Friday, September 24, 2010

Politics Push Back Bill to Expand Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

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

Politics Push Back Bill to Expand Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument expansion bill (HR 5110) received a substantial majority of votes on Thursday (Sept. 23), with 244 votes for, and 174 votes against. However, the bill was considered under “suspension,” which requires a two-thirds majority. The bill did not reach that threshold, so it failed. - Center for Desert Archaeology = Arizona Republic

Arizona Republic Advocates Expansion of Casa Grande Ruins
The U.S. House of Representatives is taking a recorded vote today on a proposal to expand the boundaries of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. If any bill should be a slam dunk, this is it. The significance of the site was obvious more than a century ago, when it became America's first archaeological reserve in 1892. It was designated as a national monument in 1918. - Arizona Republic

The Site of a Coronado Skirmish Uncovered in New Mexico
A battleground in the first major conflict between Europeans and Native Americans in what would become the U.S. Southwest is a vacant lot on the west side of Albuquerque. For a century, archaeologists and pot hunters have known of the ruins called Piedras Marcadas ("marked boulders") — once one of at least a dozen thriving Tiwa-speaking villages in the central valley of the Rio Grande, known collectively as Tiguex (pronounced tee-wesh). - Santa Fe New Mexican

Archaeologists Claim Evidence for "Genocide" at Small Pit House Village
Crushed leg bones, battered skulls and other mutilated human remains are likely all that's left of a Native American population destroyed by genocide that took place circa 800 A.D., suggests a new study. The paper, accepted for publication in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, describes the single largest deposit to date of mutilated and processed human remains in the American Southwest.

Field School Students Excavate Folsom Site Near Albuquerque
Imagine finding evidence of one of the first human groups known to have traveled through the middle Rio Grande Valley in the Southwestern United States. That’s what students in Anthropology 375/575 did this summer as they excavated a Folsom site on a mesa west of Albuquerque. It was named Deann’s site after Deann Muller, the student who found it during a survey of the area in 2001. - University of New Mexico

Don Garate Passes
Don Garate, a Rio Rico resident known for his colorful depictions of Juan Bautista de Anza II, died Tuesday of brain cancer at his son Gene’s home in Kansas. He was 59. While depicting Anza II, a Spanish captain who led an expedition in 1775 from Tubac to establish the first overland route to present-day San Francisco, Garate appeared in full costume with a red-trimmed navy blue cape and a black hat, sometimes on horseback. - The Nogales International

(Related Story) A Tribute to Don Garate's Final Performance as Juan Bautista De Anza Available on Youtube
F or over 25 years Don Garate has played the role of Juan Bautista de Anza for the National Park Service, Tumacacori National Historic Park. He has embodied the legacy of Anza for us all to enjoy today. Presented here is a five minute tribute to Don excerpted from an in-production video on Anza, "Legacy of a Journey" being prepared for the Park Service for distribution in the summer of 2011.

Paul S. Martin Passes
Paul S. Martin developed the idea that early humans had hunted North America's Ice Age big game, including ground sloths, camels, mammoths and mastodons, to extinction. Paul S. Martin, the University of Arizona geoscientist who developed the idea that overhunting drove North America's large Ice Age mammals extinct, died Sept. 13 at his home in Tucson, Ariz. He was 82.

The Ancient City Underneath Phoenix
My hometown is greater Phoenix. Peel back just the top couple of feet there, and you'll find the remnants of a sprawling society of farmers who lived in adobe villages a thousand years ago.

Native American Cultural Preservation - Without a Casino
Like other native Americans, the Hopi of Arizona have faced adversity, including seeing their homeland, or tutsqua, shrink from more than 18 million acres to 1.5 million acres today. Hopi groups disagree about how to preserve their culture: Build a casino or remain gambling-free? Encourage tourists or restrict them? Their responses have stayed on the conservative side – they have twice voted down building a casino. But now, with the support of their tribal government, the progressive Upper Moenkopi have built the first major Hopi hotel, the Moenkopi Legacy Inn near Tuba City. - The Christian Science Monitor

Astronomy Evening At Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
Saturday, October 2, 2010 - Take advantage of New Mexico’s magnificent dark skies by attending the season’s final astronomy evening at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument on Saturday, October 2nd beginning at 5:00 p.m. - Ms Word Document\

The Story of George Hubbard Pepper
George Hubbard Pepper (1873-1924) landed a very big job anthropologically speaking. He directed the excavation of one of the wonders of the American West, Pueblo Bonito, the 800-room Native American brick complex built 1200 years ago in the Arizona (sic) desert.

