Archaeology Making the News – A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology
– Megapolitan – The Ultimate Product of Unchecked Urban Sprawl: Arizona’s two largest metropolitan areas are on course to meet and merge within a decade, engulfing several small towns along the way. The downtowns of the two major cities are separated by 120 miles. But their suburbs reach much farther along Interstate 10. Planned developments stretch 60 miles south of metropolitan Phoenix, deep into Pinal County. In Tucson, new projects are heading 40 miles north into Pinal, the only county that separates the two regions. That leaves only a 20-mile gap between the two cities’ growth. Urban researchers are calling the corridor a megapolitan, or “super-sized” metropolitan area, and see it spanning from Prescott in the north all the way south to Sierra Vista and the Mexico border. The Phoenix-Tucson stretch is the epicenter.
– Kennewick Man Update: Study of the 9,000-year-old skeleton Kennewick Man is shedding light on who first colonized the New World, says University of Wyoming professor of anthropology George Gill. Gill said preliminary studies have led researchers to suggest the Kennewick, Wash., skeleton most closely resembles Polynesian or Ainu peoples. If confirmed, Kennewick Man may prove that migration to the Americas occurred both by the Bering Strait land bridge and by different means from other regions.
– Park Celebrating Phoenix’s Ancient Canals Needs Support: There are no lighted ball diamonds, sandy volleyball courts or manicured fields. But Mesa’s Park of the Canals is steeped in history and invites reflection, long walks and an opportunity to explore the lives of the city’s early dwellers. The 31-acre park on Horne just south of McKellips is a stone’s throw from the mesa that gave the city its name. It gets its own name from the ancient canals that were built by the Hohokam, who lived in the area from A.D. 1050 until they disappeared about 400 years later. Mormon pioneers, who arrived in the 1870s, used the canals to create an irrigation system that watered their crops. Standing on a group of mud bricks that outline a Hohokam dwelling that never has been excavated, fifth-generation Mesa resident Robert Brinton noted, “Most people don’t even see them.”
– Employment Opportunity: Logan Simpson Design seeks Project Director for Tucson region.