The Atari Stratum May Be Quite Extensive
How old do remnants of our material culture have to be before they’re considered artifacts? If you’re a gamer, not very old at all. This week, Canada-based game developer Fuel Industries got approval from the city of Alamogordo, New Mexico, to excavate the site of the so-called Atari Dump — a desert landfill where the famous video game manufacturer Atari buried hundreds of tons of broken and outdated merchandise in 1983. http://bit.ly/18JXp33 – Western Digs
Not Just for Sherd Nerds — A Visit to the Vault
Matt Peeples blogs about the awe he felt on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Arizona State Museum’s Pottery Vault last week. The tour was one of several excursions marking the beginning of Archaeology Southwest and University of Arizona’s 2013 Preservation Archaeology Field School. The group also visited the Tohono O’odham Cultural Center and the Valencia archaeological site preserve in Tucson before heading to New Mexico for field training. Follow “Preservation Archaeology” for continuing blog posts about field school activities.
Utah Department of Transportation Encounters Significant Ancestral Puebloan, Paleoindian and Paleontological Deposits
The Utah Department of Transportation discovered ancient ruins this month as they paved their way through the Southern Parkway, a 33-mile project that will soon be an eastern belt route for Washington County. The ruins have been named one of the oldest sites investigated in Southern Utah, where more than 15 other archaeological sites have been found near Washington Dam Road. Scientists are currently stating, upon significant research, that the area was inhabited for up to 10,000 years. http://bit.ly/11xBCmi – StGeorgeUtah.com
“Aviation Archaeology” or the Systematic Destruction of Historic Sites?
Critics believe that the significance of the men’s findings is slightly exaggerated. Raymond Puffer, retired Edwards historian, said their work is more of a hobby than anything else. Other explorers, like G. Pat Macha, prefer to leave the crash sites intact. “That’s a big issue in this field: To simply take a picture or take the stuff home with you,” said Macha, 67, who has identified and documented crash sites in Southern California for 50 years. http://lat.ms/11fCxJi – Los Angeles Times
The Society for Historic Archaeology Examines Deaccessioning — The “Third Rail” of the Curation Crisis?
In 1996, former SHA Curation Committee Chair Bob Sonderman (Museum Resource Center, National Park Service) argued that archaeologists’ commitment to preserve an astounding volume of artifacts has fostered “an overwhelming sense of primal fear when the thought of deaccessioning archaeological material is raised.” Archaeologists do indeed have an emotionally charged approach to collection and curation of artifacts: We value every object in an assemblage as an element in a complex historical narrative; we are especially committed to the notion that “small things” matter; and we have faith that future scholars may one day find fresh insights in old things. Yet preserving everything may be neither a practical strategy nor an especially constructive research method. http://bit.ly/12YRoJr – SHA.org
Lecture Opportunity – Cortez
The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center northwest of Cortez has been a hub of archaeological research in the Four Corners area for 30 years. Very few archaeologists know Crow Canyon and the archaeology of the Four Corners like Dr. Bill Lipe. As a former Crow Canyon director of research and a current board of trustees member, he has been involved with the Center since its inception. On June 13, Dr. Lipe will present “30 Years of Knowing the Southwest through Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.” The presentation, part of the 2013 Four Corners Lecture Series, begins at 7 p.m. at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and is free and open to the public. http://bit.ly/13eeIVh – The Cortez Journal
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Dr. Michael B. Collins, Archaeologist and Research Professor, Texas State University-San Marcos; Author, Clovis Blade Technology and Co-Author, Clovis Technology who will give a lecture on Paleo-Indian Sites in North America: Location, Location, Location on June 17 at Hotel Santa Fe as part of the annual Voices From the Past Lecture Series. Admission is by subscription or $12 at the door. No reservations are necessary and refreshments are served. Contact Connie Eichstaedt, tel: 505 466-2775, email:firstname.lastname@example.org website: http://bit.ly/YhJddr – Southwest Seminars
Lecture Opportunities – Tucson
In June the Maricopa and Pima County public libraries, Arizona Humanities Council, and Old Pueblo Archaeology Center will offer the “Archaeology and Cultures of Arizona” presentation by archaeologist Allen Dart at eight southern Arizona libraries. In this abundantly illustrated presentation Mr. Dart summarizes Arizona’s earliest Paleoindians, Archaic period hunters and foragers, the transition to true village life, and the prehistoric Puebloan, Mogollon, Sinagua, Hohokam, Salado, and Patayan archaeological cultures, and discusses connections between these native cultures and the peoples who have formed our state’s more recent history. For presentation dates, times, and addresses visit http://bit.ly/11xMqkm – Old Pueblo Archaeology