Message #78
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 

Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 19:06:23
Subject: Full Tinajas and Adobe Walls Well-Outlined

[ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] :

Walking through prehistoric canal alignments today, I noticed
that the chenopodium and other volunteers were growing full
strength in the bottoms of the ancient watercourses.

The El Nino weather brings benefits to the desert Southwest.

Site visibility is enhanced this time of year because of the
strong growth of annuals in ancient anthropogenic soils and
disturbed contexts.  Melted adobe walls invisible most of the
year are outlined by interstitial succulents growing at the
shear lines between these vibrant walls and their dullard
cousin of extramural soils. Thousand year old pit houses
retain greater relative moisture than the surrounding
stratigraphy.  The soft soil and the moisture promote
succulent growth -- in turn, these attractive nuisances draw
desert rodents who dig for habitat and return artifactual
ejecta to the surface.

Tinajas in the arid mountains are replenished and waterfalls
abound if for only a moment. 

Amid all this seasonally-heightened site visibility, the
AZ Site Stewards will hold their conference in Ajo,
April 3-5.  But they will do the right thing.  After all the
jaw-boning (I think Martin McAllister used to call it
'arc-barking'), the Stewards will quit civilization and head
for sites and ancient environs to witness the past (Organ Pipe,
Gunsite Mine, Charlie Bell Petroglyphs, Cabeza Prieta Refuge,
BMG Gunnery Range).  Perhaps their neatest trip will be the
three-day wilderness jeep tour along the ancient trails and
tinajas of El Camino del Diablo.  Travel was common here
once upon a time, but we are mere mortals and we dread to walk
where ancient gods were tested...

If you are jealous just about now, consider applying to join the
AZ Site Stewards program to help protect sites. Then you can
register for the Ajo meeting and possibly attend exciting
field trips.
(602) 542-7143