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Burning Down the (Pit) House

How to Protect Our National Monuments

Bears Ears and Monument Reviews

The Antiquities Act Is Challenged

International Tourism at Places Such As Mesa Verde in Decline


“La Calle” Tells the Story of Tucson’s Historic Preservation Disaster

“La Calle” Tells the Story of Tucson’s Historic Preservation Disaster
Published by UA Press, “La Calle” documents the complicity of the city, Tucson’s tourism boosters and other institutions such as the Arizona Historical Society, the Catholic Diocese of Tucson, and the Tucson Citizen and Arizona Daily Star, to remove the businesses and homes, including the ancestral house of Otero’s family, in an 80-acre section of downtown.  The episode remains a painful reminder for many families who were forced to relocate or sell their property at low prices. http://azstarnet.com/news/local/article_9bb52e8e-ca86-50fd-ae51-d58a8b331233.html

Scott Ortman Wins Fowler Prize in Anthropology
The University of Utah Press is pleased to announce that the 2010 winner of the Don D. and Catherine S. Fowler Prize in Anthropology is Scott G. Ortman, for “Genes, Language, and Culture in Tewa Ethnogenesis.” Ortman received his PhD from Arizona State University in 2009. He is director of research and education at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico. His manuscript looks at two questions that have remained without consensus among archaeologists for almost a century: Why was the Mesa Verde region depopulated and why did the Rio Grande Pueblos rise at about the same time?

Texas Excavation Reveals Archaic Stone Tools
Tools dating back to 5,000 years ago have been unearthed in an archaeological dig in Brackenridge Park.  A cooking hearth was found at the site near Brackenridge Golf Course, and a woodworking tool was also found. The latest finds support theories that people may have lived along the banks of the San Antonio River for 12,000 years. http://www.woai.com/news/local/story/Brackenridge-Park-dig-unearths-5-000-year-old/fxg93JUfCU-WOZsWZLgMPw.cspx

Arizona Archaeological Society Doing a Great Job of Protecting Sites on Mogollon Rim
There is also a great local outlet for those interested in archaeology and that’s the Rim Country Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society. Founded in the late 1980s, it has done a terrific job trying to save a variety of sites in the area. The next meeting is at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 20 at the Church of the Holy Nativity in Payson.  http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/2010/nov/10/archaeology-rim-country/

“Return of the Corn Mothers” Exhibit at ASU Museum of Anthropology Celebrates Heros of Southwestern Cultural Preservation
Two local women, Anne Zapf and Nellie Escobedo Plasencio, were featured in the “Return of the Corn Mothers” photographic exhibition being presented by the ASU Museum of Anthropology. The exhibition features the stories and portraits of multigenerational and multicultural women of the Southwest. A selection of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) altars are interspersed throughout the gallery, honoring women both living and dead.  http://www.eacourier.com/articles/2010/11/05/news/doc4cd09357aadcb976853430.txt

Excavations by Denver Museum of Nature and Science Revealing a Major Deposit of Late Pleistocene Faunal Remains
Perhaps the only thing a crew of scientists digging up prehistoric bones at a Snowmass Village reservoir can be sure of is that they don’t know what will turn up next.  “Five species in three days. I am jazzed,” gushed Kirk Johnson, vice president of research and collections and chief curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, during a press conference Friday morning at the Base Village conference center. http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20101106/NEWS/101109894/1001&parentprofile=1 and see http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16538570?source=rss

Lecture Opportunity (Tucson)
Henry Wallace of Desert Archaeology will present the November Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society Lecture. His talk is entitled “New Clues, New Research, & New Photos of the Oldest Art in Western North America: Current Thoughts on the Western Archaic Tradition.” Monday, November 15, 7:30 pm at DuVal Auditorium, UMC, 1501 N Campbell Ave.

Tour Opportuinty (Grants)
Grants, NM “Casamero: 1000 AD” Join our BLM ranger for a free walk to this easy to access but seldom visited 2-story 30 room great house. Construction dates are similar to downtown Chaco, 1010-1109. Come find other evidence that this may have been an important area to Chaco. Meet at 10 AM at the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center on Saturday, November 27, 2010. Watch a big screen lecture in the theater and get insights to Southwestern and Casamero times 1000 years ago. Dine in Grants by 1130 AM. Depart by 1230 PM and drive 35 paved miles. Walk 200 yards to the site , and decide for yourself  how the ancients could survive in this difficult climate. Info at 505.289.2918 or Http://www.meetup.com/hiking-204/calendar/15363138/

National Register Watch
Congratulations for inclusion in  the National Register of Historic Places to the Bisbee Residential Historic District, the Glendale Townsite–Catlin Court Historic District, and the following districts within Phoenix: Campus Vista Historic District,  Encanto Manor Historic District, Encanto Vista Historic District, and the Villa Verde Plat A and Villa Verde Plat B Historic District.

Early Cities May have Fostered Evolutionary Improvements in Human Immune Systems
As in cities today, the earliest towns helped expose their inhabitants to inordinate opportunities for infection—and today their descendants are stronger for it, a new study says. “If cities increase the amount of disease people are exposed to, shouldn’t they also, over time, make them natural places for disease resistance to evolve?” asked study co-author Mark Thomas, a biologist at University College London.  http://tinyurl.com/278vlfp – National Geographic

Digital Tools Providing Avocational Archaeologists Opportunities for Professional Research
“Citizen archaeologists” helped UCSD researchers find Bronze Age burial sites and other Mongolian antiquities as part of a National Geographic expedition that invited web users to participate as citizen scientists, in real time from the comfort of their homes.  The expedition used noninvasive tools to explore and map parts of Mongolia including the “forbidden precinct” — the homeland of Genghis Khan, which has gone unexplored for 800 years. The goal is to uncover archaeological sites while respecting local customs that the land not be physically disturbed.

New Technique in Digital Photography may have Important Applications in the Study of Rock Art and other Scientific Applications
Rock-art expert Sandra Olsen took GigaPan to Saudia Arabia to document that nation’s outstanding examples of ancient petroglyphs with the help of photographer Richard T. Bryant. Working with the Saudi Ministry of Education, Olsen and her team are permanently documenting some of the world’s most impressive rock art online. (See a Gigapan of rock art in France.)  Petroglyphs are often found in remote or inaccessible areas, but GigaPan technology allows anyone to view them online with unprecedented detail. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/11/101112-gigapan-science-panoramas-technology/

Thanks to Gerald Kelso for contributions to this week’s newsletter.

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