The Black Mat (not) From Outer Space
A giant cosmic collision with Earth and an asteroid or comet is now the leading culprit behind the mass extinction that ended the Age of Dinosaurs about 65 million years ago. However, there is much controversy regarding whether a cosmic explosion, or something else, caused a more recent mass extinction – the one that wiped out most of the large mammals in North America as well as the so-called Clovis people about 12,900 years ago. http://www.brudirect.com/index.php/Space/mysterious-black-mats-on-earth-not-from-outer-space.html
Clovis Archaeology at El Fin del Mundo Wraps Up the Spring Archaeology Cafe Series
News that archaeologists in Mexico had found three Clovis points in association with Gomphothere remains was greeted with great enthusiasm. On Tuesday, May 1, 2012, Natalia Martínez Tagüeña and Vance Holliday will share the latest news about this exciting find and the most recent field season at the site of El Fin del Mundo. 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 after 5:00 p.m.; presentations begin by 6:15 p.m. https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/event/clovis-archaeology-at-the-end-of-the-world/
Archaeology Southwest Video Presents J. Jefferson Reid’s Cafe on Emil W. Haury and the Mogollon Controversy
If you are unable to attend our Archaeology Cafe presentations, you should know that we share our cafe sessions through streaming video on the Archaeology Southwest website. Dr. Reid’s cafe, as well most cafes from previous seasons, are available from the Archaeology Southwest Video Archive. Click here to catch up on the latest cafe and learn more about prehistory, personality, and place in Southwestern archaeology.
Mesa Spring Training Park Excavations Revealing Ancient Canals
Archeologists already know the Hohokam were masterful engineers when it came to moving water, but the Riverview project has the potential to expand that knowledge. One intriguing feature is a canal that passes over the remnants of an older waterway, said Jerry Howard, anthropology curator at the Arizona Museum of Natural History. “It may tell us some interesting new stories. It’s beginning to look like they restructured the canal systems late in time,” Howard said. “It’s probably going to tell us a bit about how they’re managing water late in time. They’re stressing the resource. They’re using all the water at the time.” http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/local/mesa/article_8b312a10-8b4a-11e1-9e63-0019bb2963f4.html
Exchange Students Fined For Vandalism at El Morro National Monument
On March 21st, two South Korean foreign exchange students attending the University of New Mexico on student visas pled guilty to charges of disturbing an archeological site. On October 13, 2011, park employees discovered two names—”Super Duper Dana” and “Gabriel”—illegally carved into the sandstone bluff known as Inscription Rock. After ascertaining that the monument visitor register included an entry that day by a visitor who identified herself as Dana Choi of South Korea, a protection ranger began an investigation. Through Facebook, the ranger was able to identify the defendants, who were arrested on December 2, 2011, based on a criminal complaint. The students entered their guilty pleas under plea agreements that required them to pay almost $30,000 to the NPS to cover the costs of repairing the damage they caused. – National Park Service
US Quarter Honoring Chaco Canyon Unveiled
An image of Chaco Canyon’s north wall and two ancient community spaces is in pockets across the country. The United States Mint launched the 12th coin in the series of America the Beautiful quarters in front of a crowd of about 250 people at Chaco Culture National Historic Park on Thursday. http://www.daily-times.com/farmington-news/ci_20492662/chaco-quarter-unveiled?source=rss
Is the Rush to Develop Alternative Energy a Threat to Heritage?
The Feb. 27 letter from the chairman of the Colorado River Indian Tribes was pleading and tough. It asked President Obama to slow the federal government’s “frantic pursuit” of massive solar energy projects in the Mojave Desert because of possible damage to Native American cultural resources. The Obama administration didn’t respond. But four days after Chairman Eldred Enas sent the letter, the Indians say they found an answer, delivered by spirits of the desert. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-solar-bones-20120424,0,1894725.story
Pre-registration Open for 2012 Pecos Conference
Registration Open for Sheep is Life Celebration
16th Annual Sheep is Life Celebration. June 18-23, 2012, Tsaile, Az. Learn how to work with Navajo-Churro sheep fiber in hands-on workshops with weavers, spinners, and pastoralists who practice traditional Navajo Lifeways in the heart of the Navajo Nation. Spin, card, felt, and weave with Diné teachers and students and experience the unique qualities of Navajo-Churro wool. Learn how every part of the sheep is used from shearing raw wool to humane butchering for food and making skin creams from sheep fat. Learn the Diné philosophy of tending plants, animals, earth, and people from teachers who know how to turn the Earth’s gifts into art, warmth, food, and sustenance. http://www.navajolifeway.org/?q=content/sheep-life-celebration
Lecture Opportunity – Glendale
The public is invited to a free lecture by David Doyel on The Archaeology of the Goldwater Range in Southwestern Arizona offered by the Agua Fria Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Societyat 6:00 PM on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 in the auditorium of the Glendale Public Library (off 59th Avenue on Brown Avenue, south of Peoria). Membership in the Society is not required. Archaeological surveys have recorded 1,300 archaeological sites on the Barry M. Goldwater Range in southwestern Arizona. This region is one of the hottest and driest in the United States. Nonetheless, it was extensively utilized by multiple prehistoric and historic cultures from Paleoindian times to the recent military occupation. Hunting and gathering, agriculture, acquiring and trading resources, rituals, mining, ranching and military use are some of the activities recorded. The Agua Fria Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society also offers frequent classes and field trips. Check the website at www.azarchsoc.org. For more information contact Tim Cullison, at 602-863-9744, or tcullisonaz at gmail.com.
Lecture Opportunity – Tubac
Volcanic Eruption at Sunset Crater is Topic of Santa Cruz Valley AAS Program May 10. Archaeologist Mark Elson will give a presentation to the Santa Cruz Valley Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society on May 10, 2012, 7 PM, at the North County Facility at 50 Bridge Road in Tubac. His talk is titled “Human Adaption to Catastrophic Events: Lessons from Sunset Crater.” The presentation is free and open to the public.
Thanks to Cherie Freeman and Brian Kreimendahl for contributions to this week’s newsletter.