Friday, August 28, 2009

Federal Investigations of Southwestern Looting Akin to "Hillerman book Unfolding Before our Eyes"

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

- Comb Ridge Canyon to be Given to University of Utah for Preservation and Research: State authorities are transferring control of a remote canyon filled with prehistoric ruins to the University of Utah for a permanent research installation. A land trade set to occur in September will make university archaeologists permanent stewards of Range Creek Canyon, which stunned the scientific world when it was revealed in 2004.

- Looting Investigations Continue, Various Cases Are Described as "Like a Tony Hillerman Book:" What has become the nation's biggest crackdown on dealers of black-market Native American artifacts doesn't lack for intrigue. Armed raids. Secret informers. Sacred objects. Since the investigation began 2 1/2 years ago, 26 people, including a number of well-known antiquities collectors, have been charged in three states. Two suspects committed suicide, one of those a former Scottsdale resident. One man is charged with threatening the life of an informant who spearheaded the inquiry. In Arizona, at least two prominent collectors have been subjected to raids, and others voluntarily forfeited artifact collections to a museum, sources confirm. - Arizona Republic

- (Related Story) Investigations Now Include Internet Sales of Artifacts: A Colorado man who sold American Indian relics on the Internet is the latest person charged in a far-reaching federal investigation into the looting of ancient Southwestern artifacts.
A federal grand jury in Denver indicted Robert B. Knowlton, 66, late Tuesday. The Grand Junction man is charged with four counts of illegally selling archaeological artifacts and one count of transporting them from Colorado to Utah. Knowlton is the 26th person charged as part of a federal sting spanning more than two years in the Four Corners region. He's accused of selling and mailing three items last year taken from federal land: a pipe, a Midland knife point and a Hell Gap knife.

- Downtown Excavations for New Museum Site Provides View of Historic Denver: Archaeologists have uncovered the foundations of 100-year-old row houses, along with artifacts including children's toys, at the site of the state's new history museum in downtown Denver. The seven row houses, built between 1890 and 1904, extended along the north side of East 12th Avenue between Lincoln Street and Broadway.Artifacts found in the cellars include fine-diningware, silverware, porcelain dolls and some liquor bottles still containing alcohol. A few bones were found in one cellar, but they were of a puppy and not human. "Now we're trying to make the link from archaeology to anthropology; from bricks and mortar to domestic activities and economic conditions," said Steve Dominguez, senior archaeologist with RMC Consultants, hired by the Colorado Historical Society.

- Anasazi Heritage Center to Remain Open During Plaza Replacement: Construction begins this week to replace the entry plaza at the Bureau of Land Management Anasazi Heritage Center. The museum and offices will remain open and accessible to the public. A temporary, universally accessible front pathway will allow visitors easy access to the museum and its exhibit galleries during construction.

- New Exhibit in Texas to Display Creative Archaeological Photography: The J. Wayne Stark Galleries at Texas A&M will introduce The Creative Photograph in Archaeology: from the Traveling Photographers of the 19th Century to the Creative Photography of the 20th Century Thursday (Aug. 27). The exhibit will run through Oct. 7 in the Wright Gallery located in the Langford Architecture Center. Organizers say the exhibition is divided into five units that span 150 years. It visually portrays the delicate balance between documentation and creative vision in photographs with antiquities as the subject - from the first photographic attempts of the early travelers in the 19th century through the sophisticated work of the late 20th to early 21st century. A select group of famous photographers represented includes William Stillman, Frederic Boissonnas, Walter Hege, Herbert List and Goesta Hellner.

- The Second Editon of Linda Cordell's "Archaeology of the Southwest" Published by Left Coast Press: The second edition of this well-known textbook on Southwestern archaeology provides a coherent and comprehensive summary of the major themes and topics central to modern interpretation and practice. This edition offers a readable and accurate representation of current debates and research in the American Southwest. It challenges readers to integrate the structure and meaning of various broad regional trends that preceded the European conquest. It covers the latest in field research and topical syntheses. It addresses curricular cultural diversity requirements, and contains new maps, line drawings, and photos.

