Got CALICHE? NCC Washington Update, vol 5, #13, April 28, 1999 Visiting Historic Sites Was the Most Popular Cultural Activity in Cultural Tourism Survey -- Last year Partners in Tourism, a collaboration of 8 national associations and 4 federal agencies, commissioned the Travel Industry Association of America to add a series of questions to its August 1998 National Travel Survey. The results of the survey emphasized the important role that heritage sites and museums play in travelers' decisions about the length of their trips. Forty-six percent of the 199.8 million U.S. adult travelers included a cultural, arts, heritage, or historic activity while on a trip of 50 miles or more during the past year. Visiting a historic community or building was the most popular cultural activity listed in the survey. The survey found that of the 92.4 million travelers who included cultural activities in their trips, 31 percent visited historic buildings, 24 percent visited museums, 15 percent visited art galleries, and 14 percent went to see live theater productions. The organizations and federal agencies participating in Partners in Tourism are: American Association of Museums, Americans for the Arts, Federation of State Humanities Councils, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, National Association for African-American Heritage Preservation, National Center for Heritage Development, National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. For information about Partners In Tourism you may send an e-mail to or call (202) 218-7719. One of the most unsung and least-recognized historical personages of New Mexico, St. Vrain was almost killed in hand-to-hand fighting at Taos Pueblo in 1847. Ceran St. Vrain, a trapper, trader, soldier and merchant prominent in New Mexico during the 1800s is buried in an overgrown cemetery in Mora. When he was laid to rest here in 1870, more than 2,000 people - including the entire contingent at Fort Union - came to pay their final respects. fourth- and fifth-graders at Acequia Madre Elementary School will stage A Tribute to the American Cowboy, May 20th at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., in the Acequia Madre Gym. The musical will focus on "the open-range cowboy" from 1866 to 1886 - "those hardworking men and women whose lives captured the imagination of people around the world." Seven new candidates competed for the traditional roles of Don Diego de Vargas and La Reina de las Fiestas de Santa Fe. The candidates, three males and four females dressed in traditional Spanish attire, presented themselves in front of a crowd of approximately 300. The fiestas, held the first weekend after Labor Day, celebrate the 1692 reconquest of Don Diego de Vargas after the 1680 Pueblo Indian revolt. La Reina, who for the most part is based on a fictional character, is De Vargas' counterpart during the festivities. The annual celebration begins this year on a Thursday evening, with the burning of Zozobra, a giant puppet representing Old Man Gloom, and continues throughout the weekend with Mass, dancing, food and other activities on the Plaza. This year marks the 287th Fiesta. The contents of four mismarked boxes could easily have ended up in the garbage. Ironically, the items that looked the least appealing turned out to have the most value. A large basket could fetch as much as $1,000. A little clay doll, not more than three inches tall, turned out to be a Hopi Kachina doll made around 1920. Other items include an Apache cradle and a courting flute. The items will be auctioned June 21. A catalog will be available to the public about a month before the event. Individuals also can get information about the auction from Butterfield's Web site,1249,80001376,00.html? A lecture about Grafton and tours of the tiny southwestern Utah ghost town are planned as part of Zion National Park and nearby Rockville's schedule of events for Utah Prehistory and Heritage Week, May 1-8. [ See for UT Prehistory and Heritage Week events ] The buried remains of a black-owned saloon that catered to all races in the 1860s may prove to be a gold mine for archaeologists trying to learn more about ex-slaves in the Old West. The Boston Saloon was owned and operated by a free black man from Massachusetts from 1864 until it burned in a fire that destroyed most of Virginia City in 1875. The Bull brothers likely opened the saloon in 1889 or 1890. Conductors all knew the dog, so they'd wait for it to climb aboard," Paris said. "The dog would get off at Commerce Street and go inside my grandfather's saloon." The dog would spend a few hours lapping up the spilled suds before returning home in the afternoon on the streetcar. With the advent of Prohibition, the Bull brothers closed the saloon and retired. [ It is noted that the dog later was reincarnated as an archaeologist who retained said habits ] Congress is getting its kicks from a bill to steer motorists back to Route 66. A House committee approved legislation Wednesday to provide $10 million for preserving historic sites along the fabled "Mother Road." The measure - designated, what else, HR 66 - authorizes the National Park Service to award grants to public and private groups for improving and restoring historic sites along the route, such as old diners and motor courts. Funds also might be used to produce an oral and video history of the highway. U.S. Highway 66 was christened in 1926. At the time, parts of it were still dirt. It became the first completely paved highway across the western United States in 1938. [ ] South Mississippi was inhabited long before the first French or Spanish explorer set foot on these lands. A hill of dirt and clay, called Deathly Silent Mound, is providing major discoveries. For more than 50 volunteers who have traveled here from across the country and Canada, the site is much more than a set of field notes and a paper for archaeological journals. The mound is a chance to connect with the past. The archaeological excavation is a partnership of the U.S. Forrest Service Passports In Time opening field archaeology to over 10,000 volunteers in 47 states. [ See for current PIT projects and information ]. About 9,800 abandoned cemeteries have been found in North Carolina in the last 20 years, but the state is hardly finished with a project to catalog all of them. A state legislative study committee called for a survey of the conditions of abandoned cemeteries in 1978, and those results were reported in 1981. The survey continued, but so far only 17 out of the 100 counties have finished.,2107,43408-69961-506421-0,00.html The girl, whose face can be seen poking through her dusty rags, was about 14. They got her drunk on beer, numb from altitude and freezing snow, and buried her alive. One old Salta man swore that human sacrifice goes on quietly today as well. Local sugar plantation bosses kill and eat one of their workers every year to ensure a sweet crop, he said. "It's because they sign pacts with the devil."

