Seven Southwestern Archaeology Groups Advocating for Protecting Bears Ears Monument Status

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Seven Southwestern Archaeology Groups Advocating for Protecting Bears Ears Monument Status Seven archaeology groups in the southwest have asked the new Interior secretary to support the Bears Ears national monument designation. Utah lawmakers are calling for an elimination of the monument. Former President Barack Obama designated 1.35 million acres surrounding the twin buttes known as Bears […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Archaeology Southwest’s Paul Reed on Protecting Chaco Canyon

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Editorial: Archaeology Southwest’s Paul Reed on Protecting Chaco Canyon Our public lands were at the center of many celebrations this past year. The centennial of the National Park Service allowed Americans across the country to celebrate what makes America so special: our public lands, cultural sites and natural wonders. This year, New Mexicans also were […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Oil Drilling Closes in on Chaco Canyon

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Oil Drilling Closes in on Chaco Canyon On January 25, the Bureau of Land Management leased nearly 850 acres of land for drilling in northwest New Mexico, netting close to $3 million. The agency offers leases on millions of acres of public land per year, but this latest sale was unusual. Not only was it […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Bears Ears, Gold Butte Designated National Monuments

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Bears Ears, Gold Butte Designated National Monuments Rising from the center of the southeastern Utah landscape and visible from every direction are twin buttes so distinctive that in each of the native languages of the region their name is the same: Hoon’Naqvut, Shash Jáa, Kwiyagatu Nukavachi, Ansh AnLashokdiwe, or “Bears Ears.” For hundreds of generations, […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Protests at Standing Rock: A Model for How We Might Protect the Chaco Landscape?

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Protests at Standing Rock: A Model for How We Might Protect the Chaco Landscape? Protesters in North Dakota have made headlines for months with their prolonged opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The thousands of protesters include representatives from Native American tribes along with environmental activists who have joined the Standing Rock protest […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Can National Monuments Be Dissolved?

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Can National Monuments Be Dissolved? As his presidential tenure winds down in the coming weeks, Barack Obama is expected to decide whether to designate some proposed national monuments, including Bears Ears in Utah and two others on Utah’s borders with neighboring states. But Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the race to succeed Obama likely changes the […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Notes from a Field Season at Aztec North

Aztec West
Monday, October 24th, 2016

Michelle Turner, PhD Student, Binghamton University Department of Anthropology (October 24, 2016)—The first time I heard about Aztec North was in the summer of 2013. I was a field intern at Crow Canyon, having just finished my first year of graduate school. One day, Shanna Diederichs took us all on a field trip to Aztec […]



Filed Under: Preservation Archaeology Blog

Federal Government Announces New Review of Fracking near Chaco Canyon

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Federal Government Announces New Review of Fracking near Chaco Canyon The federal government announced Thursday that it will study the potential effects of drilling on public and tribal lands near Chaco Culture National Historical Park in the San Juan Basin, an area that is one of the state’s largest centers for oil and gas production. Environmental […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Native Tribes Decry Utah Public Lands Initiative as a Corporate Land Grab

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Correction: Carrie Heitman Is Leading Chaco Research with Assistance from NASA In the September 25, 2016, issue of Southwest Archaeology Today, I miscredited an article about NASA’s involvement in Chacoan Research to John Kantner, when in fact the project is the effort is being directed by Carrie Heitman. I regret this error and wish Dr. Heitman and […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Don’t Blame the Salt at Chaco?

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

Research Finds Salt Infiltration Was Not a Problem at Chaco Canyon Various salt compounds found deep in the soil of New Mexico’s desert may be the key to understanding how crops were cultivated in ancient Chaco Canyon – despite the backdrop of what seems an otherwise arid and desolate landscape, according to a University of Cincinnati […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Oil and Gas Industry Group Sues BLM for Taking the Time to Preserve the Chaco Landscape

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Oil and Gas Industry Group Sues BLM for Taking the Time to Preserve the Chaco Landscape Representatives of the oil and gas industry are upset with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for not holding quarterly lease sales for drilling on public lands. On Thursday, the Western Energy Alliance, a Denver-based pro-industry group, filed suit, challenging the agency to […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Debate over Bears Ears Intensifies

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

Debate over Bears Ears Intensifies Laminated sheets of paper held in place by rocks rest inside ancient cliff dwellings nestled underneath a spectacular red rock overhang in southeastern Utah. “Don’t erase the traces of America’s past,” the signs read. “Please do not enter interior rooms.” The weathered signs and a similar warning at the trailhead are the only […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Former Utah State Archaeologist Kevin T. Jones Makes the Case for a Bears Ears National Monument

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Former Utah State Archaeologist Kevin T. Jones Makes the Case for Bears Ears National Monument Looting is a regular occurrence in the Bears Ears region and, according to archaeologists who patrol the area, is on the increase. First protected by the Antiquities Act and later by other statutes, heritage resources lure the lowest of thieves, […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

