Newly posted archaeology week graphics from Utah are located at To broaden the archive, SWA is seeking additional images from southwestern US states (TX, NM, CO, NV, CA), and from other regions.

LAST MAJOR CADDO INDIAN VILLAGE UNEARTHED 02/09/99 A buried time capsule _ ruins of a village once occupied by Indians who hunted and farmed in East Texas for hundreds of years _ is now revealed and archaeologists hope full excavation can begin soon. The Caddo Indians are important to the study of ancient Texas because they settled in the state, built dwellings and farmed in contrast to other, more nomadic tribes. Much of Caddo research to date has involved burial sites instead of habitations like the latest discovery. State researchers believe it is the tribe's last major ancestral village. A six-day dig by archaeologists and volunteers at the site of Sha-Childni-ni, or Timber Hill, was completed Monday in Northeast Texas. "It went exceptionally well," said Dr. James Bruseth, director of the Archeology Division at the Texas Historical Commission in Austin. "We were able to confirm this is the last village site of the Caddo Indians before they were forced out of their ancestral homeland. They lived here for 1,000 years and it had to be tragic for them, knowing they were leaving and not coming back." The village site covers 25 acres in Marion County, about 30 miles northeast of Longview. It is on private land owned by International Paper. Logging is planned on the site by the company which owns more than 100,000 acres of Texas forests. Three Caddo members monitored the dig and a spokesman said the work was professional, preserving aspects of the site that are sacred to the Indians. "I had mixed emotions about this project going in," said Richard Subia, director of higher education for the Caddo Indian Tribe of Oklahoma, which has an enrollment of about 3,900. "But I was very impressed with what they have done. They have gone about it in a very professional way and we had great cooperation from the company that owns the land." The site was abandoned about 1840, when tribal members were forced to move to central Texas before being relocated to a reservation in Oklahoma. "That culture was really unique. You had a farming group of people who really contrasted from the other indigenous tribes because they built dwellings and stayed in one place as opposed to the nomads," said Mike O'Brien with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Austin, which operates Caddo Mounds State Park near Nacogdoches.

AMERICAN INDIAN TRIBES GETTING BACK LOST TREASURES 02/08/99 Religious and cultural artifacts held sacred by American Indian tribes are making their way back home after sitting museums for decades. On Tuesday, leaders of the Hupa and a dozen other Northern California tribes will come together in Bayside, near Arcata, to talk about how they can reclaim more. They say they're gaining ground against anthropologists and collectors who believe these antiques are best preserved in museums. "The issues are so vitally important to our spirituality," said Dale Ann Frye Sherman, a Yurok tribe member organizing the conference. "I really feel our world is out of balance, and part of it is because we have lost so many spiritual and sacred objects to museums." The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 gave tribes the authority to reclaim ancestral remains, funereal and sacred objects and other cultural treasures from federally financed museums and other agencies. But applying the law has been a challenge for both the museums and the tribes, which often disagree about what objects are covered. The most bitter disputes have involved bones. But artifacts such as carvings, baskets and dance regalia are also at issue. While the law does not apply to private collections, Indians have begun to assert claims to artifacts that are put up for auction. In December, the Yurok tribe learned that a shell-studded deerskin dance apron was to be auctioned at Sotheby's in New York. When Sherman wrote to the auction house asking the seller to pull the apron from the sale until the tribe could raise the $15,000 to $18,000 asking price, the anonymous seller declined, as did the consignors of an ancient Alaskan Aleut mask and hunting hat. Edmund Carpenter, an anthropologist whose wife collected the Aleut pieces, said the couple oppose returning the artifacts because they face an uncertain fate. He said he would endorse returning them if the government also funded tribal museums to care for the art. "If we continue in this direction, it will be the end of our knowledge" of American Indian traditions, Carpenter said. "These things become part of history, and that history belongs to all of us." Yet many Indians say they should determine how their cultural treasures are preserved. "It's not art," said Elizabeth Sackler, founder of a New York-based non-profit group that helped the Yurok recover the dance apron. "These are ceremonial materials needed by living cultures." Some repatriated artifacts will be displayed in new tribal museums or cultural centers, but many will also make appearances at dances, potlatches and other important ceremonies. The Yurok and Hupa plan to dance with their recovered garments. At Berkeley's Phoebe Hearst Anthropological Museum and at San Francisco State University, curators are working with tribal groups to identify sacred and culturally important items. The museums are gaining new insight into their collections, said Edward Luby, who heads the Hearst Museum's effort. "From our perspective at the museum, it's important, essential," Luby said. "If they feel comfortable telling us about these objects, it is an incredible experience."

DIVERS LOOKING FOR COUPLE'S PLANE INSTEAD FIND VINTAGE BOMBER 02/05/99 Divers searching California's largest lake for an elderly couple's sunken plane instead found a World War II aircraft. Rescue crews have been combing a three-to-five mile radius of the Salton Sea in California's southeastern desert looking for a Piper Cherokee 180 that crashed Christmas Day. Instead, crews this week uncovered a 1940's-vintage plane submerged in about four feet of mud. The WWII-era plane is either a Hellcat or an Avenger, said Jeff Reynolds, an inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration. "It looks like it's in really good condition," Reynolds said. "You can see the gun barrel coming out of the turret in back and the engine and propellers are in place." U.S. Navy officials are checking their archives to see if the plane was ever reported missing. It has not been determined whether the plane will be removed from the sea. Authorities believe her husband's body may still be belted inside the plane. The fighter plane has not been the only accidental discovery since the hunt began. Searchers say they have also found eight sunken boats.

