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.