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Innovative Study of DNA of Domesticated Animals Used to Track Migrations from Mesa Verde

The Archaeological Backhoe Master and the Early Agricultural Period Footprints – 8/6/2017

New York Times Examines Three Threatened Monuments

The Pace of Vandalism at Our National Parks Continues to Grow – 7/24/17

Diné and Pueblo Youth Join to Fight Fracking of the Chaco Landscape


Utah Legislature Protests Bears Ears Designation

Utah Legislature Protests Bears Ears Designation
Star-filled nights and natural quiet, deafening silence. Pinyon-juniper woodlands, blackbrush, rabbitbrush, bitterbrush. Mule deer, coyote, porcupine, skunk. Diversity of soils, aka dirt. These are some of the many natural features highlighted in former President Barack Obama’s recent proclamation designating Bears Ears National Monument, setting aside 1.3 million ares of public land in San Juan County to protect its many archaeologically significant sites. Republican Utah lawmakers are now using Obama’s expansive and broad view of the region’s values to challenge the legitimacy of his use of the Antiquities Act to designate the monument. http://bit.ly/2l8dSLM – Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Bear Ears – It Is Time to Get to Work
As elected officials representing our five tribes, we are disappointed that Utah’s congressional delegation continues to misrepresent the position of our tribes and our tribal members, as they did in their Jan. 24 opinion piece in the Deseret News. We support Bears Ears National Monument, we advocated for its designation as a national monument, and we will defend it using our nation-to-nation relationship with the federal government. While some among our tribal members in Utah may oppose the new monument, it seems their opposition is rooted in misrepresentations of fact that continue to originate from the Utah delegation itself. http://bit.ly/2l97y6K – Deseret News

Tribes Plead with BLM to Protect Chaco Canyon
Over the years, Anthony Lee, a Navajo medicine man, has watched the sacred land around Chaco Canyon where he gathers herbs and performs ceremonies slowly turn into an industrial landscape. “This is a place still sacred to those of us carrying on our tradition, those of us still connected to our culture,” Lee said. “This is where we go to make offerings, prayers. And now I see a lot of destruction.” On Thursday, Lee and other members of the Navajo Nation made their case to stop drilling in the greater Chaco area at the Bureau of Land Management’s 10th and final public meeting regarding energy development in the region. http://bit.ly/2l8lnlN – Durango Herald

Blogs Worth Reading: Do Pipelines Create as Many Jobs as They Take?
The White House press secretary said completion of the controversial pipelines would increase jobs and promote economic growth – an argument Trump’s supporters echo. However, this viewpoint focuses on the profits that go to the oil and construction industries, while ignoring the price that will be paid by other sectors of America’s economy, including tourism and preservation of our cultural heritage – a point I’m quite aware of as an anthropologist focused on the American West. A more accurate reckoning of the economic benefits of pipelines needs to consider the negative impact of pipelines on other parts of our economy. http://bit.ly/2l8uhzN – Chip Colwell via Sapiens

The Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance to Disband
After four years, a friends group of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is expected to dissolve. The Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance formed in 2013 to assist with projects benefiting the monument and the Anasazi Heritage Center near Dolores. But Alliance executive director Diane McBride said the friends group reached an impasse with monument officials on forming a memorandum of understanding needed to fully partner with the BLM on projects. “It’s heartbreaking and disappointing because we really put our hearts into it,” McBride said. “There is a small chance we could continue if we could negotiate an MOU with the monument.” http://bit.ly/2l8jNjK – The Cortez Journal

Archaeology Café (Phoenix) : Flagstaff’s Ancient Connections
On Tuesday, February 21, 2017, Peter J. Pilles (USDA-National Forest Service) joins us for a look at Flagstaff-area archaeology and what it reveals about connections to other regions of the Southwest. We will meet after 5:30 p.m. at Macayo’s Depot Cantina, 300 S. Ash Ave, Tempe, AZ. The presentation will begin at 6:00 p.m.