- Lecture Opportunity (Tubac): Plan to be with us at the North County Facility, 50 Bridge St., Tubac, on Thursday, September 10, at 7 PM when Allen Dart, Director of the Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, opens the season with "Archaeology and You: Preserving the Past for the Future." Allen will tell us how artifacts and cultural features—ranging from small pieces of pottery and arrowheads to petroglyphs, glass bottles, coins, and other historical objects—are often the only sources of information that archaeologists have to answer questions about an ancient people's way of life. Using examples from here in southern Arizona, he will explain the importance of these items’ being left undisturbed in their original context.

- Reminder, Forum in Tucson Tomorrow Concerning the Fate of the Mission Garden and the Rio Nuevo Project: "greening Mission Garden: A Forum On Operation & Management Sponsored by The Drachman Institute, Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace, and the Office of Ethnohistorical Research at the Arizona State Museum. Saturday, 29 August 2009, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. 2nd St. This forum will describe the unique 4000-year history of agriculture in the Tucson Basin and explore creative alternative methods to fund efficient operations and management of this exciting community project. The organizers seek your input and involvement. Free and open to the public. Refreshments compliments of Fry's will be served. For more information and to RSVP contact Bill DuPont, Tel. 404-7237;

- Employment Opportunity - New Mexico State Historian: Agency Director Sandra Jaramillo announced today that the search for a new State Historian is officially open to interested and qualified persons. This comes after the departure of former state historian Dr. Estevan Rael-Galvez to the National Hispanic Cultural Center. All applicants must apply directly through the State Personnel website and go to job ID# 20778 (A/O II State Historian, State Records Center and Archives).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ancient Human Environmental Impacts

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

- Human Impacts on the Environment Have Ancient Precedents: Torben Rick, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, says the notion of hunter-gatherers living in perfect harmony with their environment is going the way of the dodo (another animal extinguished by early humans). He says he's discovered that indigenous people even altered America's coastlines, thousands of years ago.

- Geophysical Survey of Bernado Seeks Evidence About Sam Houston and the Battle of San Jacinto. Archaeologists are combing through a site about 50 miles northwest of Houston that nearly two centuries ago became Texas' largest plantation and then a staging area for Gen. Sam Houston's troops before the Battle of San Jacinto. The project that started this summer seeks to detail and preserve remains of Bernardo, a plantation established along the Brazos River in 1822 by Jared Ellison Groce II, one of the Old Three Hundred settlers of Stephen F. Austin's colony who received land grants from Spain. - The Statesman

- Its Time to Start Planning for the Eleventh Southwest Symposium: The Southwest Symposium planning committee is pleased to invite you to the XI Southwest Symposium Building Transnational Archaeolgies, which will be held in the city of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, on January 8 and 9 of 2010.

- Native Americans are Cultivating Stronger Economic Interests in Heritage Tourism: ON the road through the tree-studded high desert toward the small town of Chinle, Ariz., the car radio was bringing in the local Navajo station, with a playlist heavy in Top 40 hits, peppered with Navajo-language station breaks and car commercials. The sky was a cloudless blue, and I was on my way, with my childhood friend Esther Chak, to Canyon de Chelly, a geologic maze of towering red cliffs and deep-cut gorges dotted with pictographs and ruins of ancient cliffside villages. Lying in the heart of the 21st-century Navajo Nation, it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in North America, a window into both an ancient world and a modern one.

- Enjoy a Hike at El Malpais: September is a wonderful time to visit El Malpais NCA and these hikes are part of a pair of special weekend programs. Two are part of an archaeological series, and two are a part of an evening series. Please join us. The temperatures are ideal, precipitation is less likely, the birds are migrating and the lighting is exquisite. Join El Malpais NCA for "Walking with the Ancestors," A pair of Saturday hikes in September. The ancestors left rare glimpses into their lives before European contact. Hike to their sites with our ranger naturalist and compare their art, farming, astronomy, and building technology with the present. The first hike is to Aldridge Panel on Saturday, September 19, 2009, followed by a second hike to
Citadel Site on Saturday, September 26, 2009. More information at 505.287.6607.

