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http://www.nps.gov/morningreport/msg00178.html ARPA Incident; Resource Recovery On January 1st, a local newspaper ran an article describing the discovery of a trunk associated with a group of Forty-Niners which had been found in a remote area of the park by Jerry Freeman, a resident of Pearblossom, California. According to the article, Freeman found the trunk last November while scouting routes for a planned backpacking trip which would retrace routes which might have been taken through the area by Forty-Niners on their way to the California gold fields. Freeman first found a knife and ox shoe, which led him to a more thorough search of the area. He found the trunk wedged into a rock shelter, held in place with rocks and a piece of wood. During this and subsequent trips, Freeman and associates reportedly opened, photographed and inventoried the contents of the trunk, then put it back in its original location. Park chief of resource management Linda Greene contacted Freeman by phone on January 4th. Freeman told her that he'd in fact removed the trunk from the park and taken it to his home. He said he'd done this because he was afraid that pot hunter might find it and take it for economic gain, and because he was concerned about the Park Service's ability to preserve the artifacts. Greene convinced Freeman that it was in his best interest and the best interest of the artifacts for him to turn the trunk and all its contents over to park staff. Freeman and his brother brought the trunk to the park the next day and gave them to Blair Davenport, curator at Furnace Creek. The trunk has been inventoried and placed in storage. Its contents included lace textiles, ceramic and brass containers, a handmade basket, a sighting glass, a pair of children's shoes, a doll, jewelry, books, correspondence, pictures, a canteen, a flintlock pistol with a holster, powder horns, a property manifest, and coins from the late 1700s through 1849. Park staff are currently in the process of making a determination on the authenticity of the trunk and its contents and assessing the accuracy of the location where it was reportedly found. If the trunk and contents are authentic, they evidently belonged to William Robinson of Illinois, a Jayhawker who traveled through Death Valley. Robinson was with a group of Forty-Niners who were seeking a short cut from the Spanish Trail. They began their ill-fated journey on November 11, 1849 at Mount Misery, Utah, separating into groups and eventually arriving in Death Valley in December, 1849. They then continued west in separate groups and arrived in various parts of the Panamint Mountains by January, 1850. According to diaries, folklore, and other accounts, thirst, starvation, and the death of their livestock forced many to leave behind portions of their personal belongings in order to survive the remainder of the trip. The trunk with its contents appear to be associated with Robinson. The handwritten manifest with instructions is dated January 2, 1850. Historical records indicate that Robinson survived his trek out of Death Valley, but that he apparently died from drinking too much cold water when near exhaustion upon reaching Barrel Springs (near present-day Palmdale, California) on January 28, 1850. Removal of the trunk and its contents meet all legal thresholds and definitions found within the Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979. A final decision on any potential charges against Freeman remains on hold pending the park's authenticity investigation of both the articles and the reported location of the find. [Blair Davenport, Curator, and Scot McElveen, Acting CR, DEVA,1/12]
http://www.azcentral.com/news/0116peak.shtml A recent proposal to change the controversial name "Squaw Peak" to "Phoenix Peak" has hit a snag, or perhaps a crag. Written comments on the proposed change may be mailed to Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names, State Capitol, 1938 Addition, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007.
http://www.azcentral.com:80/news/0116sacred.shtml The stone figurines, called K'eit'aan'yalti'i, were created in 1922 at the same time the tribal government was put in place by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. But shortly after 1935, the 5-inch-high statues, wrapped in yarn, disappeared. Tribal traditionalists say this paved the way for the White man to intervene in the affairs of the Navajo government. So when museum officials told the tribe in 1997 that the figurines had been in their possession since 1942, tribal officials were overjoyed.
http://www.mrt.com/cols/archives/9901/lopez8.html While taking the long way to the county courthouse, I ran into a historical marker just south of the building. I'd never taken the time to read it, but I felt that was way overdue. The marker tells a story about an unusual discovery made in Midland County almost 45 years ago. While scouring sand dunes to make pipeline repairs, workers stumbled upon a set of large, old-looking bones and a skull. Scientists who analyzed the bones learned they were the oldest remains of human life in America, and went as far back as 9,500 B.C. The historical marker calls the skeleton "The Midland Man," though it later states that the bones actually belonged to a woman. Experts have said that she was probably 30 years old when she died and was part of the Clovis Culture - an era of primitive hunters that existed more than 11,000 years ago. A few feet from her body, scientists unearthed the remains of a horse, mammoth and other critters. They also found what appeared to be fossilized tools, weapons and signs of a campfire site.
http://www.dallasnews.com/metro-dfw-nf/dfw43.htm If St. Ann's gets City Council approval, it will be the first building with ties to a Hispanic community to become a historical landmark in Dallas' history, officials said. The council is expected to review the matter next month.
http://www.hollywood.com:80/news/topstories/01-15-99/html/2-3.html A coalition of Indian gaming tribes is getting into the TV business, by financing the formation of Amerind Entertainment Group/Looking Glass Pictures, a new company aiming to produce TV and movie projects using Native Americans' "inherent abilities as storytellers" to "represent the perspectives and different lifestyles of the American Indian."