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