Fracking Chaco Canyon?
That’s why so many are looking for salvation in two words: Mancos Shale. The formation, which extends from New Mexico into portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, is buried about a mile beneath the surface. Estimated to contain upwards of six billion barrels of oil, approximately one-third of which lies within New Mexico, the untapped resource is being touted as a godsend for the recession-hit area… Chaco Culture is particularly vulnerable. It encompasses the largest site of Chacoan ruins, which date back at least a millennium and contain a remarkable set of masonry structures that served its inhabitants as a ritual, ceremonial, and communal center for 300 years or so. Pueblo Bonito, for instance, is thought to have been the world’s largest apartment building housing upwards of 1,300 people, a size not eclipsed until the late 1880s. http://bit.ly/15a1IxR – KCET.org
Hopi Tribe Protests Chaco Fracking Leases
The Hopi Tribe has submitted comments to the Bureau of Land Management that are critical of potential drilling near Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Oil and gas firms have nominated 38 oil and gas leases, totaling 19,103 acres, for a January lease sale. The BLM is evaluating the parcels for the lease sale, and it is not yet clear which parcels will be included or if some will be withdrawn. One of the parcels is less than a quarter-mile from the park’s boundary. The park is a World Heritage Site. http://bit.ly/18TEa4t – Farmington Daily Times
Sacred Objects and the Apache Dispute with AMNH
Four years ago, the American Museum of Natural History agreed to return to the Apaches 77 objects from its collection, including headwear, feathers, bows and arrows, medicine rings and satchels containing crystals and charms. But none of the items have gone back because of an unusual, if persistent, disagreement with representatives of the Apaches over whether the museum will officially designate the items as sacred relics that should never have been taken. http://nyti.ms/159UJF9 – NY Times
Looking at Sensitivity in Discussing Sacred Objects, as Two More Auctioned Objects Are Returned to Hopi Tribe
I cover Indian Country as a reporter for NPR member station KJZZ from a base in Flagstaff, which is on the edge of the country’s largest reservation. So, I’ve educated myself about Navajo and Hopi cultural practices. This story, though, really tested me as a reporter and as a member of my community. Back in April, I reported on a Paris auction house that sold 70 Hopi sacred items. The tribe asked that the sale be halted, saying the items were stolen and belonged on its reservation in northern Arizona. The Hopi religion is shrouded in secrecy, so the tribe was in a bind. Tribal leaders wanted the media’s help to bring attention to the sale, but they didn’t want to talk about what those items were.
http://n.pr/1c6RHaM – NPR
A Preservation Success Story at Canyon of the Ancients and the Anasazi Heritage Center
With upward of 30,000 archaeological sites across a 173,000-acre expanse, the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument attracts about 50,000 visitors annually. Its headquarters, the Anasazi Heritage Center, is a world-class museum, despite operating on a shoestring budget. “It’s unbelievable how little funding places like this receive,” said program director Diane McBride. “People tend to think that the government is taking care of things and everything is going to be fine, but that’s just the bare bones.” http://bit.ly/141ezD8 – Durango Herald
Crow Canyon and the Hopi Nation Explore Ancient Dryland Farming Traditions and Technologies
The Pueblo Farming Project is attempting to recreate Puebloan styles of growing corn at five different gardens on the Crow Canyon campus, west of Cortez. “Since 2008, the Hopi have been using their traditional ecological knowledge to teach us about dryland farming of corn,” said Mark Varien, research and education chair at Crow Canyon. “It has been an honor to work with them and very inspiring to learn from their experiences.” http://bit.ly/19Tx8kP – The Cortez Journal
Environmental Links to Ancient Migrations in California
Environmental factors have helped shape California’s diversity of Indian ethnic-and-language groups in the last 12,000 years, researchers say. Populations of peoples have followed the greenery, they said, with successive waves of migrating tribes settling first on the lush Pacific coast and moving on to progressively drier, less-vegetated habitats. http://bit.ly/1aFsFkZ – UPI
Federal Overhaul for Tribal Recognition?
His tribe once controlled huge swaths of what is now New York and Connecticut, but the shrunken reservation presided over by Alan Russell today hosts little more than four mostly dilapidated homes and a pair of rattlesnake dens. The Schaghticoke Indian Tribe leader believes its fortunes may soon be improving. As the U.S. Interior Department overhauls its rules for recognizing American Indian tribes, a nod from the federal government appears within reach, potentially bolstering its claims to surrounding land and opening the door to a tribal-owned casino. http://bit.ly/12Bw3s9 – Earthlink
DNA Evidence for Three Waves of Migration in the New World
The first people to settle the Americas had a distinctive genetic style, and additional waves of migrants added regional flair, a new analysis of mitochondrial DNA from Native Americans from Canada and the United States suggests. About 15,000 to 18,000 years ago, the first migrant wave spilled from Asia down the Pacific coast and then pushed inland, eventually peopling the land from “the tip of South America all the way to Hudson Bay,” says Andrew Kitchen, a genetic anthropologist at the University of Iowa who was not involved in the new research. http://bit.ly/1dG6o6q – Science News
North America’s Oldest Petroglyphs Dated to 15,000 years BP
Ancient North Americans gouged elaborate rock art into a heap of big boulders northeast of Reno, Nev., more than 10,000 years ago and perhaps 15,000 years ago. That makes the carvings the oldest known petroglyphs on the continent, according to a paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. Experts have known about these petroglyphs and believed they were old, but nobody knew just how old until paleoclimatologist Larry Benson used his expertise in the history of the climate of the West to date them. http://n.pr/14Soz1M – NPR
Meteorite Fragments in Ancient Shrines
Two twelfth-century settlements a hundred kilometers apart in Arizona were apparently built by discrete cultures, but they have at least one trait in common: In each complex is a hidden, hollow compartment that once held large chunks of alien iron — fragments of a 50,000-year-old meteorite. http://bit.ly/18dqzmf – Western Digs
Lecture Opportunity – Dolores
David Kinder, Medicinal Chemistry Professor at Ohio Northern University, has roamed the Southwest in search of wild potatoes. His findings may provoke a new look at early agriculture in the Four Corners area, and he will discuss his project at the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, Colo. on Sunday, Sept. 1, at 1 p.m. Kinder suspects Ancestral Puebloan farmers were familiar with the plant. At Chaco Canyon, wild potatoes still grow in fields used heavily for agriculture in ancient times. The plant is also found below Step House at Mesa Verde National Park and near the Keet Seel cliff dwelling in northeastern Arizona. For more information on the lecture, contact the Anasazi Heritage Center at 970 882-5600 or go to www.co.blm.gov/ahc.
