Thursday, July 30, 2009

Arizona State Budget Threatens Entire State Park System

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

- The Future of the Entire Arizona State Park System is in Doubt Under New Arizona Legislative Budget Scheme: During a recent public workshop, State Parks Director Renee Bahl explained that legislative sweeps of parks funds, including $3 million in entry fee income, have left State Parks with only $8.4 million in operating revenues for the fiscal year. This compares to $30 million needed for bare bones operations, excluding any capital funds for repair of badly deteriorating historic buildings, unsafe sewer systems and eroding lakefront facilities. Such scant operational money is not enough to even close, fence and guard Arizona's treasured array of 30 parks, recreation areas and historic sites, Bahl noted.

- Ultrasonic Local Positioning System Could Improve Archaeological Mapping and Provenience Control: Every object unearthed by an archaeological dig must have its exact position recorded. This is normally a painstaking process involving measuring rods and string, but a device that uses technology originally developed to guide robots could speed up the process. - New Scientist

- Did Ancient Elites At Chimney Rock Dine on Better Sources of Meat? When the elite ancient residents of Chimney Rock craved a haunch of venison or an elk loin, it appears they did what the privileged class of today does: They counted on caterers. New research by a University of Colorado archaeological team at the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area near Pagosa Springs suggests that the rabbit- and turkey-eating commoners living below the dramatic sandstone mesa brought the best provisions to those who were living on the top.

- Salt Lake Tribune Advocates Preservation of Ancient Native American Heritage: On a bluff east of the Jordan River, at approximately 13500 South, the Galena property in Draper. That's where Utah's future (the FrontRunner commuter rail) and Utah's past (an American Indian archaeological site) could collide. It doesn't have to happen. If the wishes of Utah's five Native American tribes are honored, the state-owned property will be preserved in perpetuity. Tribal leaders, at a press conference last week, called on Utah governor-in-waiting Gary Herbert to save the site from development. He should.

- Survey Near San Gabriel Mission Yields Historic Artifacts: Mission artifacts that could be more than 200 years old were discovered during an archaeological survey near the San Gabriel Mission, an environmental consultant said Wednesday. Pottery, brick, livestock bones and remnants of a masonry waterway associated with a mill built in 1823 were among the artifacts discovered Tuesday during the dig. - Los Angeles Times

- Friends of Arizona Archives Needs Your Support: It takes constant vigilance to protect access to Arizona's archival treasures, and for this FAzA needs your help and your support. Please take a moment to renew or start your membership on-line at You can also print out a membership form at the website and mail it back in (along with a check!) if you prefer snail mail. If you have not yet had a chance to start or renew your 2009-2010 Friends of Arizona Archives (FAzA) membership, this is the final reminder. Our membership year began on July 1st.

- Remains of Buffalo Soldiers Reburied in Santa Fe National Cemetery: Three members of the famed Civil War-era Buffalo Soldiers, whose remains were disinterred during a federal grave-looting investigation two years ago, were given full military honors and reburied Tuesday at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. In an emotional tribute more than 130 years after their deaths, U.S. Army Pvts. Thomas Smith, Levi Morris and David Ford were laid to rest in wooden boxes at the national cemetery. Sketches of their faces adorned posters nearby. - Santa Fe New Mexican

- Another Story on Illegal Drug Trade and Archaeological Looting: Criminals are finding a new hot spot to get their next drug fix by selling ancient artifacts looted from federally protected public lands. Beyond the crime, pillaging the land makes it increasingly difficult to understand past cultures. - KRQE.Com

- Understanding the Pueblo Revolt from a Hopi Perspective, An Innovative Program from Hopi Tours: Learn about the Hopi experience with the Spanish Conquistador
Entrada into the ancient southwest in 1540 A.D. and the ensuing colonial subjugation of Puebloan peoples including the Hopi villages and people. How did the Hopi people maintain their ancient traditions & sovereignty and at what cost?

- Old Pueblo Archaeology Tour Program Needs Your Support (Tucson): A couple of days ago Ms. Anne Warner, the Study Tours coordinator for Tucson's Pima Community College Community Education department, informed me that the College will be discontinuing its Study Tour and Hiking Program effective immediately, for budget reasons. Those of you who have been receiving Old Pueblo Archaeology Center's mailings and email announcements for any length of time know that Old Pueblo has been a partner with Pima Community College in offering the Study Tours for the past several years. I urge you to help keep the Pima Community College study tours going as a
viable education program.

