Got CALICHE ? ARCHEOLOGIST FINDS TRUNK LINKED TO DEATH VALLEY '49ER EXPEDITION 01/19/99 An archeologist's search of a cave yielded a wooden chest filled with gold and silver coins, apparently hidden 149 years ago during an ill-fated Gold Rush expedition across the harsh California desert. Among the treasures was a letter documenting the wagon train trek of '49er William Robinson, who was among some 100 men, women and children seeking the gold-laden foothills of the Sierra Nevada but ended up in the merciless valley. ``I was just blown away,'' archeologist Jerry Freeman said Monday. ``Nothing prepared me for this.'' Freeman, a semi-retired substitute teacher with a degree in archeology from California State University, Long Beach, said he has always been fascinated with pioneers who left Salt Lake City in an ill-conceived attempt to skirt the south end of the Sierra Nevada and ended up crossing Death Valley in November 1849. ``I consider them some of the most intrepid pioneers in U.S. history,'' said Freeman, 56, of Pearblossom. Eventually, the pioneers ended up near what is now Valencia in northern Los Angeles County, 300 miles southwest of their original destination. Freeman organized a five-person archeological team, including his two adult daughters, to follow the pioneers' route in December. He made his discovery in November during a reconnaissance hike. The chest was propped up on boulders and a board but remained hidden in mint condition seemingly unscathed by time. A hymnal tucked inside the trunk contained a hauntingly poignant letter written by Robinson. ``My Dear Edwin,'' Robinson wrote. ``Knowed, now we should have gone arownd. ... Ifen I don't raturn by end of fifty I wont never come.'' Robinson died 26 days later on Jan. 28, 1850. According to journals, Robinson drank too much cold water at the first spring the party came to at what is known today as Barrel Springs near Palmdale. He laid down to nap and never awakened. Freeman believes the pioneers would have tried to escape Death Valley through snowcapped Pinto Peak at Jayhawker Canyon near what is now Lone Pine, a community on U.S. 395. He hiked to Pinto Peak on Nov. 28 and found a boning knife and oxen shoe that led him to a ridge with some outcroppings. The chest was pulled from the deepest of two caves. The team found a manifest of the trunk's contents dated Jan. 2, 1850, along with nearly 80 pieces of currency, including $5 and $10 gold pieces and a number of silver dollars. None of the money appears to have dates after 1849, Freeman said. He estimated the total worth at $500,000. Also found inside was a small hymnal, a holstered pistol, a handmade wooden powderhorn, and a locket adorned with pearls. Photographs, china bowls and well-worn baby shoes were also inside the chest. A knitted shawl covered the items. The items have been turned over to the National Park Service for authentication. Freeman hopes to donate the findings to a museum in Death Valley. Freeman's fascination with the group took him to the top-secret Air Force base in Nevada known as Area 51 nearly two years ago. He snuck onto the base for a week to follow the trail of the lost '49ers. The 1999 Winter Lecture Series, sponsored by the Frontier Historical Society and the Friends of the Glenwood Springs Library, begins tomorrow night. The series is presented annually during the winter months. For more information, call the Frontier Historical Museum at 945-4448. Archaeologists sometimes create mysteries and sometimes solve them. Excavators from the University of Texas at San Antonio's Center for Archaeological Research did both in the last few months with projects at Mission San Juan and Mission Espada. A crowd of nearly 100 gathered to watch county officials unearth the time capsule. The contents included news articles, beer labels, bank statements and school records all from 1898.,1249,30006937,00.html? The author of a new book on gold mining and the miners of the Grand Canyon region will address a Tuesday, Jan. 26, meeting of the Glen Canyon Natural History Association. George Billingsley, whose book, "Quest for the Pillar of Gold," has been published by the Grand Canyon Association, will speak at 7 p.m. in the Carl Hayden Visitor Center at Glen Canyon Dam near Page.,1113,60884,00.html Some people donate money to nonprofit organizations. Others provide used computers or fax machines. The Bassi family of Turlock gave the Turlock Historical Society something that no one else could give: its phone number. The family's phone number, 668-7386, corresponds to 6 MUSEUM on the dialing pad. Dates: February 9 - 11 Conference: Partners in Protection: The Arizona Conference on Conservation Law Enforcement Location: Prescott, AZ Phone/fax: 520-445-0441 E-mail: Dates: March 7 - 11 Conference: National Conference on Cultural Property Protection Location: Los Angles, CA Phone/fax: 202-633-9446

From: Alan Shalette Wed, 20 Jan 1999 09:37:38 The number I sent yesterday regarding NMAC member participation in SASIG - 63% - is actually their overall usage of e-mail. SASIG participation is 28% - or 44% of the overall number using e-mail. Acra-L participation is 12% overall. Both numbers are slightly lower that reported in NewsMAC, resulting from my having processed another batch of membership renewals yesterday. Can't say for sure why newsgroup participation is rather low though I suspect that it/they generate too much chaff for many people. Our overall growth of e-mail usage I think ireflects organic growth in the use of PCs and the Internet across the U.S. For background check Harry Dent's "The Roaring 2000's." This book is probably the most valuable reading I've done in quite a while. I'd like to see his approach to demographic & cultural analysis applied in archaeology.

[ SASIG Ed. Note -- The Amazon URL provide positive and negative reviews of the book mentioned by alshal. Regarding the NMAC stats -- I said 'good numbers' -- but who cares? I could report that 92% of archaeologists own Marshalltown trowels, but 12% break out in hives when they think they'll have to go to the field to work, and 6% don't know which end of the trowel to use. But what would such a report indicate? Not much. Given the technologies we have or can likely acquire (e.g., trowels; education; management systems; legislation; etc), the real issue is whether we -- the SASIG, or, archaeologists -- can promote our own self interest. What does that mean? ( For the SASIG Ed. -- providing quality research, improving service, articulating a clear vision of professionial processes and activities that promote applied intellectual life and historic preservation ). If I answer these questions (provide, improve, articulate), I make a life for myself and perhaps others as I make a career. ] " Every individual endeavors to employ his capital so that its produce may be of greatest value. He generally neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. He intends only his own security, only his own gain. And he is in this led [as if] by an invisible hand to promote an end which was not part of his intention. By persuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. " -- Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (1776) The brief battle of Fallen Timbers, fought on Aug. 20, 1794, pitted the army of Gen. ``Mad'' Anthony Wayne against a band of Native American tribes. The city of Toledo bought the battlefield in 1987, before archaeologists determined the battle was fought on that land. The Historical Museum of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery, a new museum about Japanese military brothels, reproduced a room to look like those in Japanese military brothels. It seems like a prison cell with a rough, wooden floor and a small, broken window. Hundreds of thousands of women, mostly Koreans, were forced into sexual slavery during World War II. As a medical anthropologist who has worked on various projects in China since 1990, he has witnessed what are all-too-common realities for provincial Chinese doctors.