Archaeology Making the News – A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology
– Innovative Research Program Aims to Reconstruct Ancient Trade of Maize in the Southwest: The field in Farmington wasn’t full of flowers, but 155 types of corn collected from Southwestern tribes in the past 50 years. New Mexico State University is helping Iowa State University and the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Colorado grow, study and catalog that corn so archaeologists can compare it with corn found in the prehistoric record. “Corn has a long history with humans – probably a 10,000-year history,” said Karen Adams, director of environmental archaeology at Crow Canyon. “It probably was developed by people in Mexico that long ago and eventually came up into the American Southwest (4,000 years ago).”
http://tinyurl.com/cwwkr – The Albuquerque Tribune
– Lecture on O’odham History (Tucson): Historian Peter Booth will present “In Defense of Saguaro Wine and the Tohono O’odham Way of Life” on Wednesday (Feb. 1) as the first of seven spring lectures sponsored by the Arizona Historical Society. The 6:30 p.m. lecture, in the society’s museum auditorium, 949 E. Second St., will examine how the 1920s’ ban on alcohol affected the culture of the tribe, particularly the rainmaking ceremony in which the beverage is a central element. He will describe the legal maneuverings on the part of both the O’odham and the government, and the resulting political energy that resulted among tribal members.
– UCLA and Getty Begin New Archaeological and Ethnographic Artifact Conservation Program The six students – one from Turkey, the others from the east and west coasts of the U.S. – are just embarking on their careers. They are the first to enroll in a new master’s degree program in archeological and ethnographic conservation offered by the Cotsen Institute of Archeology at UCLA and the J. Paul Getty Trust.
http://tinyurl.com/88k6h – Los Angeles Times
– Attempts to protect Tumamoc Hill (Tucson): City and county officials have a new plan to ensure 320 acres of state trust land on Tumamoc Hill never becomes a housing development. The move comes just days after the Arizona Preservation Foundation named the Desert Laboratory one of the most endangered historic sites in the state. The plan will require the cooperation of state land officials. Tucson City Councilman Jose Ibarra and Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias, whose ward and district include Tumamoc Hill, have asked the state to reduce the zoning on the site to prevent it from being developed and to reduce its market value. In exchange, the city and the county would allow more intensive land use on other state trust land.
– Stories on Stone Lecture Series Continues in Flagstaff: On Saturday, (Feb 4) the museum will present the first-ever public viewing of “The Rocks Remember, the Art of Snake Gulch.” The film documents the Kaibab National Forest Heritage Program’s efforts to record, protect and interpret the rock art of a wildly sinuous Grand Canyon tributary. Co-sponsored by MNA and the Northern Arizona University Anthropology Department, these lectures reveal the stories held in the intricate symbols and images of rock art. On Saturday, Feb. 18, Ike Eastvold, an instructor at Santa Fe Community College teaching field courses on the El Malpais rock art, will explain influences from earlier Chacoan and Mogollon cultures and make connections to later Acoma and Zuni Pueblo traditions, particularly the development of katsina spirituality. The presentations are at 2 p.m. in MNA’s Branigar Hall and are free with Museum admission. Eric Polingyouma’s presentation on Saturday, Feb. 25, will evaluate the migration routes of Hopi and New Mexico Pueblo peoples from Central America to their present locations today. He will present his research into shared aspects of cultural tradition and similarities in material culture. The legacy of rock art along these migration routes allows us to evaluate similarities in symbolic tradition and possibly even clan symbols. Polingyouma will present slides from his expeditions to Mexico, Mexico City area, Durango area, and Casas Grandes to research these cultural connections. – From the Arizona Sun.
– Colorado Historic Preservation Grants Awarded: The State Historical Fund has awarded 65 grants for historic preservation totaling $5.7 million for the second competitive grant round of fiscal year 2006. Among grant recipients in Colorado were historic school buildings, tourism sites, endangered places and archaeological sites. Others included a landmark Denver church, an architecturally significant art deco-style building in Colorado Springs and a historic mountain tourist site built for African-Americans.
– The Photography of E. S. Curtis on Display in Aspen: Strolling the streets of downtown Aspen, amid the glitz and the glamour, you stumble across a gallery unlike all the others, one that beckons like a secret passage into the distant past, shrouded with mists of history. Mysteriously magnetized by a force you do not understand, you cross the threshold and time-travel back to a lost world that can never be recovered. Here is a band of blanket-wrapped Navajos on horseback riding into the setting sun. Here is a Nakoaktok woman in a cedar-bark cloak, her face more creviced than a canyon, painting sacred designs on a hand-woven hat.