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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

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New York Times Examines Three Threatened Monuments

New York Times Examines Three Threatened Monuments:

Bears Ears, UT
The archaeologist Benjamin Bellorado, a doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona, has conducted research in this area for 20 years. He led me down the side of a trailless canyon on one bright morning, as we stayed on the slick-rock and off the fragile biological crust that secures soils against erosion. We also tried not to create any trace of a trail that would invite others. After about an hour of bushwhacking, we reached a ruin of living rooms and grain storage that has been the focus of some of his research. It was inhabited for 50 years or so by about 20 people, perhaps an extended family. There is also a small kiva — a circular, semi-subterranean spiritual and community center — whose carefully laid roof timbers are still intact. http://nyti.ms/2uxU3AU

Gold Butte, NV
It was 105 degrees, and I was in the Mojave Desert looking for ancient images of goat-like creatures. I scanned the rock formations with my binoculars and then scrambled over some boulders and descended into a wash that was once a river. I guessed that only a handful of people in the world even know about the goats — they are that obscure. In the wash, I noticed the fine gravel was disturbed by a large animal. There were no droppings of wild burros, so that ruled them out. The only other large animals would be bighorn sheep, mountain lions or mule deer, but they would not compress the gravel in such an irregular pattern. http://nyti.ms/2vFVCLN

Berryessa Snow Mountain, CA
Here, an hour and a half northeast of San Francisco, the dense press of civilization lifts, and the open wilderness weaves itself into the landscape. The light is somehow ventilated, given more space. I watched a cloud bank slowly roll over a cliff, rearranging itself like a gauzy muslin scarf. In the six o’clock glow of the last days of May, I entered the southern boundary of Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. http://nyti.ms/2tULK3e

Number of Comments on National Monument Review “Phenomenal”
An Interior Department plan to review recently designated national monuments has drawn more than 1.4 million public comments, a “phenomenal” number that one advocate said he had not seen in 25 years of environmental activism. The comments came in response to President Donald Trump’s order that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke review the use of the Antiquities Act to create national monuments in recent decades, what the president called “another egregious abuse of federal power.” http://bit.ly/2vGmBGO – Cronkite News

Kids Speak for Parks
Most Americans have likely never heard the name Papahānaumokuākea. Nine-year-old Hawaii resident Robbie Bond not only knows where it is and can pronounce it, he hopes to see it one day on his tour of 27 national monuments ― and help save it. “You can’t protect something you don’t understand,” the nature-loving youngster told HuffPost. In a stand against President Donald Trump, Robbie announced Tuesday that he has launched a nonprofit called Kids Speak for Parks, and he plans to take his message to all 27 monuments targeted by a pair of executive orders signed by Trump in April. http://bit.ly/2tUL0eF – Huffington Post

Celebrate the Partnership of Arizona State Parks and the Hopi Tribe at Homol’ovi State Park
At the Suvoyuki Day Festival, gain insight into the lifestyle, language, celebrations, history of the Hopi Tribe and learn about etiquette on Hopi lands. “Suvoyuki” translated in the Hopi language means to accomplish work through a joint effort and the day celebrates the partners who have helped to protect and save the Homolovi area archaeological and cultural sites from destruction. http://bit.ly/2tUSrCB – Arizona State Parks

As Outdoor Retailer Expo Abandons Utah, Sally Jewell Speaks to the President’s Monumental Mistake
Former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell offered a pointed criticism Wednesday of the current administration’s views on public lands — particularly of its decision to review 27 national monuments, with an eye towards altering or removing them. Jewell gave the remarks in a keynote address at Outdoor Retailer, the Outdoor Industry Association’s annual trade show in Utah. “President Trump is putting himself on the wrong side of history,” Jewell said. “If he acts to revoke national monuments, he will go down as one of the most anti-conservation presidents in the history of this nation. And our national parks, our national monuments, and our public lands are what helps make this nation great.” http://bit.ly/2tUZBa8 – Think Progress

