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