Groundbreaking Research in Dendroprovenance Provides New Clues on Chaco’s First Constructions
Christopher Guiterman of the University of Arizona used the collections housed at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and a technique called dendroprovenance to determine the origins of the wooden beams that were used to build the monumental great houses in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Over a period of four years, he compared the tree-ring patterns on 170 different beams with archived tree-ring patterns from nearby mountain ranges. “We pulled stuff out of the archive that hasn’t been looked at in 30 or 40 years. It was pretty cool to open those boxes,” Guiterman said in a press release. He found that before A.D. 1020, most of the wood used in construction came from the Zuni Mountains to the south. http://bit.ly/1mhrSiu – Archaeology
Why the Great Bend of the Gila Matters
This landscape has supported settlement and migration for over twelve millennia. Its estimated 100,000 rock art images vividly trace those who came before — especially the ancestors of the thirteen Native American tribes who hold this land sacred. It commands recognition as a national monument. Historically important trails traverse its challenging terrain. Troops engaged in the westernmost skirmish of the Civil War here. Through the arid public lands of southwestern Arizona, along a course carved by the life-giving Gila River, lies a unique, unbroken, and irreplaceable cultural record. http://bit.ly/1Y64KVj – Arizona Republic
Phoenix Freeway Extension Will Impact South Mountain Heritage Areas
If you’ve visited Phoenix, Arizona or live there, you will know the sacred mountain Moahdak Do’ag as “South Mountain.” It sits on the south side of the city of Phoenix and it has tall satellites which light up red at night. Moahdak Do’ag is a mountain, but also a city park – about 17,000 acres of it. To give you an idea of its size, it’s 20 times larger than Central Park. Parts of the mountain seem like a desert wilderness and are home to several endangered species. You will often find horseback riding, cycling, hiking and running trails there. You can also find ancient petroglyphs or “ruins” the ancestors left behind. It is a very beautiful place, and in the midst of the bustling city, this mountain is a natural refuge. But the proposed Loop 202 expansion – a 22-mile, 8-lane highway, which will run west from Chandler, Arizona, parallel to the south of Moahdak Do’ag territory, through the community of Ahwatukee –will cut through the west end of Moahdak Do’ag, and run north to connect to the well-traveled Interstate 10 to Los Angeles, California. http://bit.ly/1QcgZLE – Indian Country Today
Mesa Verde Rangers Plan Removal of Trespassing Livestock
A band of 80 feral horses and about 12 head of cattle roaming Mesa Verde National Park have rangers at a loss for how to handle the trespassing animals, which have caused significant damage to archaeological sites and pose a risk to visitors. The animals, under law, are considered “trespass livestock” and have been banned from the park since 1908 – just two years after the site received the presidential designation that seeks to preserve significant prehistoric sites. http://bit.ly/1QDuCls – Durango Herald
Casa Grande National Monument Presents an Artist’s Exhibition
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is featuring watercolor and mural artist Michael Chiago Sr. on Saturday and Sunday, December 19th and 20th, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the visitor center atrium area. Michael Chiago Sr. will demonstrate his talents with watercolor medium. Michael’s work provides a look at the way indigenous people of the Tucson Basin lived in the recent past and how they incorporate the same cultural traditions today. Michael has created murals for the Gila River Indian Community’s Cultural Center, the Heard Museum, Tucson Botanical Gardens and posters for Indian Art Shows. He has also been commissioned to provide the artwork in several of waysides at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. There is no additional fee for the special presentation, but visitors must enter the visitor center and pay the usual park entrance fees. In the visitor center atrium, Mr. Chiago Sr. will be working on creating new images and will have many one-of-a-kind paintings he has completed for sale.
Tucson’s Bid for UNESCO Heritage Designation Successful
Today, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced Tucson as one of the 47 newest members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The organization designated Tucson for the field of Gastronomy. With only 116 Member Cities worldwide, the city of gastronomy designation is a great honor. Most impressive is that Tucson is the first city in the United States to be awarded the Gastronomy title. Other world cities included this year are: Parma, Italy; Denia, Spain; Burgos, Spain; and Phuket, Thailand. http://bit.ly/1IMgkOv – Tucson Foodie http://bit.ly/21YgsAL – UNESCO Creative Cities Network
Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Louie Hena (Tesuque/Zuni), Member Board of Directors and Advisors, New Energy Economy and Permaculture Design Consultant who will give a lecture December 21 at 6pm at Hotel Santa Fe as part of the Mother Earth Father Sky Lecture Series held 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 Connnie Eichstaedt tel:505 466-2775; email: southwest firstname.lastname@example.org; website: southwestseminars.org
Editor’s Note: Today, with great sadness, I report the passing of Greg Cross, former manager of the Casa Malpais Museum. Greg took on the management of the museum and archaeological tour program with no prior experience, but with a deep love for his community and tremendous enthusiasm. Within a year, Greg had become a consummate museum professional. Mr. Cross’s contribution to archaeological preservation and public interpretation in Arizona’s White Mountains, and his efforts to support the Springerville Heritage Center, have left a lasting legacy. Greg is survived by his wife Lynette, who continues to care for the ancient place of Casa Malpais.