Welcome to the newly redesigned Southwest Archaeology Today newsletter, published by the Center for Desert Archaeology. We hope you will find the revised formatting easier to read, and more useful as we continue to make improvements on the ways we can share information about archaeology and historic preservation in the Southwestern US and Northwestern Mexico. There might be some bumps along the way as we refine our digital publishing techniques, you might want to think of this first issue as a beta test for how we can better serve our subscribers in the future. If you have any comments or concerns about the new format please feel free to respond to this message or write directly to the editor at email@example.com.
Homol’ovi Ruins State Park to Reopen
The Hopi Tribal Council has approved a resolution that will reopen Homolovi Ruins State Historic Park near Winslow, which has been closed since Feb. 22 because of state budget cuts. The resolution allowed the tribe to enter an agreement with the Arizona State Parks Board to help operate and maintain the park, which has cultural and religious significance to the Hopi. The tribe has contributed money to help employ rangers and other park staff. The park is now funded through fiscal year 2011. http://www.azcentral.com/travel/articles/2010/11/02/20101102homolovi-ruins-state-park-reopen.html
Claims of “Genocide” Spark Debate over Evidence from Sacred Ridge
Attackers with a deadly plan climbed a knoll to a Pueblo village called Sacred Ridge around 1,200 years ago. What happened next was anything but sacred. At least 35 people, roughly half of those living in the village, were brutalized, killed and sliced into thousands of small pieces. Fellow Pueblo from nearby villages battered victims’ feet hard enough to break toes and fracture heels. Blows delivered with blunt weapons crushed the faces and heads of men, women and children. Scalps, and possibly eyes and ears, were removed, perhaps as trophies. http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/64465/title/Massacre_at_Sacred_Ridge
Archaeologists Hunt Grave Robbers in Back-Country Arizona
Grave robbers are looting Arizona’s historic ruins at an alarming rate, according to archaeologists and investigators with the Tonto National Forest.“What they’re doing out here is disrupting and in most cases destroying human remains while they’re seeking out pots to sell,” said Scott Wood, an archaeologist for the Tonto National Forest. http://www.kpho.com/news/25639405/detail.html
Chaco Digital Initiative Updated to Become the Chaco Digital Archive
Dr. Steve Plog writes – After many years of work, the Chaco Digital Initiative has created a completely redesigned website and has now officially transformed into the Chaco Research Archive. This new research portal offers users access to much more information, as well as the ability to download database searches and access over 1,500 digitized archival documents. The URL remains the same as before – www.chacoarchive.org.
“Murals of the Americas” Opens at the Peabody
Some time around 100 B.C., artisans painted the creation of the Mayan cosmos and coronation of the first king on the walls of a temple discovered in 2001 in San Bartolo in northern Guatemala. Centuries later in coastal Peru, an adobe temple wall was decorated with the boldly colored image of the fanged Decapitator God, holding a knife in one hand and a grimacing head in the other. In the 16th century more than 3,000 miles north, masked ceremonial figures were painted on the walls of kivas — underground ceremonial rooms — in the Hopi village of Awatovi in present day Antelope Mesa, Ariz. http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/arts/x2053679693/Murals-of-the-Americas-at-the-Peabody-opens-a-window-onto-ancient-civilizations
Symposium on the Archaeology of the Arizona Strip Starts November 12
On Friday afternoon, November 12, and all day Saturday, November 13, 2010, the Kaibab Vermilion Cliffs Heritage Alliance will sponsor a symposium on the archaeological research of the Arizona Strip region north of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The symposium, Discovering the Archaeology of the Arizona Strip Region: Learning from the Past – Planning for the Future, will be held at the Courtyard Marriott, 600 Clubhouse Drive, Page, Arizona. Regional and local archaeologists will discuss the archaeology of the past 25 years, since the 1989 overview Man, Models and Management was published by the BLM and Forest Service. For symposium information and to register go to http://www.public.asu.edu/~ohara/AZstrip.htm
Preservationists Attempting to Save the Vulture Mine
Arizona’s upcoming centennial gives us all pause to think about the people and events that propelled the territory into statehood. Henry Wickenburg’s Vulture Gold Mine, discovered in 1863, is one cornerstone of our history that is at risk of being passed over. http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2010/10/24/20101024breakout241.html#ixzz14RlfjKiv
Oil Drilling Company Donates Millions for Archaeological Preservation at Nine Mile Canyon
A company embattled for years over drilling near Nine Mile Canyon is putting money on the table to help the cause of its former opponents. Tuesday, the Bill Barrett Corporation announced a commitment of several million dollars to preserve archaeological treasures and make them better known. The convoy was organized by seemingly natural enemies: archaeologists and drilling executives now working together. http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=12982310
Arizona State University Students Develop New Interpretive Signage for Arizona National Parks
Next time you visit Tuzigoot, Montezuma’s Castle and Well, Sunset Crater or Wupatki, you might see some brand-new signs describing the history of the area and the variety of plant life.Take a close look at them – the signs (due to be completed by December and installed at a later date) are the product of many hours of work and study by ASU graduate and undergraduate students and faculty. http://asunews.asu.edu/20101027_arizonasites
Petroglpyphs at 29 Palms Combat Center Relate a Deep History
The Combat Center not only possesses a long military history, but also contains a cultural history dating back between 10,000 and 12,000 years.