- Using Twitter as a Tool for Heritage Preservation: A growing number of Native American Internet users are turning to the popular social media Web site, Twitter, to get the word out on issues of traditional and cultural importance. One of the most recent examples of the phenomenon is the vast amount of energy many users have spent raising awareness of the desecration of a stone mound in Alabama created by American Indians approximately 1,500 years ago. The hill, which many Native Americans from several tribes use for prayer and make pilgrimages to each year, is being torn down in order to provide fill dirt for a new Sam’s Club store, which is a partner of Wal-Mart.

- Spring Issue of Heritage Preservation Now Available: Heritage Management is a global, peer-reviewed journal that provides a venue for using scholarly, professional, and indigenous knowledge to address broader societal concerns about managing cultural heritage. Volume 2, Issue 1 (Spring 2009) is a special issue entitled "Heritage Management Inside Out and Upside Down," Edited by Barbara D Miller. This issue is now available through print and electronic subscriptions.

- Employment Opportunity (Golden, CO): The US Forest Service Regional Office welcomes an Archeologist to assist the Regional Heritage Program Leader in all functions and programs of the program, which includes acting upon a wide range of management needs, in collaboration with other disciplines, field staff, and the public. Problem areas are continually changing, and require evaluation of a wide range of complex factors. This is a vital position to the Regional Office RHWR Team, and is also a primary liaison to State Historic Preservation Offices within five states and many tribal contacts.

Thanks to Carrie Gregory, Michael Mauer, and Adrianne Rankin for Contributions to Today's Newsletter.

Monday, July 27, 2009

3d Annual Suuvuyuki Day at Homol'ovi, More on Possible Clovis Era Comet

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

- Homol'ovi Ruins State Park Celebrates Suuvuyuki Day on Saturday August 1 and Sipaulovi Village continues the Celebration on Sunday, August 2nd. "Suuvoyuki" translated in the Hopi language means to accomplish work through at "joint effort." Suvoyuki Days start with an open house day at Homolovi Ruins State Park that celebrates the partners who have helped to protect and save Homolovi area archaeological and cultural sites from destruction. This event features corn roasting, a morning run, archaeological information, and artist demonstrations. Registration for the Saturday morning run starts at 5:15 am; the run starts at 6 am. Volunteers are needed for this event. Sipaulovi Village hosts its annual Suuvuyuki Day on Sunday, August 2, from 5:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The day begins at 5:30 a.m. with registration for the traditional 10-K run and 2-mile fun run and walk. From 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the village will present an artist market, walking tours, and lectures. All events originate at the Sipaulovi Visitor Center and are open to the public. Follow signs from the Highway 264/87 junction to the village on Second Mesa.

- New Article on Possible Clovis Era Comet Impact: A team of U.S. scientists that has unearthed a layer of microscopic diamonds on a California island (USA) is calling the find a possible 'smoking gun' to prove a controversial theory that debris from a massive comet - believed to have smashed into northern Canada nearly 13,000 years ago - wiped out the woolly mammoth and dozens of other Ice Age mammals, triggered a 1,000-year period of global cooling and threatened the fragile foothold of North America's earliest human inhabitants. - University of Oregon

- Trust for Public Land Saves Portion of Agua Fria National Monument: A 200-acre ranch in the heart of the National Monument was two days away from the auction block this month when the Trust for Public Land completed a deal to step in and save it from potential development. "It could have been disastrous," said Christopher Byrne, Arizona project manager for the Trust for Public Land (TPL).

- Conflict Continues at San Diego Museum of Man: San Diego's leading anthropology museum is facing a civil war following the abrupt ouster of its executive director in May. Some former board members and donors have asked the American Association of Museums to pull the San Diego Museum of Man's accreditation, saying the Balboa Park institution's board has turned rogue. One of the allegations against the museum is racial discrimination against American Indian volunteers. - Signs on San Diego

- Topaz Museum Receives National Park Service Funding: A project to build a museum documenting the Topaz Relocation Center is receiving $48,000 in federal grants. The National Park Service says the Utah project is getting part of the $960,000 in Japanese-American Confinement Site Grants.