Nanodiamonds Discovered in Greenland Ice Sheet, Contribute to Evidence for Cosmic Impact
Nanosize diamonds have been discovered in the Greenland ice sheet, according to a study reported by scientists in a recent online publication of the Journal of Glaciology. The finding adds credence to the controversial hypothesis that fragments of a comet struck across North America and Europe approximately 12,900 years ago.

National Park's Entrance Fees Waived this Saturday
This Saturday, Sept 25, the National Park Service is offering free access to 392 national parks to commemorate National Public Lands Day, reports the America's Great Outdoors Campaign, a community-based conservation awareness effort.

2011 Pecos Conference to be held on the Arizona Strip
The 2011 Pecos Conference of Southwestern Archaeology will be held in the Kaibab National Forest on the “Arizona Strip,” north and west of the Colorado River, August 11-14. The site is an open park at Mile-and-a-half Lake, 8 miles south of Jacob Lake and 2.5 miles west of SR 67. Jacob Lake is located at the intersection of US 89A and SR67 between Lee’s Ferry and Fredonia. Individuals and organizations interested in assisting in the organization as partners, sponsors, or vendors may contact David Purcell at Additional information will be released as it is available through this channel and the conference website, which is in development. Please prepare for a celebration of the archaeology and history of the Arizona Strip, southwestern Utah, and southern Nevada in the 99th year of Arizona Statehood!

First Archaeology Expo Planning Meeting for the 2011 Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month.
This coming Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 1:00 PM at the Deer Valley Rock Art Center, 3711 W Deer Valley Rd in Glendale, AZ. Please come and share your ideas as the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) initiates planning for the 2011 Arizona Archaeology Expo that will be held on March 26-27, 2011 at the Deer Valley Rock Art Center (Center) in Glendale. We will be touring the Center’s grounds, exchanging ideas with the various partners, discussing programming, publicity, lay out and organization, sponsors, funding, off-site activities, etc. The SHPO values our partnerships with you – we hope to see you at this meeting, and at future planning efforts, for the 2011 Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month public programming. For More Information, Please Contact: Ann Howard, Public Archaeology Programs Manager State Historic Preservation Office 602/542-7138,

Lecture Opportunity: Tubac
The Hohokam Southern Frontier Revisited: Recent Excavations at the Continental Site in Green Valley. Thursday October 14, 2010, 7 PM at Santa Cruz County’s North County Facility 50 Bridge Road, Tubac, Az. This presentation at the Santa Cruz Valley Chapter, Arizona Archaeological Society monthly meeting will illustrate and discuss all of the archaeological investigations that have been conducted at the Continental prehistoric site. Despite the toll that historic and modern developments have taken on this site, more than 100 intact archaeological features have been found still buried there, and 44 of those features have been excavated. southern_hohokam_frontier.pdf

Hiking Opportunity: Chaco Migrants Meet Mountain Mogollon
Saturday, 16 October, 2010. Find out about two great ancestral cultures. Decide if this is where they met, whether they got along, how they differ, and why they chose here. Dittert Site. 4 mile hike. 5 hours. 9 AM El Malpais NCA Ranger Station. Grants, New Mexico. 505.280.2918

Reminder - Only one week left to submit proposals for the Arizona History Conference. Proposals must be submitted by October 1, 2010, to Bruce J. Dinges, c/o Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. 2nd St., Tucson, AZ 85719. Only one proposal per presenter. Include name, address, phone number, and biographical information, along with title of presentation and no more than one page of description.

Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl and Adrianne Rankin for contributing to today's newsletter.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ray Thompson to Speak at Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society Meeting

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

Ray Thompson to Speak at Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society Meeting (Tucson)
Dr. Thompson will be presenting the monthly AAHS lecture on Monday, Sept 20th at 7:30 pm in DuVal Auditorium, UMC, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. Dr. Thompson's will share his stories of southwestern archaeology in a talk entitled "The Real Dirt of Southwestern Archaeology: Tall Tales from the Good Old Days." The event is free and open to the public.

