Monday, December 14, 2009

New Hypothesis About the Introduction of Maize to the Southwest

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

- New Hypothesis Suggests Maize Was Passed from Group to Group by Ancient Southwestern Hunter-Gatherer Populations: An international group of anthropologists offers a new theory about the diffusion of maize to the Southwestern United States and the impact it had. Published the week of Dec. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study, co-authored by Gayle Fritz, Ph.D., professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues, suggests that maize was passed from group to group of Southwestern hunter-gatherers.

- University of Arizona Anthropology Department Reorganizes to Become a School of Anthropology: This fall, the University of Arizona's prestigious anthropology department, already ranked among the top five in the country, became even stronger. Under the UA transformation plan, the department reorganized into a school, adding more depth to its world-renowned archaeology program and increasing ways faculty and students can be engaged in the community.

- Save America's Treasures Announces 9.5 Million Dollars in Grant Awards, Including Several Southwestern Projects

- New Visitation Rules in Place for Moon House: As I hiked down the trail, I was approaching one of the last, best backcountry Anasazi sites in the Southwest, but I was still unprepared for what I found. It's that sense of self-discovery that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in its Monticello, Utah, field office seeks to preserve with new January 2010 rules for visiting Moon House. - Durango Herald

- San Juan Basin Archaeology Society Celebrates 30 Years of Stewardship: After a promise not to be pot hunters, the San Juan Basin Archaeological Society was granted its charter by the Colorado Archaeological Society in 1979. It is now the largest chapter in the state, with more members than Denver and other cities on the Front Range. - Durango Herald

- A First Hand Account of a Passport in Time Project: For five days last May, I worked as a volunteer archaeologist with the U.S. Forest Service in Southern California's Cleveland National Forest. Through the service's Passport in Time (PIT) program, I located and photographed sites where the native peoples of 12,000 years ago, the DiegueƱos, carved stone tools and weapons, where 7,500 years ago their descendants ground seeds and nuts on rocks and where more-recent descendants produced pottery. - Washington Post

- Tour Opportunity with El Malpais National Conservation Area Just Keeps Improving: "Where else can you find 2 great kivas by a Chacoesque Great House? Where else can you find continuous presence from AD 655 to AD 1158? Where else can you visit what may be a pivotal great house for the region 2 days before winter solstice with only a 5 minute drive from I-40 and a 5 minute walk from pavement? Saturday, December 19th shows as high as 50F and sunny in 1 forecast model. AND we've just got OK to show Steve Lekson's fall lecture at Silver City, NM along with "Chaco" a film with mostly native interviews. Come for the films, come for the discussion over lunch, come for the Casamero walk, or come for all 3. Meet: Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center at exit 85 on I-40 at 10:00 AM. Car-pool: 35 paved miles west on I40. Walk: 1 mile round trip. BLM El Malpais NCA: 505.280.2918

- Imperial Valley Archaeologist Jay Von Werlhof Passes: Von Werlhof is revered locally for his nearly 40 years of contributions to anthropology and archaeology. An Imperial Valley College instructor for 19 years before his retirement in 1992, von Werlhof taught anthropology, Indian studies and archaeology while supervising the museum during its early years.

- More of the Life and Contributions of Jay Von Werlhof

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): Monday, December 21st Dr. Stephen Nash, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, will present the monthly Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society Lecture. His talk is entitled "Fast Approaching Zero: Tree-Ring Dating at Mesa Verde National Park". Duval Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. 7:30 p.m.

Thanks to Carrie Gregory for contributing to today's newsletter.