- Forum in Tucson Concerning the Fate of the Mission Garden and the Rio Nuevo Project: "greening Mission Garden: A Forum On Operation & Management Sponsored by The Drachman Institute, Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace, and the Office of Ethnohistorical Research at the Arizona State Museum. Saturday, 29 August 2009, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. 2nd St. This forum will describe the unique 4000-year history of agriculture in the Tucson Basin and explore creative alternative methods to fund efficient operations and management of this exciting community project. The organizers seek your input and involvement. Free and open to the public. Refreshments compliments of Fry's will be served. For more information and to RSVP contact Bill DuPont, Tel. 404-7237;

- Old Pueblo Archaeology Seeks Volunteers for Work Party: Old Pueblo Archaeology Center would like to put together a volunteer work party to spruce up around our Tucson classroom building before school groups start coming for our children's education programs in mid-September. Tasks include removing weeds, spreading a truckload of gravel on outdoor dirt-surfaces to keep mud from being tracked into buildings, moving some landscaping rocks, painting trim, and general property clean-up. If you could help us out on Saturday September 5 between 8 a.m. and noon or so, please contact Cris Wagner in Tucson at 520-798-1201 or at your earliest convenience.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Impact of Four Corners Looting Raids Continues Across the Southwest

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

- Excellent Summary of Four Corners Looting Problem: The haul included everything from arrowheads to pots and pendants. There were woven sandals and ceramic figures. There was even a rare turkey-feather blanket and a female loin cloth. All told, undercover investigators purchased 256 artifacts worth more than $335,000. All were illegal.

- Colorado Couple Turn Over Collection of Ancient Objects to Federal Authorities: A Colorado couple indicted along with 23 others in Utah as part of an investigation into illegal trafficking of ancient Puebloan artifacts have turned over an extensive relics collection to federal authorities, pending further legal action against them. Vern and Marie Crites, indicted June 10 for allegedly violating multiple felony laws protecting American Indian antiquities from looters, on Wednesday morning voluntarily surrendered a collection that court papers say includes prayer sticks, fire sticks, a bone scraper and "cloud blowers," the ceremonial pipes that Hopi and their ancestors used in prayer offerings.

- Utah Governor Acts to Protect Village Site from Rail Line Development: Gov. Gary Herbert had to make a tough call on Tuesday. And he made the right call. He chose to sign a conservation easement with an environmental group to protect archaeologically sensitive land in Draper where a proposed train station was to be built. The area was sacred ground to many Native Americans and held artifacts from past generations.,5143,705324572,00.html

- Presentation on Acoma Culture to be Held at Anasazi Heritage Center (Delores): Connie Garcia of Acoma Pueblo will conduct a two-hour interactive activity at the Anasazi Heritage Center on Sunday, August 23 at 1:00 PM. Admission to the museum will be free all day. Garcia is the General Manager of the Sky City Cultural Center and Haak’u Museum at Acoma. Participation in the event is limited to 20 people on a first-come, first-serve basis. The presentation is recommended for adults due to the content. 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.

- Findings from Lake Sediments Cast Doubt on Clovis Age Comet Impact Theory: After combing through layers of ancient lake sediments, paleoecologist Jacquelyn Gill of the University of Wisconsin–Madison says her team has found no evidence to support a controversial comet theory for an ice age extinction event. "There's no physical trend to suggest that there was an impact event," Gill said Tuesday at the Ecological Society of America meeting held here this week. "If there was an impact's not having the ecological effects [previously] suggested."

- Shrine to Eusebio Kino Constructed in the Ruins of Rio Nuevo: Sweat poured down the faces of Raúl Ramírez, Gilbert Fimbres and Pedro Gonzáles as they laid concrete in the early morning in an area known as the "Birthplace of Tucson," just west of the Santa Cruz River below "A" Mountain. They worked for five hours Saturday building a shrine in honor of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino, a 17th-century Jesuit priest who founded 21 missions in the Pimeria Alta, in what is now Northern Sonora and Southern Arizona.

- Join the Center for Desert Archaeology on Sept 1 for The First Archaeology Cafe of the 2009-2010 Season: Join the Center for "Rio Nuevo sin Dinero: The Future of the Tucson Origins Project," Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 6:00 pm at Casa Vicente, 375 S. Stone Avenue, Tucson, AZ. The Center for Desert Archaeology and Casa Vicente invite all to the inaugural meeting of the second season of Archaeology Café, a casual, happy hour-style discussion forum dedicated to promoting community engagement with cultural and scientific research. This month, a panel led by Bill Doelle, Gayle Hartmann, Diana Hadley and other distinguished guests will share up-to-the-minute information about the future of the Tucson Origins Project and the Tucson Origins Heritage Park. These panelists were instrumental in conceiving the original Tucson Origins research project, which served as the intellectual basis for the now-troubled Rio Nuevo downtown redevelopment project. In spite of what you may have read about Rio Nuevo, you will be surprised to learn about the progress that has been made. Join us for a frank discussion about what future options may be available at the site of Tucson's birthplace, with or without continued support from the tax increment financing district.

