Crow Canyon’s Village Ecodynamics Project Clarifies Understanding of Mesa Verde
Vultures carve lazy circles in the sky as a stream of tourists marches down a walkway into Colorado’s Spruce Canyon. Watching their steps, the visitors file along a series of switchbacks leading to one of the more improbable villages in North America — a warren of living quarters, storage rooms, defensive towers and ceremonial spaces all tucked into a large cleft in the face of a cliff. When ancient farmers built these structures around the year 1200, they had nothing like the modern machinery that constructed the tourist walkway. Instead, the residents had to haul thousands of tonnes of sandstone blocks, cut timber and other materials down precarious paths to build the settlement, known as Spruce Tree House, in Mesa Verde National Park. http://bit.ly/1kiTWS5 – Nature
But Can We Get Journalists to Abandon the “Mysterious Vanishing” Language in Discussing Southwestern Archaeology?
Much has already been written to eviscerate the notion that Native Americans ever mysteriously vanished. Much of this criticism has been correctly aimed at American history as it is taught, American culture more generally, and the “popular imagination.” Yet despite reams of cogent commentary, those two words—“mystery,” “vanish”—persist. http://bit.ly/1M0fawW – Archaeology Southwest
More Details on the Threat to the Land and Water Conservation Fund
Legislation proposed today to significantly alter the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) includes numerous damaging provisions that would jeopardize this critical federal program for preserving national parks, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) said today. The LWCF helps prevent inappropriate development of private lands within national parks and other federal lands, but authorization for the revenue stream for the LWCF expired last month at the end of Fiscal Year 2015 after Congress failed to reauthorize the fund. http://bit.ly/1WH9r7i – National Parks Conservation Association
Op-Ed Appeal for Better Data on the Outdoor Economy, in Order to Better Value Public Lands
Though the membership of OIA is confident that our own recreation economy report and methodology are objective and accurate (and have been confirmed by various states doing their own research), official government data serves multiple purposes. Not only does it make it more difficult for lawmakers like Rob Bishop to torpedo rational and appropriate arguments, it also come out annually so as to create an official, regular, and consistent measurement of the outdoor recreation economy. It can then be compared to other economic sectors measured by the government, which in turn means that our jobs and impact will be counted toward the national GDP. http://bit.ly/1kDOtVq – Outside Online
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Thank you for reading Southwest Archaeology Today each week—doing so confirms that the places of our past matter. As the editor of SAT, I know firsthand that an informed community is a strong community, and I am proud to share the SAT community with you. There’s still time to show your support for SAT, and your gift of any amount will add up to significant support. Please, join me in making a gift today—your gift of just $5.00 will help keep the SAT community growing and strong. http://www.
Arizona State Museum Director Appointed to NAGPRA Review Committee
Congratulations to ASM Director Dr. Patrick D. Lyons on a four-year appointment to the National Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee. Review Committee members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior from nominations by American Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, traditional Native American religious leaders, national museum organizations, and scientific organizations. The NAGPRA Review Committee was established under the federal act “to monitor and review the implementation of the inventory and identification process and repatriation activities.” The committee reports annually to Congress. (Arizona State Museum – No link provided) http://strib.mn/1MiEhZU – Star Tribune
Federal Judge Deliberating on Lawsuit over Blanding Raid Tactics
A federal judge peppered attorneys with questions Thursday that suggested he’s struggling to decide if federal agents unleashed excessive force against a southern Utah doctor who killed himself a day after his 2009 arrest in a multistate artifact looting investigation. During a hearing in Salt Lake City, U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby told an attorney for James Redd’s family that he doesn’t see sufficient evidence to suggest the action taken by federal Bureau of Land Management agents necessarily violated Redd’s constitutional rights. http://bit.ly/1NlnwwY – Associated Press
Debate over Grazing in the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument
Despite less than perfect rangeland conditions on Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, cattle grazing is still a legitimate use if managed carefully, monument officials say. The hardscrabble monument in Southwest Colorado is more known for having the most dense concentration of Native American cultural sites in the U.S. than for cattle grazing. But during a recent public tour of the monument’s controversial Flodine allotment, the pros and cons of cattle grazing were debated between environmentalists who argue it is inappropriate in a fragile desert with ruins, and local ranchers who depend on it for their livelihood. http://bit.ly/1iM3W4G – Durango Herald
Panel Discussion on Archaeological Preservation of the Chaco and Mesa Verde Landscapes
Archaeology Southwest and Crow Canyon announce a public forum addressing ongoing efforts to protect the fragile Greater Chaco and Mesa Verde landscapes. A panel of Native Americans, archaeologists, and other experts will address the current situation and take questions from the audience. The discussion will be held November 21, 2015, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Anasazi Heritage Center, 27501 CO-184 Dolores, Colorado. The public is welcome. For additional information, please contact: Paul Reed, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 486-4107.
