– Preservation: National Trust for Historic Preservation releases list of America’s “Most Endangered Historic Places.”
– Museums in the News (Payson, Az): Museum showcases Rim country archaeology. http://www.azcentral.com/travel/arizona/northern/nc-rimcountry.html
– Soil Analysis: Brian Kenny asks if this might be an ideal tool to tie pothunted artifacts to public lands? — Bacterial soil analysis techniques aim to use soil and the bugs within it as a new ‘fingerprint’ for crime. It is easy to show whether any two samples are the same. The system uses DNA analysis of the bacteria in soil to match samples. The beauty of the technique is that it is easy to show a jury whether any two samples are the same. Crucial to the analysis is the scientists’ belief that soil samples will be unique to a specific location.
– Newsletter, Texas Historical Comission: New Issue of “The Medallion”
– Public Lecture (Tucson): Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s First Mondays archaeology & culture education presentation: “Archaeological Mounds, Migrants, and Mystery in the San Pedro Valley” by archaeologist Dr. Jeffery J. Clark Monday June 6, 2005.
“Archaeological Mounds, Migrants, and Mystery in the San Pedro Valley” presentation at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 5100 W. Ina Road Bldg. 8, Tucson. 7:30 to 9 p.m Free. Dr. Jeffery J. Clark, a preservation archaeologist for Tucson’s Center for Desert Archaeology, discusses how the late prehistoric period in Arizona’s northern San Pedro Valley is a fascinating tale of migration, conflict, and cooperation, and the birth of a new cultural identity that archaeologists have called the “Salado.” No reservations needed. 798-1201
Each First Mondays presentation is held in the Old Pueblo Archaeology Center Auditorium, 5100 W. Ina Road, Bldg. 8, in the Marana Town Limits, Arizona (in the northwestern Tucson metropolitan area) beginning at 7:30 p.m. For program or meeting place details contact Old Pueblo at Tucson telephone 520-798-1201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Guest Editorial, Treatment of Rock Art, by Carol Georgopoulos: We were pleased to see in the Summer 2005 issue of New Mexico WILD (p. 5) that the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is working to document the rock art on Otero Mesa. This is important work, especially in view of the fed’s plans to lease oil-drilling rights on the mesa. However, it was distressing to see that both photos illustrating this article showed violations of rock art site visitation ethics.
In the top photo, someone is standing on a rock covered with glyphs, and the photo was apparently taken by standing on a nearby rock. We know the rock in this photo (on Alamo Mountain); as can be seen, it has already flaked into several large slices and many small parts.
In the bottom photo, a person is leaning against a large rock also covered with glyphs, another rock that we know well enough to know that this person is leaning against petroglyphs. Any reputable rock art research group knows, and will tell you, and has incorporated into its ethics statement, that you NEVER TOUCH ROCK ART! This includes standing, leaning, brushing, tracing, chalking, touching with pointed finger, or by any other means. The top photo shows dramatically how fragile rock art is. It can be damaged in many ways, and human intervention is now probably the largest factor in its demise. Photograph it, draw it, GPS it, but don’t contact it in any way. This applies also to the rocks the art is on, as touch can accelerate spalling, erosion, growth of lichen, and fading of the glyphs.
Please inform your participants never to touch, climb on, or contact rock art. Pretend there is an invisible shield around it! Check with the Archaeological Society of New Mexico, whose methods you are using, about their rock art visitation ethics.