Chocolate in the Southwest by AD 800?
They were humble farmers who grew corn and dwelt in subterranean pit houses. But the people who lived 1200 years ago in a Utah village known as Site 13, near Canyonlands National Park in Utah, seem to have had at least one indulgence: chocolate. Researchers report that half a dozen bowls excavated from the area contain traces of chocolate, the earliest known in North America. The finding implies that by the end of the 8th century C.E., cacao beans, which grow only in the tropics, were being imported to Utah from orchards thousands of kilometers away. http://bit.ly/Wq4oae
Apply Now for the 2013 Preservation Archaeology Field School
Archaeology Southwest and University of Arizona’s third Preservation Archaeology Field School at Mule Creek, New Mexico, will convene from May 27 through July 7, 2013. Explore ethically responsible and scientifically rigorous field and research methods while investigating compelling questions about our shared past. http://bit.ly/WpM8LX
New Findings on Trincheras Mortuary Practice
Researchers from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) keep acquiring knowledge of funerary practices in the ancient groups that inhabited the north of Sonora, such as the incineration and burial (in pots) of their departed, a custom that has been known to archaeologists since the finding of a pre Hispanic cemetery of approximately 700 years old in the Archaeological Zone of Cerro de Trincheras. Archaeologist Elisa Villalpando Canchola, who directs the investigation in this pre Hispanic site, said the location of this funerary context is so enriching (found in the north hillside of Cerro de Trincheras) it has been named “Loma de las cremaciones” [Hill lock of cremations] http://bit.ly/W9V2jn
Explore Placemaking and Displacement at Fort Apache at the Next Archaeology Café – Tucson
Join Archaeology Southwest, Tuesday, Feb. 5, as John Welch (Simon Fraser University) discusses the history of the White Mountain Apache Tribe‘s collaborative efforts to restore the Fort Apache and TR School National Historic District. We gather after 5:00 p.m., and presentations begin by 6:15 p.m. Outdoor seating is open and unreserved, but limited. Share tables and make new friends! The event is free. Please support our hosts at Casa Vicente by ordering refreshments from the menu. http://bit.ly/Yxs7Z7
Murray Springs Makes Smithsonian Magazine’s Top 5 Places to Explore Clovis
A spot along the San Pedro River where the earliest known humans in the New World butchered bison and mammoths has been named one of the “five great places to see evidence of first Americans” by Smithsonian Magazine. The Murray Springs Clovis site, now part of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, was first excavated in 1966 by C. Vance Haynes Jr. and Peter Mehringer of the Arizona State Museum. http://bit.ly/X3UdpN
Blackwater Draw and Lubbock Lake also Listed in Smithsonian’s Top 5
In 1929, in a dry lake bed near Clovis, New Mexico, a young outdoorsman named Ridgely Whiteman came across unusual, fluted projectile points—the first evidence of a 13,000-year-old Paleo-Indian culture. Archaeologists soon followed, piecing together an account of the Clovis people, long believed to be the first to settle in the Americas. http://bit.ly/VgwQYK
Publication Announcement – An Updated Chaco Handbook
An enlarged, updated second edition of The Chaco Handbook: An Encyclopedic Guide has just been published by The University of Utah Press. This valuable reference provides a narrative introduction to the prehistory and archaeology of Chaco Canyon, more than 270 cross-referenced encyclopedia entries, over 100 illustrations and maps, and five helpful timelines. Entries address important Chacoan and related sites, place-names, archaeological and ethnographic terms, objects and architectural features, and institutions and individuals. This second edition includes a new preface, a new chapter on professional explanations for the “Chaco Phenomenon,” additional entries, and revisions to existing entries. http://bit.ly/10UXqci
Evidence of Ancient Human Sacrifice near Teotihuacan
Archaeologists have unearthed a trove of skulls in Mexico that may have once belonged to human sacrifice victims. The skulls, which date between the year 600 and 850, may also shatter existing notions about the ancient culture of the area. http://nbcnews.to/VgvL3e
Hiking Opportunity – El Malpais
El Malpais NCA, Grants, NM Experience a fine northern New Mexico winter and hike 4 miles in wilderness off trail to a petroglyph panel in search of an undiscovered sun marker. On the next Cross Quarter (Imbolc), Sunday, February 3rd, we’ll visit one of 2 likely candidates depending on the roads & weather. Space is limited, so sign up now at http://bit.ly/W8Tu9w
Lecture Opportunity – Cortez
The Hisatsinom Chapter of the Colorado Archaeology Society is pleased to announce Don Irwin on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. at the First Methodist Church, 515 North Park Street, Cortez, CO, to discuss the Pueblo I period Ancestral Puebloan occupation of the Abajo Uplands, Monticello Ranger District, Manti-La Sal National Forest in SE Utah. After 40 years of archaeological investigations, the Forest remains a gray spot on most peoples’ map. This talk summarizes and, where possible, interprets the Forest PI occupation in light of the last decade of work conducted on the District. For questions about this or other lectures, please call Diane McBride at 970-560-1643.
