Western State Governments Pass “Dubious” Legislation Concerning the Transfer of Federal Lands
For the last several decades, efforts to transfer the oversight of federal land to states has arisen only in isolated legislative initiatives that eventually died out. But in a mad rush since 2012, 10 of the 11 Western states have commissioned or considered studies to look into hypothetical federal-to-state transfers. Just this spring, a dozen such initiatives have seen western legislatures; three have passed. And on Thursday, one failed in Colorado. http://bit.ly/1bqIPkL – High Country News
From Urban Outfitters to Nike to Paris Shoe Designers, the Appropriation of Native Imagery Remains Problematic
Part of this story starts in a design studio in Paris. The other part starts at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. But it could also be said that both parts of the story start in a distant past detailed by the oral histories of the O’odham and Hopi people of Arizona. In January, Nike partnered with O’odham tribe member Dwayne Manuel, who teaches art at Salt River High School on the Salt River Reservation near Scottsdale. It was the first time the company collaborated with a Native American to be the primary designer on a collection reflecting his culture. Manuel’s Desert Journey collection is composed of three sneakers, a hat, T-shirt and a jacket. http://bit.ly/1GJKD0U – Arizona Republic
You Can Help Restore Mission San Xavier del Bac
Bob Vint stands on the east tower of Mission San Xavier del Bac, and his fingers graze the cracking plaster. If Vint, the architect for the mission’s restoration, has anything to say about it, this tower will finally get its due after being an unintentional afterthought for so many years. “We are gearing up to tackle the last, structural refinishing of the east tower,” Vint says. This project will strip the tower of its cement exterior, repair the original low-fire clay bricks and refinish it with traditional materials. http://bit.ly/1bTxOJ3 – Arizona Daily Star & http://www.patronatosanxavier.org
Editorial on the Preservation of Historic and Ancient Places in Southeastern Utah
In the effort to conserve our state’s archaeological sites, let’s remember that everyone has a sacred geography. Perfect stillness. The silence of the dead. A calm so calm it had a presence, a voice. It spoke. I eased my head into the window of a cliff dwelling and listened. No trace of human meddling, no murmur of modern noise. The holiness frightened me and I couldn’t stay long. Across the centuries a communion was reached. Sublime, sacred, otherworldly, haunting … I thought of this experience when I read about the conservation proposals in southeastern Utah. Native tribes, environmental groups and government entities aim to protect the land they love. But one perspective was missing: the local Anglo communities who work out their living and raise their families in a land they call their spiritual home. For nearly 140 years, these people have contributed to the rich and rocky cultural interaction of the Four Corners area. http://bit.ly/1QdkjTP – Salt Lake Tribune
Bucking Previous Trends, Visitation at Mesa Verde Increased in 2014
Mesa Verde National Park brought far more tourism to the region in 2014 than 2013. The government shutdown that closed the park for 16 days in October 2013 hurt tourism regionally, but the park came back strong in 2014, said Carol Sperling, chief of interpretation and visitor services. The park drew about 502,000 visitors who spent about $50 million in 2014. http://bit.ly/1zGynRO – Durango Herald
Preservation Archaeologist Karen Schollmeyer Discusses a New Research Program on Access to Meat at Mesa Verde
I recently received the good news that a new project we’re starting here at Archaeology Southwest has been funded by the National Science Foundation (BCS-1460385). I’ll be working with Jeffrey Ferguson, an archaeological chemistry expert from the Archaeometry Laboratory at the University of Missouri Research Reactor, who has been a wonderful collaborator on various projects with Archaeology Southwest over the past few years. Jeff and I will be studying the chemistry of animal bones from archaeological sites in the Mesa Verde area to examine how people’s access to food animals—especially deer and turkey—changed over time, specifically the period from A.D. 750–1280. http://bit.ly/1bqI3E4 – Archaeology Southwest
Utah Celebrates Archaeology and Preservation Month
Not all state history involves petroglyphs, pioneers and prehistoric creatures. As the Utah Division of State History celebrates Archaeology and Preservation Month in May with events across the state, archaeologist Chris Merritt points out that history comes in many familiar and some not-so-obvious forms. “Generally, anything over 50 years old and not in use as a house or a building qualifies,” said Merritt. “Under the law, any physical part of human history from 1965 to 12,000 years ago is what we consider history.” http://bit.ly/1bqIn5V – Salt Lake Tribune
Open House Held at Blackwater Draw
After an invite from a neighbor, Portales resident Clark Earle decided to take his children to the Blackwater Draw National Landmark Prehistoric Open House Saturday for the first time to see what all of the fuss was about. The annual open house, which has been held for more than six years, offered residents a chance to speak with Blackwater Draw staff, Eastern New Mexico University’s archaeology department staff and students while participating in hands on activities. http://bit.ly/1F0bCdI – Clovis News Journal
