Archaeology making the news – a service of the Center for Desert Archaeology.
Welcome to the first edition of Southwest Archaeology Today for 2007. We start the new year with over 900 subscribers from all over the country. Today’s extra-long edition is an attempt to catch up with archaeological news from the holiday hiatus. Next week, we will resume our regular two to three times a week distribution schedule. Don’t forget to submit your archaeological news and events information to SATfirstname.lastname@example.org
– Edge of the Rez: A Stranger Among the Hopi: Jonathan Day spent summers with his white father and Hopi stepmother on her reservation in Arizona. He learned about the tribe’s traditions and way of life, but he has no illusions that a white man can fully understand what it’s like to be an Indian.
– Spectacular Scenery Abounds on Tribal Lands: An introduction to some Native American lands in Arizona.
– Treasured national parklands a complex picture of Woe and Grandeur: Delicate Arch is a photographer’s dream and, perhaps, a tourist’s one chance in a lifetime to snap a shot of one of America’s most indelible national park icons.
http://www.cdarc.org/page/ef77 (The Daily Sentinel)
– Close canyon to OHVs, group says: Arch Canyon in southeastern Utah would be closed to off-highway vehicles if the Bureau of Land Management agrees to a petition submitted by a coalition of environmentalists. Liz Thomas, a Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance attorney, said the group filed a formal petition last week after the BLM rejected what she called informal attempts to protect the area. The canyon is known for its Anasazi and Pueblo ruins and artifacts.
http://www.cdarc.org/page/jlbh (Casper Star Tribune)
– Lessons in destruction from America’s ancient cultures: Fed a steady diet of imagery depicting the aboriginal inhabitants of North America as wandering hunters with a relatively simple physical culture, modern Americans may perhaps be forgiven for failing to appreciate the complex urban civilizations that arose in the New World long before Europeans arrived.
http://www.cdarc.org/page/dw2z (The Press Democrat)
– A past that makes us squirm: I recently saw Mel Gibson’s movie “Apocalypto,” which deals with the gore of the Mayan civilization. I had heard that the movie’s violence was wildly out of control. But even as I winced at many of the scenes, as a writer and researcher in ancient American archaeology, I found little technical fault with the film other than ridiculous Hollywood ploys and niggling archaeological details.
– Don’t believe everything you see on TV! Archaeologists increasingly are concerned with depictions of their discipline on television and how this affects public understanding. A personal (and light-hearted) reflection of this concern by an archaeologist is the subject of Excavation Television, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel. In this personal-voice and very witty short film by University of Southern California student Amy Ramsey, the archaeologist/filmmaker explores what the public knows, and often misconstrues, about her field of study. She interviews people and finds out that they often have inaccurate perceptions about archaeology. She concludes that the media are largely responsible for misleading people about archaeology and urges her audience to be a bit skeptical about archaeology stories they see and hear through media sources.
– Nominate an endangered historic place for listing: The National Trust for Historic Preservation is accepting nominations for its 2007 America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list. Issued annually to raise awareness of historic sites at risk from neglect, deterioration, lack of maintenance, insufficient funds, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy, the list marks its 20th anniversary next year.
http://www.cdarc.org/page/498w (Tahoe Daily Tribune)
– Despite fires, Four Corners park holding its own as its next 100 years begins: While Mesa Verde’s cliff dwellings have for centuries withstood the elements nestled within protected canyon alcoves, the modern dwellings of Western civilization atop the mesa haven’t fared quite as well.
http://www.cdarc.org/page/b5e4 (Daily Sentinel)
– Mesa Verde centennial could be model for Park Service.
http://www.cdarc.org/page/cyfa (Daily Sentinel)
– Books, swap meets can unearth old bottle values: Question: Earlier this year, I discovered a trash pit while digging a trench in my backyard. I uncovered dozens of old medicine and whiskey bottles, mostly from the early years of the last century. I am not interested in selling them but would like to know if there are any reference books or guides you think might be helpful. – Carol, Sam Hughes neighborhood
– Utah canyons a rugged hike: Many secret places are hidden away in the Escalante Canyons in southern Utah. That includes numerous slot canyons, arches, Indian paintings and carvings, outlaw hideouts and waterfalls.
http://www.cdarc.org/page/a1k8 (Myrtle Beach Sun News)
– The winter issue of History Currents, the newsletter of Utah State History, is now online at
– Monument may expand by 257 acres: A congressional bill introduced by Arizona Rep. Rick Renzi proposes to add 257 acres to the grounds of the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.
http://www.cdarc.org/page/5o9m (TriValley Central.com)
– Rosemont Revision: Today, Rosemont Valley has a new suitor in the form of Canada’s Augusta Resource Corp. That’s prompted Pima County officials toward yet another look at this precious valley, and County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry into issuing five environmental points Augusta must address to avoid outright county opposition. Those objectives range from wildlife habitat set-asides required by the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, and identifying renewable water sources, to establishing a beefy endowment for restoring the land after it’s been gutted.
– Save America’s Treasures Awards $7.6 million in Grants: The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), National Park Service (NPS), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) jointly announced the awarding of $7.6 million in federal Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grants. With these funds 42 organizations and agencies will act to conserve some of America’s most significant cultural treasures, which illustrate, interpret, and embody the great events, ideas, and individuals that contribute to our nation’s history and culture. Through the congressionally-appropriated SAT program, awards were made to 23 historic properties and sites and 19 nationally significant collections of artifacts, documents and artistic works.
– Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Grants: The National Park Service invites proposals for FY 2007 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) grants. NAGPRA is the federal law that provides a process for museums and federal agencies to return certain Native American cultural items to lineal descendants, culturally affiliated Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations. Two types of grants are available. Consultation/Documentation Grants are awarded annually and range from $5,000 to $75,000. Deadline is March 1. You may submit draft proposals (optional) by December 29, 2006, for review and comment. Repatriation Grants of up to $15,000 are awarded on an ongoing basis, October through June. Application information is online.
– The National Trust for Historic Preservation invites you to submit a proposal for an education session for the Twin Cities National Preservation Conference in Saint Paul, Minnesota, October 2-6, 2007. Submission deadline is January 12! We seek proposals that present cutting-edge historic preservation strategies and critical issues that challenge communities across the country. Sessions dealing with green building, teardowns and infill design, smart growth, community development tools and incentives, eminent domain, rural heritage, the future of historic sites, and all aspects of diversity are of particular interest.