Monday, April 26, 2010

Rediscovered Notes Shed Light on the OK Corral Incident

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

Rediscovered Notes Shed Light on the OK Corral Incident
Just days after the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral, the Cochise County coroner convened an inquest to hear testimony from the witnesses and survivors. On Wednesday, the yellowed and taped original handwritten minutes of that inquest made their way to the state Department of Library and Archives, where officials hope to properly preserve them so they're around for researchers for the next half-millennium. - Arizona Daily Star

Short Course on Preservation and Sustainability (New York)
Preservation and Sustainability addresses energy and resource-conscious design at both building and neighborhood scales through the strategies, tools and ethos of historic preservation. Topics will include ratings and metrics, planning for sustainability, and negotiating conflicting value systems. The course format will be seminar presentations, discussions, and site visits to projects in the city. Faculty will include John Anderson, Engineer, LEED AP; Jeffrey M. Chusid, Cornell University; Walter Sedovic, FAIA; Stephen Tilly, Architect. These courses are open to design professionals in private practice, government and non-profit agencies, and students in architecture, landscape architecture, planning and historic preservation. These courses are open to design professionals in private practice, government and non-profit agencies, and students in architecture, landscape architecture, planning and historic preservation.

3 More Guilty Pleas in 4-Corners Looting Case
Three southern Utah men who admitted selling ancient artifacts taken from public land are the latest to plead guilty after a lengthy federal crackdown on theft and trafficking of American Indian relics in the Four Corners area. At a hearing in Moab on Friday, Nick Laws and Dale Lyman each pleaded guilty to one count of violating federal laws aimed at protecting artifacts on public and tribal lands. Aubry Patterson pleaded guilty to trafficking in stolen artifacts and theft of government property.

Crow Canyon and BLM Video "Visit With Respect" Wins SAA Award
A short film produced in the Four Corners area has won a national award from the Society for American Archaeology during its 75th anniversary meeting held recently in St. Louis. “Visit With Respect” was one of 65 submissions to the Society for American
Archaeology’s 7.5 Film Fest. After initial review by the National Geographic Society, 30 films were selected for screening in St. Louis, with only four films, including “Visit With Respect” ultimately receiving awards.

14th Annual Sheep is Life Celebration, June 14-19, 2010
Diné be’ iiná (The Navajo Lifeway) presents the 14th Annual Sheep is Life Celebration
The Celebration will be held from June 14–19, 2010 at the Diné College Land Grant Program Facility in Tsailé, AZ, in the Navajo Nation. The Celebration is organized by Navajo sheep herders and weavers to honor the central role of sheep and fiber arts in the spirituality, philosophy, and daily life of cultures throughout the world. Everyone is invited to participate, bring tools, spindles, fibers, and creativity to share. - the Navajo

Havasupai Settle Blood Sample Case with ASU
An Arizona Indian tribe has ended a seven-year legal fight over blood samples members gave to university scientists for diabetes research that were later used to study schizophrenia, inbreeding and ancient population migration in what tribal members called a case of genetic piracy. The Havasupai Indians, who live deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon, settled their lawsuits with Arizona State University in an agreement announced Wednesday and approved by the Legislature's Joint Legislative Budget Committee on Tuesday. - Yahoo News

Lecture Opportunity (Sedona)
The Sedona Historical Society is hosting the next in their 2010 series of Living History presentations on Wednesday May 5 at 9:00 a.m. at the Sedona Heritage Museum. Speaker Micah Loma’omvaya is a Hopi tribal member of the Bear Clan from Songoopavi Village on Second Mesa, Arizona. Micah will discus the ancient routes the prehistoric people, the Hisatsinom, blazed thousands of years ago with destinations as varied as the landscape they traversed.

