Tuesday, June 29, 2010

BYU Field School Wraps Up Excavations at the Wolf Site

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

BYU Field School Wraps Up Excavations at the Wolf Site
The 2010 Brigham Young University Archaeological Field School recently completed excavations at Wolf Village (42UT273), a large Fremont farming village in northern Utah near the south end of Utah Valley. The site appears to have been occupied mostly in the A.D. 1100s and 1200s, although there is some evidence of earlier occupation. Excavations include complete or nearly complete exposure of four structures, including two adobe-walled houses, and test excavations into four other structures. One of the adobe houses had a vent shaft and a series of exterior wooden buttresses supporting its walls, while the other was associated with a massive storage pit that had a roof still partially intact over it. Excavations also yielded several figurines, large quantities of maize, several shell and turquoise items, and the usual assortment of stone tools and debitage, pottery, and animal bone. A Facebook photo album showing some of the findings can be accessed at the link below

Dr Laurence C. Harold Passes
Dr. Laurance C. (Larry) Herold, a geographer at the University of Denver, passed away in March of 2010. He had a long term interest in trincheras in northern Mexico. He began his career in archaeology, working as a ranger at Mesa Verde and then with Fred Wendorf on the Ranchos de Taos survey at Fort Burgwin. He is survived by his wife Joyce, long time curator of anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and student of Native American basketry.
A tribute to Dr. Herold may be found at:

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture Receive Grant to Survey Ceramics Collection
A $57,370 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services will let the state-run Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe survey its collection of 5,300 whole and reconstructed archaeological ceramics vessels. The collection includes examples of some of the earliest known Mogollon and Ancestral Puebloan ceramics and others made during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Its Time for the Museum of Northern Arizona Hopi Festival of Art and Culture
The Hopi village of Orayvi is considered the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the United States. Its traditions go back centuries, but in more recent times, a new tradition has taken hold in Orayvi - also known as Old Oraibi - and other Hopi villages. For 76 years, Hopis have traveled to Flagstaff to participate in a festival that showcases their artists and performers. The 77th annual Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture is next weekend at the Museum of Northern Arizona.
http://tinyurl.com/32n7gaf - Arizona Republic

Studies of Skull Morphology Suggest a Pair of Ancient Migrations into the Americas
Recent morphological studies of two groups of skulls support the idea that the New World was settled in two migratory waves, not one, as has been previously suggested by genetic studies. Paleoanthropologists from Brazil, Chile and Germany came to this conclusion by comparing the cranial morphology (or shape of the skulls) of an older group of remains, dating back 11,000 years ago with a more recent gropup of Amerindian skulls. Based on the test results, the scientists believe that 2 groups, one earlier and one much later, began settling the New World via Beringia; the now-submerged land bridge connecting present-day Russia with Alaska.
http://tinyurl.com/297sjmt - Yahoo News

Plein Air Painting Summer Show At Anasazi Heritage Center
The Plein Air Painters of the Four Corners will present their 2010 summer exhibition at the Anasazi Heritage Center from July 1 through September 6 (Labor Day). An opening reception will take place at the museum on July 4, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This will be a juried event. The paintings on exhibit will be offered for sale. Proceeds benefit both the artists and the nonprofit Canyonlands Natural History Association. The paintings will feature landscapes and features of the Four Corners area.

Preserving Navajo History In Canyon De Chelly
Every spring and summer, after the winter thaw allows, about a dozen Navajo families still return to their old homesteads at the bottom of Arizona's Canyon de Chelly. The canyon has cradled human civilization for thousands of years. Early Puebloans, ancestors of the Hopis, built cliff dwellings high in the sandstone alcoves. And the canyon has been a sacred refuge to the Navajos for centuries.

O'odham Saguaro Harvest Keeps Tribal Traditions Alive
At a small camp nestled at the end of a dirt road in the heart of Saguaro National Park, Stella Tucker keeps a time-honored tradition of the Tohono O’odham tribe alive. Every summer, Tucker and her family return to their small camp to gather fruit from the saguaro cactus until the monsoon rains come. Tucker uses saguaro fruit to make syrup, jam and a wine that is used in a Tohono O’odham wine ceremony.

