David Breternitz Passes
This past week we were informed of the passing of David Breternitz, a beloved and well-respected southwestern archaeologist. Dr. Breternitz passed away in Cortez after an illness. Sympathy cards may be sent to the Breternitz Family at P.O. Box 592, Dove Creek, CO 81324-9615.
Could European Paleolithic Populations Have Reached the Americas Before Clovis?
When the crew of the Virginia scallop trawler Cinmar hauled a mastodon tusk onto the deck in 1970, another oddity dropped out of the net: a dark, tapered stone blade, nearly eight inches long and still sharp. Forty years later, this rediscovered prehistoric slasher has reopened debate on a radical theory about who the first Americans were and when they got here. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/radical-theory-of-first-americans-places-stone-age-europeans-in-delmarva-20000-years-ago/2012/02/28/gIQA4mriiR_story.html
Reminder – Special Second Archaeology Cafe Scheduled for March 13 – The Latest Word from 1540
Archaeology Southwest Research Associates Richard and Shirley Flint will lead discussion of The Latest Word from 1540: People, Places, and Portrayals of the Coronado Expedition. The Flints will be joined by fellow Coronado scholars Bill and Gayle Hartmann and Don Burgess. As always, we begin gathering on the patio of Casa Vicente after 5:00 p.m. Outdoor seating is limited, open, and unreserved—be prepared to share tables and make new acquaintances. You may order your own refreshments from the outstanding menu. We begin our informal presentations by 6:15 p.m. Moderated discussion and Q & A follows the opening presentation. https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/event/the-latest-word-from-1540/
Effort to Restore Arizona Heritage Fund Stalled in Legislative Committee
A lawmaker’s attempt to have Arizonans decide whether to revive the voter–approved Heritage Fund is stalled in the House. HCR 2047, authored by Rep. Russ Jones, R–Yuma, earned unanimous approval from the House Agriculture and Water Committee in early February, but the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee has declined to hear it. The measure could potentially reinstate the $10 million annually that the Heritage Fund provided to Arizona State Parks. The agency used the money to expand and improve its parks and provide grants to communities for trails, parks and historic preservation. http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2012/03/attempt-to-revive-park-preservation-funding-currently-stalled-in-house/
Historic Apache School Named a National Historic Landmark
The Theodore Roosevelt School at Fort Apache has been designated a National Historic Landmark for its role in the “highly complex and dynamic interactions” between the federal government and the tribes they were trying to assimilate and control. The announcement Tuesday by the Department of the Interior ends a 13-year push by the White Mountain Apache tribe to have a site that lets them tell their side of history. http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2012/03/fort-apache-earns-historic-designation-for-role-in-tribal-assimilation/
Fallout from Televised Treasure Hunting Programs Continues, American Anthropological Association Publishes Letter to National Geographic
The American Anthropological Association (AAA) and its more than 11,000 members worldwide join other professional organizations and concerned communities everywhere in urging you to withdraw support or modify the contents of the new reality television show, “Diggers,” which recently premiered on the National Geographic Channel. This program wrongly represents archaeology as a treasure-seeking adventure, in which our collective heritage is dug up and sold for monetary gain. http://www.aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/upload/NG-Diggers-letter.PDF
Public Participation Can Help Preserve Our National Parks
You might call it a sort of “neighborhood watch” program for four national parks and monuments in southeastern Utah. You too could be a “guardian angel” of archaeology, but you have to be willing to invest the time — and the shoe leather. While her appearance resembles that of any hiker in Arches National Park, Joette Langianese, executive director of Friends of Arches & Canyonlands National Parks, has a special mission. “In the long run, our goal is to preserve and protect the national parks,” she told KSL News in a recent interview. http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=19500144&s_cid=rss-148
Chaco Canyon Kivas Will Be Featured on U.S. Quarter Dollars
The iconic images of Chaco Culture National Historical Park have appeared on post cards, calendars and the fine arts for decades. The park’s latest debut will be its most ubiquitous. It will appear in solid metal, and it will be found in pockets and purses across the country. The U.S. Mint next month will launch a quarter that, on the flip side, features etchings of two elevated kivas that are part of the Chetro Kelt (sic) Complex, along with the north wall of the canyon. The quarter is part of the U.S. Mint’s “America the Beautiful” program. http://www.daily-times.com/farmington-news/ci_20149035/coining-chaco-culture-national-historical-park?source=rss
