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SCIENTISTS SEEK GRAVES OF MASSACRE VICTIMS 04/01/99 Scientists using ground-penetrating radar are looking beneath Mountain Meadows for the burial sites of 120 California-bound emigrants who were massacred 141 years ago by Mormon settlers and Paiute Indians. The subsurface survey along with a soil analysis are being conducted in preparation of an upgrade of the site's memorial, trails and plaques. The work is a cooperative effort between the Mountain Meadows Association and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ron Loving, president of the association, said the project could not have progressed to this point without the "spirit of reconciliation" from the church. He was quoted in a copyright story in The Salt Lake Tribune. The church and the association want to honor those who died with a fitting memorial and explanatory plaques at the site, which has fallen into disrepair through vandalism, neglect and the elements. Scientific work was conducted by John Lindemann, a forensic geologist, and Clark Davenport, a forensic geophysicist. Their expenses were covered by the association, but they donated their time and equipment. The pair are experts at locating archaeological sites, clandestine graves and illegal dumping locations, Davenport said. They have worked in 33 states and seven countries. They hope the radar can find anomalies in the soil pattern that would indicate a possible grave. The association will not allow graves to be dug up. "We do not want those bodies disturbed and the church is honoring that request," said Loving, an aerospace-systems engineer in Tucson, Ariz., who is related to 12 of the emigrants who died. The scientists also are searching the soil for chemical concentrations, such as calcium, that would indicate possible burial sites. They also hope to identify the location where, on Sept. 7, 1857, the Baker-Fancher party circled their wagons against a siege that ended five days later with the slaying of men, women and children. Loving said the information, in addition to aerial photographs, still has to be evaluated. The church plans to build and maintain a memorial on 2.5 acres it owns at the massacre site. The association will be responsible for other improvements, including identifying and marking grave sites, road upgrades, a parking lot, restrooms and plaques explaining what happened at Mountain Meadows. An Army group buried the bodies of the massacre in mass graves in 1859, but the piles of stones used as markers have disappeared. Historians believe the massacre stemmed from antigovernment sentiments and Mormons' fears of invasion and persecution by the U.S. Army. The wagon train, for unknown reasons, became the focus of that hostility. Blame for the attack was laid on John D. Lee, a zealous Mormon portrayed by the church as a rogue major in the Mormon militia. He and others were excommunicated from the church and Lee was tried and executed at Mountain Meadows nearly 20 years after the slaughter.
http://www.sltrib.com/04021999/commenta/94912.htm The Green and Colorado rivers in Utah appear to be "Concepcion," which is adjacent to the "Ancient Homeland of the Aztecs" site on the 1847 Disturnell map. The ancestors of Mexicans (Mexicas, Aztecas or Nahuatl peoples) once called this Four Corners region of the United States "Huehuetlapallan" (old, old, colorful land). Moctezuma I was born in Huehuetlapallan. Mexicans originated from this region -- prior to the famed Aztlan of the Aztecs, which is purportedly farther south -- some indigenous groups are planning a pilgrimage this summer, commencing in Mexico City and concluding in the Four Corners region. What's missing from these beliefs, however, is a time line regarding these ancient migration trails. What is known is that the old "Spanish Trail," which spans the entire Southwest, is actually an assortment of old Spanish mining trails that are superimposed over ancient indigenous trade routes.
http://www.azcentral.com/news/0402heard.shtml The Heard Museum is losing its director Martin Sullivan effective May 30. A search committee has been formed.
http://www.azstarnet.com/public/dnews/123-6302.html Waila Festival: Food, free traditional Tohono O'Odham "chicken scratch" music and dancing April 17. This year this popular event, sponsored by the Arizona Historical Society. 628-5774
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nevada/1999/apr/01/508612468.html Western Nevada is certainly getting hit hard by looters, said Garry Cantley, a Bureau of Indian Affairs archaeologist based in Arizona. For hundreds of years, American Indian sites and other historic places went unprotected and treasure hunters looted at will. Within the last 20 years, Congress passed the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act, giving tribes and law enforcement a tool to stop the robberies and protect historic and prehistoric places. The most recent ARPA conviction in Nevada involved Jack Harelson from Grants Pass, Ore. For more than a decade, Harleson systematically excavated a cave in the Black Rock Desert, removing artifacts and human remains. His sentence: 18 months in jail and a $20,000 fine. A civil case for more than $2.5 million is pending, based on restoration and damage estimates.
http://wire.nj.com/cgi-bin/nj_nview.pl?/home1/wire/AP/Stream-Parsed/JERSEY_NEWS/j0154_AM_NJ--BRF--AxStolen A rare pre-historic stone ax was swiped from a display case in the Glassboro Public Library. It was reported missing Thursday, police said. The 2,500-year-old ax was part of a traveling pre-historic artifact exhibit that had been on display at the library since early March.
http://www.nationalpost.com/news.asp?f=990402/2439357&s2=national&s3=news A Mexican judge has reduced the sentence of a 21-year-old Montreal man who was convicted of possession of illegal ceramics in Chiapas, paving the way for the man's release from the prison where he has spent the past three months. Hudon was charged under Mexico's heritage protection law, which is designed to keep people from stealing remnants of Mexico's history.
http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,75001624,00.html? A couple of Japanese scientists hoping to bring back the woolly mammoth are on a hunt for mammoth remains to supply genetic material that could help re-create the beasts. The most famous Utah version of a mammoth, one of the Columbia mammoth species, was found in 1988 on top of the Wasatch Plateau. Because it was near Huntington Reservoir west of the town of Huntington, it's called the Huntington mammoth.
http://www.courierpress.com/cgi/view.cgi?/199904/01/+natamer_news.html+19990401+news Hoosiers could soon have the option of buying a license plate to commemorate Native Americans in Indiana. But not if several Native Americans around the state have any say about it. they are angry that the proceeds will go to finance the Woodland Native American Cultural Complex, a museum under construction near Lafayette to preserve and promote Native American history. They are selling bumper stickers asking people not to buy the plates. "Just more $ to a museum funds do not help Native American Indians in Indiana" the bumper sticker reads. The 16,000 Native Americans in Indiana say they could put the money to better use, but they were never consulted by lawmakers who created the plate last year.
http://www2.startribune.com/stOnLine/cgi-bin/article?thisStory=70833375 A teen-ager digging a fort to use as a hangout found a human skull. Police and forensic experts responded and reburied the skull.