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