WOODCARVER RESTORES LIFE TO KACHINA DOLLS 02/09/99 As one of the Southwest's few kachina doll "doctors," Bill Neely mends their broken wings, replaces tiny lost limbs with his own hand-carved replicas and restores their authentic beauty. Hopi tribal members and other Native Americans believe kachinas contain part of the spirit essence of things in the real world. The dolls, part of their religion, are not toys but respected, valued possessions. Native artisans carve the figures from cottonwood root and paint them with traditional colors. They add feathers, hunting bows, lightning bolts or whatever else characterizes the estimated 400 kachinas collectors enjoy. Those artists prefer to create, not repair, though. That's where Neely comes in. "People love their kachinas, and when one falls off a shelf or gets crushed during a move, they're devastated," he said. "I fix their (dolls') hurts and send them back, hopefully as good as new." Neely assures accuracy by referring to illustrations in several books. He blends his own colors to match the originals. Seamless repairs are his hallmark, whether the doll dates from the 1800s or yesterday. "My job is to match the skill of the original artist," he said. "If he or she is good, I have to be good. If they're primitive, I have to be primitive." The woodcarver, jewelry maker and one-time public school teacher got into the kachina repair business in 1992 when a Prescott gift shop owner asked him to fix a shopworn Eagle Dancer. Then someone sent him 60 kachinas the Northridge (Calif.) earthquake had smashed and jumbled. Those took months to restore. Their owner was delighted, but the insurance company balked at paying because Neely's work was invisible. The company wondered whether the earthquake had actually damaged the kachinas. Neely took that as a compliment. Word of Neely's skill quickly spread. Now anxious collectors from around the U.S. send their broken Black Ogres, Zuni Fire Gods, Men With Reeds Tied On, Priest Killers and the like to Neely's studio in the Prescott pines. The dolls' values range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. All get his careful consideration, research and craftsmanship. He also restores kachinas for gift shops at Heard Museum in Phoenix and elsewhere. Flagstaff's Museum of Northern Arizona sends him referrals, too. His burgeoning kachina repair business is taking considerable time away from his first love, woodcarving. A Southwest resident since 1945, Neely has carved wooden birds for the past 24 years. A Kawasaki motorcycle crate provided wood for the first little quail he consigned to a Sedona gallery. To his surprise and delight, buyers found charm and personality in that bird and in his subsequent avian creations. His sumptuously grained carvings seduced wood lovers into opening their purses, too. Now his studio is stacked high with slabs of more than 125 species of wood awaiting transformation into, say, hummingbirds, roadrunners, owls, or his highly successful Gambel's quail families perched along weathered manzanita limbs. With a total of 10 galleries and museum shops from Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin regularly purchasing his birds, he never runs out of work. "I may not make a lot of money, but I sure stay busy," he said. "I've been with some galleries for over 20 years, even though most people I've never met, but they would see my work somewhere and contact me for their own shops." As a result, he carves birds from all over the United States and sells them at popular prices. "People can buy a really nice bird for under $50," Neely said. "It's a labor of love, something I can always improve upon. You never master carving, but you can get better at it." Concern for shrinking rain forests limits his use of exotic hardwoods. Instead, he discovers lustrous beauty in oak and other domestic woods. "Wood is a wonderful medium to work with," he said. "There are thousands of species, and even the most plain hardwoods are beautiful when the finish makes their color leap out at you." He passes along the joy he gets from his work by occasionally donating carved birds to local charities' fund-raisers. The happiness he brings to bird lovers and kachina owners keeps him productive. "I don't understand the meaning of retirement," he said. "I plan to keep on carving, capturing the spirit of birds as best I can, and fixing kachinas for as long as I'm able." Racial politics surfaced right after Washington college students in 1996 stumbled across the 9,000-year-old skull that looks more like a modern European than an American Indian, says archaeologist James Chatters. The skull sent shock waves through tribal councils last year. Analysis of the skull has delighted or enraged several groups more interested in ideology than science. Indian fundamentalists ignore science in favor of myth. The Eurocentrics do the same. The owners of the historic Juana Briones house are suing for permission to tear down the deteriorating structure, which was damaged in a 1989 earthquake. Briones, who had the house built in 1847, died in 1889 after fighting all the way to the Supreme Court to save her land following the war between the United States and Mexico. She was the first permanent resident of what is now San Francisco's North Beach, where she was a rancher and homeopathic doctor. A bill would permit excavation or removal of material from archeological sites as needed to "preserve life or health" of people living in the area. An unfinished flood levy which allowed water to pour into residential areas. Completion of the levy was delayed due to archeological finds in the area. John Lambert Cotter, Archeologist, Dies at 87. In the late 1930s he headed a team from the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia that dug up weapons and tools used 11,000 years ago by the earliest humans known to have been in North America, Paleo-Amerindians, at a site in New Mexico. Cotter joined the National Park Service in 1940 as the archeologist in charge of a prehistoric pueblo preserved as a national monument in Arizona. the City of Mesa is seeking nominations for its annual Historic Preservation Awards.