Thanks to Terry Colvin and Adrianne Rankin for contributions to today newsletter.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Starch Grain Analysis, New Curation Facility at MNA, Casa Grande Expansion

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

- Starch Grain Analysis Offering New Insights on Ancient Agriculture: University of Missouri researchers have studied the residues from gourds and squash artifacts that date back to 2200 B.C. and recovered starch grains from manioc, potato, chili pepper, arrowroot and algarrobo. "Archaeological starch grain research allows us to gain a better understanding of how ancient humans used plants, the types of food they ate, and how that food was prepared,"

- New Curation Facility at the Museum of Northern Arizona Honors the Past: It's rarely news when a museum opens a new collections facility. Who gets excited about a warehouse? But given the opportunity to design and construct a new storage facility for the Museum of Northern Arizona, we saw a way to honor our commitment to our collection, demonstrate the respect we have for the objects and, more importantly, the people who made them; and show our commitment to quality, sustainability and beauty. The result is our $7 million Easton Collection Center, which opened late last month in the heart of the museum's research complex. The 17,283-square-foot facility is across U.S. 180 from our museum, 3 miles north of downtown Flagstaff. - The Arizona Republic

- Federal Appeals Court Approves Oil and Gas Drilling Leases Near Ancient and Historic Utah Sites: A federal appeals board has cleared the way for oil and gas drilling around prehistoric ruins in southern Utah. In the same ruling, the Interior Board of Land Appeals found that federal officials also took appropriate care in deciding to lease another parcel near northern Utah's Golden Spike National Historic Site. The Arlington, Va.-based board rejected an appeal filed by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance in a 15-page decision dated Wednesday. The wilderness group had challenged 15 of the lease parcels sold at a November 2006 lease auction of public lands in Salt Lake City.

- Interior Secretary Declares 2 Year Moratorium on Uranium Mining on Arizona Strip: After carefully considering the issue of uranium mining near Grand Canyon National Park, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has decided to segregate nearly 1 million acres of federal lands in the Arizona Strip for two years while the Department evaluates whether to withdraw these lands from new mining claims for an additional 20 years. - Arizona Republic

- Preservation Archaeology at Casa Grande: Andy Laurenzi at the Center for Dessert Archaeology has been working with an incredible prehistoric structure in Arizona. In this week's Blog from the Field learn about Casa Grande Ruins National Monument and how Andy and others are working to preserve this monument and its surrounding landscape.

- Economic Benefits of an Expanded Casa Grande National Monument: The proposed boundary expansion of the Casa Grande Ruins not only protects the larger, regional picture of the Hohokam culture, but also boosts the local economy by attracting additional tourists to the city. It may surprise you, but one of the most promising economic prospects for the city of Coolidge is the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. Work is currently underway to extend the amount of time tourists spend at the Ruins. - Tri Valley Central

- Utah Tribes Seek to Stop Development of Village Site: Tribes in Utah are speaking out against a proposal to develop a commuter rail stop on what was once an American Indian village. In March, Gov. Jon Huntsman signed a bill paving the way for a possible land swap and the subsequent development of the Utah Transit Authority's FrontRunner stop and a surrounding private development. The five tribes in Utah said Wednesday they plan to deliver resolutions to the governor's office opposing the project in Draper, about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City.

- The Myth of the Disappearing Anasazi: Archaeologists have many theories about what happened to them. Indeed, there is always a new theory concerning the Anasazi. Personally, I do not understand why we need any theory at all. The ruins are all around us. The Indians are all around us. If you ask them where the ancient ones went, they'll say: They went nowhere. They are us. We are their descendants. We honor them and continue their religious practices. There are many changes of course, but clouds also change continuously. - Durango Herald

- Recreational Use of Sacred Sites Versus Traditional Spirituality: Randy Luden scaled a mountain of boulders etched with dozens of petroglyphs that could be thousands of years old, hoping to get as close as possible to the records of a past civilization. Linda Otero, a Fort Mojave council woman, told him he shouldn’t have climbed on top of the glyphs because they were holy.

