Thursday, January 21, 2010

Arizona State Park Closures a Direct Threat to State's Cultural Heritage

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

- Arizona Leads the Nation in the Draconian Cuts to State Parks: An oversight board voted unanimously Friday to close 13 of Arizona's state parks in response to budget cuts, leaving two-thirds of the parks shut in the most aggressive cuts to such facilities in the nation. The Arizona State Parks Board is closing some of the state's iconic Old West landmarks, including the Tombstone Courthouse in one of the West's most storied towns, and the Yuma Territorial Prison, which housed hundreds of Old West outlaws and was portrayed in the film "3:10 to Yuma." The decision also closes parks such as Red Rock State Park near Sedona that draw tens of thousands of tourists a year. - San Francisco Gate

- Arizona State Park Closures a Direct Threat to State's Cultural Heritage: Charles Adams, a professor of archaeology at the University of Arizona, warned that closed parks would become magnets for vandals and thieves. Adams expressed particular concern for the Homolovi Ruins, an archaeological treasure that was brought into the parks system in part to protect it from theft. "There is great concern in the archaeological community as some of these close," Adams told the board. "They are extremely vulnerable." As the meeting concluded, members of the parks staff received word that Gov. Jan Brewer's budget proposal released Friday would make further reductions to the parks budget, which could make Arizona the first state in the nation to close its entire parks system. - Arizona Republic

- An Account of the 4 Corners Looting Case and the "Inside Man" from Preservation Magazine: What Milette didn't know was that Thomas Hoyt's real name was Todd Swain. And that he wasn't an artifact collector but a National Park Service special agent who investigates illegal archaeological looting on public lands. Thanks to a tip received at the U.S. attorney's office in Spokane, Swain, in partnership with the FBI, had already begun investigating Milette, recording many hours of conversations. That night, after leaving Milette's house, Swain and an FBI agent met with a federal prosecutor to plot their strategy. Even the slightest misstep, they knew, could bring the case against Milette to an end. - Preservation Nation.Org

- Petroglyphs Vandalized Near Yuma: Authorities are offering up to a $1,500 reward for information leading to the identification and prosecution of those responsible for vandalism at the Sears Point archaeological site in Yuma County. Arizona Bureau of Land Management rangers discovered the vandalism late last year at the large rock art site located on BLM-administered lands. They say the damage includes rolled boulders and fractured petroglyphs.

- Desert View Watchtower Undergoing Maintenance and Stabilization: The iconic tower marking the eastern entrance to Grand Canyon National Park is getting serious repairs to a roof and windows that leak, damaging its famous murals. The 70-foot Indian Watchtower at Desert View, now commonly called the Desert View Watchtower, will receive nearly $2.1 million in masonry work and roofing, projected to be done at the end of the year. - Arizona Daily Sun

- Registration for American Rock Art Research Assocaition 2010 Meetings Now Open: Del Rio, Texas will be the setting for the 37th annual conference of the American Rock Art Research Association (ARARA), to convene March 26th – 29th, 2010. Del Rio is located on the Texas/Mexico border, and is the portal to the Lower Pecos River style of rock art.

- Registration and Call For Papers Open for 2010 Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation: The Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation is excited to hold its 2010 annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From April 21 through April 24, we will explore regional landscapes and hear from local landscape experts, as well as students and faculty from the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning. There is a call for Papers, Summaries of Works-in-Progress, and Posters. Student scholarships are available. Please visit the website below for more details.

- Crow Canyon Announces Summer Development Program for Educators: Educators who teach kindergarten through 12th grade from throughout the United States will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the field of Southwestern archaeology during two professional development programs conducted in July and August 2010. The programs, hosted by the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, provide stipends to cover all expenses, including travel and living costs.

- Deer Valley Rock Art Center Announces the Return of the "Petroglyph Pathfinders" Summer Camp: Do your kids like to explore, dig in the dirt, collect clues and create?The Deer Valley Rock Art Center is pleased to host another season of its popular summer camps, Petroglyph Pathfinders. The center offers one-week action-packed camps for children ages 8 to 11 at a real archaeology site.

- Cappadocia, Turkey is the Newest Feature on the Archaeology Channel: Cappadocia in Turkey is situated at a crossroads in both space and time. Its very visible and unique archaeological record is highlighted by Cappadocia, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel. This documentary highlights Cappadocia, the high plateau region of central Anatolia in Turkey’s heartland. Settled for over 8 millennia, this region features dramatic volcanic landscapes and many caves used in ancient times. The vast array of heritage sites includes Göreme with its rock houses and open air museum, Medieval fortresses, Christian underground cities of the 7th and 8th centuries, and fortified caravansarais along the silk road. Cappadocia illustrates the rich history of early Christians, Sufi mystics, and the Seljuk Turk empire.

Thanks to Carrie Gregory and Doug Kupel for contributions to today's newsletter.