"What's up in the 13th century?" Free Field Trip - Grants, New Mexico
The suspects include changes in climate, governance, and spirituality. Ceramic designs, villages, geographic dispersion and more are in flux. We'll discuss these topics and more on a walk to some evidence, the Aldridge Petroglyph Panel in the Cebolla Wilderness of El Malpais National Conservation Area. Join us in celebrating the 10th anniversary of BLM's National Landscape Conservation System and meet on Saturday May 1st at 10
AM at the Ranger Station on State road 117. Drive 25 miles south and park.Walk slowly on level terrain for an hour. Bring a lunch and dine near the site. Be back at the vehicles around 2 PM. Bring 4 liters of water (2 for the walk & 2 for before and after), sturdy shoes, and outerwear in case of wind or a shower. Recommended are binocs for the bird life, hiking poles, hat & sunscreen. Info at 505.289.2918 or Happy Trails!

Celebrate Mother’s Day at the Deer Valley Rock Art Center!
The Deer Valley Rock Art Center, a museum and archaeological site located in northwest Phoenix, is pleased to offer a Mother’s Day special. On May 9, 2010 from 8am to 2pm, we invite visitors to bring their mother to the Center for free! Pay one regular admission and your mom is free as we celebrate mothers on this special day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Did Clovis People Notice Climate Change?

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

Archaeologists Suggest that Ancient Adaptations to Younger Dryas Climate Change Posed no Particular Hardship to Clovis Peoples

Paleoindian groups occupied North America throughout the Younger Dryas interval, which saw a rapid return to glacial conditions approximately 11,000 years ago. Until now, it has been assumed that cooling temperatures and their impact on communities posed significant adaptive challenges to those groups. David Meltzer from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, USA, and Vance Holliday from the University of Arizona in Tucson, USA, suggest otherwise in their review of climatic and environmental records from this time period in continental North America, published in Springer’s Journal of World Prehistory. - Springer Media

Essay Takes an Dim View of the Closure of Homol'ovi Ruins State Park

One of the easiest targets in any governmental budget crisis is state parks. No individual park has much of a constituency, and lots of them are sparsely visited and collect admission fees on the honor system. Arizona decided to close five of its 30 state parks, a lot of them rural. The jewel of that crown is Homolovi Ruins State Park, which lies just south of the Hopi Nation and contains a lot of pottery (probably a lot undiscovered) and burial grounds and sundry amulets, tools and whatnot.

Phoenix Preservationists Seek to Preserve Fitch Farmhouse

An adobe farmhouse built in 1934, the Fitch Farmhouse has been proposed for historic landmark overlay zoning. The adobe bricks were made with mud excavated for the basement. Historic preservation would commemorate the legacy of the Fitch family. W. Larkin Fitch, who raised corn on a large farm, donated the land for Fitch Park where the Chicago Cubs train each spring. - Arizona Republic

Archaeological Forgeries Complicate Mexican Repatriation Case

Within the framework of actions that the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), the Attorney General’s Office of Mexico (PGR) and the Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have coordinately adopted regarding the recovery of cultural property illegally taken from Mexican Territory... After performing a detailed analysis by direct inspection in the city of Munich, Germany, where the above mentioned seized pieces are being kept in custody, INAH experts found that 252 objects out of a total of 1029 are false, i.e., they are copies recently manufactured and thus do not belong to Mexico’s archaeological heritage.

Photographers Focus upon Archaeological Preservation

Gustavsen-Stapleton Studios opened in 2005 when its owners received an assignment to capture the Southwest's prehistoric ruins. Anthem resident Cheryl Stapleton, 50, and New River's Gil Gustavsen, 56, teamed up when True West Magazine asked them to find and photograph vandalized ruins. The inquiry focused their New River-based business on photographing dwellings built by prehistoric people called the Hohokam and the Anasazi in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. - Arizona Republic

Lecture Opportunity (Cortez)

Florence Lister and Gwinn Vivian to Share "Personal Reminiscences of Old Chaco"
On April 22, distinguished Southwestern archaeologists Florence Lister and Gwinn Vivian will talk about their experiences at Chaco Canyon in a presentation entitled “Personal Reminiscences of Old Chaco.” The talk is a Four Corners Lecture Series presentation and will be held at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, 23390 Road K, Cortez, at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Lecture Opportunity (Glendale)