Florence Arizona Takes Historic Preservation Quite Seriously
State Historic Preservation Office staff including Jim Garrison, Arizona State Historic Preservation Officer; Bob Frankeberger, SHPO Architect; and Eric Vondy, Preservation Incentives Programs Coordinator; will be attending the Florence Historic District Advisory Commission meeting on Wednesday, March 25, for Certified Local Government (CLG) Training. The goal of the CLG program is “Preservation through Partnership.” Local, state, and federal governments work together in the Federal Preservation Program to help communities save the irreplaceable historic character of places. Through the certification process, communities make a local commitment to historic preservation. This commitment is key to America’s ability to preserve, protect, and increase awareness of our unique cultural heritage found in the built environment across the country. http://bit.ly/1bqKA1f – Florence Reminder
Interesting Class on Mapping New Mexico Available Online This Summer
This summer, Peter Eidenbach will once again be teaching an on-line class on the mapping of the Land of Enchantment. The course, HIST 269, is a three credit undergraduate class titled Tierra Incognita – The History of Mapping in New Mexico, and complements Eidenbach’s Atlas of Historic New Mexico Maps (2012). The class supplements, rather than duplicates the Atlas content, and should be of interest to historians, cartographers, archaeologists, and anyone who loves maps.Students can enroll for credit through New Mexico State University Alamogordo for credit or they can audit the class, accessing all the content but avoiding all the home projects, term project, and exams. Contact Peter Eidenbach at email@example.com or his home office at (575) 682-2010 for more information.
Pithouse Uncovered in Utah Park
Ever since he was a kid, Michael Hori loved playing in the dirt. Now, as an archaeologist, he gets paid to do it. “When something just first comes out, it’s kind of a rush. It’s pretty exciting,” said Hori, who works with Eco Logic Environmental. So imagine how excited Hori was when he was monitoring a dig site at Dimple Dell Park in Sandy for Questar Gas and noticed some dark soil that didn’t seem to belong. http://bit.ly/1FJkdQM – KSL.com
Lecture Opportunity – Cave Creek
Desert Foothills Chapter of the AAS presents on April 8th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at no charge Dr. David Wilcox. Dr. Wilcox will discuss the especially famous archaeologically spectacular rock art panels of southern Utah, which date from at least the middle Archaic to the Historic period using both pictograph and petroglyph techniques. DFC – AAS meets at the Community Building (Maitland Hall) of the Good Shepherd of the Hills Church, 6502 E. Cave Creek Road http://bit.ly/1aYMEY2 – Desert Foothils Chapter of the Arizona Archaeology Society
Lecture Opportunity – Phoenix
On May 6, at 7:30 PM, Pueblo Grande Museum will feature a talk entitled Prehistoric Past of the Southwest, presented by Lori Hines. Hines will begin with the historic ghost mining town of Old Vulture City and discus her interest in Native American history, culture, and archaeology, providing an overview of the prehistoric cultures that inhabited Arizona and the Four Corners, including the Hohokam, Patayan, Sinagua, Ancestral Puebloan and Mogollon. Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park is located at 4619 East Washington Street.
Lecture Opportunity – Taos
The Taos Archaeological Society is pleased to present Patricia L. Crown, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at UNM, who will lecture on A Tale of Two Species: How Chocolate and Macaws Became Prestige Items in Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and Europe on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Kit Carson Electric Board Room, 118 Cruz Alta Road, Taos. Contact Chris Riveles @ 575-770-1005 for questions or further information.
Lecture Opportunity – Tucson
The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society (AAHS) is pleased to present Aaron Wright on Monday, May 18th at 7:30 pm in the University Medical Center’s Duval Auditorium (1500 N Campbell Ave, Tucson 85724), who will discuss The Ritual Practice of Hohokam Rock Art in the Phoenix Basin. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information please visit the AAHS website: http://www.az-arch-and-hist.org/, or contact John D. Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about this or any other AAHS program.
Reminder – Ancient Domestication of Agave at Archaeology Southwest’s Tucson Archaeology Café
On May 5, 2015, at 6:00 p.m., Archaeology Southwest will host Wendy Hodgson and Dr. Andrew Salywon (Desert Botanical Garden) who will describe several newly named species of agave. Evidence shows that ancient peoples may have domesticated these plants here in the Southwest. The program is free, but participants are encouraged to order their own refreshments. The Tucson Archaeology Cafés are informal forums held at Casa Vicente (375 S. Stone Avenue). At Archaeology Café, we break down the static, jargon-laden dynamic of traditional lectures, and have an expert share some ideas with the group in ways that get discussion going. http://bit.ly/1HIxwRm – Archaeology Southwest