- Historic Preservation Seminar at San Diego's Balboa Park: An all-day seminar on best practices in historic preservation will be held 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Balboa Park Club building in Balboa Park. Presented by the city's Planning and Community Investment Department and State Office of Historic Preservation, the three sessions will cover historic context and survey; historic resources and the California Environmental Quality Act; and secretary of the interior's standards for preservation. Panels will include experts in each field.

- INAH and ICOMOS Maintain Partnership to Promote Mexican Heritage Sites: (INAH) and the Mexican Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), advisory organism for United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) renewed their compromise to promote agreements to benefit Mexican cultural goods, especially architectural ones. ICOMOS Mexican Committee change of leadership ceremony, which took place at National Museum of Anthropology (MNA) was attended by INAH general director, Alfonso de Maria y Campos, who declared “Mexican ICOMOS has been one of the most important advisory instances on which INAH counts to conserve heritage”.

- Publication Announcement, Steve Lekson's "History of the Ancient Southwest" Now Available: According to archaeologist Stephen H. Lekson, much of what we think we know about the Southwest has been compressed into conventions and classifications and orthodoxies. This book challenges and reconfigures these accepted notions by telling two parallel stories, one about the development, personalities, and institutions of Southwestern archaeology and the other about interpretations of what actually happened in the ancient past.

- Employment Opportunity, Archaeologist, (Chinle Az): Incumbent supervises survey activities and other archaeological field projects at Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Assists with other cultural resource division activities, including completing site condition assessments and site recording activities, architectural condition assessments, artifact analysis, artifact processing, data entry activities, report preparation, filing, and office organization.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Federal Agents Very Interested in this Year's Indian Market

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

- The Legal Ramifications of Illicit Southwestern Antiquities Trade Looms Over "Indian Market:" Earlier this year, the William Siegal Gallery offered for sale, for $250,000, a pristine, prehistoric Anasazi cotton shoulder wrap — one of several found sealed in an urn. Although Siegal specializes in prehistoric items from Latin America, he said he agreed to handle the North American textile because it had been found on private land, its provenance was impeccable and its sale met all requirements of the myriad of laws regulating antiquities. But last week Siegal declined to discuss the wrap in detail because of the government's recent crackdown. Like most Santa Fe antiquities dealers, Siegal expects federal agents will be closely watching this weekend and next week's rounds of auctions and shows of antique tribal arts. - Santa Fe New Mexico

- Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has Two Remaining Section 106 Training Sessions for 2009: We have two training sessions remaining in our 2009 course year. The last Section 106 Advanced Seminar will be in Santa Fe, NW on September 24; and the last Section 106 Essentials Course will be in Nashville, TN on October 12-13. Our recent courses reached class capacity, so you may want to get your registrations in for the remaining courses. For complete information, see the attached flyers which detail course objectives and logistics or visit We invite you to pass this information on to colleagues and associates who would benefit from attending either the Essentials Training or the Advanced Seminar. Feel free to contact Cindy Bienvenue at with any questions.

- National Preservation Insitiute Offers Training Program for NAGPRA - Determining Cultural Affiliation: Chicago, IL, September 14, 2009. Purpose of the Seminar: Review the tools and best practices for determining cultural affiliation as part of the requirements of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Each federal agency and museum with control over Native American human remains must identify
cultural affiliation if it can do so on the basis of reasonable belief. Discuss NAGPRA requirements, definitions of critical terminology, grant assistance, and the consultation and review process.

- Memorial for Edward T. Hall to be Held Tuesday Evening in Santa Fe: The memorial for Edward T. "Ned" Hall is this evening, Monday, August 17, at 6:30 pm in St. Francis Auditorium.

- Lecture Opportunity - Tucson: Thursday August 20, 2009, Old Pueblo Archaeology Center's "Third Thursdays" free presentation: "The Absence of Conflict in the Tsegi Phase of Northeastern Arizona, A.D. 1250-1300" with University of Arizona Professor Jeffrey S. Dean 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.

Thanks to Gerald Kelso for contributions to today's newsletter.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pecos Conference Recap - Blanding Raid Investigation Expands to Buyers of Looted Goods.