New Mexico Park Visitation Rises

Pueblo Bonito Aerial
Monday, April 25th, 2016

Paul F. Reed, Preservation Archaeologist (April 25, 2016)—The latest statistics show a dramatic increase in visitation to National Park Service (NPS) parks and monuments in New Mexico, for March 2016. Several factors may be responsible for the uptick, including a promotional push by the Park Service in conjunction with its 100-year anniversary. Given the threats […]



Filed Under: Preservation Archaeology Blog

BLM Defers on Fracking Leases near Chaco Canyon

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

BLM Defers on Fracking Leases near Chaco Canyon Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management deferred for the third time the sale of three oil and gas lease parcels and approximately 2,122 acres of federal mineral estate on Navajo allotment lands in the Greater Chaco region. A broad coalition of local and regional watchdog groups submitted comments […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Navajo Nation Archaeology Conference Focused on Partnerships

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

Navajo Nation Archaeology Conference Focused on Partnerships The ways Navajo people and non-Navajo people relate to the archaeology of the Four Corners region served as the center of discussion during Friday’s Navajo Nation Archaeology Meeting in Shiprock. The theme for the meeting was “Cultural Heritage: Then and Now.” The meeting’s purpose was to share archaeological research relating to the […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Bringing Chaco Home

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Bringing Chaco Home Her favorite piece in the collection is easy to choose. Even though Wendy Bustard manages more than 1 million artifacts from 120 sites in Chaco Canyon that are in the custody of the National Park Service, it takes her just a few seconds to come up with it. “Probably, at the moment, the badger,” […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Astonishing Early Agricultural Period Surface Shows Ancient Footprints in Tucson

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Astonishing Early Agricultural Period Surface Shows Ancient Footprints in Tucson Dan Arnit of Innovative Excavating was working at the site of the planned Sunset Road connection to Silverbell Road just west of Interstate 10 when he came across something startling — prehistoric human footprints, possibly the oldest set found north of Mexico in the Southwest. “I […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Coalition Created to Protect the Chaco Landscape

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

Coalition Created to Protect the Chaco Landscape A coalition of conservationists has launched a campaign to raise awareness over oil and gas operations near Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Paul Reed, a Chaco scholar and a preservation archaeologist with Tucson-based Archaeology Southwest, has been working on protecting the Chaco landscape for more than two years with other conservationists. He has just launched a […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Native American Tribes Ask for Better Protection of Ancient Places on BLM Lands

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

Native American Tribes Ask for Better Protection of Ancient Places on BLM Lands A panel discussion Saturday at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center on the impacts of oil-and-gas to the land featured perspectives of prominent members of the Santa Ana and Acoma pueblos. Acoma Gov. Fred Vallo Sr. and Santa Ana official Timothy Menchego expressed […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

William A. Longacre Jr. Passes

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

William A. Longacre Jr. Passes Professor Emeritus William Longacre passed away peacefully in Tucson, AZ, on November 18 after a short illness. Dr. Longacre will be interred in the family plot in Houghton, MI in the spring. Funeral arrangements are pending. The School of Anthropology will host a celebration of life in Tucson, also in […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Did Ancient Humans Shape Our Climate?

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

Did Ancient Humans Shape Our Climate? We all know that humans are having a massive impact on the planet. Our effects include altering the Earth’s rotation by damming large amounts of surface water; changing the composition of the atmosphere by punching a hole in the ozone layer and adding vast amounts of CO2, methane and other pollutants; […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Federal Court Denies Injunction Against Fracking of the Chaco Landscape

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Federal Court Denies Injunction Against Fracking of the Chaco Landscape A federal judge has rejected an effort by environmental groups to stall oil and gas development in northwestern New Mexico while they fight the approval of dozens of drilling permits issued over the past two years by a federal agency. U.S. District Judge James Browning issued […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today

Raising the Roof

Salado Room Entryway at Night
Friday, August 7th, 2015

Allen Denoyer, Preservation Archaeologist and Ancient Technologies Expert (August 7, 2015)—The process began before the students arrived. After obtaining a Forest Service permit, I cut a couple of loads of juniper poles for the roof. I cut the poles when they were green, so they were heavy! I had the students use stone axes to […]



Filed Under: Preservation Archaeology Blog

Firsthand Account of Federal Hearing on the Fracking of the Chaco Landscape

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Firsthand Account of Federal Hearing on the Fracking of the Chaco Landscape When you represent regular people fighting against the oil and gas industry, you get used to playing David to their Goliath. Still, when I went into court on July 13, with my single co-counsel, I didn’t expect to have to face off against […]



Filed Under: Southwest Archaeology Today