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.
http://www.cdarc.org/page/gceg - 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 rebecca_schwendler@nthp.org.

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