- "Anasazi Sickness:" Here in Four Corners Indian Country, though, the cultural riches that federal authorities allege 24 traffickers plundered and peddled from public lands are anything but souvenirs. "We aren't supposed to be digging up anything like that," Navajo medicine man David Filfred says. "It's the people who lived before us, and how they lived. They had their traditions, which deserve respect." And disrespect for either human remains or the ancients' belongings brings deadly bad medicine. According to tribal lore, it can lead to bad luck, ill health, even death.

- Hohokam Pit Structures Found Near Interstate 19 Construction: Archeologists have discovered 15 prehistoric Hohokam dwellings in an area that will soon be covered by an extension of the Interstate 19 east frontage road, but the find shouldn’t cause major delays to the much-anticipated construction project. Two sites along I-19 are being evaluated for possible excavation, said Roger Anyon, program manager for the Pima County Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation Office.

A Visit to the Tohono O'odham Cultural Center: Ten miles or so south of Sells is the Himdag Ki: HekÄ­hu, Hemu, Im B I-Ha'ap. This is the Way of Life House: Past, Present, and Into the Future, also known as the Tohono O'odham Nation's Cultural Center and Museum. Opened two years ago, the remote site for the project was determined by a 2003 vote of tribal members. Paid for by the nation through casino proceeds, the $15 million complex was designed by the Durrant Group of Tucson.

- Ancient Maya Practiced Forest Conservation 3,000 Years Ago: As published in the July issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, paleoethnobotanist David Lentz of the University of Cincinnati has concluded that not only did the Maya people practice forest management, but when they abandoned their forest conservation practices it was to the detriment of the entire Maya culture.

- Lecture Opportunity (Delores Co): Rock art scholar Sally Cole will discuss a new approach to ancient rock art at the Anasazi Heritage Center on Sunday, July 26 at 1:00 PM. Museum admission will be free all day. The Bureau of Land Management Anasazi Heritage Center is three miles west of Dolores on State Highway 184, and is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The normal adult entry fee of $3 will be waived on July 26. For more information, call the Center at (970)882-5600, or visit the web site at

- Lecture Opportunity (Aztec NM): Center for Desert Archaeology Chaco Scholar Paul Reed will present "The Diversity of Chacoan Society" at Aztec Ruins National Monument, 7:00 Pm on July 31.

- Employment Opportunity (Tempe): Starting immediately, ACS is looking to hire Field Archaeologists and Field Technicians for work in the Coolidge area (no per diem or lodging) for up to several months and possibly for a few weeks for the Yuma area (per diem and lodging provided). Those interested in applying should check the Employment section of the ACS website ( for additional information on the positions. Interested parties should send a current resume with a cover letter identifying the level at which they wish to be considered and the names and phone numbers/e-mail addresses of three references who can comment on your experience to: Please include the name of the position you are applying for in the subject line of your e-mail.

Thanks to Carrie Gregory and Adrianne Rankin for contributions to today's newsletter.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

75th Anniversary of Snaketown Excavations

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

- Southwestern Archaeologists Observe 75th Anniversary of Snaketown Excavations: This year marks the 75th anniversary of the first excavations at Snaketown, the large ancient Hohokam settlement on the present-day Gila River Indian Community, near Chandler, Ariz. For archaeologists, including those at The University of Arizona and the Arizona State Museum, Snaketown represents a significant key to understanding the Hohokam, who lived in the Southwest from as early as A.D 500 until about A.D. 1450. It also began a sea change in how archaeological sites are now excavated and interpreted. That includes illuminating the lives of those who lived in prehistoric communities in much greater detail than ever before.

- Multimedia Presentations on the 75th Anniversary of Excavations at Snaketown:

- Chimney Rock, Chaco, & Mesoamerican Connections: Lekson speculates that the Chacoans may have interacted with the Aztec and Toltec civilizations and strived to emulate them. As evidence, he cites design similarities in the architecture at New Mexico's Chaco Culture National Historical Park and the great Meso American cultural sites in Central America. "At Chaco Canyon, we've found cacao, copper, macaw feathers and turquoise, and deer and elk bones," Lekson said. "All of that came from far away." - Durango Herald - Durango Herald

- New Archaeology Center Celebrates Groundbreaking in Santa Fe: , N.M. (AP) - New Mexico officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking on Tuesday for a new state archaeology center. Fittingly, they used replicas of ancient digging sticks - used to plant seeds or dig holes - rather than shovels.

