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.
http://www.cdarc.org/page/kpd0 - 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.
http://www.cdarc.org/page/ia1l - 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 OƱate, 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."
http://www.cdarc.org/page/97ub - 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.