Archaeology Making the News – A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology
– Site Stewards – Guardians of the Past : Clay Johnston distributed propane in Arizona for 25 years before retiring to a hamlet up the road from Bloomfield, in the northwestern corner of his home state of New Mexico. There the tall, gray-haired retiree spends much of his time outdoors, hunting and fishing in the mountains and streams of the San Juan Basin. Johnston is part of a new movement in American archaeology: the growing reliance of government archaeologists on local volunteers to help monitor the millions of sites on state, federal, and sometimes private land. Stewards both report on natural damage to sites and alert officials to looting. As members of a local community, they are more likely to hear about recently looted sites than archaeologists are.
– Lava Bombs, Corn Rocks and Hopi Ancestors at Sunset Crater: The blobs of rock near Sunset Crater look like corn cobs. Wendell Duffield says that is no accident. “They are samples of basalt lava that were formed during Sunset eruption,” he says. “They contain perfect molds of Hopi corn. The idea is that during the eruption, when it was safe to get up close, the Native Americans in the area made offerings of corn. Some of the blobs splashed down and solidified around the corn.”
– Lecture on Hohokam Art and Culture (Tucson): Western National Parks Association Store, 12880 N. Vistoso Village Drive, Oro Valley. Archaeologist Allen Dart illustrates the material culture of the Hohokam and presents possible interpretations about their world. The program includes slides and prehistoric artifacts. Reservations required. Noon and 2 p.m. Dec. 21. Free. 622-6014.
– Sony using Blogs Dealing with Fake Archaeological Sites to Market Video Game: The blog sites look suitably amateur in nature (i.e. the types of sites you would expect professional field researchers to create) but the evidence portrayed in these sites appear to be fairly sophisticated archaeological/paleontological forgeries.