Lecture Opportunity – El Paso
The El Paso Museum of Archaeology (4301 W Transmountain Road) presents a free public lecture by Vernon G. Lujan, Camino Real de Tierra Adentro: Six Centuries of Trade on a Route in Use from the 15th to 21st Centuries on September 7, 2013, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm. This presentation is being held in conjunction with the CARTA (Camino Real Trail Association) Conference to be held in El Paso, Texas from September 26 to 28.
Lecture Opportunity – Glendale
The public is invited to a free lecture on Early Native American Bison Hunting offered by the Agua Fria Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society at 7:00 PM on Monday, September 9, 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. This presentation summarizes seven years of intensive archaeological work in northern Montana. In 2012 alone, more than 6,500 individual rock cairns were surveyed to reveal what may be the most complete bison drive hunting system on the Great Plains. The system may have been in use by Native Americans for as much as seven hundred years. The speaker, Dr. Jesse Ballenger, is a Senior Project Director at the Kutoyis Archaeological Project, a multi-year study of prehistoric and historic Blackfeet Indian land-use in Montana.
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Dr. Ruth Van Dyke, who will present “Pilgrimage, Ritual and Chacoan Society”, (today) August 26 at 6pm at Hotel Santa Fe, a Picuris Pueblo Enterprise, as part of the annual Native Culture Matters Lecture Series to honor and acknowledge the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Admission is by subscription or $12 at the door. No reservations are necessary and refreshments are served. Contact Connie Eichstaedt, Director at (505) 466-2775, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or website:www.southwestseminars.org
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Dr. Randall H. McGuire, who will present “Feathered Serpents and Pole Climbing Clowns: Mesoamerican Connections in the Southwest” September 2 at 6pm at Santa Fe Community Foundation Classroom, 501 Halona Street, as part of the annual Native Culture Matters Lecture Series to honor and acknowledge the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Admission is by subscription or $12 at the door. No reservations are necessary and refreshments are served. Contact Connie Eichstaedt, Director at (505) 466-2775, email: email@example.com or website:www.southwestseminars.org
Lecture Opportunity – Tucson
“Maize’s Journey of Adaptation: From Tropical Domesticate to Temperate Staple Crop” with Anthropologist Kelly Swarts, Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 6 – 8 pm. Free and open to the public. Maize was originally domesticated from a tropical grass, teosinte (Zea parviglumis), in west Mexico 10,000 years ago. By 4,000 BP, farmers in the Sonoran desert were floodplain farming and people quickly incorporated maize as an important part of their diet. In this talk, Cornell University researcher Kelly Swarts examines modern landraces and DNA from archaeological maize samples to shed light on the biological basis, timing, and cultural and geographic context for temperate adaption of North American maize. http://bit.ly/1c71q0H – Native Seeds/SEARCH
Lecture Opportunity – Tucson
On Thursday September 19, cultural scholar and musicologist Dr. Jay Craváth will present “Along the California Trail” as part of the Arizona Humanities Council’s “Journey Stories” series for Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s “Third Thursday Food for Thought” dinner & presentation, at Coco’s Bakery Restaurant, 7250 N. Oracle Rd., Tucson, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. There is no entry fee but donations will be requested to benefit Old Pueblo’s educational efforts. Seating is limited to keep the program in compliance with the Fire Code, so those wishing to attend must call 520-798-1201 and must have their reservations confirmed before 5 p.m. Wednesday September 18. http://bit.ly/141c4Rs – PDF from Old Pueblo Archaeology
Training Opportunity – Phoenix
The National Preservation Institute, a nonprofit organization founded in 1980, educates those involved in the management, preservation, and stewardship of cultural heritage. The 2013-2014 National Preservation Institute seminar schedule is available online at www.npi.org. The 2013-2014 NPI News Release includes the calendar and seminar descriptions. Advance registration rate available through September 12, 2013. Courses offered include Section 106: Agreement Documents on October 21-23, and Identification and Management of Traditional Cultural Places on October 24-25. http://bit.ly/1dftySx – National Preservation Institute