>>Hi-A co-volunteer at the archaeological dig told me about the [SASIG] e mail list and how cool it is. I am only just new at digging and archaeology in general, but I am interested and would enjoy learning as much as possible. Would you put me on your e-mail list? Thanks!

[ "how cool it is!" we just love getting scratched behind the ears, and hope it means we're doing something right! -- dogyears]

HISTORIC HOSPITAL-HOTEL IN JEROME TO BE SOLD 04/17/99 An historic and reputedly haunted hotel in this historic mining community will go on the auction block April 30. Jerome Grand Hotel, a building with thick poured-concrete walls, was built as a hospital in 1926 to serve copper miners. The mine closed in 1953, the town shrank and the building was closed effectively for about 40 years. Three years ago, housing renovation specialists Larry Altheer and his brother Bob reopened its doors as a hotel after two years and an estimated $1 million of renovation. Though they say it has flourished, they also say they have had enough as restaurant and hotel operators and want to return to their careers of fixing up old buildings. As for having ghosts, said Larry Altheer, who lives in it, ``it has that reputation. I've lived here five years, and I'm fine.'' The 30,000-square-foot building has five levels with 20 furnished rooms, and the potential for another 10 or 12, Bob Altheer said. It also has three sun porches, an elegant dining room with views north across the valley to Sedona, a lounge and an upstairs banquet room for parties. The building still has its original steam boiler and 10,000-gallon hot-water tank in the basement, and the original elevator still carries people up and down between the floors. It also has space to park nearly 70 vehicles, a rarity in this mountainside community noted for narrow and twisting streets. The brothers will hold a reserve in the auction, meaning that they don't have to sell if they don't get what they deem an adequate offer. They figure it should bring around $2.5 million. Jerome is part of the Altheers' family history: Their great grandmother, Mary Lindsay, lived there beginning in 1910.

