Southwestern Archaeology Making the News – A Service of the Center for Desert Archaeology
– Proposed Federal Budget Cuts Funds for NAGPRA Grants: One area of the Obama administration’s proposed fiscal year 2011 budget sticks out like a sore thumb. While most Indian-focused programs are remaining steady or are set to make increases, the National Park Service has proposed to dramatically reduce the amount available for NAGPRA grants. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act is the 1990 law that created a legal process for federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funding to return American Indian human remains and cultural items to respective tribes or lineal descendants. NAGPRA grants, supported by appropriations from Congress, are meant to build cultural resources capacity for Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations and museums, so they may work to fulfill the law.
– Two Day Symposium on NAGPRA Scheduled: Enacted in 1990, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (“NAGPRA”) was the culmination of a long term struggle for human rights and equal protection for American Indians. “NAGPRA at 20” is a forum to remember the past and why NAGPRA was created, to discuss present-day best practices and challenges, and to plan for the future of NAGPRA. As we mark the 20th anniversary of the passage of the law, we aim for the symposium to be a forum to critically assess and evaluate the first two decades of implementation through case studies, workshops and featured speakers. The intent is to allow for open dialogue about what has and has not worked. The goal of the symposium is to work toward a shared vision for tribes, museums, Federal agencies and the National NAGPRA program on the direction NAGPRA should take for the next ten or twenty years. The hope is to address the wounds of the past and look toward a more just future.
– National Preservation Institute Offers Pair of Classes on Archaeological Curation and Conservation in Tucson, March 15-19: Become familiar with principles and methods for curation and management of archaeological collections. Topics will include responsibilities under federal regulations (36 CFR Part 79) and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act; archaeological standards; collections policies; costs of curation; storage facilities; proper housing of collections; archaeological laboratory procedures; cataloguing systems; and educating the public with archaeological collections. This seminar is offered in conjunction with Conservation Strategies for Archaeologists.
– Utah Rock Art Digital Archives: The Earthwatch/BLM Rock Art Project digital image archives are available for research at Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum, 660 West 400 North, Blanding, UT. The collection features more than 1,500 digital images of southeastern Utah rock art ranging from pre-Basketmaker through the historic period. Digitization was funded through a grant from the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board. The digital archives represent about half the sites documented by the Earthwatch/BLM project (1993-2001) in areas including Cedar Mesa, Grand Gulch, and the San Juan River corridor. The museum also houses the complete project records including some 3,000 drawings, 11,000 color slides, and 5,000 prints, negatives, and transparencies. Both the original documentation and the digital archives are available for research by appointment; contact 435-678-2238.
– A History of Casa Grande National Monument: In the Sonoran Desert just north of downtown Coolidge, stands the sole remaining relic of a time long past. It was around the year 1350 when the Hohokam people completed an amazing four-story, 2,400-square-foot structure that archeologists believe served, in part, as an astronomical observatory. It is not known what the Hohokam called this massive structure or the large village that surrounded it, but we call it Casa Grande National Monument.
http://tinyurl.com/yak99um – In and Out of Anthem Magazine
– Tour Parts of Casa Grande National Monument Normally Closed to the Public: n honor of the Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month in March, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument will host special tours of the park’s backcountry area. Tours will be on Saturday and Sunday mornings, starting on March 6th and ending on March 28th. Each tour will begin at 9 a.m. and will run for one hour.
http://tinyurl.com/ygmzvgt – About.com
– National Park Service Rehabilitates Ancient Farmland Near Montezuma Well: The fields and flood plains surrounding Montezuma Well have provided for those who made the area their home for at least the last 1,500 years, if not the last 10,000 years. The Hohokam, then the Sinagua, the Yavapai and Apache used the rich soil, efficient irrigation system and abundant water to survive.
http://tinyurl.com/ycxayzr – Camp Verde Bugel
– C14 Calibration Curve Refined: Researchers have designed a new archaeological tool which could answer key questions in human evolution. The new calibration curve, which extends back 50,000 years, is a major landmark in radiocarbon dating, the method used by archaeologists and geoscientists to establish the age of carbon-based materials. It could also help determine the effect of climate change on human adaptation. The curve called INTCAL09 not only extends radiocarbon calibration but also considerably improves earlier parts of the curve.
