Questions Raised about the Dating of Alleged Pre-Clovis Deposits at Blackwater Draw
Archaeologists burrowing in the dirt of central Texas are stirring up a scientific debate that could change history in eastern New Mexico. At issue is the recent discovery of artifacts at an archeological site on Buttermilk Creek, Texas. The artifacts found have been dated between 13,200 and 15,500 years old, said George Crawford, chief archaeologist for the Blackwater Draw site. http://newsok.com/artifacts-spark-debate-on-the-clovis-culture/article/3565863#ixzz1Lp8PE3o1
Leon Lorentzen Passes
Lorentzen was a respected archaeologist and instructor at the University of Arizona Archaeological Field School at Grasshopper Pueblo. His masters thesis in ancient projectile technologies remains an important work in the analysis of projectile points in the ancient southwest. From the Prescott Daily Courier:Leon Howard Lorentzen, 77, of Prescott, Ariz., born June 4, 1933, in Eagle Grove, Iowa, passed away April 30, 2011. Services will be 10 a.m. May 23 at American Evangelical Lutheran Church, Prescott, with inurnment at 2 p.m. at Prescott National Cemetery with full military honors.
Crow Canyon Archaeologist Examines Paleohydrography at Goodman Point Pueblo
Although water wasn’t everywhere, the residents of the ancient Goodman Point community did enjoy an abundance of good-quality water from the canyon-head spring at Goodman Point Pueblo. Such was a major finding of a study conducted by the Wright Paleohydrological Institute (WPI) of Boulder, Colorado, on the hydrology of the Goodman Point community. WPI is a not-for-profit organization led by Kenneth and Ruth Wright that is dedicated to the study of water use and handling by ancient cultures. The Institute has undertaken hydrological studies of many archaeological sites, including Machu Picchu, Pompeii, and four ancient reservoirs in Mesa Verde National Park. http://www.imakenews.com/crowcanyon1/e_article002088138.cfm?x=b11,0,w
Restoration of Vanadlized Rock Art in Begins in Nevada’s Red Rock Canyon
Restoration teams are headed for Southern Nevada to clean up at Red Rock Canyon after some priceless prehistoric artwork was defaced by taggers last year. The restoration of the art was originally estimated at $10,000 but has since increased to more than $20,000. But the process is paid for entirely by donations, some of which was donated by a very special group of students. http://www.ktnv.com/story/14590667/clean-up-begins-at-red-rock-canyon-after-taggers-deface-prehistoric-rock-art
Archaeology, Art, and Mata Ortiz
Few people could have guessed that a centuries-old technique would rescue a depressed village on the verge of becoming a ghost town. But when a poor woodcutter discovered pottery made by pre-Columbian Indians, the fate of this town turned. Three pots by Juan Quezada ended up in a secondhand store in Deming, N.M., where American anthropologist Spencer MacCallum found them in 1976. Fascinated by the maze designs, the color of the clay and the fine brush strokes, he was determined to find the artist. http://www.elpasotimes.com/entertainment/ci_17977607?source=most_emailed
Towa Yalane – A Zuni Shrine in the Sky
As far as we know, all Indian pueblos prehistoric and historic had their religious shrines. Perhaps the most common form was a simple rock cairn, at which religious leaders deposited offerings and recited prayers. A spring, a mountain, or even a lake, as at Taos Pueblo, could in itself be regarded as a holy place and have sacred cairns or petroglyphs associated with it. One of New Mexico’s most fabled shrines is Towa Yalane, a flat-topped mountain rising a thousand feet above a sandy plain, just three miles southeast of Zuni Pueblo. http://www.dchieftain.com/dc/index.php/news/3243-zunis-shrine-in-the-sky-towa-yalane-a-refuge.html
Phoenix Historic Preservation Office Determines that Many of Phoenix’s Ethnic Historic Properties are at Risk
After years of combing city records, gathering oral histories and digging through boxes of family photographs, the Phoenix Historic Preservation Office completed three surveys in 2007 on ethnically significant properties. Beginning in 2004, findings were used to nominate eligible properties and neighborhoods for city, state or national preservation. Today, despite the community-wide effort, several properties identified as historical treasures have little to no protection. http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2011/05/05/20110505phoenix-ethnic-property-treasures-risk.html#ixzz1LhcxN9zB
National Register Watch
Congratulations to the town of Globe, Az for the listing of La Santa Cruz de Globe on the National Register of Historic Places.
A Unique Opportunity to Tour Utah’s “Danger Cave”
It’s a state park not often found on Utah road maps or in tourist literature. Signs of the oldest humans to inhabit Utah dating back 11,300 years ago were found here. It was the site of one of the most famous archaeological studies in the U.S. And World War II soldiers stationed in Wendover to work on the Manhattan Project often held dances here. If you haven’t heard of Danger Cave State Park, chances are you are not alone. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/outdoors/51651032-117/cave-utah-danger-caves.html.csp
El Paso Museum of Archaeology Planning Summer Camps for Kids
From the El Paso Times: The El Paso Museum of Archaeology will have its annual archaeology camp this summer for children age 7 to 12. Camps will be held 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays through Fridays on the following dates – Age 7 to 9 years old (grades 2 to 4): June 28 to July 1 and July 26-29. Ages 10 to 12 (grades 5 to 7): July 12-15 and Aug. 9-12. The fee is $55 for museum members and $70 for nonmembers. Registration is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Camps fill up quickly. Those who are interested should contact the museum as soon as possible. The museum is also seeking volunteers to help with the camps.
Lecture Opportunity (Cave Creek, Az)
Join the members of the Desert Foothills Chapter (DFC) of the Arizona Archaeological Society (AAS) on Wednesday, May 11, at 7 p.m. for a dessert potluck and a stimulating discussion by not one, but two, local archaeologists. Dr. David Abbott, an associate professor of archaeology at ASU and J. Scott Wood, a Tonto National Forest archaeologist and Heritage Manager, will discuss a long term research project to evaluate the possibility of a development of alliances between the prehistoric peoples of the Verde Valley, Perry Mesa and the Cave Creek area. The talk is titled, Desert Foothills Ceramics: Probing the Verde Confederacy on Perry Mesa. The meeting takes place in the Community Building of the Good Shepherd of the Hills Church, 6502 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek. There is no charge for this event and the public is welcome to attend. http://www.sonorannews.com/archives/2011/110504/communitynews-Archaeologists.html
Thanks to Gerald Kelso for contributions to this week’s issue of Southwest Archaeology Today