Monday, November 16, 2009

Gomphothere Remains Found at Northern Mexican Clovis Site

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

- Ancient Gomphotheres Remains Found With Clovis Tools in Northern Mexico: Scientists have found evidence that cavemen (sic) near the U.S.-Mexican border were butchering gomphotheres, elephant-like beasts from the Ice Age that had been believed to be nearly extinct in North America by the time humans appeared there. Researchers from the University of Arizona and Mexico's anthropology institute say they found the bones of two young gomphotheres — along with blades, a scraping tool and stone chips from making spear tips — at an 11,000-year-old site in Mexico's Sonora state.

- Satellite Imagery Used to Document Hohokam Canals in Phoenix Basin: Anthropologists, with the assistance of satellite imagery, have discovered the remains of a series of ancient canals, located just south of the Salt River, near the very heart of downtown Mesa, Arizona. The existence of the canal system, built in the Salt River valley centuries ago by the Hohokam, has long been known, but the extent of this most recent discovery has caught some experts by surprise. -

- Mesa Grande Tours will Begin Soon: ...Decades of groundwork are paying off as the city is rushing to lay a path through the ruins in the final weeks of this year. Some time next year, Mesa Grande will be ready for the first regular tours to the site pioneers discovered in the 1800s.

- Etymology of "Arizona:" The most logical and accurate interpretation traces the name to about 1734-1736 in a community some 50 miles southwest of Nogales on today's Arizona/Mexico border. According to historian Jay Wagoner, a Yaqui Indian named Antonio Siraumea, in October of 1736, discovered chunks of silver (planchas de plata) lying on the ground in a canyon located near the rancheria of "Arissona," a visita of the nearby mission.

- Lecture Opportunity & Book signing (Albuquerque): Stephen Lekson presents "A History of the Ancient Southwest" at Page One Bookstore (SW corner of Montgomery and Juan Tabo), Friday, November 20 at 7 PM. According to Dr. Lekson, much of what we think we know about the Southwest has been compressed into conventions and classifications and orthodoxies. A History of the Ancient Southwest 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.

- Kiva Mural and Ancient Pigment Expert Paul T. Kay Passes: Paul Tarsus Kay, 70, passed peacefully following a lengthy illness while at Denver Health, Oct. 29, 2009. He was a self-made Anthropologist, Scientist, Researcher, Philosopher, Producer/ Promoter, Advocate of the Fine Arts, House Painter extraordinaire, Good Samaritan and Avid conversationalist. - Denver Post

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson) Randy McGuire will present " Cerros de Trinceras & Warfare in Sonora, Mexico" as part of the monthly meeting of the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society. Tonight, 7:30 PM at the Duval Auditorium, University Medical Center.

- Travelogue - Mesa Verde: The ancient tribes who wandered into southwestern Colorado more than a thousand years ago were no dummies. They looked at the area's big, rugged mesas and decided to live inside them. They built south-facing homes, shielded from the winter's north wind. In the summer, the flat cliff overhangs kept them cool. - The Statesman

- Travelouge - Walnut Canyon National Moument: A strong wind blows out of Walnut Canyon, but the day is warm, the clouds are scattered and sunlight burns the mesa tops. A group of students has just crowded into the visitor center and makes its way out the back door and down a trail that leads past an ancient Sinagua Indian village, the main feature of the park. - Arizona Republic

- Incan Pottery Replication at Stanford: The Spanish invaders told the Inca that the diseases were payback for idolatry. But the Incan priests of the Taki Unquy opposition had their own take: Their people had taken European names, clothes and religion; they had abandoned the native languages for Spanish. The Inca hadn't kept to the old ways – and the ancestors were displeased. So, to propitiate them, indigenous potters began to make small vessels again, just like their ancestors had 40 years earlier, before the 1530s conquest. Half a millennium later and thousands of miles away, Incan vessels were pulled from an alpaca-dung open-air kiln at Stanford this month – as close to the "real thing" as one could reasonably expect to get.