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.