The Agua Fria Chapter of the Arizona Archaeology Society is offering a free lecture
on Petroglyphs of Perry Mesa, on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 7:00 PM at the Glendale
Public Library Auditorium, 5959 West Brown (south of Peoria Ave). Membership is not
required. The speaker, George DeLange, has been a mortician, science and math teacher, school administrator, Sheriff’s Deputy and judge. His main interest is archaeology and he has explored many archaeological sites in Arizona as well as over a hundred sites in Mexico, Central America and Peru. At the meeting, Mr. DeLange will discuss archaeoastronomy petroglyphs of Perry Mesa, including one which he believes to represent the supernova of 1054 AD.

Lecture Opportunity (Tubac)

“Tubac’s Presidio—Past and Present” is Topic of Santa Cruz Valley AAS Program May 13th. Local historian and president of the Tubac Historical Society Shaw Kinsley will give a presentation to the Santa Cruz Valley Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society on May 13, 2010, 7 PM, at the North County Facility at 50 Bridge Road in Tubac. His topic will be the Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac, from its founding in 1752 to today’s effort to maintain the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park in the face of the state’s elimination of funding. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Eastern Woodland Quarry Site is the Latest Feature on the Archaeology Channel

Pre-contact peoples in southeastern Ontario, Canada, were part of the Eastern Woodlands cultural sphere. This week we feature a spectacular example of this cultural connection in Legacy of Stone, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

Thanks to Terry Colvin for contributing to today's newsletter.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Exhibit at Arizona State Museum Highlights Clovis Era Naco Kill Site

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

New Exhibit at Arizona State Museum Highlights Clovis Era Naco Kill Site
"The Naco site is arguably the best evidence for human killing of a mammoth in the world, in all of human prehistory," said Jesse Ballenger, a doctoral student in the University of Arizona School of Anthropology, whose thesis is on the topic.

Charges Upheld In Four Corners Looting Case
A federal judge has denied a request to dismiss 14 felony counts against a Utah man charged after a two-year federal investigation into illegal trafficking of American Indian artifacts.

Hopi Ruins Threatened by Closure of State Park
As states across the country scramble to close budget gaps, many are targeting state parks. Arizona is the first to go through with it. In February, the state closed five of its 30 parks, and a number of them contain fragile archaeological sites.

Utah Prehistory Week to be Celebrated May 1-8
During Utah Prehistory Week you can learn about Utah's long-ago past and have fun while doing it. Statewide events will give you insight into groups who made their lives here for thousands of years...

Cultural Resource Management in the Tularosa Basin
A diverse crew of archaeologists and interns are about to finish excavation of a large pre-Columbian site in a narrow strip of land on U.S. Highway 54 just south of Carrizozo. In a grid barely 100-feet wide and 200-feet long, three Navajos, a Pueblo-Comanche, two women of German and Jewish heritage, and two Mexican Americans have worked side by side since last October, despite roaring semi-tractor trailers, cars and recreational vehicles on the two-lane highway.

Recent Earthquake Damages Yuma Territorial Prison
Sunday's 7.2-magnitude earthquake has lent new urgency for the need to repair the sally port at Yuma Territorial Prison. "It was cracked already," said Charles Flynn, executive director of Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, which took over operation of the state park on March 30. "There are now additional cracks," he said. "There has been further degradation of the sally port. The earthquake just added deterioration on the structure where we already saw deterioration."

Heritage Sites in Northern Baja California Not Damaged by Earthquake
The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) reports that Baja California cultural heritage presents no damage provoked by the earthquake of April 4th 2010. Baja California INAH Center informed that after several inspections conducted at main cultural centers and archaeological sites guarded by INAH, no affectations were reported.

National Endowment for the Humanities offering Small Preservation Grants
Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections.