[ Things that make you go " Hmmm... " ] -- President Bill Clinton once jokingly said he might be tempted to ask out the Ice Maiden Juanita on a date.

[ How to use a graduate student ] -- After using picks and shovels to dig through 5 feet of rock and frozen earth, the crew had to lower a graduate student into the pit by his ankles to lift the mummies out of their sanctuary. Anthropologist Friedrich Roesing gave evidence about ear shape and size in a German court. A policeman was accused of masterminding a brutal bank robbery. Video surveillance tapes appeared to prove the policeman and the robber were the same person. The jury was on the point of convicting him when Dr Roesing testified that the accused policeman was not the man on the tape. It saved an innocent man. His ears simply did not match those of the robber captured on video."

From: Don Simonis I would like people to know that as of May 10, 1999, I will be working out of Phoenix as the BIA Area roads archaeologist. I look forward to returning to the valley after a 16 year absence.

Neat Web Trick: Tear your phone book in half, the point at; Enter a Category: Archaeologists; Pick a state; click "Find It" button; gives company name, address, zip code, area code, phone number, and location map.


>> From: eheite@DMV.COM (Ned Heite)
To: Subject: dead horse Date: Tue, 27 Apr

Okay, here goes another lash of the whip.

I challenge the proposition that we should publish two separate reports: one for the public and another for the profession.

Desktop publishing has given us the tools of typography, if not the skills of typographers. We can produce an attractive and readable product that will satisfy academic requirements, while still satisfying the needs and desires of more casual readers.

Here's how to build a readable dual-audience report (IMHO).

First: the narrative

We are supposed to tell our reader what happened. Write the narrative in simple declarative sentences, in chronological order. Use words that are easily understood by everyone, choosing the more popular word wherever possible ("stone tools" instead of "lithic implements"). If we were to write our reports in the same language style that we use verbally among ourselves in the bar, we would produce much better reports.

Jake Ivey made some really great points about little explanations that help people find their way through the text. Don't assume that everyone knows about what you are writing. It doesn't cost a thing to insert the birth and death dates of a person, or to explain when and among whom a particular war took place.

