Utah State Archaeologist Fired in Political Dispute Appeals the Termination of His Position
Former State Archaeologist Kevin Jones is appealing his firing from the state last June in a major restructuring. But the state is fighting him all the way, saying — to start with — that he retired and has no appeal available. Bob Thompson, administrator of the Utah Career Service Review Office, is expected to rule next month whether his agency can even take up Jones’ complaint against the Department of Community and Culture (DCC). http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/53334433-90/state-jones-retirement-archaeologist.html.csp
Join Archaeology Southwest’s Next Archaeology Café for an Examination of New Interpretations of Ancient Rock Art
On Tuesday, February 7, 2012, Henry Wallace will broaden our thinking about what what rock art can contribute to our understanding of the human experience. Come settle in with a drink and a plate of delicious tapas at downtown Tucson’s own Casa Vicente. We meet the first Tuesday of each month from September through May at 6:00 p.m.; presentations begin at 6:15 p.m. Seating is open on a first-come, first-served basis—be ready to make new acquaintances! Our forum opens with a brief, informal presentation on a timely or even controversial topic, followed by a question and answer period and a short break. Our moderator then commences spirited but focused discussion. https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/event/what-can-we-really-learn-from-prehistoric-rock-art/
Aztec High School JROTC Receives $75,000 Dollar Grant to Assist at Aztec Ruins National Monument
The year has just begun, and Aztec High School’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program already has received the largest grant of any JROTC program in the nation for the 2011-2012 school year. Starting in February, the local JROTC program will use $75,000 from the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps to maintain and improve the nearby Aztec Ruins National Monument while also learning skills and earning pay. http://www.daily-times.com/farmington-news/ci_19780753?source=rss
Deer Valley Rock Art Center Presents Another Season of the Popular Story Time Series
Ollie’s Storybook Adventures return to Arizona State University’s Deer Valley Rock Art Center with storytimes about archaeology, desert wildlife and Native American cultures. The season begins on Jan. 27, with a storytime titled “Cool Coyotes.” The book will be “Coyote: A Trickster Tale From the American Southwest” by Gerald McDermott. http://asunews.asu.edu/20120117_ollies_storybookadventures
Request for Volunteers for the Arizona Archaeology Expo
The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office and APS are seeking volunteers to help implement the 2012 Arizona Archaeology & Heritage Expo (Saturday, March 3rd, at the State Capitol, 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, 85007; 9 am to 4 pm). Volunteers are needed to help direct parking, monitor crosswalks, monitor and pick up trash, help with clean up, and other activities as needed. If you can help out, even for a couple of hours, it would be greatly appreciated! Please contact Ann Howard at (602) 542-7138 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or to let her know that you can help.
National Park Service Looking for Descendants of Arizona Homesteaders
The National Park Service is looking for Arizonans who homesteaded land or whose ancestors did to help celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the federal Homestead Act. Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska is recruiting volunteers from the 30 states covered by the Act to carry their state’s flag at events in May and June. http://washingtonexaminer.com/entertainment/travel/2012/01/park-service-seeks-ariz-homesteaders-descendants/2100746
Ancient Home Found Under San Antonio Riverside Park
The San Antonio River is home to the River Walk, tourists and now – in a stretch of the river miles from downtown – apparently the home of ancient man. A preliminary investigation by state archaeologists found a pre-historic hut near the river from the Late Archaic Period. “The carbon dating now shows it’s from 2275 BC and it burned down,” said Betty Bueche, Facilities Manager for Bexar County. Bueche is overseeing the $5.2 million facelift to Mission County Park. The renovations required a preliminary dig by archaeologists. http://www.kens5.com/news/local/San-Antonio-River-walkin-about-4000-years-ago-137713568.html
Historic Preservation Internship Opportunity – Santa Fe
Heritage Preservation of nearly any kind depends ultimately on a team of skilled workers who have learned the ethics and approaches of preservation as well as the disciplines of their own trades. In particular, the knowledge and skills associated with the traditional building trades are at the heart of architectural conservation. But sadly such skilled crafters are in increasingly short supply. http://www.historicsantafe.org/Internship.html
Lecture Opportunity – Tucson
Ken Scoville will present a free lecture titled “Fort Lowell, the History of Arizona” on Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 3 p.m. The Fort Lowell Historic District in Tucson provides many of the answers to the question, “Why is Arizona the state it is today?” This presentation explores the physical features that caused the emergence of different layers of culture, the resulting regional shelter that developed over centuries, and the results of rapid population growth. The cultural layers include the Hohokam, Spanish explorers, Territorial soldiers, and the El Fuerte farming community. Ken Scoville is a recognized local historian and outspoken advocate for historic preservation issues.
Workshop Opportunity – Tucson
Saturday, January 28, 2012, Arrowhead-making and Flintknapping Workshop in Tucson. Archaeologist and expert flintknapper Allen Denoyer teaches how to make arrowheads, spear points, and other flaked stone artifacts just like ancient peoples did, providing hands-on experience and learning about how ancient peoples made and used tools from obsidian and other stones. This workshop is designed to help modern people understand how prehistoric Native Americans made traditional crafts, and is not intended to train students how to make artwork for sale. Place: Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 2201 W. 44th Street, Tucson. Time: 9 a.m. to noon. Fee: $35 ($28 for Old Pueblo Archaeology Center and Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary members). Reservations required. http://www.oldpueblo.org/assets/20120128FlintknappingWorkshop.pdf
First Physical Evidence of Tobacco in Mayan Container
ScienceDaily (Jan. 11, 2012) — A scientist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an anthropologist from the University at Albany teamed up to use ultra-modern chemical analysis technology at Rensselaer to analyze ancient Mayan pottery for proof of tobacco use in the ancient culture. Dmitri Zagorevski, director of the Proteomics Core in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) at Rensselaer, and Jennifer Loughmiller-Newman, a doctoral candidate at the University at Albany, have discovered the first physical evidence of tobacco in a Mayan container. Their discovery represents new evidence on the ancient use of tobacco in the Mayan culture and a new method to understand the ancient roots of tobacco use in the Americas. http://www.sciencedaily.com/
Ancient Popcorn in Peru
People living along the coast of Peru were eating popcorn 1,000 years earlier than previously reported and before ceramic pottery was used there, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences co-authored by Dolores Piperno, curator of New World archaeology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and emeritus staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-ancient-popcorn-peru.html
News from the Archaeology Channel
In the January 2012 installment of the Video News from TAC, we bring you a direct reading of the Maya creation myth from an Eighth Century Guatemalan monument and the unique story of a Greek fountain. See these stories in the January 2012 edition of this monthly half-hour show, available now on our nonprofit streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel (http://www.
Thanks to Adrianne Rankin for contributions to this issue of Southwest Archaeology Today.