USGS Casts Doubt on Clovis Comet Theory
Evidence used to support a possible extraterrestrial impact event is likely the result of natural processes, according to a new collaborative study led by U.S. Geological Survey scientists. Elevated levels of iridium, magnetic spherules, and titanomagnetite grains, collectively called “impact markers,” form the bulk of the evidence for the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis, a hotly contested idea that links climate change, extinctions, and the demise of the Clovis culture. Scientists found high levels of the reported markers in deposits called black mats, the organic-rich remains of old marshes and swamps, at several sites in the southwestern U.S. and the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Markers were found in black mats ranging in age from 6,000 to more than 40,000 years in areas far removed from the purported impact location. These findings indicate the markers accumulated naturally in wetlands and are not the result of a catastrophic impact event. http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3180#.UI2bY8VUWHc
University of Arizona Offers Peek at New Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
The building will contain new laboratory and meeting spaces in a glass-and-metal building designed to evoke a treehouse, said Tom Swetnam, director of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. The giant sequoia slice will sit in the first floor and will be visible to passers-by through the glass. “When talking about displaying our most superlative tree ring specimens, the giant sequoia came to mind,” Swetnam said. “If someone grew up in Tucson and went on a field trip to the museum and you ask them what they remember, they say, ‘Oh, the giant sequoia!'” http://azstarnet.com/news/science/ancient-sequoia-slice-is-new-lab-s-star/article_f64f5936-6cb1-5c8e-91a7-2af9d7874d23.html
University Indian Ruin Archeological Research District Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
The University Indian Ruin Archeological Research District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 17, 2012. The UIR Research District includes the University Indian Ruin, a Hohokam platform mound site occupied between a.d. 1150 and 1450, and a historic complex of research facilities that was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. Byron Cummings, Emil Haury, and Julian Hayden conducted the initial investigation of the site, and the Univeristy of Arizona School of Anthropology currently sponsors an archaeological field school at the Hohokam component of the site under the direction of Paul Fish and Suzanne Fish. The National Register nomination was prepared by Ian M. Milliken, drawing upon the classwork of students in Anth 440A/540A (Cultural Resources Management), including Maggie Evancho, Theodore Gatchell, John Logan, Anna Martin, Enid Messerli, Tyler Theriot, and A. J. Vonarx. Mark Elson and T. J. Ferguson guided the students in their work on the nomination.
Section 106 Success Stories
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is pleased to announce seven new Section 106 Success Stories as part of its ongoing effort to prepare for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in 2016. An important part of this celebration includes the collection of “106 Success Stories” that illustrate how Section 106 of the NHPA has been used to engage people in the discussion about protecting historic properties that matter most to them. These seven stories provide examples of how federal agencies have used the Section 106 process to protect historic properties, improve federal planning, and raise awareness of the benefits of historic preservation. These stories and others can be found at http://www.achp.gov/sec106_successes.html. They are part of an ongoing collection of 106 stories that explain the benefits of this important program to the public, elected officials, federal agencies and preservation partners.
Sustainable Preservation Practice in Aspen Co
A pair of midvalley landowners won a commitment from Pitkin County commissioners Wednesday that will allow them to preserve a site littered with prehistoric artifacts and, ideally, recoup the money they sank into the property to prevent its development. The arrangement is unique in the annuals of county land use, where the issuance of transferable development rights has never before been used as a means to preserve archaeological resources — in this case stone tools, spear points, fragments and the like. http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20121025/NEWS/121029923/1001&parentprofile=1058
Major Upgrade at the Archaeology Channel
After nearly two years of work, Archaeological Legacy Institute has launched the new and improved version of its streaming-media Web site, The Archaeology Channel (archaeologychannel.org). This effort has involved thousands of hours of behind-the-scenes labor by a team of 18 staff members and volunteers working at locations around the world. We covered the costs for this work from our general fund, whose sources are around 200 individual and organizational supporting TAC members and sponsoring individuals, organizations and companies. We began our site re-design two years ago when we knew TAC no longer could communicate our vision and fulfill our nonprofit mission effectively enough with the old design that had been in use since 2003. Times change and so do people’s expectations for how Web sites should look and operate. We set out to redraft the site from the bottom up using a content management system (CMS–in this case Joomla) to allow publishing, editing and modifying content and site structure from a central control interface accessible in our own office and also to our helpers located around the world.
Camp Verde Archaeology Center Opens on the Third of November
When the Town of Camp Verde decided to turn its visitor center over to the Verde Valley Archaeology Center, it was done so with hope and great expectations. Next Saturday, when the VVAC opens its doors to the public, it is the center’s hope that they have lived up to those expectations. http://www.cvbugle.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=36353
Lecture Opportunity – Cortez
The Hisatsinom Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society is pleased to present Joe Brisbin to discuss Prehistoric Kilns and their Firing Regimen on Tuesday, November 6 at 7:00 PM at the First United Methodist Church, Cortez. Pottery kilns are found in a variety of locations in southwest Colorado. Recognizing these locations is often difficult. This is a unique opportunity to discover how and where to find pottery kilns on the landscape, how they were constructed, the regimen of firing, why location and air flow were important and how to look for their tell-tale gray soil stains. Over his forty-five year career as a field archaeologist, Joe has excavated numerous kiln sites. Contact Bob Bernhart @ 970-739-6772 with questions or for directions.
Lecture Opportunity – Glendale
The public is invited to a free lecture on Archaeological Excavations at Lake Pleasant Regional Park offered by the Agua Fria Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society at 7:00 PM on Monday, November 12, 2012 at the West Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 5904 W. Cholla St., Glendale, AZ (off 59th Avenue, south of Cactus). Membership in the Society is not required. At the request of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Archaeological Consulting Services undertook excavations at a rockshelter site located in Lake Pleasant Regional Park. Archaeologists uncovered evidence for Hohokam and Yavapai occupations. The Yavapai site appears to span the Protohistoric and Historic periods. The Agua Fria Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society also offers classes and field trips. Check the website at www.azarchsoc.or For more information contact Tim Cullison, 602-863-9744, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tour Opportunity – Flagstaff
On Saturday and Sunday November 3 and 4, 2012, Coconino National Forest archaeologist Peter J. Pilles, Jr., will lead Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s “Sinagua Archaeology of the Flagstaff and Verde Valley Areas” fundraising educational tour. On Saturday, starting at 10 a.m., the tour will visit Elden Pueblo (where Peter and company have excavated and surveyed for years), Turkey Hill Pueblo, Winona Village, Ridge Ruin, the Two Kivas site, and, if time allows, Medicine Fort and the Jack Smith Alcove House in the Cohonina area. Sites to be visited Sunday include the V-Bar-V Heritage site petroglyphs, the Sacred Mountain ballcourt and a replicated experimental field site, prehistoric agricultural fields along Beaver Creek, Red Tank Draw petroglyphs, a Sinagua field house, and, time permitting, the Fewkes Petroglyph Boulder on Salt Mine Road (and possibly the Salt Mine itself). Fee is $95 ($76 for Old Pueblo Archaeology Center and Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary members). Participants are responsible for their own transportation, meals, and lodging. Bring your own picnic lunch and water, and wear comfortable hiking shoes. Reservations required: 520-798-1201 or email@example.com.
Thanks to Cherie Freeman for contributions to this week’s newsletter.