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.