Reinventing the West
A strange thing happened in Escalante, Utah, during the government shutdown last fall. The town, a remote community of fewer than 800 souls perched on a high desert plain around a trickle of water called the Escalante River, is surrounded on all sides by the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, two million federally protected acres of rugged, visually breathtaking sandstone wilderness larger than the state of Delaware. Because the monument is so vast, pierced by several highways and county roads, it was virtually uncloseable during the shutdown. So when thousands of tourists were turned away from the more famous national parks in the region—Zion, Arches, Grand Canyon—they made their way to Escalante to salvage their vacations. http://bit.ly/KdWleS – Washington Monthly
Policy Questions at the Grand Canyon Highlight Debate over Backcountry Access to Treasured Landscapes
The superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has drawn the ire of avid backcountry users after a letter he sent to the chairman of the Havasupai Tribe popped up online. In it, he offered to seasonally allow just one permit a week into a piece of land that covers some 90,000 acres of remote wilderness off the South Rim. The Great Thumb area borders tribal lands and is only accessed by traveling through Havasupai boundaries, with a 40-minute drive on dirt roads from Tusayan. http://bit.ly/1dioz2c – Arizona Daily Sun
What Part of “Sacred” Don’t You Understand?
The Paris auction of 27 sacred American-Indian items earlier this month marks just the latest in a series of conflicts between what tribes consider sacred and what western cultures think is fair game in the marketplace. Earlier this year, Leigh Kuwanwisiwma, director of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, said “To see the art market driving this kind of behavior, it’s not just distressful to the Hopi people, it’s a hurt that I don’t believe people can really understand.” http://bit.ly/JCGkOa – Minnesota Public Radio News
Help Support Southwest Archaeology Today
Editor’s note: We are just $1,500 away from funding this service through another year. Will you join me and the staff of Archaeology Southwest in making a small, tax-deductible contribution to support continued production of this unique free resource for the southwestern archaeology community? Thank you! https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/how-to-help/sat/
tDAR Celebrates the 107th Anniversary of the Antiquities Act
One hundred seven years ago, on 8 December 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt designated two archaeological sites as National Monuments. Montezuma Castle in Arizona and El Morro in New Mexico were among the first properties set aside for special preservation by Roosevelt using the authority given to the president by Section 2 of the then-new Antiquities Act. During his second term as president, Roosevelt would designate 18 National Monuments, encompassing over 1.5 million acres. Among the other properties he proclaimed as Monuments are the Grand Canyon (Arizona), Muir Woods (California), Olympic (Washington), Lassen Peak (California), Tonto (Arizona), Natural Bridges (Utah), and Tumacacori (Arizona). http://bit.ly/1gdMKiJ – The Digital Archaeological Record
Museum of Northern Arizona Director Robert Breunig Receives Honorary Doctorate
An anthropologist whose leadership helped the Museum of Northern Arizona regain national accreditation and build one of the greenest collection centers in the world, will be honored during Northern Arizona University’s fall commencement ceremony. Dr. Robert Breunig, president and chief executive officer for the Museum of Northern Arizona, will be presented an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during Fall commencement at 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, in the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome on the NAU campus. http://bit.ly/KeN0CO – Flagstaff Business News
Tour “Pieces of the Puzzle” Exhibit in El Paso
On January 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm, archaeology curator George Maloof leads a free public tour of the exhibit “Pieces of the Puzzle: New Perspectives on the Hohokam at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology.” The lives of the people of the ancient Hohokam culture of southern Arizona become more real through their jewelry, painted food serving bowls, paint pallets, axes, “cloud blowers” and other objects on display. The Hohokam are famous for their massive agricultural irrigation canal system, the largest in the prehistoric Americas. For all their accomplishments, this ancient culture puzzles archaeologists because over time they expanded in population and then, about 550 years ago, suffered a major population decline. Visitors are invited to follow the clues on this tour and try to solve the puzzle of this ancient culture in this exhibit developed by Archaeology Southwest and the Pueblo Grande Museum. Information: 915-755-433. http://bit.ly/1ahaFZL – El Paso Museum of Archaeology
Boulder to Take Proactive Approach to Historic Preservation
Instead of waiting for property owners to come to the city and request landmark status or request a demolition permit for an older building, Boulder historic preservationists should seek out the remaining significant, unprotected buildings in the city and approach their owners about protecting them. That’s one of the key recommendations of a historic preservation plan adopted by the Boulder City Council earlier this year. http://bit.ly/19UzNZX – Daily Camera
The Last Carlsbad Trading Post Standing
Connie Fugate remembers when there were a half-dozen or so trading posts or souvenir shops along the highway between Carlsbad and White’s City. They were there because one of the biggest tourist destinations in the country was just south of White’s City _ Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Now they are almost all gone. The only one left is the Apache Canyon Trading Post, owned and operated by Fugate and her husband, Gerald Fugate. http://bit.ly/KeIJ27 – Navajo Times
Reminder – Tucson’s Archaeology Café to Be Held One Week Later than Usual
What do we really know about who was making pots in the Southwest in the distant past? On January 14th, (a week later than the usual café gatherings) ceramics experts Patrick Lyons and Suzanne Eckert provide some perspectives on what we know from the archaeological record, what we think we know through ethnographic analogy, and what we see cross-culturally in terms of gender and craft production, in the context of different scales of economic complexity. We gather after 5:00 p.m., and presentations begin by 6:15 p.m. Seating is open and unreserved, but limited. Share tables and make new friends!
January Events at Pueblo Grande
Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix, plans several tours, hikes and classes for all interests, ages and budgets. http://bit.ly/1cAjD8A – Arizona Republic
Lecture Opportunity – Cortez
The Hisatsinom Chapter of the Colorado Archaeology Society presents Fred Blackburn on Tuesday, January 7, 7:00 pm at the Methodist Church, 515 Park Street, to discuss Prayer Rock: In the Shadow of the Bear. For eleven years, Blackburn conducted “reverse archaeology” with Jefferson County Open School on sites excavated by Charles Bernheimer and Earl Morris in the early 20th century. His talk will focus on the importance of this work in Southwest archaeology. Fred is a fourth generation Coloradan who has been a driving force for archaeological research through establishment of Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and White Mesa Institute, being one of the first Grand Gulch Rangers, and continuing as an independent guide while authoring several books and, generally, being a colorful character. Information: 970-560-1643.
Lecture Opportunity – Tucson
At 2 p.m. Friday January 10, archaeologist Allen Dart presents “Arts and Culture of Ancient Southern Arizona Hohokam Indians” at the Saguaro National Park-West Visitor Center, 2700 N. Kinney Rd. west of Tucson. The free presentation illustrates the material culture of the Hohokam and presents possible interpretations about their relationships to the natural world, time reckoning, religious practices, beliefs, and deities, and reasons for the eventual demise of their way of life. For more information contact Park Ranger Chip Littlefield at 520-733-5158 or Chip_Littlefield@nps.gov; for information about the presentation subject matter contact Allen Dart at Tucson telephone 520-798-1201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.