Archaeology Making the News – A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology
– Mesa Verde Symposium Concludes: Messages from the past are important to contemporary society, but scientists who work with those messages seem unable to make their work appear relevant to the public, archaeologist Jim Judge said Friday. Judge closed a three-day symposium celebrating 100 years of research at Mesa Verde National Park. He called for some second thoughts about why archaeologists work and how they are allowed to work. Large-scale excavations are increasingly rare, and unheard of at Mesa Verde, because of the strong conservation policy of public land managers. “Why do we protect and preserve sites at Mesa Verde,” asked Judge, professor emeritus of Fort Lewis College in Durango. “Is this preservation for preservation’s sake, or do we try to understand the past and inform the public, even though it is often apathetic. … I would like to see archaeology shed light on the modern human condition.”
– “Anasazi” Becoming a Linguistic Artifact: During a wide- ranging, three-day symposium celebrating Mesa Verde National Park’s centennial, one word with deep-rooted ties to the park and to the history of Southwestern archaeology was rarely uttered: Anasazi. More than 30 research talks were presented during the meeting, and none of the titles included Anasazi, a word some American Indians find offensive. During the past decade, the word has been phased out of the park’s museum exhibits, its brochures and its interpretive signs. Some even claim that books containing the word rarely make it onto the shelves of the park’s visitor center.
http://tinyurl.com/qdnp3 – Rocky Mounatin News
– Fraudulent Mass Produced Native American Art Hurting Tribal Artists: Navajo jeweler Alex Beeshligaii, has developed some strategies to protect himself from cheap imitations of American Indian arts and crafts. Beeshligaii, of Tucson, uses real stones and original inlay designs – with his signature, of course – in his mosaic jewelry. Beeshligaii is competing in the $1.2 billion-a-year American Indian arts and crafts industry. It’s a tough competition. The market has been flooded with inauthentic goods made in the United States and foreign countries, despite laws against that practice, according to the Interior Department’s Indian Arts and Crafts Board, based in Washington, D.C.
– Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park: Besh-Ba-Gowah might sound like the name of a rap music artist or some kind of exotic Middle Eastern cuisine – but actually it’s a place for a hands-on encounter with history. Set aside as an archaeological park in the town of Globe, Besh-Ba-Gowah is an ancient pueblo that was inhabited by Indians known as the Salado People more than 700 years ago.
– “Searching for Mesa” Exhibit Now Open at Mesa Southwest Museum: A Fresno scraper that Mormon pioneers used to dig canals and a corn-husking machine with gears are two of the objects that have been dusted off and placed in the Mesa Southwest Museum galleries this week. They may have outlasted their utility values, but these and hundreds of other old objects are creating a sense of place and community in Mesa. “Through understanding people’s history and common experience, it gives people a sense of where they live,” said Tom Wilson, director of the museum.
http://tinyurl.com/lwpvd – Arizona Republic