- San Diego Archaeology Center is a Doorway to the Past: Truly one of San Diego County’s little known gems, the San Diego Archaeological Center was created in 1993 to provide an archaeological curation facility for the San Diego Region. The center was the first nonprofit organization in the nation dedicated solely to curating and sharing archaeological collections with the public. It curates archaeological collections that document 10,000 years of the region’s rich cultural history and relate to the cultural diversity that still exists in Southern California. - Ramona Sentinel

- Visiting Places of the Past - Montezuma Castle: Beaver Creek is flowing, the sun is shining and a steady stream of visitors moves along the loop trail. The park was created to preserve a small village built about 1,000 years ago by Southern Sinagua, who lived along rivers and creeks in the Verde Valley. The Sinagua hunted, planted corn and cotton, and made baskets and pottery. The Hopi and Zuni claim them as ancestors. Another pueblo culture, the Northern Sinagua, lived near the San Francisco Peaks in villages built away from rivers, which gave rise to the name Sinagua, meaning "without water."

- Man Arrested Saturday for Threatening Confidential Informant in Blanding Raids: Federal prosecutors have charged a southern Utah man with threatening to beat a confidential informant who was pivotal in a widespread investigation into the looting of Native American artifacts, authorities said Monday. Charles Denton Armstrong, 44, was arrested Saturday and charged with one count of retaliation against an informant. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in federal prison. His public defender and relatives declined to comment after his court appearance in Salt Lake City on Monday. - Los Angeles Times

- Gila Cliff Dwellings Seek Public Input on Management Plan: The Monument, continuing with its General Management Planning process begun last summer, will be holding public meetings to discuss the range of alternatives outlined in the July, 2009 Newsletter, available on line at or directly from the Monument by calling 575-536-9461. Meetings are planned at the following times and locations: July 21 at 6:00 PM the Gila Visitor Center, 43 miles north of Silver City on New Mexico Highway 15. The meeting may be indoors or outdoors depending on number of attendees and weather. A potluck dinner is planned following the meeting. Please call the Monument if you plan to attend so that adequate food can be prepared. July 22 at 7:00 PM at the SILCO Theater, 311 North Bullard, in Silver City. Comments are also being solicited by email: OR mail: Superintendent, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, HC 68 Box 100, Silver City, NM 88061.

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): On Monday July 20th Dr. William Graves (SRI) will present the monthly Arizona Archaeology and Historical Society Lecture. The topic is "History, Households and Power in the Ancient Hohokam World". The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is held at DuVal Auditorium, University Medical Center, 1501 N Campbell Ave, Tucson and starts at 7:30 pm.

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): Thursday July 16, 2009, Old Pueblo Archaeology Center's "Third Thursdays" free presentation: "Tree-Rings, Hunting, and Migrants: The Evidence from Whiptail Ruin" with archaeologist Linda Gregonis at 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). 7:30 to 9 p.m. Free.

- Audio Interview with Dr Fred Wendorf is the Latest Feature on the Archaeology Channel: We are pleased to present an audio interview with Dr. Fred Wendorf, a principal figure in the history of American archaeology and for decades the leading researcher in the prehistory of northeastern Africa. This interview, titled Desert Days after the title of his recently published memoir, is the latest feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel

Employment Opportunity: Director, Huhugam Heritage Center, Gila River Indian Community, Chandler, Arizona. The Director, Huhugam Heritage Center is responsible for the leadership, long-range planning, implementation, and maintenance of professional standards for the Huhugam Heritage Center (HHC). The incumbent shall be the point of contact with the Bureau of Reclamation and the US Department of the Interior for and on behalf of the Huhugam Heritage Center. Job Number: 2009-232 Recruitment Closes: August 14, 2009.
Employment Opportunity: The Tonto National Forest is looking for a hit-the-ground-running assistant to the Forest Archeologist in the Phoenix Supervisor's Office at the GS-11 grade level. This is a term appointment for a minimum of 13 months up to 4 years. If you know of any appropriate candidates, please encourage them to apply. Questions can be directed to Scott Wood( 602 225-5231. There are two job announcements at USA Jobs: one open to all qualified candidates - ADS09-R3TNF-4414DP(P-DB)- and one open to USFS- ADS09-R3TNF-4414G(P-DB. The job announcement closes Tuesday, July 28.