San Xavier - "A Gift of Angels"
It’s possible to become so familiar with something that we begin to take it for granted. We begin to overlook the meaning and the beauty that is present in the details. Bernard Fontana is a leading authority on Mission San Xavier del Bac, and the author of A Gift of Angels. “It was a huge undertaking,” he says, “to photograph the building and façade in detail.” Bernard, or "Bunny," to you and I, has been quite curious about this church for many decades, and he’s devoted a large part of his life to the scholarly interpretation of the San Xavier del Bac.

Huhugam Ki Museum Lecture Series Begins at the Salt River Maricopa Community Building "Onk Akimel–Va Shly’ay" Huhugam Ki Museum presents 3 nights of community talks, starting Thursday Sept. 30, 2010. “Finding Traces of Our Past: What Will Your Grandchildren Tell Their Grandchildren?” will be presented at the SRPMIC Cultural Preservation Program and Archaeology Program, Salt River Community Building, Longmore and McDowell from 6;00pm to 8;00pm. Light supper served at 5:30pm

Gary Nabhan to Speak at the Arizona Humanities Council's 2010 Lorraine W. Frank Lecture (Tucson)
The Arizona Humanities Council is proud to announce that this year's featured speaker is Gary Paul Nabhan. Gary Nabhan is an internationally known writer, lecturer, food and farming advocate whose work has long been rooted in the U.S. / Mexico borderlands region. He is a Research Social Scientist at the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona. The talk will be held at the Leo Rich Theater in Tucson, Friday, Oct 22, 2010 with the reception starting at 5:30 pm. The lecture will begin at 6:30. This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested at the link below.

NATHPO Training Program on Dangerous Chemicals in Artifacts Offered
Many museum collections were treated with pesticides to preserve them. Often there are no records and staff is unaware of what might be on the collection or how it may affect researchers. This class is designed for museum curators and others who work with Native American and ethnographic collections. It details methods to mitigate hazards from chemicals and pesticides and health issues stemming from their use on artifacts. Participants in Dangerous Materials: Chemical Poisons in Native American and Ethnographic Artifacts work through sections on their own. Materials and resources include online literature, slide lectures and dialog between students and the instructor through online forums. The course is limited to 20 participants. The instructor, Dr. Nancy Odegaard is the Conservator and Head of the Preservation Division for Arizona State Museum. She is also a Professor in the Department of Anthropology. Nancy manages and supervises staff and programs in the conservation lab, advises on museum environmental issues, and seeks to promote the preservation of collections through improved exhibition and storage conditions. Registration deadline is Friday, Sept 24th, 2010.

Archaeo-Nevada Society Begins this Year's Lecture Series
The Archaeo-Nevada Society started its 2010-2011 season with its first meeting Sept. 9th with a talk given by Mark Boatright BLM Archaeologist for Redrock Canyon National Conservation Area. His talked was about the archaeological happenings a at the conservation area with an emphasis on the rock rings throughout the area. The Society meets monthly September through May on the second Thursday at 7 pm on the College of Southern Nevada West Charleston Campus in building K room 228. All are welcome for our monthly lectures. Octobers meeting will feature Chuck Williams from the Redrock Canyon Interpretive Association discussing the rockart in Redrock Canyon. For information about membership contact Bruce Holloway at

Rock Art Symposium Announcement
Rock Art 2010, the 35th annual Rock Art Symposium presented by the San Diego Museum of Man, will meet on Saturday, November 6, 2010, at the Otto Center at the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd. in San Diego's Balboa Park. This day-long event offers participants the opportunity to share in the results of rock art research around the globe, presented in slide-illustrated lectures. Registration is $40 for students and Museum members, $50 for general admission, including a commemorative ceramic mug. The Rock Art 2010 Flyer with registration information and directions to the Symposium is now available at the link below.