Thanks to Jim Allison, Jeff Boyer, Terry Colvin, Adrianne Rankin, and Wolky Toll for contributing to this week's newsletter.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Join the Center for Desert Archaeology for a Special Presentation on Heritage Preservation

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

Join the Center for Desert Archaeology on July 8th for a Special Presentation with an International Perspective on Heritage Preservation
The Center for Desert Archaeology and the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation invite you to a special evening with Center member and distinguished guest Ian George, who will share an overview of England’s Inherited Landscape. Mr. George serves as Inspector of Ancient Monuments for English Heritage in the West Midlands. His presentation will take us on a journey through time to some of the most treasured features of England’s historic landscape. English Heritage is a national organization whose purpose resonates with that of the Center—championing special places, advising the government, sharing heritage widely now, and protecting it for the future. The program will be held in the Copper Hall of Tucson’s own landmark, the historic Hotel Congress. Admission is free. Guests are welcome to mingle and enjoy a no-host bar before and after the presentation, which will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Despite Public Objections, Santa Fe Indian School is Proceeding with Plans to Demolish Historic Paolo Soleri Amphitheater
A memorial to be held Sunday for former U.S. Interior Secretary Stewart Udall will be one of the last gatherings at the Paolo Soleri ampitheater in Santa Fe. The Santa Fe Indian School, will destroy the famous, half-century old amphitheater named for its designer, architect Paolo Soleri. The City of Santa Fe and the state Cultural Properties Review Committee asked the school to reverse its decision last week.
http://tinyurl.com/2vu87zk - New Mexico Independant

Excavations Continue on the Harris Site
For the fourth summer in a row, archeology students from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix have come to the Mimbres Valley to do field work and study the ancient culture of the Mimbres people. Barbara Roth of UNLV has been studying the Mimbres culture since 1992 and for the past four years has brought her students to excavate at the Harris Site, on the Stewart Ranch, recognized by archaeologists as the largest known pithouse village in the Mimbres area.

Students from the University of Texas at San Antonio Excavate Spanish Colonial Ranch
To the untrained eye, the grass-covered mounds at the end of County Road 144 could be mistaken for nothing more than a local dumping site or someone's abandoned, overgrown property. But these are actually the remains of the 18th century ranching outpost for San Antonio's Mission Espada. It was called Rancho de las Cabras, a settlement that once covered 1,000 acres of what was then the rugged terrain of northern New Spain.
http://tinyurl.com/237zqvt - My San Antonio.com

Efforts Continue to Nominate Route 66 to National Register of Historic Places
The California Preservation Foundation, the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, and consultant Mead & Hunt is to hold informational presentations June 14-17, along Route 66. The group is to visit Needles on June 17, with a meeting beginning at 6 p.m. in the Wagon Wheel restaurant, 2420 Needles Hwy. This will be the first visit by the project team to the route during a year-long process to complete a National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form.

Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission Helps to Renovate Historic Adobe Home
Last year, Black took her retirement nest egg and purchased almost 10 acres of south Phoenix farmland, vacant except for an old, neglected adobe Spanish colonial revival. With the help of her general contractor, Mike Schrader, they're removing and repairing years of water and fire damage and detrimental "improvements" by previous owners."I just feel it is what I was supposed to do," Black said. "I think it's going to be a beautiful new historic home for the city. I want it to be my retirement home."
http://tinyurl.com/2553tkk - Arizona Republic

Friends of Cedar Mesa Launch New Website
Celebrate Cedar Mesa" took place last Saturday in Bluff, Utah, organized by Friends of Cedar Mesa, Mark Meloy, and Bluff-area folks. It was good to see so many of you there. Now that Mark is off on his summer pro-fun circuit, I’d like to introduce you to the new Friends of Cedar Mesa website, http://cedarmesafriends.org. The group exists to promote stewardship of Cedar Mesa’s natural and cultural resources. We’ve posted some information and photos from the event, including some great links to archaeological research courtesy of Bill Lipe. Please bookmark the website—there’s much more information on the way.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Southwestern Archaeologist David Gregory Passes

