Archaeology making the news — a service of the Center for Desert Archaeology.
– New Mexican Archaeologist Finalist for National Public Service Award: John Schelberg is one of thirty finalists for the seven Service to America Medals, and has been instrumental in the recognition of Chaco Canyon as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
– Urban Sprawl (Arizona): Documentation of the growth of Arizona’s urban communities.
– Consequences of Growth (Arizona): The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is facing financial problems and a growing population in the West that is putting greater demand on public lands, said the new director of the agency’s recently established Gila District.
– Oil and Gas Development within Canyon of the Ancients National Monuments (Colorado): With monument lands totaling about 143,000 acres, 81 percent of the area is leased for oil and gas development, according to a U.S. Bureau of Land Management development report. That leaves approximately 19 percent, or 34,000 acres, unleased.
– Anasazi Heritage Center Reopens (Colorado): The Bureau of Land Management Anasazi Heritage Center will reopen to the public on Friday, July 1, resuming its normal summer schedule of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week. The museum will be open daily throughout the Fourth of July weekend. The Anasazi Heritage Center is also the main information source for visitors to Canyons of the Ancient National Monument. An ongoing roof repair project has closed the museum since mid-June. The Main Gallery will remain closed while work proceeds overhead, but will reopen as soon as possible. Areas presently open include the Escalante Pueblo trail; movie theater; museum store; and exhibit spaces featuring ancient kiva murals, Dolores Valley history, and Canyons of the Ancients. Admission will be free until the Main Gallery is reopened and available for public viewing.
Daily guided tours to Escalante Pueblo will resume and continue through July. Tours begin at the Heritage Center at 9:30 a.m. and walk up the half-mile paved nature trail to Escalante Pueblo. The walk includes information about Escalante, a community center occupied around AD 1120; a show-and-tell of photos of site artifacts, a beautiful overlook of McPhee reservoir, and a 360 degree view of the Four Corners region. Additional staff-guided archaeology and cultural programs will occur intermittently; visitors should check at the front desk upon arrival.
In addition to its many exhibits, the Anasazi Heritage Center is a research center and a repository for all artifacts and records from archaeological projects on public land in southwestern Colorado. “This collection is public property, and we are responsible for its long-term safekeeping,” said LouAnn Jacobson, the Center’s director and manager for Canyons of the Ancients. “Temporarily closing our doors in midsummer was an inconvenient and difficult decision, but preservation is always our first priority.” In recent years the Center has been plagued with roof leaks that could not be fixed without an overall roof replacement.
A special exhibition of Navajo blankets from Teec Nos Pos, a community near the Four Corners, will open as soon as conditions permit. Entitled “Trees on a Circle,” this spectacular textile collection was assembled over generations by the Foutz family of Farmington, New Mexico. It will be on loan from Farmington’s Gateway Museum through September 10. Other, future scheduled public events include:
— archaeologist Donna Glowacki’s view of Ancestral Puebloan politics and society during the mass exodus of the late 1200s (July 30th at 2:00 p.m.)
— Hopi kachina carver Wallace Hyeoma discussing his spiritual tradition (August 5 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.)
— Navajo weaver Roy Kady, demonstrating his art while explaining its cultural background (August 6th from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.).
The Anasazi Heritage Center is 10 miles north of Cortez or 3 miles west of Dolores on State Highway 184. Exhibits and public programs are made possible by visitor admissions and donations. For more information, call (970) 882-5600 or visit the center’s web site at http://www.co.blm.gov/ahc.
Note: All BLM web-pages regarding the Anasazi Heritage Center are offline, and have been for several weeks.