Rock Art Symposium Call for Papers
If you have rock art research to report, or a new discovery to announce to the world, we are accepting proposals for Rock Art 2010 papers until available time on the program is filled. To submit a paper, send the title and a brief abstract by e-mail to <> no later than October 30, 2010. E-mail is preferred, but abstracts can be mailed if necessary to Ken Hedges at the San Diego Museum of Man, 1350 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

National Register Report
Congratulations to Pima County's Robles Ranch House, for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

Public Archaeology at Fort St. Joseph is the Latest Feature on the Archaeology Channel
Engaging the public in an archaeological project requires some stimulation of the imagination. As an example, the field school team at Fort St. Joseph in western Michigan take the public back to French colonial times in Making the Past Come Alive: Public Archaeology at Fort St. Joseph, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel. Fort St. Joseph, begun as a French Jesuit mission in the 1680s, was one of the earliest European settlements in the western Great Lakes and an important link among the remote settlements of New France. For almost 80 years, French priests, enlisted men, and traders lived here closely with the native Potowatomi and Miami. After 1781, the fort eventually eroded away and its location was forgotten until its relocation by the Western Michigan University field School. WMU now carries out a very active public archaeology program at the site.

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

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Archaeological Institute that Helped Define Santa Fe

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

The Archaeological Institute that Helped Define Santa Fe
Adolph Bandelier was broke. Although he had received a $1,200 grant to explore the indigenous peoples and wondrous ruins of New Mexico, that money went quickly to travel and supplies. Exasperated, curious and probably a little bitter, Bandelier investigated the disbursements of funds dedicated to archaeology by American institutions. The vast majority of gifts and funds, he found, went to classics, the study of ancient civilizations in Europe. Very little money and very little attention went to scholarship of American antiquities. The United States needed a center for its own archaeology.

Archaeology Cafe Tonight in Tucson
The next Archaeology Café will convene on Tuesday, September 7, 2010. We will be joined by a panel of archaeologists from William Self Associates, Inc., who will discuss their work at the Marsh Station Road (MSR) site. This 20-acre site is located near the confluence of Cienega Creek and Mescal Wash, southeast of Tucson. MSR was inhabited at several points in time between 1050 B.C. and A.D. 1400. The panel—which will be led by project director Michael Boley—will share what they have learned about life and subsistence at MSR, especially during the Early Agricultural and Hohokam Sedentary (Middle Rincon) periods. Their findings have implications for use of the “hinterlands” concept in Hohokam archaeology in the region. - Center for Desert Archaeology

Tribes Seek Faster Repatriation of their Ancestors' Remains
Amid the broken treaties, confiscated lands and other injustices that Native Americans have endured at the hands of white people, few are as personal as the removal of their buried ancestors. For a culture that assigns special meaning to burial rites, it's been painful, Native Americans say, knowing that the remains of tens of thousands of their ancestors have been unearthed, carted off and kept in various federal agencies, museums and other institutions - and not being able to do much about it.

Impact Hypothesis Loses Its Sparkle: Shock-Synthesized Diamonds Not Found
About 12,900 years ago, a sudden cold snap interrupted the gradual warming that had followed the last Ice Age. The cold lasted for the 1,300-year interval known as the Younger Dryas (YD) before the climate began to warm again. In the August 30 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of scientists led by Tyrone Daulton, PhD, a research scientist in the physics department at Washington University in St. Louis, reported that they could find no diamonds in YD boundary layer material.

Lima Beans Domesticated Twice
Lima beans were domesticated at least twice, according to a new genetic diversity study by Colombian scientists. Big seeded varieties known as "Big Lima" were domesticated in the Andean Mountains, while small seeded "Sieva" and "Potato" varieties originated in central-western Mexico.The researchers also discovered a "founder effect," which is a severe reduction in genetic diversity due to domestication. This means that today's Lima bean varieties contain only a small fraction of the genetic diversity present in their respective wild ancestors.