Panel Discussion on the Preservation of Mexican Culture in Tucson
Take a wide sweeping look in and around Tucson. It’s filled with reminders of the Viejo Pueblo’s Mexican history and culture, past and present. There are street names in Spanish. There are festivals where Mexican music is heard. And of course there are countless restaurants serving up various plates of Mexican food. But look closer and beyond street names, restaurants and music to find a place in the city and the region that reflects Tucson’s wide-ranging Mexican-American presence. http://bit.ly/1NYB4kK – Arizona Daily Star
American Express Funds Rehabilitation of Painted Desert Community Complex
Completed in 1963, the collection of steel, glass, and masonry buildings, designed by modernist architect Richard Neutra, are one of the earliest examples of modern architecture in a National Park. The complex is still in use today, but limited funding for repairs and maintenance have impaired the condition of the buildings. This grant will restore the glass storefront of the Oasis Building. http://on.mktw.net/1MPBFIm – Market Watch
Desert Southwest Will Be Rich in Data for Future Archaeologists
When I moved to a small town in California’s Mojave Desert last spring, I found myself in a new relationship with garbage. There’s some serious junk festering in the sands of the Southwest: toxic dumps, airplane graveyards, nuclear test sites. An abandoned disposal site in Yuma, Arizona, holds a mountain of toxic e-waste from California. The Mesquite Regional Landfill in Imperial County, near the Mexican border, takes in rail-transported loads of garbage from Los Angeles. And the lonely section of the Mojave between Victorville and Las Vegas is known to be a choice stretch of body-dumping territory. http://bit.ly/1NYdKUo – High Country News
Mohave Has Plenty of Data for Current Archaeological Studies, as well
Archaeologists exploring the remote reaches of a military training base in southern California have uncovered nearly 9,000 artifacts that represent more than 11,500 years of human history in the Mojave Desert, a new study reports. The artifacts, found at multiple sites across the base, include more than 8,830 stone tools, flakes, ground stone, pieces of ceramic, and bone, as well as a single large biface blade that researchers say is a “classic” example of the 13,000-year-old style known as Clovis. http://bit.ly/1Pjlh3i – Western Digs
Slideshow and Panel Discussion: Protecting Sacred Pueblo Sites in Southeastern Utah – Albuquerque
When: Wednesday, November 18th — 5:30 PM.Where: Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM What: The Bears Ears/Cedar Mesa area in Southeastern Utah is home to thousands of sacred Ancestral Pueblo cultural sites. These ancient places are constantly at risk of looting, vandalism and uneducated visitation, as well as energy development and irresponsible motorized use. Come see stunning images of cliff dwellings, ancient kivas, pueblos, Petroglyphs and pictrographs from the area. Following the slideshow, we’ll gain insight from Pueblo leaders, including Governor Paul Torres, Pueblo of Isleta, Former Governor Joseph Suina, Pueblo of Cochiti, and Former Governor Mark Mitchell, Pueblo of Tesuque. http://bit.ly/1ldNjk7 – Friends of Cedar Mesa
Lecture Opportunity (Updated Time of Talk) – Grand Junction
Nov. 10 at 6 PM, the Grand Junction chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society is showing the video The Mystery of Chaco Canyon. After the video, Jerry Otero, Energy Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association will speak about the Master Lease Plans currently being developed for the Chaco Canyon area. Otero’s work at the NPCA focuses on conservation, energy develo
Lecture Opportunity – Tucson
On November 12, 2015, at 5:30 p.m., the AIA Tucson Society will host distinguished Martha Sharp Joukowsky Lecturer J. Theodore Peña (UC Berkeley) for a public presentation entitled Of Pompeii and Politics. Dr. Peña will review the history of the administration of the site of Pompeii, endeavoring to disentangle and interpret the complex series of events surrounding the collapse of the Schola Armaturarum and its aftermath, and consider their implications for the future of Pompeii and for Italy’s archaeological heritage more generally. The talk will take place on the University of Arizona campus, in the Haury Building, Room 216, 1009 E South Campus Dr, Tucson, AZ 85719. http://bit.ly/1RGQTNW – AIA Tucson Society
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Separating the Unique from the Mundane: Musings on the Excavations behind the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe. Nearly 350 years of sustained activity behind the Palace of the Governors left an archaeological record that was unique and mundane. In addition to information on the larger patterns of social, economic, and architectural continuity and change, there were unexpected and interesting finds that related to specific events involving the people that lived and worked at the Palace during the Spanish and Territorial periods. This talk delves into some of those unique finds and their stories, some of which find relevance in modern times. Tuesday, November 10, 7:30 pm, at the Pecos Trail Café (Back meeting space), 2239 Old Pecos Trail.
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Don Usner, Cultural Geographer, Photographer, Writer, Author: Sabino’s Map: Life in Chimayo’s Old Plaza and Benigna’s Chimayo: Cuentos From the Old Plaza; Instructor, Santa Fe University of Art and Design and Santa Fe Preparatory School; and Luminara Recipient, New Mexico Community Foundation, who will present a lecture Chasing Dichos Through Chimayo on November 16 at 6pm at Hotel Santa Fe as part of the Mother Earth, Father Sky Lecture Series held in honor annually to acknowledge The New Mexico Environmental Law Center. Admission is by subscription or $12 at the door. No reservations are necessary. Refreshments are served. Seating is limited. Contact Connie Eichstaedt tel: 505 466-2775; email:email@example.com; website: southwestseminars.org
Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl for contributions to this week’s newsletter.