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

- 2009 Pecos Conference: About 400 archaeologists - and old friends - converged Friday at McPhee Reservoir to listen and discuss the latest digs in Southwest archaeology. It was a reunion for many of the attendees, especially for retired archaeologist David Breternitz of Dove Creek, who was attending his 53rd Pecos Conference this weekend. Breternitz worked with the University of Colorado field school at Mesa Verde for 13 years and directed the Dolores Archaeological Project at McPhee in the 1970s. - Durango Herald

- Archaeologists as Scientific Stewards at Pecos: Kevin Jones, a Utah state archaeologist, tried to understand Saturday why a group of people in the Southwest who are suspected of trafficking in stolen archaeological artifacts from public and Native American lands engaged in the alleged crime. - Durango Herald

- Blanding Artifact Raids Likely to Expand Scope to Target Buyers of Looted Antiqities: Federal authorities in charge of the nation's biggest bust of artifact looting and grave-robbing are targeting more suspects ranging from those who do the digging to wealthy buyers in the lucrative black market of ancient Southwest relics. - Durango Herald

- San Carlos Apache President Finds Resolution Mining's Plans for Central Arizona A Serious Ecological Threat: Resolution proposes a block-and-cave mining method. As a token to environmentalists, it offers an exchange of riparian areas along the San Pedro River. But no one has undertaken a cost analysis of potential environmental impacts to avoid a disaster similar to those inadequately addressed by the ASARCO settlement agreement that Gov. Brewer recently signed. To date, there is no mining plan, reclamation protocols or bonding assurances. Nor is Resolution subject to permitting, water-quality requirements, cultural protections or financial assurances. - Arizona Republic

- Native America and Santa Fe Prepares for Indian Market: On the sprawling Navajo Reservation, and other Indian lands, artists are firing away at their pots, chipping at sculptures and polishing jewelry in anticipation of their most important event of the year. The Santa Fe Indian Market, the premier American Indian art show in the country, brings together the most gifted artists from 100 tribes across the nation with thousands of visitors and collectors from around the world.

- Southern New Mexico Film Festival to be Held at Western New Mexico University: The public is invited to attend a free film festival hosted by the Gila National Forest, National Park Service, Western New Mexico University, and the Western National Parks Association in recognition of the centennial celebration of Aldo Leopold’s beginning his work in the Southwest with the U.S. Forest Service. The film showing is scheduled for the evenings of September 25 and 26 at the WNMU Global Resource Auditorium Center.

- Tucson Celebrates 234th Birthday August 20th: Tucson’s 234th birthday celebrations will be kicking off early and lasting well into the evening on August 20, 2009 at multiple locations and venues around the Old Pueblo. The many special events and festivities will showcase the rich, diverse cultural history of our city through ceremonies, dances, music, individual/group performances and of course, a wide variety of ethnic and popular food and drink. - Examiner.Com

- Excavations at San Francisco's Presidio Yields Artifacts from Spanish-American War: A dirt-encrusted button, some shards of terra cotta and the buried remnants of a mysterious rock circle were fresh treasures unearthed in the Presidio last week by archaeologists probing the ground at El Polin Springs, where soldiers of the Spanish-American War once slaked their thirst.

- Visit Your National Parks for Free this Weekend: No entrance fee will be charged for visiting any of the 391 national parks will offer free admission the weekend of August 15 & 16, 2009.

-Employment Opportunity: Five Vacant Archaeological Technician Positions in Texas: This outreach notifies interested candidates of 5 vacant Archaeological Technician GS-0102-05/06/07 positions currently being filled on the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas. One position will be filled for each location specified below at the 5, 6 or 7 level. These are being filled using an Open Continuous Roster (OCR) position announcement. Applications for these positions are being processed through an on-line applicant assessment system that has been specifically configured for USDA Forest Service applicants called AVUE. Click on the appropriate website link below to directly access this on-line AVUE system to complete the application process, or alternatively, visit the USAJOBS.GOV website and search for job announcement numbers ADS07-R5-ARCH-34567G or ADS07-R5-ARCH-34567DP. REMEMBER: when applying, you must specify one or more of these locations in AVUE as preferred locations to be considered for these positions: Zavalla, Texas – for the Angelina National Forest position. Decatur, Texas – for the Caddo and Lyndon B. Johnson National Grasslands position. Ratcliff, Texas – for the Davy Crockett National Forest position. Hemphill, Texas – for the Sabine National Forest position. New Waverly, Texas – for the Sam Houston National Forest position.