Thanks to Gerald Kelso and Michael Mauer for contributions to today's newsletter.

Friday, July 10, 2009

First of Accused Blanding Artifact Thieves Pleads Guilty

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

- First Guilty Plea in Blanding Artifacts Case: Reporting from Denver -- The wife of a southern Utah doctor who killed himself after his arrest on charges of stealing Native American artifacts from public lands pleaded guilty on Monday to similar charges. As part of a plea agreement, Jeanne Redd, 59, pleaded guilty to seven counts of theft of government and tribal property and trafficking in stolen artifacts. Federal prosecutors agreed to seek a lesser penalty at her September sentencing than the maximum 10 years in prison provided for under the charges. - Los Angeles Times

- Introducing the "Twiggers," A Five Part Series Examines the Link Between Looting in the Southwest and the Methamphetamine Trade: The following conversation was once caught on an undercover wiretap. “Have you ever dug at Mesa Verde Park?” “No, that’s my bank for the future.” Site looter. Grave robber. Privy pillager. Twigger. Strong words describing something many perceive as little more than picking up a stray pot or stone for extra income. One person claims it’s how he pays the increasingly high college tuition costs for his children. Others say it’s how they’re surviving the economic downturn. Some shrug, wondering why there’s such a fuss as it’s been a family tradition for generations. -

- People are Still Upset in Blanding: This small Four Corners community prides itself on being a law-abiding, church and family-oriented, patriotic throwback to more innocent times. So the Fourth of July is a gala of parades, prayers and pyrotechnics where sparkling apple cider is the strongest celebratory beverage. But this year, the festivities had an angry edge. Mayor Toni Turk opened with a prayer that included beseeching God to keep Blanding citizens free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The annual melodrama incorporated lyrics about recent raids and seizures of ancient artifacts from Blanding homes. "Legalize Pot" T-shirts, emblazoned with images of ancient ceramic pots, sold out quickly.

- Unique Research Program Hosted at Crow Canyon: Researchers from across the United States and Canada gathered at the Crow Canyon campus June 7–10 to coordinate the second phase of investigations for the Village Ecodynamics Project (VEP). The first phase of the project, VEP I, was initiated in 2002 and brought together researchers representing diverse disciplines—archaeologists, geologists, geographers, computer scientists, and economists—in an effort to explain key aspects of ancestral Pueblo life in southwestern Colorado between A.D. 600 and A.D. 1300.,0,w

- Albuquerque Public Schools Implement Program to Preserve Navajo Language and Culture: When Brittany Arviso was old enough to take part in a Navajo coming-of-age ceremony, her family grappled with the preparations. Not knowing where to find some of the items for the ceremony, they turned to her grandparents for help. Her father and grandfather went up into the mountains to get some plants and other things for the four-day ceremony. But there was one thing that 12-year-old Brittany didn't have and wished she had - knowing more of her native language so she could better understand the ceremony. "If I had been able to speak and understand a little language, it would have been easier and more helpful," she said. Her parents hope that a new Navajo language summer school offered by Albuquerque Public Schools this year will eventually help her learn more about her culture and language. Her 10-year-old brother, Lucas, is in the classes, and Brittany may be able to join next year if the program is expanded.

- Waco Mammoth National Monument One Step Closer to Reality: The Waco Mammoth Site has moved a step closer to being recognized as a national monument as part of the National Park Service. On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards’ resolution on the site, HR 1376, was passed by a voice vote in the House National Resources Committee, clearing the way for consideration and vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Edwards, D-Waco, said there has been strong support throughout his push for “The Waco Mammoth National Monument Establishment Act of 2009,” including little to no resistance in committee. - Waco Tribune

- Does Maize Fuel the Rise of States? Prehistoric communities in one part of Peru’s Andes Mountains may have gone from maize to amazingly complex. Bioarchaeologist Brian Finucane’s analyses of human skeletons excavated in this region indicate that people living there 2,800 years ago regularly ate maize. This is the earliest evidence for maize as a staple food in the rugged terrain of highland Peru, he says. - Us News and World Report

- If Chaco has a Meridian, Does Los Angeles Have a Vector? (June 30): With respect to the article about the Chaco Meridian and the possibility that the Anasazi deliberately built their principal settlements on said line with only minor deviations, it certainly could be deliberately so. If it is so, however, then what are we to say about the fact that, also in the Southwest (Los Angeles to be exact) in more modern times, four major “temples of sport” — namely, the Rose Bowl, Dodger Stadium, The Forum and Hollywood Park — all lie on a straight line extending from the northeast to the southwest. One cannot help but wonder what archeologists of the next millennium will manage to make of the above fact! Bob Freedman (NY Times).

