Besh-Ba-Gowah and the Salado Phenomenon
Ancient ruins can be the most personal of artifacts, whispering with the voices of those they once sheltered. But such whispers often spark more questions than answers. Consider Globe’s Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park, where rustic stone ramparts and reconstructed dwellings evoke what archaeologists now call the ancient Salado “phenomenon.” http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/mysterious-besh-ba-gowah/Content?oid=3081243
Salt Lake Tribute Attributes Firing of Utah Archaeologists to a Combination of Political Retribution and a Lack of Respect for the Past
The positions of state archaeologist Kevin Jones and assistants Derinna Kopp and Ronald Rood were eliminated, not only to save money, but to settle scores. The three had become an annoyance to some of the powerful people in the Legislature, governor’s office and the Utah Transit Authority, and they had opposed powerful real estate developers. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/52175670-82/state-ancient-utah-archaeologists.html.csp
Preservation Archaeology Field School Wraps Up a Successful Summer’s Research Project
In setting out to do this research (or any archaeological excavation), we do our best to predict what we’ll find under the surface of the site – this summer (as with any research design) some of our predictions were accurate and others weren’t quite right. And as nice as it is to be proved right, the most exciting part of doing archaeology can come from finding what we did not expect. https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/what-we-do/investigations/mule-creek/mule-creek-underground/
Historic Preservation News – Federal Government Seeks to End Abuse of Facade Preservation Easements
The federal government is aggressively trying to halt the abuse of an obscure tax break by examining the tax returns of hundreds of Washington area property owners and seeking the identities of hundreds more in an attempt to reclaim hundreds of millions of dollars. The Justice Department also is asking a federal judge to order a local historic preservationist to stop advising homeowners that they can claim huge tax deductions. The department is demanding the names and Social Security numbers of an estimated 800 property owners who used the tax break — known as a facade easement donation — on their homes. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/us-seeks-to-end-tax-break-for-facade-easement-donations/2011/07/05/gIQAFsH35H_story.html
Lecture Opportunity (Tucson)
At the AAHS Lecture, Monday, July 19th in the University Medical Center DuVal Auditorium, Dr. Ronald Towner will present “Tree Rings, Documents and Oral Histories in Cebolla Creek, New Mexico.” http://www.az-arch-and-hist.org/2010/09/ronald-h-towner-tree-rings-documents-and-oral-histories-in-cebolla-creek-new-mexico/
BP Spill Recovery Teams Encountering Archaeology of the Gulf Coast
Cleanup after the BP oil spill has turned up dozens of sites where archaeologists are finding human and animal bones, pottery and primitive weapons left behind by prehistoric Indian settlements – a trove of new clues about the Gulf Coast’s mound dwellers of more than 1,300 years ago. But they also fear the remains could be damaged by oil or lost to erosion before they can be studied fully studied. http://azstarnet.com/news/national/article_e3aa3806-3b30-5cde-9dd6-0509458fd213.html
News from the Archaeology Channel
The recovery of a prehistoric dugout canoe in Florida’s Tampa Bay and a discourse on the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration are the latest features on the Video News from TAC. See these stories in the July 2011 edition of this monthly half-hour show, available now on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel (http://www.archaeologychannel.org) as well as on cable TV in cities across the US.
Thanks to Cherie Freeman for contributions to this week’s issue of Southwest Archaeology Today.