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

Archaeologist David Gregory Passes
We are sad to report that on the evening of June 13, 2010, David A. Gregory passed away in Show Low, Arizona. Dave had been working from his home in Pinetop for the Center for Desert Archaeology and for Desert Archaeology, Inc. He had experienced a series of health complications in recent years, but he had always battled his way back from the brink.
Dave’s remarkable skills as a field archaeologist, his intelligence, and his broad mastery of the archaeological literature were applied with his signature intensity throughout his career. Mike Jacobs noted: “I have admired immensely his work, not only at Las Colinas, but especially his more recent work on Archaic and Early Agricultural Period sites here in Tucson and on the Zuni Origins book with Dave Wilcox. His collected body of work includes some really significant contributions that will stand as a tribute to him for years to come.” And Doug Craig summed things up in a grand, straightforward way: “I consider Dave to have been one of the great southwestern archaeologists of our generation.”
In order to continue to expand Dave’s already considerable legacy, the Center for Desert Archaeology has established the David A. Gregory Research Fund—a permanent, endowed fund. Contributions are tax deductible, and may be sent to: Center for Desert Archaeology, 300 North Ash Alley, Tucson, AZ 85701. Plans for a memorial service and celebration of Dave’s remarkable life are not final at this time. They will be announced here and as broadly as possible when they are final.

Archaeologist Gary Yancy Passes
The AAS received the sad news that Gary Yancy passed away on May 28th. He was a stalwart of the AAS, having served as our Chair beginning about 1989 and ending in 2003. He was a mentor, a cheerleader, keeping us supplied with enthusiasm and cheer. He traveled the whole state to visit every chapter.

Center for Desert Archaeology President William Doelle Testifies Before Congress on the Potential Benefits of Expanding Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
“The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument preserves the remains of an ancient Hohokam farming community and “Great House,” one of the largest prehistoric structures built in the United States. It is one of our most famous cultural landmarks and is prominent in Akimel O’odham, Tohono O’odham and Hopi oral traditions.”
http://tinyurl.com/cdarc-doelle-cg - Center for Desert Archaeology

Representative Kirkpatrick Argues for Expansion of Casa Grande Ruins National Moument
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick urged a House Natural Resources subcommittee to push forward on her legislation to expand the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in a hearing on that bill held Thursday. Her testimony before the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands pointed to the bill’s potential to grow the tourism industry and bring new jobs to the area while protecting a unique Arizona treasure.
http://tinyurl.com/2uafuq3 - Tri Valley Central
See Also http://tinyurl.com/cdarc-kirkpatrick - Center for Desert Archaeology

Stephanie Meeks Named New President of National Trust for Historic Preservation
Stephanie currently serves as president and CEO of Counterpart International, a $110 million development organization operating in 25 countries. She earlier spent 18 years at The Nature Conservancy, one of the largest and most influential conservation organizations in the world where she held a number of leadership positions including chief operating officer and, for nearly a year, acting president and CEO.

BYU Field School Excavating Fremont-Era Village
Named the Wolf Site, after the property owner, this Fremont village site dates to AD 1100. The site is relatively large and contains a mixture of adobe wall square house structures and round pithouse structures as well as adobe lined fire pits, fish and mammal bones, ancient corn, arrow points, arrow shaft straightener, shell beads groundstone, and pottery fragments.
http://tinyurl.com/byu-fremont-village - Examiner.com

Bridge to Gila Cliff Dwellings Now Open to Automobiles
The New Mexico State Department of Transportation staff has reopened the West Fork Bridge to vehicles, which means that visitors will now be able to drive directly to the Cliff Dwellings trailhead. Effective Friday, June 11 entrance fees, which had been waived since the bridge was closed, will resume at $3.00 for individuals over 16 years and $10.00 for families. For further information, please contact the Gila Visitor Center at (575) 536-9461.

Guided Tour of TJ Ruin Scheduled for July 17th
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument will offer a ranger-guided tour of the TJ Site on Saturday, July 17, 2010. Visitors to Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument have the unique opportunity to explore the TJ Site, an unexcavated surface pueblo that is usually closed to the public. This free tour of the TJ site will be offered on Saturday, July 17th at 11:00 a.m. and will last approximately 1 ½ hours. The tour is limited to 20 people and reservations should be made in advance by calling the Gila Visitor Center at (575) 536-9461

Santa Clara Man Accidentally Unearths Ancient Human Remains
A man digging in his yard in Santa Clara unearthed a human skull that has been determined by the New Mexico Office of Medical Investigator to be ancient remains. On Friday, a resident of Cleveland Street in Santa Clara was building forms to pour concrete to build an addition to his home when he struck something hard while digging and started to dig it up, OMI Field Deputy Melissa Arzaga said.

