Message #198 Date: Sun 21 Jun 1998 13:53:34 Subject: Geo Magazine From: Eric Braunreuther firstname.lastname@example.org I am writing an article about the most interesting actual theories on the anasazi-research and archeology for a special-issue of the german GEO-magazine. If you like, have a look on our homepage www.geo.de. While searching in the www I found your very helpful site full of so much stuff and so I'd like to ask you what theories or artifacts of the last time are worth to show in my popular-scientific article. Maybe you can recommend any other good related sites or contacts to researchers able and probably willing to help me. Thanks for your help. Erik Braunreuther Munich Germany Reply: Thank you for your inquiry regarding current research theories about the Anasazi. In the article you plan to write, I hope you will ask your readers to visit the Southwestern Archaeology (SWA) website. I am going to pass your inquiry to members of the SWA e-mail list. Many of them can assist you as they are engaged in Anasazi research or have informed opinions. Many will be giving brief presentations at the Pecos Conference this August and may be willing to share their recent insights with you. Much of the archaeology work in the US at this time is contract work related to civil engineering projects (a new road here, a water pipeline there), or, work related to the management of public, state, or tribal lands (national parks, Indian reservations, military facilities, sate trust lands, etc). In Arizona, for example, only fifteen percent of the land is privately owned; the remainder is federal, state, or tribally-owned. This means that there is much paid cultural resources management (CRM) work for archaeologists -- federal and state laws mandate historic preservation or scientific investigation on government lands if a property must be disturbed. Many other western states see work done under similar conditions. While a great deal of archaeological research is conducted throughout the US as a result of regulation, the southwest and western states seem to get the 'lion's share' of available archaeological funding. But, we have fewer historic buildings in the southwest and west, so we don't see the same level of funding for the preservation of old buildings... as say... some of the eastern states (of course, I am speaking in generalities....and there are exceptions to the rule). Because of the nature of CRM contract work, there are tight time frames and a great deal of it seems to get done with little grand theory building. Most contract archaeology will examine the particular issues of the site(s) investigated, and will address existing theories and how the site(s) fit or don't fit, but few contracts allow the time or flexibility needed to develop synthetic works. (again, there are exceptions to the rule...) Given these circumstances -- when viewing information on the World-Wide Web, and when reading books -- it is best to keep in mind the diffrences between contract work (CRM archaeology) and applied or synthetic research coming from a university or research institute. You should also note, nonetheless, that many contract archaeologist have independently gone on to write major synthetic works in their off-duty hours once they have spent many years or much effort with a particular region, culture or topic. The SWA SASIG archive has many articles about Anasazi research -- cannibalism seems to have re-emerged as a topic among the bio-archaeologists; Steve Lekson (University of Colorado) has been working in Bluff UT and is more focused on Anasazi regional organization and intergration; George Gumerman (now at UofA) for many years has focused on the more theoretical aspects of organization; Steve LeBlanc has interesting things to say about Mogollon and Anasazi warfare in the southwest and the introduction of the bow and arrow; some SWA links point at how Chacoan roads were engineered on the landscape or what they possibly mean politcally and socially; you might contact Jonathan Haas and Winifred Creamer, John Kantner (UCSB), Mike Adler (SMU), and David Wilcox (MNA). These are just a few examples. Some drop off the list for the summer or while they are in the field, but they should be easy to find. I recommend that you use SWA to develop a list of Anasazi researchers (use the many links provided as well as the e-mail list mentioned above). A list with email addresses could be included as a side-bar article to your main article. The public would enjoy this. The researchers you contact from this list may be able to provide for you a thematically-organized reading list of current Anasazi research topics. I would urge to rank for your readers the universities from where you see the major synthetic works emanating -- I think that this effort will encourage researchers to contact and share information with you -- if they know they will be ranked, they will want their research and their university or research institute to receive favorable mention. There are several products -- cd-rom, for example, that your readers may find interesting. I am sure individuals can make you aware of these items. Your article would be most useful if you could include a review of currently available materrials. Finally, I urge you to address the topic of vandalism of archaeological sites. Many materials are ripped from sites and sold on the antiquities market. Your readers should know how Anasazi sites have been plundered, and, how they can avoid being part of this illegal activity. Let me know when you article will appear in GEO magazine. I hope I answered your question properly. Feel free to contact me if you have additional inquiries.