ATV Drivers vs. Ancient Places – The Sad Case of Recapture Draw
Whatever possessed these men to think that it was alright to build seven miles of illegal trail straight down Recapture Wash by cutting 300-year-old juniper trees and damaging Ancestral Puebloan sites? To the shame of other law-abiding Utah citizens, these men broke federal laws, including provisions of the Archaeological Resources Protection and the National Historic Preservation acts. They didn’t bother checking with the BLM to get a permit, they just forged ahead moving rocks, installing culverts and even building a small bridge. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/51185441-82/county-blm-recapture-wash.html.csp
Blog Post Summarizes Jonathan Haas’s Studies of Ancient Southwestern Warfare
During the mid-1980‘s, Jonathan Haas, an archaeologist and curator at Chicago’s Field Museum, spent a lot of time digging around in Long House Valley, a dry, scrubby bit of land in a desolate corner of Arizona. He was piecing together the history of a mysterious group of people known as the Kayenta Anasazi who lived there around 900 years ago. As Haas and a team of archaeologists mapped and excavated areas of the valley, the story of the Kayenta Anasazi that emerged was one of environmental catastrophe, remarkable cooperation, widespread warfare, and ultimately cultural collapse as the residents of Long House Valley completely abandoned the area by AD 1300.
Archaeologist Honored with Explorer Award
Archaeologist Steve Lekson said ancient people of the Southwest migrated, fought and had political systems similar to other parts of the historic world. Lekson gave a lecture titled “The Rhythm of Regional Interaction in the Ancient Southwest” at Beloit College on Friday evening after accepting the 2011 Roy Chapman Andrews Society Distinguished Explorer Award. http://beloitdailynews.townnews.com/articles/2011/02/05/news/local_news/news0501.txt
Tribes Work with Feds on Eagle Feather Ceremonial Use
The eagle, cultural icon to Native Americans and the U.S. alike, is becoming emblematic of something else too: the effort to balance the ceremonial use of threatened animals with federal law. Tribal representatives are gearing up for a second round of meetings with officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to discuss the issues surrounding the ceremonial use of eagles in Indian country. http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/01/tribes-work-with-feds-on-eagle-feather-ceremonial-use/
Google Earth and Archaeological Prospection
Indiana Jones, put down your whip. To scour the globe for archaeological sites these days all you need is a desktop computer. Almost two thousand potential archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia have been discovered from an office chair in Perth, Australia, thanks to high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth. “I’ve never been to Saudi Arabia,” says David Kennedy from the University of Western Australia, Australia. “It’s not the easiest country to break into.” http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2011/02/giant-archaeological-trove-fou.html
Field School Announcement – University of Arizona Field School at Rock Art Ranch
The University of Arizona School of Anthropology is launching a new summer field school during the first summer session of 2011 (June 6 through July 7) for undergraduate and graduate students at all skill levels. The participants will learn both archaeological survey and excavation techniques. http://anthropology.arizona.edu/content/university_arizona_school_anthropology_fieldschool_rock_art_ranch
Lecture Opportunity – Irvine
The Pacific Coast Archaeological Society’s February 10 meeting will feature Dr. David S. Whitley speaking on “Mojave Desert Petroglyph Dating and the Peopling of the Americas.” Meeting information: Thursday, February 10, 7:30 pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Avenue, Irvine, CA. Lecture is free and open to the public. For information: http://www.pcas.org.
Employment Opportunity – Section 106 Position Vacancy at the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP) has a vacancy for an archeologist that meets the Secretary of the Interior’s professional qualification standards. This full time permanent position is with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD), but the person in the position is detailed to the AHPP to do Section 106 review. The position will be advertised next week, and the job notice may be found on the AHTD and Arkansas state jobs web sites. If you know someone that might be interested in the position, please pass this information on to them. They are also welcome to call at (501) 324-9880.
New Requirements for Reburial of Human Remains in Great Britain Worry English Archaeologists
We have written to justice secretary Kenneth Clarke to express our concern about conditions imposed on the archaeological excavation of human remains, which occurs under licence from the Ministry of Justice. Recently issued licences require the reburial of all human remains from England and Wales, however ancient. This requirement is not specified in the relevant act and Mr Clarke has not explained his reasoning. We wish to return to the simple, well-tried system practised up to 2008 which permitted the retention, study, curation and display of excavated remains as appropriate. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/feb/04/reburial-requirement-impedes-archaeology and see http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1991513/british_archaeologists_frustrated_by_reburial_legislation/index.html?source=r_science
Thanks to Gerald Kelso and Adrianne Rankin for contributions to today’s newsletter.