Southwestern Archaeology Today, A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology
– Former Museum Director Calls for New Laws to Thwart Southwestern Looting: Across the Southwest, the illegal excavation of artifacts on public and tribal lands has been hobby, occupation, guilty pleasure and even family tradition. At the turn of the 20th century, metropolitan museums around the world competed to establish collections. Some museums paid locals to dig pots, primarily from ancient Indian burials. Southwest Colorado, southeast Utah and New Mexico “home to the Ancestral Puebloan and Mogollon/Mimbres cultures” are epicenters for pothunting in the Southwest.
http://tinyurl.com/ycy8apr – Grand Junction Sentinel
– New Fee Structure from the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research: On November 1, 2004, the Dendroarchaeology section of the Laboratory of Tree-ring Research implemented its first rate change in more than a decade. This structure allowed principal investigators and project directors to more precisely plan for the costs of dendrochronological analysis. Unfortunately, due to severe university budget cuts and substantially increased health care and university administrative costs, we now find it necessary to revise our rate structure again five years later. We do not take this step lightly, but must increase our rates if we are to survive and remain the only source of archaeological tree-ring dates in the Southwest.
http://www.cdarc.org/sat/trl-fees.doc – MS Word Document.
– Casa Grande National Monument Boundary Expansion Unanimously Supported by Coolidge City Council: After much waiting and anticipation, the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument has seen a step in the right direction concerning a boundary expansion project to further protect the ancient site in its entirety. The Ruins staff and other archaeological site preservationists have been involved in discussions for several years, but have just acquired one imperative step in the right direction – the support of both local councils.
http://tinyurl.com/ybl2kch – Coolidge Examiner
– New Blog at the Center for Desert Archaeology – Rural Heritage Preservation: The rural West is changing. Urban sprawl, recreational development, and economic changes are all contributing to the loss of our rural cultural heritage. This blog is dedicated to increasing awareness of the rural historic heritage of Arizona and New Mexico, and to promoting preservation action that can save these special places of our shared past.
– Navajo Archaeologist Makes Case for Ancestral Connections to the Ancient Southwest: If Hollywood ever makes a movie about an odd pair of archaeologists investigating the ruins that haunt the Four Corners area of the Southwest, Taft Blackhorse and John Stein could be the real life inspiration. Imagine Blues Brothers crossed with The X-Files. I spent a whirlwind three days with the two Navajo Nation archaeologists in early August, touring Chaco Canyon and other famous archaeological sites in the Four Corners, such as New Mexico’s Salmon Ruins and Aztec. Virtually alone among their peers, Blackhorse and Stein argue that the Navajo are connected to these famous sites, and have a deep history in the Four Corners region that stretches back thousands of years.
– Pecos National Historic Park Renovating Historic Trading Post: Brown and crew will restore the multi-room adobe and pine building to its look from the 1940s and ’50s, when E.E. “Buddy” Fogelson and his actress wife, Greer Garson, used the trading post as headquarters for their Forked Lightning Ranch. The historic character of the building and any usable original materials will be preserved, but it will be upgraded to house administrative offices and a place to greet visitors. “A lot of people see the trading post first, before the visitors center,” said Christine Beekman, chief of interpretation at the park.
http://tinyurl.com/ycw6byl – Santa Fe New Mexican
– Zuni Anthropology Student Using 3D Modeling Technologies in Researching the Ancient Southwest: Daniel Pedro knew when he was a sophomore at Santa Fe Indian School that he wanted to be an anthropologist. He also knew that as a Zuni, he would not be able to touch human remains – a common task for physical anthropologists. “It was kind of a barrier,” said Pedro, a 20-year-old freshman at the University of New Mexico-Gallup. “I had to find a way to work around it.”
– Travelogue – Wupatki National Monument: In the long run maybe it’s good fortune that the Wupatki National Monument northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona resides in relative obscurity, never given a second thought by the millions who race north on 89 to crowd shoulder-to-shoulder and stare into the Grand Canyon. Their loss is our gain because infrequent visitors means peace and quiet out on the wide open desert expanses and allows you to stroll unhurried through the splendidly preserved 800 year-old ruins that once marked a cultural hub, a melting pot of ancient Sinagua and Kayenta Anasazi, and to a lesser extent Cohonina and Hohokam peoples.
– Nominations Open for “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places: America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places has identified more than 200 threatened one-of-a-kind historic treasures since 1988. Whether these sites are urban districts or rural landscapes, Native American landmarks or 20th-century sports arenas, entire communities or single buildings, the list spotlights historic places across America that are threatened by neglect, insufficient funds, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy. The designation has been a powerful tool for raising awareness and rallying resources to save endangered sites from every region of the country. At times, that attention has garnered public support to quickly rescue a treasured landmark; while in other instances, it has been the impetus of a long battle to save an important piece of our history.
– Economic Downturn & Border Conflicts Causing Severe Hardships in Mata Ortiz: (From an SAT subscriber who wishes to stay anonymous) Mata Ortiz is going through some tough times. A family member of Juan Quezada’s was murdered recently. People have been abducted. It’s terrible. Of course, people are staying away from there in droves, so the artists are not selling much in the village. Ana asked if she could come up here and sell and I’m trying to help her. On Nov 21st from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM there will be a demonstration and sale in Tucson at Details, Art and Design Gallery at 3001 E. Skyline Drive. Funds from this event will directly benefit the potters of Mata Ortiz.
Thanks to Adrianne Rankin for contributing to today’s newsletter.