Lecture Opportunity – Glendale
The public is invited to a free lecture by Robert M. Wegener, who will present Six Archaeological Sites in the Phoenix Basin during the monthly meeting of the Agua Fria Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society at 7:00 PM on Monday, February 11, 2013 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. The Agua Fria Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society also offers classes and field trips. Check the website at http://www.azarchsoc.org. For more information contact Tim Cullison, 602-863-9744, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Dr Steven R. Holen, Curator of Archaeology Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Kathleen Holen, Director, Center for American Paleolithic Research, who together will give a public lecture Feb. 4 at 6pm at Hotel Santa FeThe Early Peopling of America: From Time Immemorial as part of the annual Ancient Sites Ancient Stories Lecture Series. Admission is $12 at the door or by subscription. No reservations are necessary and refreshments are provided. Contact Connie Eichstaedt, Southwest Seminars, for information. 505 466-2775. Email: email@example.com or website: http://bit.ly/YhJddr
Lecture Opportunity – Tucson
Author and research anthropologist Thomas Sheridan will present A History of Arizona Like You’ve Never Heard Before. Tuesday, January 29, 2013 from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. in the Lower Level Meeting Room of the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. http://bit.ly/X23sW1
Lecture Opportunity – Tucson
On Sunday, February 3, at 3 pm in the historic San Pedro Chapel, 5230 E. Fort Lowell Road, Mike Anderson will present Baseball’s Earliest Days in Arizona. While the Earps and cowboys stalked each other on the streets of Tombstone in 1881, others in the silver camp were busy forming baseball teams. America’s pastime accompanied the westward expansion and was an integral part of life on the frontier, in a form very much recognizable to us today. Bisbee baseball historian Mike Anderson will tell the story of baseball’s earliest days in the Arizona Territory, tracing its evolution as a game and as a part of community life, using photos taken during the 19th century and early 20th century of players and teams in southern Arizona. The lecture is free and open to the public
Tour Opportunity – Ventana Cave
On Saturday February 2, Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s “Rock Art and Archaeology of Ventana Cave” carpooling educational tour with archaeologist Allen Dart will depart at 6:30 a.m. from Pima Community College’s Community Campus, 401 N. Bonita Ave., Tucson. This all-day tour onto the Tohono O’odham Nation will focus on the Ventana Cave National Historic Landmark site, where the Arizona State Museum’s excavations led by archaeologists Emil W. Haury and Julian Hayden found evidence for human occupation going back from historic times to around 10,000 years ago. Fee of $35 will benefit the Tohono O’odham Hickiwan District’s efforts to care for Ventana Cave, and the nonprofit Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s education programs. Reservations required. http://bit.ly/Wv7MNX
Thanks to Jim Bonk and Cherie Freeman for contributing to this issue of Southwest Archaeology Today.