Monday, November 30, 2009

Ancient Agricultural Impacts and Climatic Change Studied at ASU

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

- ASU Archaeologist Michael C Barton Presents Research on the Climatic Impacts of Agricultural Practice: Arizona State University archaeologist C. Michael Barton has gained a reputation for learning about human-environment interaction by applying a long-term perspective, as well as the latest technology, to his research. His Mediterranean Landscape Dynamics project is creating multidimensional computer models of landscape change and agricultural land use practices for a 6,000-year period from the beginning of farming to the rise of urban civilization.

- Northern Arizona and Most of the Southwest in Drought: Rancher Duane Coleman manages a large ranch on land partly owned by the Hopi Tribe southeast of Flagstaff, near Twin Arrows. Of 75 tanks to water cattle on the ranch, all but two are dry, and the ranch received only 2.5 inches of monsoon rain this year, Coleman said. Coleman, vice president of the local Natural Resources Conservation District, is hauling 11,000 gallons of water a day to supply his livestock, he said, and has had to cut the number of cattle on the land by about a third. Normally he only has to haul water in the summer sometimes.

- Hopi Tribe to Open Hotel and Visitor's Center in Moenkopi: Tourists traveling the vast expanse of tribal lands in northern Arizona soon will have a venue to learn about the culture of one of the oldest indigenous tribes in America. A $13 million hotel and conference center billed as the western gateway to the Hopi reservation is set to open late this year, where entertainment, lectures and demonstrations will provide non-Hopis with an insight into the tribe's culture and traditions.

- Reminder - Archaeology Cafe This Tuesday in Tucson: The next Archaeology Café will convene on Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 6:00 pm, at Casa Vicente, 375 S. Stone Avenue, Tucson, AZ. This month, we will be joined by Don Burgess, former General Manager of KUAT TV. Thirty-one Latin-inscribed lead crosses and a caliche plaque collectively known as the Silverbell Artifacts confounded scholars at the time of their appearance over the years between 1924 and 1930. The items appeared to attest to Roman presence in southern Arizona between A.D. 775 and 940. Don will tell the story behind the story, and dispel the myths surrounding this deliberate hoax. The legacy of this incident continues to this day, as Arizona State Museum and Arizona History Museum curators can attest from the yearly inquiries they receive. The Café Program is Free and open to the community—all are welcome.

- Debate on North American Megafauna Extinctions Continue, but Timing of Event is Becoming Better Defined: ears of scientific debate over the extinction of ancient species in North America have yielded many theories. However, new findings from J. Tyler Faith, GW Ph.D. candidate in the hominid paleobiology doctoral program, and Todd Surovell, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Wyoming, reveal that a mass extinction occurred in a geological instant.

Travelogue - Southwestern Education Vacation: The American Southwest bursts with potential for exploration, and offers opportunities to learn about Native American groups, particularly the Hopi and Anasazi. Discover what it’s like to drive the Trail of the Ancients scenic byway, plan a day trip to New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park or create an itinerary for the Four Corners, a hotbed of Native American history and culture. - Finding Dulcina