Proposed Transmission Line Threatens the Archaeology of the San Pedro Valley
The U. S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the SunZia Southwest Transmission Line Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in June 2013. The BLM proposes to select the preferred alternative presented in the Draft EIS, with some minor route modifications. The preferred alternative proposes a corridor for two 500kV power lines through the lower San Pedro River valley, which has no such corridors at present. http://bit.ly/15FTctZ – Archaeology Southwest
Cochise County Supervisors Contest SunZia Plans
The Cochise County Board of Supervisors agreed to submit a letter of protest of the route selected by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that permits SunZia Southwest Transmission, LLC., to install two parallel power lines that will run through the northwest corner of the county and the Lower San Pedro River Valley. Supervisor Ann English, chair of the board of supervisors, explained that the county had to have its notice of protest filed by July 15 and to meet that deadline, she submitted a letter to the BLM. Now she needed the approval of Supervisors Pat Call and Richard Searle, which they gave. http://bit.ly/15FTyAG – San Pedro Valley News & Sun
DOD Joins Environmentalists in Protesting Planned Route of Transmission Line
The Defense Department and environmental groups find themselves facing a common enemy in their strong opposition to a proposed 515 mile high-voltage electric transmission line touted as a way to transmit “green” wind energy from rural New Mexico to urban markets in Arizona and potentially California. The proposed SunZia system includes two single-circuit, bi-directional 500 kV transmission lines strung from 135-foot towers spaced 1,400 feet apart along the proposed route, which runs from a substation near the small town of Corona, N.M., 82 miles southeast of Albuquerque, to another substation near Eloy, Ariz., roughly halfway between Tuscon and Phoenix. http://bit.ly/16tnnp3 – NextGov.com
Depopulation of Ancient Mesa Verde as a Model for the Impacts of Climate Change
But the ancient people did suddenly abandon these ancient sites, and archaeologists now believe the trigger for this was climate change, specifically the Great Drought, from about 1276 to 1279. According to some recent research, the problem wasn’t so much because the people no longer had enough water for their crops; a relatively small expansion of their agricultural territory would have provided enough food. But the sudden climate change, these researchers theorize, led to a disruption in their beliefs and a loss of faith in their political structure. The people did not disappear, but their way of life collapsed as they scattered, forming much smaller and less formal village units. http://lat.ms/15vUL03 – Los Angeles Times
Complex Set of Real Estate Transactions to Restore Native Lands
After bungling the management of Indian lands for generations, the federal government wants to make amends by spending nearly $2 billion to buy 10 million acres of land for 150 tribes across the nation. That’s roughly twice the size of Massachusetts and would mark the largest expansion of the U.S. government’s land trust for tribes, which now covers 46 million acres. To make the plan work, the government wants to find willing sellers to buy back reservation land it first gave to individual tribal members in 1887, often in tracts of 80 to 160 acres. http://bit.ly/18WANKC – Arizona Daily Star
Christy Turner Passes
Arizona State Univeristy Gentry Regents’ Professor Emeritus Christy G. Turner II, 79, passed away at home on July 27, 2013, in Tempe, Arizona. He was born in Columbia, Missouri, on November 28, 1933 to Christy G. Turner, Sr. and Katherine Metz Turner. He graduated from Van Nuys High School, CA. He received his BA and MA from the University of Arizona (1957, 1958), and his PhD from the University of Wisconsin (1967). He was a professor in the Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University for 40 years. http://bit.ly/16UCQwF Legacy.com via the Arizona Daily Star
Archaeology Conservancy to Preserve Ancient Fremont Village
The conservancy will improve the fencing around the property and recruit volunteer stewards to watch over it, including neighbors and members of the state’s American Indian tribes. The $120,000 purchase price was provided by the Utah Transit Authority, which was required to set aside $250,000 for archaeological preservation after workers building a commuter line in Draper dumped fill dirt on part of the site of a 3,000-year-old American Indian village in 2010. http://bit.ly/11G81vP – Salt Lake Tribune
New Museum Highlights Yaqui Culture
For more than 100 years, the history of Old Pascua on Tucson’s west side has been preserved orally. Beginning next week, leaders of Tucson’s original Yaqui village will welcome tourists and curious residents to a new museum for a peek into the world of tribal customs and history. The San Ignacio Yaqui Council of Old Pascua Village will hold a grand opening today at the museum, 856 W. Calle Santa Ana, near Grant Road and Interstate 10. http://bit.ly/14syG36 – Arizona Daily Star
Relic Hunters Declare an Open Season on History
For archaeologists like me, the Flowerdew Hundred Plantation near Williamsburg, Va., is our Woodstock, a sentimental spot where dozens of professionals earned their trowels. The farm’s incredible archaeological wealth ranges from 12,000-year-old Native American tools to a tree that shaded Union soldiers in June 1864. Imagine our dismay, then, when a professed “relic hunter” from Texas named Larry Cissna sold some $60,000 in tickets for his Grand National Relic Shootout — an artifact-hunting competition — at Flowerdew Hundred. The shootout took place in early March, and participants walked away with 8,961 artifacts dating from the Civil War or before. http://bit.ly/15vbDnm -New York Times
Submission Deadline Extended for Jornada Mogollon Archaeology Conference
The deadline has been extended to August 20, 2013. The Conference takes place on Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5, 2013, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm each day. Archaeologists working in the Jornada Branch of the Mogollon culture area in the American Southwest present papers on their recent research during this conference. The conference is hosted by the City of El Paso Museum of Archaeology. For forms to submit the abstract, to register and for information visit the museum’s website: http://www.elpasotexas.gov/arch_museum or call (915) 755-4332.
Lecture Opportunity – Winslow
On Thursday August 15 from 7 to 8 p.m. the Arizona Archaeological Society’s Homolovi Chapter and the Arizona Humanities Council will offer a free presentation titled “Archaeology and You: Preserving the Past for the Future” by archaeologist Allen Dart at the Winslow Chamber of Commerce Building, 523 W. Second St., Winslow, Arizona. In this presentation Mr. Dart illustrates and explains how archaeological artifacts and cultural features often are the only sources of information available to answer questions about an ancient people’s way of life, which makes it important for these items to be left undisturbed in their original context. For details contact Darlene Brinkerhoff at 928-524-6569 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Karen Berggren at 928-607-1836 or email@example.com.
Reminder: Pecos Conference Starts Thursday, August 8th
Thanks to Cherie Freeman for her continued support of the Southwest Archaeology Today Newsletter.