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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

Wild Potatoes Were on the Clovis Menu

New Journal for Bioarchaeology

Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Objects Sacred to Native Peoples Introduced in Congress

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Wild Potatoes Were on the Clovis Menu

Wild Potatoes Were Apparently Consumed by Clovis Era Peoples 
A team of archaeologists and anthropologists, led by the University of Utah, has discovered potato starch residues in the crevices of a 10,900-year-old stone tool in Escalante, southern Utah — the earliest evidence of wild potato use in North America. This is the first archaeological study to identify a spud-bearing species native to the southwestern U.S., the wild potato (Solanum jamesii), as an important part of ancient human diets. http://bit.ly/2tgSQx3 – SciNews

More on the Ancient Escalante Spuds
A relatively new area of archaeological research has produced some tasty — and significant — results that may help Escalante literally reconnect with its roots. It turns out the little town of 850 residents is home to the earliest use of wild potatoes in North America based on starch residues discovered in the crevices of a 10,900-year-old stone tool. http://bit.ly/2tgWerN – Deseret News

Dispatches from Archaeology Southwest’s Preservation Archaeology Field School
Recognizing that archaeological resources are nonrenewable, today’s archaeologists try to preserve as much of the resource as possible, as circumstances allow. Some nondestructive techniques include ground-penetrating radar, remote-sensing techniques, extensive surveying, exploratory trenches, and sample units. At the Preservation Archaeology Field School at the Gila River Farm site, we are learning about some of these practices and how to employ them in our future careers. http://bit.ly/2uYJpk0 – Taylor Picard via Archaeology Southwest

Digital Acoustic Modeling Is Used to Explore the Soundscapes of Chaco Canyon
Many attempts to explain how past people experienced their wider world have focused on sight at the expense of sound, but researchers from the University at Albany and the University at Buffalo have developed a tool that puts sound back into the ancient landscape. http://bit.ly/2uTNbv5 – Science Daily

Solstice Watch 2017
Descending an old trail into the furnace of the Little Colorado basin, I kept walking. Other people, I knew, would be gathering across the Four Corners country for the solstice watch. It has become a tradition for many to witness the interplay of shadow and light at prehistoric sites with known solar calendars. These places range from a great kiva at Chaco Canyon and a cliff house at Mesa Verde to a rock art panel at Petrified Forest. http://bit.ly/2uYKDvP – KNAU.org

Counterfeit Native Arts Harm Tribal Nations
The recent spread of fake Native American art and jewelry has shown the need to update how the federal government protects tribal artists from fraud that undercuts the value of their work, according to two U.S. senators who gathered suggestions for reforms on Friday. New Mexico Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich convened a hearing in the American Indian arts hub of Santa Fe, where federal law enforcement officials and leading Native American artists described a disheartening influx of counterfeit jewelry, weavings and contemporary art knock-offs. http://bit.ly/2uYR81n – Arizona Daily Star

Fracking the Chaco Landscape Leading to Tension in the Navajo Nation
On a windy Monday morning in May, residents packed the Counselor Chapter House. Some sat in plastic folding chairs, while others leaned against the wall, all paying attention to the speakers. Coming to the front of the chapter house, Marie Herbert-Chavez introduced herself in the Navajo language. “I’m going to talk real fast OK,” she said as she took the microphone to talk about fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, in her community near Chaco Canyon. http://bit.ly/2uYCqI3 – New Mexico in Depth

The Historic “Parkitecture” of the Grand Canyon National Park
Most of the 5.5 million visitors who pass through Grand Canyon National Park each year come for the views.  And when they inevitably need a break from the majestic scenery, they head inside — to shop for souvenirs, admire Native American art, and check into the lodge. For Ranger Kristen Luetkemeier, the buildings of the Grand Canyon are just as grand as the vistas — a stunning example of “Parkitecture.” http://cbsn.ws/2tgHl8W – CBS Sunday Morning

The Fight Against National Monument Recision Gathers Strength
Imagine staring across the Utah wilderness at those famous towering mesas and buttes. Now imagine a line of oil derricks in the middle of it. It’s an apocalyptic vision of an American landscape given over to the energy industry, and one that campaigners fear could become a reality. http://bit.ly/2uYNipi – The Guardian

Editorial: Shrinking Bears Ears? “Teddy’s rolling over in his grave”
There isn’t a lot of “there” there in Interior Secretary Zinke’s recent report to President Trump of the Bears Ears National Monument – he recommends that it be shrunk, be broken into smaller pieces and be opened to more oil and gas drilling, but with shamefully little rationale to support such significant changes. Instead of arguing, like President Trump did, that Bears Ears was a “federal land grab“, Zinke confirms that most of it is already managed by federal agencies. http://bit.ly/2uYVyFM – Deborah Gangloff via Durango Herald

Shrinking Bears Ears Is a “Travesty”
In May, referring to a report by the National Park Service, the Business Times quoted Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke saying, “This report is a testament to the tangible economic benefits our parks bring to communities across the nation.” By June, Zinke ignored these benefits in his report to President Donald Trump. There isn’t a lot of “there” there in Zinke’s review of Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) in Southeastern Utah. http://bit.ly/2thoGKf – The Business News

Arizona Representatives Wish to Terminate Four Arizona Monuments
A group of Republican representatives, including three Arizona congressman, are calling for the complete elimination of four national monuments in Arizona, including the Ironwood Forest National Monument just outside Tucson. They also called for shrinking or de-listing others across the nation. http://bit.ly/2uZ4afk – Tucson Sentinel

Travelogue: Mesa Verde – AD 1900
Last Friday morning, fourteen of the young folks of the Cortez area departed for the Mancos Cliff houses with S.P. Thomas as our guide. The trip was a pleasant one. At noon the first day we stopped at Bill Prater’s well for lunch where the horses were watered and we filled our canteens. The afternoon passed pleasantly climbing up one hill and down another. About six o’clock we reached the Spruce Tree House – soaked slightly with rain – where we camped for the night; horses were turned to graze and supper prepared and soon the appetites of the hungry crowd were satisfied. http://bit.ly/2tmqX70 – The Cortez Journal

Lecture Opportunity – Winslow
The Homolovi Chapter of AAS (Arizona Archaeological Society) is pleased to present White Mountain Redware and Beyond, a talk by Gloria Kurzhals, who will look at the intricacies of regional Redware production, on Wednesday, 12 July, at 7 p.m. at the Winslow Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, 523 W. Second St, Winslow, AZ,. You can also join us for dinner at 5 p.m. at the Historic La Posada Turquoise Room (on your own tab).

Thanks to Cherie Freeman for contributing to this week’s newsletter!

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