A Cooler Pacific May Have Severely Affected Medieval Europe, Southwest North America
June 10, 2010 — A new study has found a connection between La Nina-like sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific and droughts in western Europe and in what later became the southwestern United States.
http://tinyurl.com/38nscbv - National Geographic

Prehistoric pet? Dog burial found in Orange County
It might have been a treasured pet, or the victim of traditional destruction of property after its owner's death. The reason for its burial remains a mystery. But 18 centuries ago, someone carefully positioned the body of a small dog in what was likely a shallow grave in the marshlands of Laguna Canyon, then turned over a stone grinding bowl to cover the animal.

Travelogue - Stepping Back in Time at Chimayo N.M.
In the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains along the high road to Taos, N.M., the brown paths winding into ChimayĆ³ match the tan buildings and lend a timeless look. About 30 miles north of Santa Fe, ChimayĆ³ is a treasure of ancient cultures, mountain scenery and Mediterranean climate.
http://tinyurl.com/385pqwh - Dallas Morning News

Lecture Opportunity (Tucson)
Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh will present the monthly Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society Lecture, "Massacre at Camp Grant: Forgetting and Remembering Apache History". The lecture will be June 21st at 7:30 pm at DuVal Auditorium, UMC, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. Free and open to the public.
http://tinyurl.com/aahs-chip - Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society

Archaeology of the Aegean is the Latest Feature on the Archaeology Channel
Nowhere is the imprint of ancient human activity more visibly evident than in the Aegean region of today’s Turkey. You can witness a remarkable series of well preserved, substantial, impressive, and well documented ancient cities and buildings from the Classical world–and the modern context in which they exist--in The Aegean, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel.

Thanks to Adriane Rankin for contributions to today's newsletter.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Utah Family Helps to Excavate Ancestral Home

Archaeology Making the News, a Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology

Utah Family Helps to Excavate Ancestral Home
On Saturday, many descendants of the Benjamin F Johnson and Joel H. Johnson families gathered to assist the Uinta National Forest Archaeologist, Charmaine Thompson, and the local residents of Spring Lake with the excavation of the foundation of the B. F. Johnson home. Because The home was so large and made of adobe's, it was dubbed the "Mud Castle," and is located between Payson and Santaquin, Utah, on the East side of highway 6.
http://tinyurl.com/2f4tswm - Daily Herald

NBC News Covers Arizona State Parks Crisis
"It would make it very easy for illegal collectors to come in here and dig up the sites and do irreperable damage." - Karen Berggren, former Homolovi Ruins State Park Manager.

BLM’s El Malpais National Conservation Area Presents the Next Chapter of "Walking with the Ancestors" Hikes
Celebrate Summer Solstice and beat the heat with a sunrise hike to possible solstice-marking petroglyphs and the mesa top site, Citadel. Discover El Malpais secret cool weather and the active time for its wildlife. The hike will be held on Saturday, June 19th.

New Issue of Preserve America Newsletter Available
This issue focuses upon the selection of Wayne Donaldson as the new chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the termination of Preserve America Funding.

Avocational Archaeologist Rex Owens Donates Research Materials to Thatcher Museum
The personal notes and books of amateur archaeologist Rex Owens of Eden are at the Graham County Historical Society Museum in Thatcher. Though not on display yet, the donated items are being cataloged by museum volunteers and will soon be a welcome addition to reference and research materials housed in the museum, said Hal Herbert, museum historian.