Thanks to Carrie Gregory and Gerald Kelso for contributions to today's newsletter.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

2009 Pecos Conference Starts this Thursday

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

- 2009 Pecos Conference Starts this Thursday: A traditional gathering focused on understanding the archaeological work being done across the Southwest, with a special focus on contemporary regional and professional issues.

-- Update on Pecos Fire Restrictions: Campfires in the free Pecos Conference camping area are not allowed, but the Forest Service will allow the usual types of gas or propane camp stoves for cooking. Campfires are allowed in established fire rings in the traditional campground, but these campsites require payment of a fee.

-- SAT Newsletter @ Pecos: Southwest Archaeology Today is now four years old and we hope that this service is useful to the southwestern archaeology community. If there are ways that you think this newsletter could be improved, or wish to offer constructive critique, please stop by the Center for Desert Archaeology table under the Pecos vendor's tent and let us know.

- Restored Paquime Ceramics to Be Displayed at the Casas Grandes Heritage Center: Sixty seven original Prehispanic ceramic pieces from Paquime region, most of them from the Medium (sic) period (1060-1340), were restored by National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) to be exhibited at Casas Chihuahua Cultural Heritage Center, from August 2009. Pots, flat bowls and effigy vessels integrate the Casas Grandes culture collection that presented deterioration; surface cleaning of the red and black earthenware, salts and dust removal and reintegration, in some cases, was carried on.

- SAA Finds that a Federal Land Exchange called the "Apache Leap Bill" Could Have Significant Negative Impacts on Southwestern Archaeological Sites: Called "S. 409--Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2009," sponsored by Sen. McCain. This legislation, also known as the Apache Leap bill, would direct the Department of Agriculture to convey certain lands on the Tonto National Forest to the Resolution Copper Mining Company in exchange for a parcel of environmentally sensitive land elsewhere in Arizona. The lands to be conveyed contain a significant number of archaeological sites. On June 17, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests held a hearing on the bill. During the hearing, the Department of Agriculture witness expressed the administration's concerns with the bill. SAA submitted written testimony in opposition to the legislation, as it does not ensure adequate protection for the cultural resources that would be affected by the land transfer and subsequent mining activity.

- Stephen Durand Passes: A memorial gathering for sharing memories of Stephen R. Durand will be planned for his birthday in October. Arrangements will be announced at a later time. Stephen Roland Durand was born October 10, 1952, in Washington, DC, to Clara and Roland E. Durand, and died at his home in Portales, NM, on July 28, 2009, of Malignant Melanoma. Stephen did his undergraduate work at Purdue University where he had planned to study Engineering. However, he took a class in Anthropology, and a lifetime love of archaeology was born.

- Can the Divide Between the Angry Citizens of Southern Utah and Archaeologists be Bridged by a Museum? It's tough to watch positions hardening when there's a local project underway that would protect artifacts in a way that doesn't demonize the locals who dug them up. I moved to Utah last year, and recently watched archaeologists and students whisk powdery red earth from floors that Native Americans popularly known as Anasazi built 1,000 years ago. It wasn't what they were finding that intrigued me, though, it was the precedent they've been setting.

- Chevron Mining Donates Land for Navajo Code Talkers Museum: Chevron Mining Inc., a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, today announced the donation of 208 acres of land to the Navajo Code Talkers Association (NCTA) for the future home of a Code Talkers museum and veterans center. The land transfer recognizes the Navajo Code Talkers for their service in creating history's only unbroken battlefield code during the Pacific campaign of World War II. - Yahoo News

- The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Center for Desert Archaeology are Seeking Comments on a Proposed SunZia Power Transmission Line: The organizations are considering submitting a joint comment letter in response to the BLM's intent to prepare an EIS and possible RMP amendment for the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project in southern NM and AZ. The comment deadline has been extended to August 28. Links to the maps of the proposed project location and some cultural resources located within the APE are listed below. We welcome additional information about potential conflicts between the proposed transmission line and cultural resources (prehistoric, historic, tribal). If you're interested in working on a comment letter with us or are willing to share information about potentially affected cultural resources, please contact

Thanks to Zoe Johnson and Adrianne Rankin for contributions to today's newsletter.