NAVAJO FAMILY ON TRADITIONAL SHEEP SHEARING: `A LOST ART' 04/14/99 The Churro sheep looked distinctly nervous. Lying on his side atop an old telephone wire spool, trussed front and rear to a weathered corral fence, he bleated helplessly as Irma Henderson carefully clipped long brown wool away. Henderson's husband Les Wilson stood nearby in case the wether, a castrated ram, decided it had a mind of its own. Dozens of onlookers, Navajo and Anglo, crowded into the sheep corral outside Wilson's Two Grey Hills Trading Post. Ranging in age from 8-year olds to great-grandmothers, they focused cameras and camcorders or simply stared in fascination as Henderson, dressed in government-surplus white coveralls, carefully, almost tenderly, separated the sheep from its wool. Suddenly the sheep, its patience pushed to the breaking point, began to thrash. Henderson whipped the shears away. Wilson and his son Andrew grabbed the sheep and wrestled it into submission. ``Easy, Lambert, easy!'' Henderson said, trying to soothe the sheep by rubbing its denuded flanks. ``His name is Lambert?'' one of the puzzled onlookers asked. ``Yes,'' Henderson said, returning to the task. ``We don't eat the ones we name.'' Henderson makes her living as a psychiatric social worker at the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock. Shearing sheep, spinning their wool and weaving rugs in the traditional Two Grey Hills style is her ``therapy.'' The Sunday demonstration drew about three dozen people to the trading post recently, located 10 miles west of Newcomb off U.S. Highway 666. Once plentiful, traditional Navajo weavers like Henderson are becoming hard to find. ``It's a lifestyle, but there aren't that many left,'' she said. ``A lost art,'' Wilson called it. Weaving runs in Henderson's family. Her sister, Sarah Natani of Table Mesa, is a renowned weaver who knows traditional Navajo weaving as well as many other styles. Henderson's mother, Mary Lee Henderson, ran a flock of 60 sheep on her grazing land 20 miles north of Two Grey Hills. As a girl, Henderson helped her mother shear and weave, but didn't start weaving herself until about seven years ago. Now she carries on the tradition with the small flock of 21 sheep which she inherited. Because she has no grazing rights in Two Grey Hills, Henderson rears them in the corral. No easy task, shearing is an example of ``mind over mutton.'' The sheep are dirty and definitely not housebroken. The reward for bending over each one for one-and-a-half to two hours, depending on size and attitude, is up to five pounds of wool and a backache. A traditionalist, Henderson prefers old-fashion manual steel clippers, sharpened with a cold steel file. Electric clippers leave behind a thin layer of poor-quality wool which requires a second clipping, she explained. The best wool on Henderson's flock is found on the neck, shoulders and flanks. She keeps a canvas ``cape'' on her sheep to protect those areas. After shearing, the wool is washed several times in a detergent to remove oils and dirt, then carded the old-fashioned way, between two brushes, and spun on a manual spindle. Henderson's flock is mostly Churro, a hardy Spanish breed imported centuries ago. ``They lamb easily and live on sand and rocks, which we have a lot of,'' Wilson quipped. Churros are favored by Navajo weavers for the long, straight fibers of their wool, which are easy to spin and handle. Across the corral, another sheep was losing its wool at the hands of Margaret C. Becenti. She came to the demonstration to get credit for a Southwest Indian Studies class at the University of New Mexico, but picked up the shears from nostalgia. ``I used to herd my grandmother's sheep when I was little,'' Becenti said. ``When grandmother passed away, that's where it ended. Everybody was going to boarding school.'' Shearing brought memories back. ``It feels good, getting into it,'' Becenti said. If the tradition of Navajo weaving survives into the 21st Century, it will be because of weavers like Henderson and children like Lesley Eldridge. The 9-year-old Tsaile resident pushed to the front of the crowd surrounding Henderson and watched carefully. ``I wanted to learn how,'' Eldridge said. ``My `nallie,'' Rena Gleason, knows how to weave, and I think I can learn from her.'' Early in their history, Navajos expanded their population by embracing newcomers. In the 17th century, when Spaniards were driven out of New Mexico and then returned, Pueblo people sought refuge with the Navajo and were incorporated into the society.,1249,75004628,00.html? The history is the 20th-century legacy Reisner calls the "age of dams." The myth, Reisner said, is the Old West attitude "where our dams, public and private, enjoy a status akin to shrines and cathedrals." The Colorado Guide, 1997, $19.95, paper, by Bruce Caughey and Dean Winstanley, Fulcrum Publishing, 350 Indiana St., Suite 350, Golden, CO 80401, tel. (800) 992-2908. History, tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants of the Centennial State, written by insiders. Journey to the High Southwest: A Traveler's Guide to Santa Fe and the Four Corners of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, 1997, $19.95, paper, by Robert L. Casey, Globe Pequot Press, P.O. Box 833, Old Saybrook, CT 06475, tel. (800) 243-0495, Internet Tells the full story of the Old Southwest, with an emphasis on Native American cultures. The People's Guide to Mexico, 1998, $22.95, paper, by Carl Franz, John Muir Publications, P.O. Box 613, Santa Fe, NM 87504, tel. (800) 888-7504. A general introduction to travel in Mexico for those who want to get beyond the tourist zones. Nearly every school kid learns the name of the first European explorer to visit the state -- none other than Spanish conquistador Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, who explored Kansas in 1541, according to most history books. After seven years of research, Leoti amateur historian Dean Jeffries has suggested a different theory -- one that puts Europeans in Kansas more than 1,000 years before Coronado's landmark journey. Jeffries contends that ancient European sun-worshippers who crossed the states in about A.D. 500 inscribed an old stone tablet reportedly dug up in a Lincoln County field nearly 80 years ago. The students have been making pottery the same way Anna-sa-zay Indians did almost a thousand years ago. Tuesday the students put their pottery to the test, they set up an actual trench kiln near the baseball field. Professor Mark Moak thinks this is a great way for students to learn about different cultures. The pottery will be in the trench kiln for just about 30 hours. While other minorities ask to be equal within the American system, the Southern Utes and other tribes want to run separate nations. In the past five years, more than 60 museums have opened, broken ground or been announced. Every corner of the state is represented, along with every kind of institution, from grand civic monuments such as the Audrey Jones Beck Building in Houston to an offshore drilling museum in Galveston and a proposed Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth. The Texas Association of Museums estimates the total cost of these projects at nearly $600 million, with another $100 million set aside for endowments. Museums are providing relief from technology by giving singular objects new importance. In the digital age, we have become starved for real things and memorable sensory experiences. The museum has become the domain of both. Museums offer something unique and nonreproducible. Tangibility is their edge.

From: Jim Thomas As part of my online magazine's virtual visits to local archaeology sites, I've completed my V-bar-V Ranch site presentation. You can see it at