Sacred Site gets Respite
PALA, Calif. – A site in rural San Diego County deemed culturally and environmentally sensitive by Indians was given a respite Aug. 5 from being turned into a landfill. The Pala Band of Mission Indians, whose community sits two miles away from the site, and an environmental group, objected to the application to operate the proposed 1,770-acre landfill filed from Gregory Canyon Landfill Ltd of San Diego, the tribe said in a press release. A San Diego County public agency rescinded its previous green light on the application after the tribe and the Natural Resources Defense Council pointed out the lack of financial responsibility and other inaccuracies in the application, the tribe said in the press release. - Indian Country Today

Supaulovi Village and the City of Winslow Host Suvoyuki Day Celebrations
Sipaulovi Village hosts Suvoyuki Day on Sunday, September 12, 2010 at Hopi Second Mesa in northeastern Arizona. The day begins at 5:00 a.m. MST with registration for the 5-mile traditional foot race and 2-mile fun run and walk. From 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. MST, enjoy the Food and Artists Market, walking tours, and lectures. All events originate at the Sipaulovi Visitor Center on Second Mesa and are open to the public. Follow signs from the Highway 264/87 junction to the village. MS Word Document

2011 - Arizona Archaeology And Heritage Awareness Month Poster Design Competition
The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is pleased to announce a call for original designs to be used on the 2011 Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month (AAHAM) poster. The winning poster design will receive $250.00! In addition to being featured on the AAHAM poster, the chosen design will also be utilized on other 2011 AAHAM publicity tools, e.g., the statewide Listing of Events brochure, bookmarks, websites, and other venues/materials to be determined by the SHPO. The poster design should address the theme for the month: “Arizona Through Time: Stories of Stone” - MS Word Document

Coffee with the Curators at ASM
Join us Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 3 Pm in the Arizona State Museum Library for a cup of coffee and an informal conversation with one of our curators! Dr. Dale Brenneman, assistant curator of documentary history, talks about the challenges—and the fun—of working with Spanish colonial documents to research the history of Native peoples. Enjoy freshly brewed coffee donated by Tucson Mountain Coffee Roasters and a delicious assortment of cookies donated by Paradise Bakery and Café. Future conversations on Oct 6, Nov 3, and Dec 1.

Publication Announcement - Leaving Mesa Verde - Peril and Change in the Thirteenth-Century Southwest
Crow Canyon is pleased to announce the publication of Leaving Mesa Verde: Peril and Change in the Thirteenth-Century Southwest. The 14-chapter volume, published by the University of Arizona Press, is edited by Dr. Timothy Kohler, regents professor at Washington State University (WSU) and a Crow Canyon research associate; Dr. Mark Varien, Crow Canyon vice president of programs; and Aaron Wright, a Ph.D. student at WSU and a preservation fellow at the Center for Desert Archaeology. As the title suggests, the book examines the depopulation of the northern Southwest, with a focus on the Mesa Verde region.,0,w

Hiking Opportunity - 1230 to 1930. How Much has Changed
Grants, New Mexico – Saturday, September 11 - Hike from the stunning Lobo Canyon petroglyphs into the heart of BLM El Malpais NCA wilderness. End at a homestead built on a “Mogasazi” site in Mexican Spotted Owl habitat. Look for evidence that technology in the 1230s was more helpful than in the 1930s.

Lecture Opportunity (Irvine CA)
The Pacific Coast Archaeological Society's September 9th meeting will feature Dr. John Collins speaking on “An Introduction to Southwest and Southern California Indian Baskets.” Meeting information: Thursday, September 9, 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 information follow the link below.

Travelogue - Navajo National Monument
The visitor center at Navajo National Monument traces the history and culture of both the ancient cliff dwellers and the Navajo Nation through displays of centuries-old pottery; sandals, cord, cloth and baskets woven from fibers of native plants; flaked stone tools; wooden utensils; shell, bone and turquoise beads and ornaments; and demonstrations by contemporary Navajo artisans of such traditional crafts as rug-weaving. - The Chieftan.Com

Travelogue - Mesa Verde
There's no time to be nervous. The kids charge ahead up the 32-foot ladder, squeezing through a narrow, 12-foot tunnel, walking in toeholds carved into dusty sandstone. Imagine if you could only get into your office or house via toeholds carved into rock. Imagine cooking by tossing a hot rock into a waterproofed basket filled with stew fixings and grinding corn with a rock. Imagine living with your family in small stone rooms. Imagine no TV or video games to entertain the kids — just stories passed down from generation to generation.

Thanks to Adrianne Rankin for Contributions to Today's Newsletter.