Publication Announcement – Southwestern Pithouse Communities, AD 200-900
Pithouses are the earliest identifiable domestic architecture in many areas of the world, and can provide insights into the origins of communities—a fundamental component of past and present societies. In this book, Lisa Young and Sarah Herr invite archaeologists to explore the development of communities using information from pithouse sites in the American Southwest. http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/Books/bid2355.htm
Carrizo Plain District Named National Historic Landmark
National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis announced the designation of Carrizo Plain Archeological District in California as a National Historic Landmark. The Carrizo Plain Archeological District represents a unique concentration of precontact sites, art and artifacts. Anthropologists, archeologists, artists, and novelists have all recognized the outstanding significance of this important archeological district for almost a century. Overall, the district itself contains 100 contributing sites. These include rock art panels and motifs, village midden deposits, quarries, and rock cairns. Eighteen of the properties are pictograph sites; these represent what is probably one of the largest and best concentrations of painted rock art in the U.S. http://www.atascaderonews.com/v2_news_articles.php?heading=0&story_id=4863&page=72
Call for Nominations, Arizona Governor’s Awards in Public Archaeology and Historic Preservation
The Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission (Commission) is sponsoring its 26th annual “Awards in Public Archaeology.” The Commission is a statutory board that advises the State Historic Preservation Officer on issues of relevance to Arizona archaeology. The Awards are presented to individuals, organizations, and/or programs that have significantly contributed to the protection and preservation of, and education about, Arizona’s non-renewable archaeological resources. https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/sat/gaac_2012_awards_pa.pdf
Field School Announcement – Arizona
The University of Arizona School of Anthropology will be conducting its second field season at Rock Art Ranch during the first summer session of 2012 (June 4 through July 6) for undergraduate and graduate students at all skill levels.The participants will learn both archaeological survey and excavation techniques. For survey, participants will learn site identification, location and mapping using GPS; artifact identification, collection and processing; soil and plant identification; and artifact analysis and sourcing. http://anthropology.arizona.edu/node/722
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars presents a talk by Dr. Norman Yoffee, Assyriologist and Editor, Cambridge World Archaeology, who will give a presentation titled: It Ain’t Necessarily So: What Happened in Mesopotamia and What Didn’t. Presented tonight, March 12 at 6pm at Hotel Santa Fe. Admission $12. Lecture given to honor and acknowledge The Office of Archaeological Studies/Museum of New Mexico.
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars presents a talk by Dr. Jeffrey Long, Evolutionary Anthropologist and Professor, University of New Mexico, who will give a presentation titled: Our Genetic Stratigraphy: The Historical Record in Our Genomes. Presented on March 19 at 6pm at Hotel Santa Fe. Admission $12. Lecture given to honor and acknowledge The Archaeological Conservancy.
Lecture Opportunity – Tucson
At 7:30 pm, on 19 March at DuVal Auditorium (inside UMC) 1501 N. Campbell Ave, William Lipe will present “Before Lake Powell: Memories of Glen Canyon Archaeology.” This talk reviews some of the archaeological contributions of the Glen Canyon Archaeological Project, which was conducted prior to Lake Powell being filled in 1963. The talk also covers logistical challenges and political context of the project, since the flooding of Glen Canyon contributed to growth of the environmental movement at the time. It is illustrated with digitized versions of slides and film clips taken during the project.
Lecture Opportunity – Apache Junction
Explore the harvest of the desert with Native American Naturalist David Morris, Monday, March 19th, as part of AJUSD’s Arizona Lecture Series. Learn about the many uses of our desert plants and the biology that makes them useful. Some plants have provided for the people of the desert since prehistoric times. See how plants were used for food, construction, medicine and magic by examining the ethnobotany of the Sonoran Desert. http://www.goldcanyontoday.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2266&Itemid=189
Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl for contributing to this week’s newsletter.