X-Rays Fail to Find Clovis Tool Remnants in Controversial Ancient Bison Remains
Architect (sic) Steve Kenady examined the bones of an ancient, extinct giant bison by x-ray today at Orcas Family Health Center, unarguably the clinic's oldest "patient". Kenady was checking for remnants of stone tools that could have been used to slaughter the animal, but the scans revealed nothing but bison bone. The discovery roughly three years ago piqued curiosity in the global scientific community, inspiring new theories of human migration to the Pacific coast because some of the bones bear the marks of human butchery using stone tools. Earlier theories had maintained that the Clovis people were the earliest inhabitants of the region, but the bones, estimated by radiocarbon dating in an Irvine lab to be roughly 14,000 years old, pre-date the Clovis era by 800 years.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Arizona Archaeology Council Publishes Statement on Arizona State Park Closures

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

Arizona Archaeology Council Publishes Statement on Arizona Park Closures
The Arizona Archaeological Council (AAC) writes to you as a state-wide organization of professional archaeologists whom have expressed considerable concern for the fate of cultural resources in state parks being affected by the current economic crisis. We understand that economic changes are forcing the State of Arizona to make difficult decisions and severe cuts, and the state parks have suffered disproportionately as a result. To this end, the AAC would like to make a position statement regarding, and offer assistance with, the protection and continued diligent management of cultural resources held in trust at Arizona’s State Parks.
http://tinyurl.com/aac-az-state-parks - Arizona Archaeology Council

12th Annual Meeting of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers Scheduled
Information on the 12th Annual NATHPO Meeting that will be hosted by the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin the week of August 9, 2010, is now on the NATHPO website. This year's theme is "Respecting our Heritage, Protecting our Quality of Life, Strengthening our Future." Our children and young people of today are the future cultural leaders of tomorrow. Our decision to highlight Native youth – in addition to our annual discussions on current cultural preservation issues – is to encourage Native communities to continue preserving, protecting, and rejuvenating their respective languages and traditional lifestyles and unique cultures. We will be showcasing Native youth programs and hope that Native youth from across the country will be able to join us.

New Publication Summarizes Clovis Technologies
A new book on the stone and bone tool technologies of Clovis culture of 13,500 years ago, published by faculty at Texas State University, is the first complete examination of the tools themselves and how the Clovis culture used them and transmitted their production. The book, “Clovis Technology (International Monographs in Prehistory, Archaeological Series 17),” covers the Clovis culture's making and use of stone blades, bi-faces and small tools as well as artifacts such as projectile points, rods, daggers, awls, needles, handles, hooks and ornaments made from bone, ivory, antler and teeth.
http://tinyurl.com/clovis-tech - San Marcos Daily Record

Learn More About Stone Tool Technologies at the Valles Caldera National Preserve
Stone tool "flintknapping" and atlatl-throwing demonstration in the Valle Grande, Sunday May 30, 2010, Valles Caldera National Preserve. Come out to the Valles Caldera National Preserve and spend a day with skilled flintknappers demonstrating how tools
are made from obsidian.

Bill Introduced to Transfer the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the National Park Service
Management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve would be transferred to the National Park Service under legislation by New Mexico's senators. Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, both D-N.M., introduced the measure Thursday. According to a Government Accountability Office report, the northern New Mexico preserve is years behind schedule in developing a management control system, and a path to be financially self-sustained by 2015 will be a major challenge.

Lecture Opportunity (Irvine, CA) - Life by the Lakes in Laguna Canyon
The Pacific Coast Archaeological Society's June 10th meeting will feature Roderic McLean, Paul E. Langenwalter II, and Joyce Stanfield Perry speaking on “Buried Sites Archaeology: Life by the Lakes in Laguna Canyon during the Intermediate and Late Prehistoric Period.” Meeting information: Thursday, June 10, 2010, 7:30 pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA. Meeting is free and open to the public.

The Ancient Maya Developed Rubber Compounds Hundreds of Year Before Goodyear
The researchers "have compiled a compelling case that ancient Mesoamerican peoples were the first polymer scientists, exerting substantial control over the mechanical properties of rubber for various applications," said materials scientist John McCloy of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who was not involved in the research.

"I told you I was sick" - The Last Wish of James Deetz
It was those close family ties that inspired Wheelock to carve Deetz's gravestone. Though he had no formal training in stone carving, he decided to do research and carve a replica of Deetz's favorite. That stone, which marks the grave of Elizabeth Tillson, is on Burial Hill in Plymouth, the cemetery where some of the first English colonists are buried. He found the reference to the Tillson stone in Deetz's book, "In Small Things Forgotten," which has a section on stones and stone carvers, he said. "I tried to research the cutter and it was in my house all along," he said

Thanks to Gerald Kelso for contributing to today's newsletter.