Publication Announcement: Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management: A Vision for the Future. Edited by Lynne Sebastian and William D. Lipe.
By most estimates, as much as 90 percent of the archaeology done in the United States today is carried out in the field of cultural resource management. The effects of this work on the archaeological record, the archaeological profession, and the heritage of the American people would be difficult to overemphasize. - SAR Press

Lecture Opportunity (Albuquerque)
Eric Blinman, Ph.D. will present "The Rear View Mirror: 2000 Years of People and Climate Change in the Southwest" on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7:00 PM in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science DynaTheater. Debates about climate change tend to lack a historical context. As we look back on the archaeological record of human and climate history in the Southwest, two conclusions are obvious: climate change will happen, and it will have consequences for our way of life. Admission will cost $5 public, $4 members, and $3 for students.

Lecture Opportunity (Tucson)
Monday, April 19th, 7:30 pm. The monthly Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society lecture will be given by Will Tsoise. Will's talk is entitled “Y á d i i l a, H á d i i l i ł ? !: Perspective from a practicing Native American archaeologist”. The lecture which is free and open to the public will be held at DuVal Auditorium, UMC, 1501 N. Campbell Ave, Tucson.
Thanks to Carrie Gregory, Gerald Kelso, Doug Kupel, and Paul Yoder for contributing to today's newsletter.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More Research on Clovis Era Comet Impact Hypothesis

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

Vance Haynes and a Team of Arizona Archaeologists Determine Evidence for Clovis Era Comet Impact Flawed

A team of researchers from the University of Arizona has revisited evidence pointing to a cataclysmic event thought by many scientists to have wiped out the North American megafauna – such as mammoths, saber tooth cats, giant ground sloths and Dire wolves – along with the Clovis hunter-gatherer culture some 13,000 years ago. The team obtained their findings following an unusual, multidisciplinary approach and published them in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

Younger Dryas Comet Impact Hypothesis - Astronomer Proposes Multiple Impacts from Portions of a Known Comet

A British astronomer has published new evidence that North America was strafed by thousands of fragments from a massive comet about 12,900 years ago, a theory he says is the best explanation yet for why the planet was plunged into a 1,000-year cooling period and dozens of Ice Age mammals went extinct at that time. - Canada.Com

Why Does the Younger Dryas Matter?
What caused the last great stab of cold 13,000 years ago? Almost overnight, it seems, something drove the gradually warming Northern Hemisphere back into the ice age for 1,000 years or more until warming resumed. People researching the behavior of ancient climate have been ruminating over this question for 20 years now, ever since they detected unexpectedly sharp changes in temperatures in a variety of sources -- ice cores, ocean sediments, pollen layers in old dirt.

Dawn of the Anthropocene Epoch? Earth Has Entered New Age of Geological Time, Experts Say

Geologists from the University of Leicester are among four scientists- including a Nobel prize-winner -- who suggest that Earth has entered a new age of geological time. The Age of Aquarius? Not quite -- It's the Anthropocene Epoch, say the scientists writing in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. And they add that the dawning of this new epoch may include the sixth largest mass extinction in Earth's history.

Is Enforcement of Section 106 a "Government Taking?"

In the lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Providence in August, Downing claimed the measures the state had taken to prevent it from developing the subdivision had amounted to a “de facto” taking of the property. The state is seeking to create a public archaeology park out of private land that Downing had already started to develop, not only violating the developer’s private property rights but also causing it considerable financial harm, the lawsuit states.

Native America, Archaeology, and Development

Legally, Native Americans have a growing role in shaping the cultural preservation process. They have an unofficial role too: giving voice to our ambivalence about "progress."

Traces of Early Native Americans -- In Sunflower Genes

ScienceDaily (Apr. 3, 2010) — New information about early Native Americans' horticultural practices comes not from hieroglyphs or other artifacts, but from a suite of four gene duplicates found in wild and domesticated sunflowers.

Shelby Tisdale Nominated to NAGPRA Review Committee:

The director of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe has been chosen to serve as a member of the Smithsonian Institution's Native American Repatriation Review Committee. Shelby Tisdale was nominated by the board of the Society for Applied Anthropology.

