Archaeology Making the News … A service of the Center for Desert Archaeology.
– Rio Nuevo extension advances: A proposal to extend the Rio Nuevo special tax district from 10 to 40 years won approval Monday from a state House panel. In a 7-2 vote, the Ways and Means Committee approved a bill that city officials say would pump as much as $1.2 billion of state sales tax money into Downtown Tucson.
– Antiquities measure advances: Rep. Bradley T. Johnson is going after the state archaeologist’s office again, and Utah’s archaeologists are concerned. Last year, the Republican from Aurora, Sevier County, tried to transfer the state archaeologist and staff out of the Utah Division of State History and into the Division of Wildlife Resources. The bill turned into an interim study measure, and the notion of moving the office fizzled. This year, Johnson has introduced HB139, “State Antiquities and Historic Sites Amendments.” On Friday his substitute version of the bill was endorsed by the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee by a vote of 10 for, 3 against and 2 absent. The bill would have the state’s Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office – not the archaeologists of the History Division’s Antiquities Section – “issue survey and excavation permits for archaeological resources” and “delegate the authority to issue an excavation permit to an agency.”
– Historic panel looks to future: SCOTTSDALE – The Historic Preservation Commission has to be a forward thinking body, especially as development and redevelopment are changing parts of the city. The group recently met to outline their plans for the coming year.
– Corn a link to ancient healing: FARMINGTON, N.M. — A field of red, yellow, blue, pink and white in northwestern New Mexico could tell archaeologists how American Indians traded with each other thousands of years ago.
– Bush’s budget: $2.77 trillion proposed: The National Park Service would have $100 million less than the current year’s spending Department of Interior, down $300 million from current-year spending Environmental Protection Agency down by 4 percent Community Development Block Grants Community drop more than $700 million – 20 percent drop from last year
– Albuquerque City Council ensures motel’s preservation: Richard Gonzales said it nearly a dozen times. “I have no intent to demolish the El Vado,” said Gonzales, owner of the historic Route 66 motel. “My heart is in this building.” Despite his reassurances, it took a City Council vote Monday night declaring the 1.26-acre Central Avenue property a city landmark to give the city a guarantee the motel won’t be razed. Still, the designation – which gives the city greater protection of the building – won’t take effect until June 1. Gonzales can’t be issued a demolition permit in that time.
– A few holdouts resist forced relocation of Navajos: Whitesinger lives like her ancestors did, in an eight-sided, juniper hogan in the reaches of Big Mountain, Ariz. Miles from the nearest paved road, she is without electricity or running water. She sleeps on a cot over a dirt floor next to a wood fire built within an overturned, sawed-off barrel. She wakes each morning before dawn and her first action is to make a small white-corn pollen offering and to pray in the direction of the rising sun. Whitesinger is also one of the last Navajo remaining on this land after the largest forced migration in the U.S. since the Japanese-American internment during World War II. In 1974, Congress drew a boundary through what had been a 1.8-million-acre joint-use area between the Navajo and Hopi tribes. While an estimated 100 Hopi were told to move from what had become the Navajo side of the boundary, more than 12,000 Navajo were ordered off the Hopi side.
– Southwest art: A testimony to tribal resilience: Southwestern tribal art is among the most distinctive of all American Indian crafts. In remote homelands, Indians of the Southwest became experts in styles of weaving, potting and jewelrymaking that have remained popular symbols of the American West.
– More in Tempe opting to tear down old home, build anew: A growing number of residents in and around Tempe who are demolishing older homes and building on the same lots The trend is catching on because houses and land have become much more valuable, and because the city has large older lots with mature trees and a location close to the heart of metro Phoenix.
– The Utah State Historical Society is calling for nominations of individuals or groups who have contributed to history, historic preservation, and archaeology in Utah and who deserve recognition for their efforts. The organization will give awards for outstanding achievement and service at its annual meeting in September.
– Utah archaeologists lobby to continue groundbreaking project: Duncan Metcalfe, associate professor of archaeology, would like to continue doing what he considers “the coolest archaeology in the world.” Metcalfe coordinates research activities at Range Creek Canyon, an isolated location 40 miles southeast of Price that houses several important archaeological sites associated with the Fremont people, an American Indian culture that thrived in Northern and and Central Utah between approximately 200 and 1300 AD.
– Chatty Host Who Makes Archaeology Glamorous (The New York Times, Feb. 6, 2006): An Ivy-League educated guy who grew up on the Upper East Side would not necessarily seem to fit the bill to be the next Indiana Jones. But Josh Bernstein, the chatty, photogenic host of “Digging for the Truth” on the History Channel could be the best thing for archaeology’s image since Harrison Ford cocked his hat and starred in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Mr. Bernstein’s show is the channel’s highest-rated series, bringing younger viewers to a network whose average armchair adventurer is 50-something. Beginning today, there will even be a comic-book promotion for the show featuring Mr. Bernstein as a superhero.
– Events: A Pictorial Prehistory of Oro Valley – Western National Parks Association Store, 12880 N. Vistoso Village Drive, Oro Valley. Henry Wallace, senior research archaeologist at Desert Archaeology Inc., will talk about what life was like in the Ca