 1.5 million acres of reservation lands. "It's a great day today," said Max Goldtooth, president of the Navajo Nation's Tuba City Chapter, after learning that the law was affirmed.

- Lecture Opportunity (Irvine, Ca) Pacific Coast Archaeological Society's May14th meeting will feature Dr. Lynn Gamble speaking on "Power, Trade, and Feasting among Complex Hunter-Gatherers: The Chumash World in 1769." Meeting information: Thursday, May 14, 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:

- Lecture Opportunity (NW Tucson) On Tuesday May 19, 2009, "Southwestern Rock Calendars and Ancient Time Pieces" will be presented at a free presentation by Old Pueblo Archaeology Center's director, archaeologist Allen Dart,for Friends of Picture Rocks at Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road, west of Tucson. Cosponsored by the Arizona Humanities Council. 6:30 p.m. iced tea social, 7 to 8:30 p.m. presentation. Free to the Public

- Old Pueblo Archaeology June 2009 Tour Canceled: We regret to announce that the Pima Community College-Old Pueblo Archaeology Center "Mimbres Ruins, Rock Art, and Museums of Southern New Mexico" archaeological site tour that was scheduled for June 19-23, 2009, has been canceled. We will offer the tour again in late spring of 2010.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Zuni Educators to Speak at Anasazi Heritage Center

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

- Zuni Educators to Speak Sunday at Anasazi Heritage Center: Two representatives from the Pueblo of Zuni will discuss cross-cultural communication at the Anasazi Heritage Center on Sunday, May 10 at 1:00 PM. Admission to the museum will be free all day in honor of Colorado Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month. Jim Enote, a Zuni farmer and artist, has been involved for over 20 years in the conservation and development of indigenous communities worldwide. He is director of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center at Zuni, senior adviser for Mountain Cultures at the Mountain Institute, and co-director for the Indigenous Communities Mapping Initiative. Mr. Simplicio, a former member of the Zuni Tribal Council, is known for his work on tribal issues including health, language and cultural continuity, and environmental protection. He led a decades-long struggle against mining at Zuni Salt Lake, which is sacred to Zuni and other Pueblo Peoples. Mr. Simplicio is currently teaching Language and Culture at Zuni’s Twin Buttes High School and is a consultants to the A:shiwi A:wan Museum. - Ms Word Document

- Repatriation of Geronimo's Remains Contested by Descendants: A second group of Geronimo's descendants and the Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma said they took legal action Tuesday to oppose the repatriation of the legendary Apache warrior's remains to New Mexico. The action opposes a February lawsuit by Harlyn Geronimo of Mescalero that's seeking the repatriation. Lariat Geronimo of Mescalero, a great-grandson of Geronimo, contends Harlyn Geronimo doesn't have a valid claim as a descendant and shouldn't have a say as to where the Apache warrior is buried.

- Archaeology Month in Nevada: Nevada will celebrate Archaeology Awareness and Historic Preservation Month in May. There will be walking tours of historic neighborhoods, mansions, and public works, plus archaeology-based events. - Nevada State Historic Preservation.

- Lecture Opportunity (Santa Fe): On May 11th Southwest Seminars presents Center for Desert Archaeology Preservation Archaeologist Paul Reed who will present " A Tale of Three Valleys: Chaco and Post Chaco in the Middle San Juan Region." Lecture presented as part of the Ancient Sites, Ancient Stories 2009 lecture program. Monday Evening, 6 Pm At Hotel Santa Fe. This event is offered as a benefit for the Archaeological Conservancy.

- Author Katherine Benton-Cohen Will Hold a Book Signing in Cascabel This Saturday: Katherine Benton-Cohen will be doing a book reading and signing for her recent release of Borderland Americans at the Cascabel Community Center at 6 PM on May 9th, 2009. Katherine Benton-Cohen will be donating $3 per book to support the Catholic Community Services Willcox senior meals program. The program assists in feeding nearly 60,000 home-bound citizens every year in northern Cochise County. Additional donations will be accepted for the Northern Cochise County Senior Meals Fundraising Programs at the event. A very limited number of books will be available for sale for those that did not pre-order.

- Call for Docents at the Arizona State Museum: Become a Docent at ASM! Interested in SW Native cultures? Want to learn more and share your knowledge with others? Want to meet new people and give back to the community? If you answered yes, then Arizona State Museum's newly established docent program is for you! Docents are volunteers who interpret exhibits and help visitors better understand and appreciate the rich cultural diversity of the American Southwest. As a docent-in-training, you will receive 3 1/2 months of classroom instruction -- including lectures, guest speakers, small group work and practice tours -- before working with the public. When fully trained, your duties will include greeting museum visitors, leading tours, interpreting exhibits and objects for visitors, and answering questions in the galleries. The fall '09 docent class will meet once a week on Wednesdays, 4-6 pm, from Sept 2 through Dec 16. To sign up, we ask that you be able to attend the classes and be available to volunteer just 2 hours a week thereafter (we're very flexible). Space is limited for the fall program.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Newly Hired Director of Arizona State Parks Vandalized Historic Structure, Homol'ovi Ruins State Park Threatened Again

