Archaeology Making the News – A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology
– Mesa Voters Deny Property Tax Initiative, Large Cuts in Budget and Staff for Mesa Southwest Museum Planed: “It’s very disheartening,” said Tom Wilson, director of the Mesa Southwest Museum, who lost half his operating budget and half his staff with Tuesday’s vote. “It was a vote against moving Mesa into the 21st century.” (Brian Kenny notes “Mesa Southwest Museum is losing staff. Potentially, Southwest Archaeology Team http://www.southwestarchaeologyteam.org/sched1.html may need additional volunteers — I’m just guessing here (don’t know) — to help re-tarp, cover and stabalize Mesa Grande Hohokam Platform mound excavation units before summer monsoon rains. Portions of the site were opened in recent excavations.. Maybe someone in the know can inform the archaeological community now that the Mesa voting is over….
http://tinyurl.com/qfd88 – Arizona Republic
– Controversy over Chinese Grave Markers in Los Angeles: Archaeologists on Monday began working to document ancient Chinese grave markers near the Los Angeles County crematorium, which were moved from their original locations more than 85 years ago. The Health Department hired an archeology firm to work with county staffers and the historical society to catalogue and document the markers prior to removing them and relocating them to an appropriate place. A report by the Department of Health Services estimated 10 to 15 grave markers were moved in 1918 when the cemetery area was enlarged. That discovery has sparked outrage in the Chinese community, said Irvin Lai with the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California.
– Plague Outbreak in Rodents Closes Natural Bridges National Monument: The campground at Utah’s Natural Bridges National Monument has been closed because of an outbreak of bubonic plague among rodents, a report said. National Park Service officials said fleas that transmit the so-called Black Death to field mice and chipmunks would be killed with insecticides. When satisfied that has worked, the popular campground 40 miles west of Blanding, Utah, will be reopened, officials said.
http://tinyurl.com/lbque – UPI International
– Plague in Mesa Verde Squirrel Closes Balcony House: Park officials closed Balcony House at Mesa Verde National Park last month, shutting down the site for three days after a dead squirrel there was presumed to have the bubonic plague. The animal was tested and came back as “presumed positive” for the plague, said Tessy Shirakawa, Mesa Verde spokeswoman.
http://tinyurl.com/juovu – Cortez Journal
– Rug Auction to be Held as an Educational Opportunity: ‘We Navajo have made generations of traders into millionaires,” said Roy Kady, Navajo master weaver and project director of Dine’ be’ iina’ (or ”Navajo lifeway”). Also called DBI, the nonprofit supports the traditional relationship to the land through weaving-oriented cultural and educational programs and the conservation of Navajo churro sheep, an heirloom breed. To circumvent the trading posts’ monopoly, DBI is organizing a groundbreaking Navajo-run rug auction. It will happen May 28 at the Pagosa Fiber Festival, an annual event in Pagosa Springs, Colo., that celebrates crafts like knitting and weaving, as well as fiber-producing animals, such as sheep and llamas.http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096412980
– Pueblo Grande Museum Offers Summer Classes for Kids: Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park is holding its Hohokam Experience Summer Programs starting June 12. The six-week summer camp is for children ages 7 to 14. The camp focuses on various topics on the Native peoples of the Southwest. The programs run Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Non-members pay $55 for a four-day program. Each additional child is $40. Members pay $45 for a four-day program. Each additional child is $30. Pueblo Grande Museum is at 4619 E. Washington. (602) 495-0901.
– Historic Preservation in Suburban Tucson (Oro Valley): Driving down Oracle Road, past the enormous Albertson’s and the gigantic Home Depot, you might not notice the humble Steam Pump Ranch marking the town’s birthplace if it weren’t for the sprawling shopping plaza under construction next door. Similarly, the meticulous landscaping of Rancho Vistoso Boulevard might distract you from the neighboring Honeybee Village site where Hohokam Indians lived hundreds of years ago, although it is sure to become more noticeable once the site is surrounded by high-rise condominiums.
http://tinyurl.com/em9be – Northwest Explorer
-Waila Festival to be Held at the University of Arizona: They’ll be pecking out the chicken scratch at UA Bear Down Field for the 18th annual Waila Festival. The dance is central to the celebration of Tohono O’odham music. Traditional and contemporary waila bands will perform the waila (polka), chote (schottische), mazurka and cumbia. Participants can also sample tepary beans, squash and cholla buds or the famous fry bread. Artists also will sell handmade crafts. UA Bear Down Field is north of the stadium at North Cherry Avenue and East Fourth Street. The festival runs from 5 to 11 p.m. May 20, and admission is free. 628-5774. – Arizona Daily Star
– (World Archaeology) Debate over “Homo Florensis”:More than 1 1/2 years after discovering a race of ancient, “Hobbit”-like little people on a remote tropical island, scientists still do not know what to make of them. Are they a new species of human ancestor? Or were they modern humans suffering from a debilitating genetic deformity? In dueling papers being published today by the journal Science, researchers offer fresh insights on both sides, seeking to explain how a 30-year-old female with a grapefruit-sized brain could have appeared 18,000 years ago on the Indonesian island of Flores.
http://tinyurl.com/jtenh – Washington Post