VVAC Named Official Nonprofit NPS Partner
The Verde Valley Archaeology Center (VVAC) has been named an Official Nonprofit Partner by the National Park Service of the Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments. This partnership will provide the public with interpretation and education services. To implement this agreement, VVAC has initiated a program called the Verde Valley Archaeology Field Institute. The Field Institute will offer archaeology classes and guided hiking field seminars exploring a variety of archaeological subjects such as pottery identification, prehistoric architectural and agricultural methods, and more. Additional info at vvarchcenter.org/fieldinstitute

Cortez to Celebrate Its History on May 20
The Cortez Historic Preservation Board on Wednesday voted to schedule its annual town history celebration for Saturday, May 20. May is National Historic Preservation Month, as established by the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Every year, the preservation board schedules day in May to celebrate an aspect of Cortez’s history. This year, the board decided to focus on the history of the town’s parks. “We’re thinking about landscapes in terms of preservation,” board president Dale Davidson said. “In this town, I think our parks are a really big part of that. It might be something we can generate a little public interest around.” http://bit.ly/2l8gB7I – Cortez Journal

Ice Patch Archaeology – NPS Attempting to Save Data as the Ice Melts
Organic artifacts preserved by ice patches in Yellowstone National Park are being lost to research because warmer temperatures are melting the ice, an archaeologist said. Before his current position leading the cultural and natural resources program at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana, Staffan Peterson was park archaeologist at Yellowstone for four years. http://gftrib.com/2l80OWC – Great Falls Tribune

Field School: Advanced Research in Tree Ring Studies Offered by the University of Arizona
The Laboratory of Tree-ring Research at the University of Arizona is pleased to offer its 14th presession course devoted entirely to the collection, analysis, and interpretation of archaeological tree-rings. Participants (undergrads, grads, professionals) will learn the most accurate and precise dating method used by archaeologists via lectures, laboratory exercises, and field work. The centerpiece of this intensive 3-week course is a field trip to various archaeological sites in Arizona and/or western New Mexico led by Dr. Ronald H. Towner. This course will be run in close collaboration with parallel Pre-session courses focusing on Dendroecology and Dendroclimatology, giving participants in all three courses valuable insights on the inter-disciplinary nature of tree-ring research. Lectures will be presented by the course instructors and as well as other leading tree-ring scientists, including Jeffrey S. Dean. Malcolm K. Hughes, David Frank, and Paul Sheppard. For additional information, contact Ron Towner at rtowner@email.arizona.edu

Living History Day at Presidio San Agustin del Tucson Museum
On Saturday, Feb. 11, from 10 am – 3 pm ,the Presidio Museum will honor Arizona’s statehood, which occurred on Feb. 14, 1912. A continuum of periods from New Spain to territorial times will be represented. Visitors will be able to get photos of themselves sitting on a Spanish-style vaquero saddle wearing a hat and leather armor and holding a lance to commemorate their experience. Regularly scheduled living history activities will also take place including demonstrations of children’s games, candle making, storytelling and fresh baked bread to sample. Admission to Living History Days is included in the $5 museum admission price. Children 14 and under are $1, and children under 5 and Presidio Trust Members are free. Living History Days are held every second Saturday from 10 am – 3 pm each month from October through April. The Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum is located at 196 N. Court St. on the northeast corner of the original Presidio.

Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Archaeologist Steven Lekson asks What Ifs: Santa Fe and Southwestern Archaeology. What if: instead of Santa Fe, Southwestern archaeology centered in Tucson? Or developed out of Ciudad Chihuahua? Or if Southwestern archaeology identified as history, rather than as a laboratory of anthropology? Presented as part of the The School for Advanced Research lecture series, Crossing Global Frontiers, continues 6:30–7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, at the James A. Little Theater at the New Mexico School for the Deaf. http://bit.ly/2l8gCbN – Los Alamos Daily Post

Tour Opportunity – Tucson
Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s February 18 “Ventana Cave, Rock Art & Tohono O’odham Children’s Shrine” tour starts at 401 N. Bonita Ave., Tucson. At Ventana Cave, excavations directed by archaeologists Emil Haury and Julian Hayden recovered evidence for about 10,000 years of human occupation. Tour also visits Native American pictographs and petroglyphs in the cave and elsewhere, and the “Children’s Shrine.” The fee for this tour is $40 (Old Pueblo and Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary members $32). Reservations required by February 15: 520-798-1201 or info@oldpueblo.org.

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