The Flesch Test and other measures of readability should be applied. Most word processors can do word counts and character counts, and some can apply formulas for readability.

Active sentences work better than passive ones. The verb "to be" in most forms absolutely poisons readability.

First-person narrative style describes what you did. Who is going to take you seriously if you state that "a hole was dug" on a site where obviously the author was digging? We probably lose most of our potential non-specialist readers when we affect the detached style of writing in the third person. I realize that the academic pundits will defend, to the death, the stilted style of "detached" writing. Let them die.

Second: the pararphenalia

A "technical" report must include tables and lists of things. Typography can help here.

In old typewritten reports, tabular material was stuck right in, or relegated to appendices. In either case, it was unreadable because everything looked the same. Word processing and page layout technology allow us to set tables in six-point type and box them in a corner. We can express tabular data as graphs, and inset them into page layouts.

In our recent reports, our office has all but eliminated appendices, instead scattering the tabular material through the text in boxes as sidebars to the main narrative. The result is vastly more attractive than the old appendices, and much more likely to be read, even by the non-technical reader.

Third: the layout

DTP technology also allows us to insert typographically interesting chapter titles and subtitles. Instead of calling the first chapter of a report "Introduction," we called it "What we did and why we did it" and then summarized the chapter in a three-line subhead. Section headings within chapters can help the reader over the rough spots. Most word processors automatically generate an index and a table of contents that takes into account all the heading information.

We are free from the old constraint of full-page "plates" or "figures" at fixed points in the report. Human-interest pictures of the "dig" in process can be scattered through the text, to let the reader know that this is a human experience that he can share through the medium of report illustrations.

When I noticed that my site was dotted with umbrellas and canvas dining shelters as the crew tried to survive 100-degree heat, I took a picture of these contraptions which will appear in the printed report over the caption, "Club Ned," together with a description of the weather conditions on the site. Inclusion of this picture detracts not one whit from the technical content, but it makes the report vastly more friendly to the non-technical reader.

When I was reporting a nineteenth-century catsup factory, I inserted recipes for modern catsup and the vastly more spicy Victorian version. The recipes added to appreciation of the project in the sense that it even gave a sense of time depth to the reader's palate.

Fourth: obsolete layout conventions

Guidelines for some publications still insist that plates and figures must be numbered separately. Some journals still put the plates at the back in a separate section on different paper. Some CRM contractors still number the pages in each section separately. These curious and cumbersome customs all have good explanations in obsolete technology, and all of them are bad news on the readability front.

Back in the old days, pictures and drawings were printed by different processes, and required different types of paper. This hasn't been the case for at least fifty years, but some journal editors insist on keeping the tradition alive. The result is an unnecessarily disjointed article or report.

Back before we discarded our typewriters, each chapter of a report was produced separately. It was very costly to retype a whole section just to change a page number. It was unthinkable to paginate the whole report together, in case someone should add a plate in front of page three and throw off the whole pagination. A consecutively-paged report is much easier to read than one with chapter page numbering, but I know at least two firms that hang on to the old system for dear life.

I actually know one place where they still underline to indicate italics, even though modern computer printers easily print italics.

If all these little refinements help more people appreciate archaeology, we will benefit. But the best part about these changes is the fact that they don't cost.

Ned Heite, Camden, DE

>>Date: Wed Apr 28 06:22:34 1999 From: kris-hirst@UIOWA.EDU ("K. Kris Hirst") Subject: Ned Heite's suggestions To: Hi guys: Throwing my two cents here; all Ned's suggestions for increasing readibility and access to our technical reports are good, but I disagree with the use of the "Flesch test" and [horrors!] the computer grammar checker Microsoft has so obligingly offered us. Hire an editor!, and pay attention to what s/he says. There are plenty of them, and a lot of them do it by contract. kris (fully admitting my writerly/editorial leanings) Kris Hirst Office of the State Archaeologist The University of Iowa or Scribal Traditions