Monday, February 8, 2010

New Findings on Ancient Turkeys of the Southwest (and no, this is not about your dissertation chair)

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

- More Information on Ancient Southwestern Turkey Domestication: Today at Discovery News you can find out how Native Americans domesticated turkeys, not just once, but twice, well over 1,500 years before Christopher Columbus and other Europeans set foot on American soil. Native Americans were hardly starved for food. They had long before gotten their farming act together. They instead raised turkeys for their feathers, which were "used in rituals and ceremonies, as well as to make feather robes or blankets," according to Simon Fraser University's Camilla Speller, who led the recent research project on North American turkey domestication. Her team's paper is in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. - Discovery News - National Academy of Sciences

- Center for Desert Archaeology Settling Down in New Location: The Center for Desert Archaeology has moved downtown. The nonprofit, which is dedicated to research and preservation of archaeology, has moved to 300 N. Ash Alley, on the property of the Bates Family House and Mountain Oyster Club on North Stone. The 138-year-old adobe brick building is the former home of the ranch culture-oriented Mountain Oyster Club, which moved in 2003 to its current home at 6400 E. El Dorado Circle. - Arizona Daily Star

- In the Aftermath of Park Closure, Northern Arizonans Attempt to Save Riordan Mansion: After 106 years of a mostly happy storyline, the tale of Riordan Mansion, including its almost 30 years as an Arizona state park, may take on an element of tragedy Feb. 22 when the facilities are officially closed to the public, as mandated by a Jan. 15 decision by the Arizona State Parks Board. As the mansion hovers on the brink of its closing date, a growing band of concerned parties, including paid park staff, volunteers, historians, and various government and nonprofit agency officials, are rallying to raise money to keep this unique state treasure open. Arizona Daily Sun - Arizona Daily Sun

Gila Cliff Dwellings to Reopen to Foot Traffic: Superintendent Steve Riley announced today that Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument will likely reopen the West Fork Bridge to foot and bicycle traffic next weekend. Beginning on Saturday, February 13th, visitors will be permitted to cross the bridge on a pedestrian gangway and make the 3-mile roundtrip hike to the Cliff Dwellings. Visitors must park their vehicles at Woody’s Corral and hike down the closed road to the trailhead. Please plan on allowing at least three hours to visit the site. The Cliff Dwellings will be staffed daily from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and while the gate to the Cliff Dwellings closes at 4:00 p.m., visitors have another hour in which to complete their visit. There will be no guided tours during this interim period. Both Lower Scorpion Campground and Upper Scorpion Campground have been reopened for pack-in camping, but there is no potable water available. TJ Corral and the West Fork Trail (#151) will be accessible for those wanting to use the trailheads for wilderness travel. Please note that the West Fork Bridge remains closed to any motorized traffic. For further information, please contact the Gila Visitor Center at (575) 536-9461.

- Lecture Opportunity (Blanding): Thursday, February 11th, 6:30 PM. Memories of Glen Canyon Archaeology with Dr. Bill Lipe From 1958 through 1961, Bill Lipe led crews engaged in studying some of the many archaeological sites destined to be destroyed or otherwise affected by the Lake. In this presentation, Dr. Lipe will draw on his recollections, as well as on 50 year-old photos and films, to discuss the significance of flooding Glen Canyon, and what was learned about the area’s archaeology before it was forever affected by the development of Lake Powell. The Glen Canyon Project crews came into Blanding, Utah every two weeks to re-supply and mail collections and notes back to the University of Utah. A number of Blanding residents assisted with the project and their contributions are also highlighted in the talk. The talk is free, and will be held at Edge of the Cedars Museum State Park, 660 West 400 North, Blanding, Utah 84511. Contact 435-678-2238

- Lecture Opportunity (Irvine): Pacific Coast Archaeological Society's February 11th meeting will feature Alexander (Sandy) Rogers speaking on "Dating the Coso Petroglyphs." Meeting information: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 7:30 pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA. Meeting is free and open to
the public. For more information follow the link below: '

- Lecture Opportunity (Salt Lake City): The Salt Lake/Davis Chapter of the Utah Statewide Archaeology Society February meeting will be February 10 at 7pm at REI (33rd South). Dr. Joel Janetski, Professor of Anthropology at BYU, will be speaking. His topic is “The Archaeology of North Creek Shelter: 10,000 Years of Human History in Southern Utah.” Please bring treats to share. Convention Planning Committee will meet at 6pm at REI. ALL members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Even if you're a new member or haven't been to a meeting in a while, we would love your input, ideas, and suggestions. Help us make our convention a success!

- Lecture Opportunity (Tucson): Cherie Freeman, an Arizona Site Steward and long time member of Center for Desert Archaeology, will present “Beneath the Rails” on Feb 16th at 12 noon and 7 pm at the ParkWise Conference Room, 110 East Pennington Street, Suite 150 Rm 112. (Pennington Street garage). The presentation will view bridges and other Railroad structures in the Cienega Creek Preserve. This is the kick-off presentation in the 5th annual Lecture series presented by Southern Arizona Transportation Museum. Admission is $5 per person per presentation. All proceeds go to the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum (a Division of Old Pueblo Trolley, Inc a 501 (C) (3) Corporation.) Call 623-2223 for further information.

- Call for Papers / Posters - Sonoran Desert Symposium: A tri-national symposium addressing successes and continuing challenges of conserving the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. The symposium will focus on cultural and natural resource issues and is being organized by representatives from the Tohono O’odham Nation, Mexico and the U.S. Date: March 16th thru 18th, 2010 Location: Curley School Campus, Ajo, Arizona, USA.
Field Trips: March 19th, 2010

- High Tech Hotel Planned for Grand Canyon Interior? A state of the art, out of this world design for a new resort at the western end of the Grand Canyon has been presented to Mohave County supervisors. The hotel would use new technology similar to what's used in a space station. Architect Michael Sarda says the self-sufficient hotel also would use solar, geothermal and possibly wind systems for power. It would be built into the Canyon's walls similar to the Anasazi Native American cliff dwellings of Northern Arizona.

Thanks to Adrianne Rankin for contributing to today's newsletter.