http://tinyurl.com/yd69a6o – Queen’s University
– Archaeoastronomy and Arborglyphs: Though local lore held that the so-called “scorpion tree” had been the work of cowboys, paleontologist Rex Saint Onge immediately knew that the tree was carved by Indians when he stumbled upon it in the fall of 2006. Located in a shady grove atop the Santa Lucia Mountains in San Luis Obispo County, the centuries-old gnarled oak had the image of a six-legged, lizard-like being meticulously scrawled into its trunk, the nearly three-foot-tall beast topped with a rectangular crown and two large spheres. “I was really the first one to come across it who understood that it was a Chumash motif,” says Saint Onge, referring to the native people who painted similar designs on rock formations from San Luis Obispo south through Santa Barbara and into Malibu.
http://tinyurl.com/yhsocat – Time Magazine
– European Scholars Hope to Create Digital Archive of Archaeological Sites, Monuments, and Artifacts: Berlin – Just as US internet giant Google has made great strides in preserving digital versions of great literature and books with its Google Books project, European scientists hope they can create an online repository of culture and archaeology. The system planned for the undertaking is dubbed 3D-COFORM. It should provide the platform into which humanity’s most important treasures, reflecting thousands of years of cultural development, can be gathered in one online archive for easy access.
http://tinyurl.com/y8lbdmp – Earthtimes.org
– Online Course on the Care of Photographs Delayed due to Weather Problems: Due to the weather’s impact — both in Washington, DC, and in Indian country — NATHPO has extended the application deadline for the online class, Care of Photographs, and also delayed the start of the class by one week.
– Travelogue, Bandolier National Monument: One of the most unusual and highly-popular archeological attractions in New Mexico is the 33,000 acre Bandelier National Monument about an hour’s drive northwest of Santa Fe and a mere 15 miles from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where they developed the nuclear bomb. You’ve probably heard of Bandelier and have most likely seen images on television of the towering columns of smoke associated with it because the monument nearly burned to the ground in 2000 during the infamous 48,000-acre Cerro Grande fire.
– Position Open: Acquisitions Editor for Kiva: The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society seeks an acquisitions editor for Kiva, which has been publishing Southwest archaeology, anthropology, history, and linguistics since 1935. The acquisitions editor spearheads the publishing process and works with a book reviews editor, production editor, and the copublisher, AltaMira Press. Although the editorship is based in Tucson, Arizona, the acquisitions editor is an independent contractor and may reside elsewhere. The acquisitions editor solicits and reviews volunteered manuscripts for publication in four issues per year and will maintain the journal’s established high standards of professional quality, working in coordination with the other editors, Publications Committee, and Board of Directors. The acquisitions editor serves a three-year term, and compensation is $7,000 yearly. Please send a letter of interest and curriculum vitae by May 15, 2010, to: Stephanie M. Whittlesey, Ph.D., RPA, Chair Kiva Acquisitions Editor Search Committee. 2441 N. Grannen Rd. Tucson, Arizona 85745 520-240-0988, firstname.lastname@example.org
– Internship Opportunity: The Anasazi State Park Museum in Boulder, Utah is looking for Summer 2010 Interns. The internship is for 10-12 weeks and includes a stipend of $75/week, plus board. Within the park is one of the largest Ancestral Puebloan villages (Coombs Archaeological Site) west of the Colorado River. The village was occupied from AD 1160 to 1235. Archaeological excavations revealed more than 100 structures which may have housed as many as 200 people. The internship familiarizes interns with projects and duties in all areas of a state park museum. The interns will spend time collections management, interpretation, and visitor services. The focus of this internship will be research relating to the analysis of stone tools found in southeastern Utah. The intern will be to implement typological analysis, functional analysis, and technological analysis of projectile points curated at the Anasazi State Park Museum and affiliated Museums with similar collections. Additionally, the selected interns will facilitate a Lithic Technology Symposium. The Symposium will be held either late August or early September 2010. Featured will be a recent collection (Behunin Collection) of over 1,000 projectile points.
– Historic Archaeology and the Lives of Pioneer Women is the Latest Feature on the Archaeology Channel: Ironically, the chance discovery of a historical burial can bring history alive and serve as a reminder of the path already trodden. The 19th Century pioneer history of Colorado became the subject of interest after such a discovery, as you can see in Pioneer Woman, the latest video feature on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel
Thanks to Terry Colvin and Gerald Kelso for contributing to today’s newsletter.