Outdoor Retailers Rally for Public Lands on Utah Capitol Steps
Hundreds of outdoor industry representatives and their supporters took to the streets Thursday for a rush-hour hike to the Utah Capitol, celebrating the crucial role public lands play in their livelihoods and urging the state’s leaders to lay off what critics say is an attack on those lands. “I believe the biggest danger to our united, overwhelming support for public lands is to allow others to paint this — cynically — as a partisan issue. It is not. And we cannot allow that to happen,” REI CEO Jerry Stritzke told the boisterous throngs of outdoor enthusiasts who see a grave threat in policies coming from Washington. “We cannot allow ourselves to fall into that trap, because public lands are for all.” http://bit.ly/2tVhk17 – Salt Lake Tribune

The Roots of the Antiquities Act Lead Back to Bears Ears
But as important as the Grand Canyon is to the nation’s environmental and cultural heritage, historical records reveal that the primary reason the Antiquities Act was passed was to preserve ancient culture — to stop the widespread looting of American Indian ruins scattered across the Four Corners region of the Southwest. For more than 20 years before the passage of the Antiquities Act, a debate had raged in academia and on Capitol Hill on how to stop the pillage of archeological treasures. Newly arrived settlers were looting ruins, ceremonial structures and burial grounds scattered across vast canyons, mesas and washes — including the land that’s now part of the new, and under President Trump hotly contested, Bears Ears National Monument. http://bit.ly/2tULAJd – The Revelator

The Museum of Northern Arizona Prepares for the 68th Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture
More than 80 award-winning artists and presenters will gather Aug. 5 and 6 at the Museum of Northern Arizona for a weekend of cultural immersion at the 68th Annual Navajo Festival of Arts & Culture. The festival will be open both days from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the museum, located at 3101 N. Fort Valley Road in Flagstaff. “Reaching the 68-year mark for the Navajo Festival of Arts & Culture is an incredible milestone on many levels,” said museum director and CEO Carrie M. Heinonen. “The festival is a place where culture, creativity and community come together, and it reflects the long-standing relationship between MNA and the Diné people.” http://bit.ly/2uaJksR– Arizona Daily Sun

Southwest Border Research Protection Grants Available from the National Park Service
Dear Preservation Partners, the AZSHPO would like to make you aware of the Southwest Border Resource Protection Program (SWBRPP) in the National Park Service (NPS) and their  grant program that provides financial and technical assistance to parks and partners along the US-Mexico border in order to mitigate impacts on cultural and natural resources.  In addition, their goal is to further collaboration between Mexican and American land managers and their partners. You can find more information on the SWBRPP at: https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1461/index.htm. We have been notified that the grant program is currently being advertised on the eCivis Grants Network as “US15607″ for the FY2018 grant cycle (gn.ecivis.com). The due date for grant applications is 9/1/17, and they have an estimated $275,000 in funds. Local governments, academic institutions, Native American Tribes, Non Profits and State government entities are eligible to apply.

An Archaeological Mystery in a Meteorite
In 1915, “an amateur collector of Indian relics” uncovered a stone-lined cist in “a ruin along Clear Creek east of Camp Verde.” It was described as “a little pocket in the earth walled and covered over with flat rocks.” He thought it might be a child’s grave. But, after removing 15 to 18 inches of loose dirt, he found a “feather cloth” inside of which was a large “oak leaf-shaped” object that was eventually determined to be a meteorite. http://bit.ly/2tUZoU6 – Ken Zoll via Arizona Daily Sun

A “Building Boom” in the Early Agricultural Period
A construction boom is currently underway in downtown Tucson and in the area west of the Santa Cruz River as new housing and businesses—including the Caterpillar headquarters and the AC Marriott hotel—are being built. A couple of thousand years ago the same areas were the site of a different kind of construction boom, as Early Agricultural folks built houses. The Cienega phase of the Early Agricultural period dates from about 800 B.C. to A.D. 50. During this timespan people lived on the floodplain along the Santa Cruz River in Tucson, growing maize in irrigated fields. Desert Archaeology has excavated hundreds of houses from this period during work at sites dotting the river’s banks from Ina Road in the north to 29th Street in the south. Although most of these were built in the floodplain, a few houses have been found up on the terrace to the east. Whether the terrace was also a major settlement area remains unknown because it is covered by historic and modern buildings and streets. One of the pithouses we encountered on the terrace has been stabilized and preserved; you can see it at the Presidio San Agustín Museum. http://bit.ly/2tUNOsi – Homer Thiel via Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Ancient Voices Podcast Ready to Share the Ancient Story of Southwestern Colorado
About eight months after Mesa Verde Country received a grant to create audio tours of Montezuma County’s historical sites, the first of three is available online. Kelly Kirkpatrick, director of tourism for the Mesa Verde Country Visitor Information Bureau, announced her plan in December to use a $25,000 grant from the Colorado Tourism Office to create podcast tours of Canyons of the Ancients and other notable county landmarks. http://bit.ly/2tUr6AD – Durango Herald