Before the United States was even an idea, Native Americans inhabited lands the Combat Center now stands on today. The people who inhabited this area left artifacts and petroglyphs, commonly known as “rock art” behind. http://www.hidesertstar.com/articles/2010/10/29/observation_post/sports/sports01.txt
Resort Near Tombstone Opens to Show German Tourists the “Old West”
After nearly a year of construction, Apache Spirit Ranch has opened its doors to foreign tourists looking to experience the Old West. The ranch, located on the outskirts of Tombstone, is specifically designed for Germans. Bill Smith of Scottsdale, the project’s developer, said he saw a golden opportunity when he visited Tombstone and realized that the town didn’t have accommodations that cater to higher-end tourists. “I figured it would be a good idea to build a resort where they could stay on for a few days,” he said.
Deer Valley Rock Art Center Hosts Talks, Hikes and Dances as Part of Native American Festival
To celebrate Native American Recognition Days, Arizona State University’s Deer Valley Rock Art Center will host its sixth annual family-fun festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 20. http://asunews.asu.edu/20101102_nativeamericanfestival
Arizona SHPO Seeks Venue for 2012 Archaeology Expo
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Arizona State Parks, is requesting proposals for voluntary hosting of the 2012 Arizona Archaeology Expo (Expo) that will be held in March of 2012. Please submit a written proposal describing your proposed Expo host location to the SHPO by December 15, 2010. The SHPO and a delegated committee will make the final decision. https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/sat/arch_expo_2012.doc
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Offers Section 106 Training
The ACHP is pleased to announce its popular Section 106 training schedule for 2011. We are offering the 106 Essentials and the Advanced Seminar in 12 locations across the country. All courses are taught by highly knowledgeable ACHP staff who are engaged both on a daily basis and have practical hands-on experience with Section 106 issues. Attendees taking our courses receive an added benefit from the expertise that our instructors bring to the course. See the attached flyer which details course objectives and logistics or visit www.achp.gov/106 for registration and pricing. Special registration rates are offered for individuals and groups who register for the Essentials Course and pay prior to December 15, 2010. We invite you to pass this flyer on to colleagues and associates who would benefit from attending the course. You may contact Cindy Bienvenue at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. http://www.achp.gov/106select.html
AAHS Seeks Book Review Editor
The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society is seeking a volunteer with some background in anthropology, archaeology, history, or related fields to
serve as Book Reviews Editor for KIVA: The Journal of Southwestern Anthropology and History. http://www.az-arch-and-hist.org/2010/11/review_editor/
Lecture Opportunity (Tubac)
Archaeologist Jeremy Moss, Chief of Resource Management at Tumacacori National Historical Park, will give a presentation to the Santa Cruz Valley Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society on November 11, 2010, 7 PM, at the North County Facility at 50 Bridge Road in Tubac. His topic will be “The Archaeology and Preservation History of the San Jose de Tumacacori Mission.” https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/sat/moss_11_10.doc – MS Word Format
Lecture Opportunity (Prescott)
Michael Kotutwa Johnson will discuss farming techniques that helped his Hopi people survive in the arid Southwest in his keynote speech during the “Celebration of the Three Sisters: Honoring the Elders” fundraiser for Smoki Museum on Saturday. http://prescottdailycourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=86465
Lecture Opportunity (Irvine, CA)
The Pacific Coast Archaeological Society’s November 11 meeting will feature Dr. Edward J. Knell speaking on “Quarry-Centered Lithic Technological Organization around Ancient Lake Mojave, Eastern Mojave Desert, California.” Meeting information: Thursday, November 11, 2010, 7:30 pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA. Meeting is free and open to the public. For information see http://www.pcas.org.
Tour Opportunity: Hueco Tanks State Park (El Paso)
A Frost Moon Night Tour will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, November 20 at Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, 6900 Hueco Tanks Road #1, El Paso, TX 79938. The tour will be the night before November’s “Full Frost Moon.” Visitors will have the chance to experience nature and view prehistoric pictographs under moonlight. Participants should dress for cool weather and bring a flashlight. The tour will be strenuous. Reservations are required for the tour. There will be a $2 activity fee for participants ages 5 and older. Call 915-857-1135 or 915-849-6684 for information and reservations.
Tour Opportunity: Missions, Presidios, and Land Grants Learning Expedition
Highlights of this day trip include visits to the Spanish mission at Tumacacori, the mission ruins at Guevavi and Calabasas; the Tubac (or Tucson) Presidio, and the Canoa Land Grant. Transportation, lunch, beverages, and snacks provided. Space is limited so sign up today! Presented by ASM’s Office of Ethnohistorical Research. $150 general, $120 ASM members. http://www.statemuseum.arizona.edu/public/tours.shtml
Thanks to Gerald Kelso and Brian Kreimendahl for contributions to today’s newsletter.