Monthly Presentations Help Preserve Navajo Culture

The staff at the Navajo Nation Museum is on a mission to preserve Navajo language and culture. Part of the effort includes monthly cultural presentations that have now been going on for more than a year. For many of the participants, the information from the presentations is something they had once known. “It’s good. It’s something that comes back to you,” said Nellie Beno of Tselani-Cottonwood. “When you’re small, you don’t think about it.”

"Finding" Folsom

I first heard of Folsom Man more than 50 years ago when, as an undergraduate at the University of Texas, I took a beginning course in archaeology. To this day, I remain fascinated by his story.

Legal Brief Details the Dispute over a Reversion Clause Within a Conservation Easement

The Case of The Archaeological Conservancy V. Wilson Land And Cattle Company.

Jr Ranger Day at Gila River Cliff Dwellings

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument will celebrate Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 24th with an entire day of free family-friendly activities. Learn about the Ancient Peoples who once inhabited this region, and attend a variety of presentations on the wildlife of the Monument.

Lecture Opportunity (Sedona)

Dr. Riley will present these findings from his latest book, "Becoming Aztlan," at the Distinguished Speaker Series hosted by the Verde Valley Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society on April 22 at 7:00 pm at the Sedona Creative Life Center, 333 Schnebly Hill Road, Sedona, AZ. This free lecture presentation is open to the public as part of the Society's mission to increase public understanding of the richness of Arizona's archaeological heritage. Aided by extensive illustrations, Dr. Riley will argue that although the Southwest remained "southwestern" in its basic economy, there were drastic changes beginning around AD 1200 that transformed societies and religious life throughout the region. For more information call the Verde Valley Chapter at 928-284-4764.

Lecture Opportunity (Irvine)

The Pacific Coast Archaeological Society's April 8th meeting will feature Dr. Nancy Anastasia Wiley speaking on “Bolsa Chica Archaeology: A Tribute to Hal Eberhart - Part One: The Sites.” Meeting information: Thursday, April 8, 2010, 7:30 pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA. Meeting is free and open to the public.

Connections between the Ancient Mediterranean and Sub Saharan Africa is the Latest Feature on the Archaeology Channel

For millennia a link between the Mediterranean world and sub-Saharan Africa, Mauritania today is one of the poorest and least known countries in the world. We like to bring attention to such places, so we offer you Eyes in the Eyes, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

Employment Opportunity - Archaeological Field Supervisor (Southern Arizona)

The Center for Desert Archaeology has an opening for an archaeologist to serve as Field Supervisor on a Site Relocation and Assessment project in portions of Arizona and possibly southwest New Mexico. The position entails the planning and organization of field site visits, supervision of an archaeological field technician, field data collection and management, and subsequent report preparation. The posting is for a full-time temporary, 10 week position beginning in mid-May to early June. The position pay is $18/hour.

Employment Opportunity – Archaeological Field Technician (Southern Arizona)

The Center for Desert Archaeology has an opening for an Archaeological Field Technician to assist in a Site Relocation and Assessment project in portions of Arizona and possibly southwest New Mexico. The position will be supervised by a Field Supervisor and will require familiarity with site recordation, and use of global positioning systems, (Trimble proficiency preferred). The posting is for a full-time temporary, 8 week position beginning in mid-May to early June. The position pay is $9/hour.

Employment Opportunity - Project Director (US Southwest)
Harris Environmental Group, Inc. is seeking an archaeological Project Director (PD) to direct compliance projects for state, federal, and commercial clients. Archaeological experience in the Southwestern United States is required. The position will assist with project development, direction, coordination and quality control for cultural resource management projects while expanding our archaeological and historical consulting team. Responsibilities will include project direction (including some fieldwork and possibly travel), training of staff, oversight of field directors, and producing quality reports, managing multiple projects, and budgets. Candidates must have an M.A. or Ph.D. in Anthropology or Archaeology and a minimum of five years of work experience and two to three years experience as a PD. Compensation package will be commensurate with experience. To apply, please email resume and letter of interest to Lisa Harris, Ph.D. President, at

Thanks to Adrianne Rankin for contributions to today's newsletter