Archaeology Making the News – a Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology
– Obituary for Dr. Alfred Dittert: (From Judy Brunson-Hadley: I am deeply saddened to advise you that Dr. Alfred E. Dittert, Jr. passed away last night, June 16th at the age of 84. Dr. Dittert’ interest in archaeology started while still in high school and his archaeological career has spanned many areas of the Southwest. His many-faceted career included working as the archaeologist on the Acoma Land Claim in the early 1950s and excavations in the Cebolleta Mesa area . He worked at the Museum of New Mexico from 1955 until the summer of 1967 in many capacities including being the Director of the Laboratory of Anthropology. In 1967 he was hired by Arizona State University and taught there from 1967 until his retirement in 1987. He has continued working on a number of archaeological and ethnological projects that were important to him. In May, he and his wife, Audrey celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with their family. Dr. Dittert was also a World War II veteran. Known for his great love of archaeology and the desire to pass on that passion to his hundreds of students through the years, he will be missed by many. He is survived by his wife Audrey, son Eric, daughter Marta and son-law Michael McCabe, and his sisters Joy Dale and Idanel Selars. The family appreciates all the emails that they’ve received over the last several weeks. They ask that at this time you do not call. No service is being scheduled at this time. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Ed’s memory to the Sky City Cultural Center, PO Box 310, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico 87034, to the attention of Brian Vallo.
– “Cotton Cache” Pots to be Returned to Eastern Arizona: After 23 years and many tall tales, an ancient set of pots found in the Galiuro range of the Pinaleńo Mountains will return to the Gila Valley to be permanently displayed at the Eastern Arizona College museum.
– Arizona Site Steward Claims Signage Could Have Prevented Damage to Los Morteros: Spray paint defaces the lava rocks that contain ancient Hohokam mortars and give Los Morteros archeological site its name. ATVs are grinding to dust the pottery shards that looters haven’t yet taken. All for want of a sign.
– Ill-Conceived Signage Can Accelerate Damage to Archaeological Sites: The agency put buoys on the surface near the airplane, which had remained hidden for a half-century under 210 feet of water. The buoys included a warning: “No anchoring, mooring or diving permitted.” Park Service spokeswoman Roxanne Dey said the agency wanted to alert boaters to call the Park Service if they spotted suspicious activity within the marked area. The purpose was to try to prevent pilfering. The buoys have the opposite effect, said Gregg Mikolasek, the diver who found the plane and lost his fight to raise it. Mikolasek and other expert divers say that the condition of the aircraft deteriorated after the Park Service took control. Portions of the aircraft show signs of damage from boat anchors near the cockpit, and the manufacturer’s engine plate from the only surviving engine is missing.
http://tinyurl.com/etrqg– Las Vegas Sun
– Arizona Indian Town Hall held in Scottsdale: The preservation of culture and languages was the priority at the 26th Annual Arizona Indian Town Hall, which included a discussion on the apparently rising number of hate crimes and rising xenophobia toward American Indians in Arizona.
– Petroglyph Theft Ruling Appealed: On the surface, it would be hard to imagine a simpler theft case than the one against John Ligon. Three boulders bearing centuries-old petroglyphs of an archer and bighorn sheep were part of his front yard landscaping. So when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out convictions against the Reno man and a co-defendant, it left prosecutors and archaeologists questioning whether they have any legal weapon to fight what already had been an uphill struggle: Stopping the plunder of unknown thousands of ancient sites.
http://tinyurl.com/r7mnz – La Times
Also see http://tinyurl.com/mk65c – ContraCosta Times
– Preserving Native Languages: As time treks through Indian country, the words of ancient songs and sacred rituals crumble under the weight of the dominant language. “I hear more and more English on the reservation,” said Danny Lopez, who teaches Tohono O’odham at the Sells community college. “A lot of children don’t know our language anymore.” But a language revival of sorts has gripped many American Indian tribes working to keep their mother tongues vibrant.
– Efforts to Document Comb Ridge Accelerates: Poised at the edge of a lonely dirt road, the crew of searchers spaced themselves out at 33-foot intervals. A word from crew chief Ben Bellorado prompted his four crew members to begin picking their way through the brush-covered desert terrain on Comb Wash earlier this week.
– Travelogue, Ute Mountain Tribal Park: CORTEZ, Colo. – If you had to describe the Ute Mountain Tribal Park with one word, it would be this: “mystery.” There’s mystery in the wind that blows up sand and dust, scattering flights of moth-like swallows and ruffling the blood-red willows that crowd the washes.
http://tinyurl.com/ltfr5 – The Olympian