Wildfires and Archaeological Visibility – A Double Edged Sword
This post-fire evidence is giving a much fuller picture of ancient daily life, land use and ecology. But fire can also leave sites open to substantial collateral damage. With the most intense fires often occurring just before summer monsoon rains, fragile sites can flood and be more vulnerable to wind erosion. And there’s a more sinister threat. Archaeologists with the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest often see looters moving into freshly burned sites, illegally removing artifacts and destroying our ability to learn about past cultures and civilizations. http://bit.ly/2tUSf68 – KNAU.org

Dendrochronology Helping to Document the History of the Manhattan Project and Downtown Santa Fe
Buildings in the 100 block of Santa Fe’s East Palace Avenue, once an entryway for Los Alamos’ secret Manhattan Project and now a hub for gift shops and restaurants, have a history that dates back hundreds of years. Just how far back is the subject of a recent investigation focusing on the wood used in construction of the buildings. John Ruminer, a former Los Alamos National Laboratory engineer and local historian who has been researching the structures just off The Plaza, enlisted the help of Tom Windes and Tom Swetnam, retired tree ring experts – officially called dendrochronologists. http://bit.ly/2tUQ5Ug – Albuquerque Journal

City of Phoenix Archaeologist Laurene Montero and Her Top Gear for Fieldwork
Fun fact: Phoenix has its own City Archaeologist. Her name’s Laurene Montero, and she has held that position since 2011. She’s based at the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park at 44th and Washington streets. Montero grew up in Sayville, Long Island, in eastern New York, where her father was an earth science teacher. Which probably has something to do with family vacations being spent in the Southwest. “As a kid, I always was interested in archaeology,” Montero says. “I actually got inspired when we came out here with my family, and we used to visit all the national monuments and the ruins.” http://bit.ly/2uyebTr – Phoenix New Times

Travelogue – Chimney Rock
Several years ago, some friends in Alamosa and I enjoyed a one-day outing over and back across Wolf Creek Pass to visit Chimney Rock. That day, our destination, a few miles from Pagosa Springs, took us to a turnoff down paved Highway 151and then to a good gravel road to reach Chimney Rock. Probably many boaters and fishermen in past years have whizzed past this gravel road when they were on their way to Navajo Reservoir. But this turnoff now leads to a national monument that should be a goal for anyone who wants to learn about the early occupants of this region. http://bit.ly/2vG27y1 – Alamosa Valley Courier

There Is Still Time to RSVP for Chip Colwell and Ernest House Jr.’s TEDx Talk in Denver
One of the most difficult and important debates in the museum world today is what to do about Native American sacred objects and human remains in collections. Should they go back home or stay in public collections? Join curator Chip Colwell and Native advocate Ernest House Jr. for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science collections, and a discussion about the future of our past. http://www.tedxmilehigh.com/events/skeletons-in-the-closet/

Lecture Opportunity – Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars Presents Dr. Samuel Duwe, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma and Author, The Preshispanic Tewa World: Space, Time and Becoming in the Pueblo Southwest; Co-Author, ‘Ecological Uncertainty and Organizational Flexibility on the Prehispanic Tewa Landscape: Notes from the Northern Frontier’, in Mountain and Valley: Understanding Past Land Use in the Northern Rio Grand Valley, New Mexico, who will give a lecture Summer and Winter People and the Making of the Tewa World on August 7 at 6pm at Hotel Santa Fe as part of the Voices From the Past Lecture Series held to honor and acknowledge the New Mexico History Museum. Admission is by subscription or $15 at the door. No reservations are necessary. Refreshments are served. Seating is limited. Contact Connie Eichstaedt tel. 505 466-2775; email: southwest seminar@aol.com; website: southwestseminars.org

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