CALIFORNIA Los Encinos encapsules the history of such groups as Native Americans, Spanish Americans and French Basques. It was once a 4,460-acre tract called Rancho El Encino, where longhorn cattle and merino sheep grazed. Native Americans occupied the ranch until Don Vicente de la Osa took control in 1857. $1 million was proposed for the Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology in the State Budget recently signed by Governor Gray Davis. The Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology is a major research, education, and museum complex to be built near Hemet. The resources of the University of California, Riverside (UCR) will be articulated with the teaching, research, and public service programs of the Western Center. The museum will house objects such as the bones of mastodons, prehistoric horses, bison, mammoths, ground sloths, and giant lions, which were discovered during the excavation of the Eastside Reservoir, as well as objects warehoused by the federal government that were discovered on federal projects. It will provide an invaluable educational resource for the public, as well as for the nearby University of California, Riverside. It is expected to draw scientists and tourists from around the world.

NEW MEXICO full funding of $6 million in FY 2000 to the Park Service for the Vanishing Treasures Program, which would improve care and preservaion of crumbling historic and prehistoric resources found in park units such as Bandelier.

KANSAS,local/3773a98d.702,.html Museum preserves extensive collection of amateur KC area archaeologist . It is the finest and most comprehensive array of artifacts ever assembled in the Kansas City region. And because of the quality of Mett Shippee's field notes, it is a gold mine of scientific value. Unlike most amateur "pot hunters," he kept meticulous notes and detailed diagrams related to everything he found. Greatly impressed by Shippee's discoveries and notes, Wedel gave him the equivalent of a post-graduate education in field technique. And together they made some of the most significant finds in the history of Midwestern archaeology.

CYBERIA The girls were eager to start digging, but first they had to learn what an archaeologist's job is like. So they spent three weeks studying stacks of books, field notes, journals and newspaper clippings to prepare for the job of digging. This is the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Research Facility--better known as the Body Farm. An unmarked enclosure behind the hospital, the world's only establishment for the study of decaying corpses. Bass and his students have shut bodies in car trunks, submerged them in water, wrapped them in carpets and deposited them in shallow graves and deep holes. They have dressed them in various fabrics, pulled their teeth at regular intervals, measured their appeal to carrion insects. They have collected the juices, analyzed the gases and sampled the smells that bodies discharge. When the flesh is gone, they have boxed the bones for further study. "We tried to reproduce as many of the scenarios of dead bodies as we could," Bass says. He means the scenarios in which bodies turn up following violent death. Murder. It is extremely difficult to completely dispose of a human body, according to a forensic anthropologist. An expert in forensic anthropology, Gill-King investigates as many as 40 homicides a year. A forensic anthropologist uses the science of physical anthropology in the identification of skeletal, badly decomposed or otherwise unidentified human remains. Forensic anthropologists try to determine sex and race, then estimate age based on teeth and bones. The next issue, Gill-King said, would be to determine how the person died. FBI officials announced Friday that they had tracked down a priceless Tyrannosaurus rex jawbone that was stolen from University of California-Berkeley five years ago. After a long investigation that involved clues from forged replicas, the fossil was recovered from a private home in Europe. An investigation into how the jawbone was originally stolen is still in progress, and FBI officials declined to name any potential suspects. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was called in on the case because the missing jawbone was technically federal property because it was recovered from federal land. Agents tracked the fossil market in both Germany and Belgium, working with local authorities, before they eventually found the missing piece of the T.rex. David Lindberg, the director of the University of California Museum of Paleontology, said the booming economy has led to rapid growth in the commercial fossil market, and that theft -- though still rare -- is on the upswing. There is uproar about their expertise, as anthropologists determine the antiquity of land claims. Anthropologists hold themselves out as scientists and scholars rather than activists and advocates. The courts rely on them as independent, impartial experts. Their testimony has played a decisive role in determining the fate of resource developments worth billions of dollars. But there is increasing evidence from a series of high-profile inquiries - including three of arguably the most important disputes to come to arbitration in recent years - that the experts have been getting it wrong in fundamental ways.