Thanks to Joyce Alexander and Michael Mauer for contributions to today's newsletter.

Monday, July 6, 2009

News About Chimney Rock Excavations, Pima County Moves to Protect Hohokam Village Site.

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

- Excavations at Chimney Rock: Take a 1,000-year-old, ancient Puebloan site that links to a major astronomical “capital” 100 miles away, combine it with archaeology connections to the University of Colorado spanning 40 years, and you end up with a masterpiece of excavation and mystery just a half-hour from Pagosa Springs. The Chimney Rock Archaeology Area is best known locally as the towering pillars of stone that rise above the valley floor near the intersection of U.S. 160 and Colo. 151. Visible from areas in Pagosa Springs, the formations are just a small part of the site that has attracted attention from archaeologists both regionally and worldwide. In fact, a film crew from the National Geographic Society was at the site in late June to document the current project, which could provide conclusive evidence that Chimney Rock is not a stand-alone site, but part of a much larger group of ancient pueblos whose function is related to astronomical events.

- Colorado Representative John Salazar Visits Chimney Rock Project: Salazar praised the efforts of federal, state and private groups, including University of Colorado at Boulder faculty and student archaeologists, who are working together to investigate and restore the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area near Pagosa Springs, Colo. The site is considered one of the most spectacular Ancestral Pueblo ruins in all of the Southwest. Salazar toured Chimney Rock, believed to be an important religious and ceremonial center for the Pueblo people 1,000 years ago, on June 30. The 4,100-acre Chimney Rock Archaeological Area features two spectacular rock pinnacles, a Pueblo Great House, a ceremonial Great Kiva and a variety of other stone structures. The site is located at an altitude of 7,800 feet, high above the valley floor, and appears to have been sacred to the Pueblo elite who likely watched the moon periodically rise between the rock pinnacles.

- John Salazar's Bill to Provide Mesa Verde with 22 Million Dollars for New Visitor's Center Passes in US House: The proposed visitor and curatorial center at Mesa Verde National Park stands to receive $22 million under a funding bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The money was requested by U.S. Rep. John Salazar, who announced the funding Wednesday at Mesa Verde. The bill contains $11.6 million for the curatorial center and $10.5 million for the visitors center. Both centers will be housed in one building near the park's entrance. - Durango Herald

- Pima County Hopes to Preserve Ancient Hohokam Village: The county hopes to capitalize on the low land values hitting commercial investors now as it tries to secure state funds to buy 67 acres on the Southwest side for preservation. The county wants a state grant to purchase the archeologically-rich Valencia Site, near West Valencia Road and Interstate 19, most of which it will preserve. A small portion will be used for public education. The site includes about 1,800 Hohokam pithouses and represents about 500 years of Hohokam occupation.

- Autry National Center Hits Roadblock in Planned Takeover of Southwest Museum: A panel of five City Council members — faced with a polite crowd of more than 200 people divided between those with “Yes!” decals urging approval of the Autry’s plans and others with multicolored paper “S.O.S.” buttons, for “Save Our Southwest” — voted unanimously to delay a decision for four weeks. It urged the Autry to provide legal assurances by then that the Southwest Museum of the American Indian in Mount Washington won't become just an afterthought to a larger, more comprehensive Griffith Park facility. - Los Angeles Times

- The Strange Story of Everett Ruess continues: Any doubt that remains found in the Utah wilderness were those of Everett Ruess, a legendary wanderer of the 1930s, seemed to be erased by a battery of forensic and genetic tests a few months ago. But Utah's state archaeologist, who was not involved in the discovery, is raising a series of questions about whether the remains are actually those of the poet and artist who disappeared in the Escalante canyons.

