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.