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

- Newly Hired Director of Arizona State Parks Vandalized Historic Arizona Structure in 1999: The woman chosen to be the next director of Arizona's state parks once carved her name into a historic park property in southeastern Arizona. She also helped recover thousands of acres of burned parkland in San Diego County and launched an innovative system for making campground reservations online. The Arizona State Parks Board's unanimous selection of Renée Bahl to take over the parks system next month has polarized state leaders. - Arizona Republic

- Homol'ovi Ruins State Park On the Arizona Fiscal Chopping Block, Again: As the Legislature grapples with a $3 billion budget shortfall for fiscal 2010, Homolovi Ruins, the only state park dedicated to Native American culture, is among facilities that could face closure as Arizona State Parks anticipates budget cuts.That's no small worry to Lomaomuaya (sic) and others in the Hopi Tribe, whose reservation lies 60 miles north of Homolovi Ruins but whose history is embedded in this auburn expanse that means "place of the little hills" in Hopi.

- Tucsonans Grudgingly Reminded of City's Historic Role in Camp Grant Massacre: It was the bloodiest day in Arizona history, and it is seldom discussed. Three recent books and a campaign to mark the site of the Camp Grant Massacre attempt to cure what one historian calls our "amnesia" about the slaughter of more than 100 Apaches, mostly women and children, who were clubbed to death or shot as they fled Aravaipa Canyon about 60 miles northeast of Tucson.

- Reminder, This Month's Archaeology Cafe Will Present Amazing Evidence About the Early Agricultural Period from the Site of Las Capas: Tuesday, May 5th at 6:00 PM, at Casa Vicente, 375 S. Stone Avenue, Tucson, AZ The Center for Desert Archaeology invites you to the eighth meeting of Archaeology Café, a casual, happy hour-style discussion forum dedicated to promoting community engagement with cultural and scientific research. This month, a panel led by archaeologist Jim Vint and geoarchaeologist Fred Nials will share up-to-the-minute information from ongoing excavations at the site of Las Capas along the Santa Cruz River. Investigations by Tucson-based Desert Archaeology, Inc. are revealing complex agricultural irrigation systems that date back 3,000 years! The remarkably well-preserved fields even retain evidence of planting holes for maize and other crops. The project was recently featured in a segment on KUAT's nightly newsmagazine, Arizona Illustrated. Free and open to the community-all are welcome. Participants are encouraged to support our hosts at Casa Vicente by purchasing their own food and drinks.

- Historic Preservation in Las Vegas Seen as Something of a Challenge: To celebrate Archaeology Awareness and Historic Preservation Month, the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office encourages residents to take historic walking tours and visit archaeological sites throughout the state. Getting Southern Nevadans, particularly newcomers, to care about area history, be it prehistoric or mid-century modern, is no easy task, even though we have the Neon Boneyard, Heritage Street at the Clark County Museum, the Las Vegas High School Historic District, the Morelli House and the St. Thomas Historic ruins. Some preservationists attribute the problem to the disconnect between new residents and history, a history often diminished because it isn’t really history. It’s just stuff that happened a few years ago — the buildings are 50 years old, not 300.

- Public Asked for Comment on New Mesa Verde Entrance Station: Mesa Verde National Park has prepared the Environmental Assessment for Entrance Station Improvements at Mesa Verde National Park. The document, which describes and examines the impacts of the proposed project, will be on public review through May 26.

- The Mystery Disappearance of Everett Russ Solved by Find In Comb Ridge: A skeleton found in Utah's redrock country was that of a talented artist, poet and wanderer of the 1930s whose disappearance became the stuff of Western lore and Navajo legend, scientists confirmed Thursday. - San Diego Union Tribune

- Hohokam Homes Excavated in Green Valley AZ: Just steps away from a Green Valley storage center lies a hidden treasure — an 800-year-old archaeological site once occupied by the prehistoric Hohokam people. Archeologists hired by the Pima County Department of Transportation have been excavating the site along Whitehouse Canyon road since late March and ended the dig April 21 after collecting more than 500 artifacts. The research team was called out to excavate the area before it is paved as part of a county road-widening project, set to begin later this year. - Green Valley News

- Financial Crisis Threatening Mesa Museums: Grim budgets have Mesa officials looking at new ways to hold on to the arts and cultural resources of the city. Finances are so bad at the Mesa Historical Museum, a nonprofit entity, and the city-run Arizona Museum for Youth that voluntary groups supporting each have told the city they won’t be able to continue raising money to sustain day-to-day operations.

- New Book Explores Links Between Rock Art, Shamanism, and Science. David S Whitley is clearly a man who has moved at the centre of prehistoric archaeology for decades. In Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit he takes us into that world: roughly half of the book is an account of the archaeological debates, quarrels and missteps that have marked the exploration and attempts at explanation of the cave art of prehistoric Europe and associated genres. On that he’s entertaining, anecdotal, and so far as I can tell a faithful guide.