Thanks to Michael D Mauer for contributions to today's newsletter.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Steve Lekson: Connecting the Dots

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

- NY Times Finds Steve Lekson "Connecting the Dots": “It’s a hell of a long way from here to Chaco,” says Steve Lekson, an archaeologist from the University of Colorado, as he sights along the north-south spoke of the cross. Follow his gaze 400 miles north and you reach Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico, a major cultural center occupied from about A.D. 900 to A.D. 1150 by the pueblo people known as Anasazi. Despite the distance, Dr. Lekson believes the two sites were linked by an ancient pattern of migration and a common set of religious beliefs.

- Museum of Northern Arizona Hosts the 76th Hopi Show this Weekend: To the Hopis, summer is the time of ceremonial dances, growing corn and monsoon rain. And for the past 75 summers, the Hopis have come to Flagstaff to share their art and culture. This weekend marks the 76th annual Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture at the Museum of Northern Arizona. More than 75 artists from 12 Hopi villages will be on hand. "This year's Hopi festival will honor the life and career of noted katsina-doll carver Ernest Moore Jr.," Museum Director Robert Breunig said. Moore, an artist at the festival for many years, died last year. "He came to carving late in life, and his exceptionally fine work elevated him to a master artist level in a very short time," Breunig said. - Arizona Republic

- ADOT Historic Bridge Inventory: The ADOT Historic Preservation Team has made "Bridges: Arizona Historic Bridge Inventory" (2009) available for download. The long anticipated study was produced for ADOT by Fraserdesign (Loveland, CO) under subcontract to EcoPlan Associates. The inventory is a sequel to an earlier study completed in 1987. The 2009 inventory examines all 2,504 of Arizona's vehicular bridges built before 1964. The website contains PDF files of the entire multiple property document, full inventory forms for National Register-eligible and listed bridges, and summary inventory forms for all bridges.

- American Anthropologist Launches "Public Anthropology Reviews" & Request for Submission of Review Materials: AAA is pleased to announce the launch of "Public Anthropology Reviews," a new review section in American Anthropologist. Public Anthropology Reviews will highlight anthropological work principally aimed at non-academic audiences, including websites, blogs, white papers, journalistic articles, briefing reports, online videos, and multimedia presentations. The editors will also consider other traditional and innovative mechanisms for communicating anthropological research and concepts outside of academic realms and welcome suggestions. Please note that this review section will complement existing review sections and will therefore not review books, films or museum exhibits. We are now accepting submissions for materials to be reviewed in the March 2010 issue of AA. Please send materials for review, ideas for review essays and inquiries to the review editors at the addresses listed below Editors: Melissa Checker (CUNY Queens C), Alaka Wali (Field Museum) and David Vine (American U) Addresses for Inquiries, Ideas and Submissions of Materials for Review:
Via Email, Via US Post: Melissa Checker. Department of Urban Studies, 250 Powdermaker Hall, Queens College/CUNY, 6530 Kissena Blvd.

- New Issue of Preserve America News Now Online: - Preserve

- Debate over the Autry Center's Takeover of the Southwestern Museum: It could have been a scene right out of a Gene Autry horse opera -- a cowboys-versus-Indians-style faceoff, potshots being fired by both sides, a hero riding to the rescue in the final reel. That seems to be the plot line of the drama that is playing out between backers of the Autry National Center of the American West in Griffith Park and those of the Southwest Museum a few miles away in Mount Washington.,0,2958556.story

- Nautical Archaeology is not Always Researched Underwater: Investigating shipwrecks does not always require scuba gear. Student investigators found ample evidence of a 19th Century vessel on the stony beach in The Treasured Ship, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

- Employment Opportunity: The BIA is looking for a lead archeologist in Reston at the GS-13/14 grade level. See the link below for a summary of duties. This is a key position for Federal archeology, and the position also serves as the BIA HPO. If you know of any appropriate candidates, please encourage them to apply. There are two job announcements: one open to all qualified candidates and one open to DOI, current or former status federal employees, and Indian preference eligible candidates. The job announcement closes Monday, July27. - USA Jobs

Thanks to Irene Brace, Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Daniel Garcia, and Gerald Kelso for contributions to today's newsletter.