Triumph of Hope Over Experience

From: Sharon Urban Last year was in touch regarding the new proposed dollar coin on which some of us were trying to get rock art on the obverse side. Well it did not happen. Another coin was selected. E-mailed Christy to see what had happened to the final selection. Learned that the glyph design was not accepted. Asked what other coins might be coming out that we could try again, and Christy's reply follows. We may still have a chance! >From: "Bidstrup, Christy" To: "'Sharon Urban'" Subject: RE: Rock Art Coin Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 12:17:03 -0400 Dear Sharon, Each state in the order they joined the Union are submitting themes for its reverse for the various 50 State Quarters. If there are any states that have a geat deal of rock art (maybe southwestern states, for example) the Governor's office might be lobbied to include a request for that theme. Christy >> From: Sharon Urban Tuesday, July 06, 1999 11:20 AM To: Bidstrup, Christy Subject: RE: Rock Art Coin Morning Christy: Well boo on the Secretary of the Treasury for not selecting the rock art design. I think they missd the boat on that one as rock art is SO popular these days. Now I will not be as excited about the new coin as I might have been! Any other new coins coming out that we might try for? Have a good day Christy and thanks for helping out. Shurban [ Contact Shurban to coordinate your gubenatorial correspondence! ]

From: Dear fellow Arizona Archaeological Council member: I invite you to submit contributions for the summer issue of the AAC Newsletter. Information on current or upcoming events, research projects, letters to the editor, employment opportunities, recent publications, and items of general interest to Arizona's professional archaeological community are all welcome. The deadline for submissions, as stated in the last newsletter, is Monday July 12, 1999. Sincerely, Scott M. Kwiatkowski AAC Newsletter Editor 7800 E. Manley Dr. Prescott Valley, AZ 86314-5230 e-mail: voice: (520) 772-2171 fax: (520) 772-2552


LOWELL OBSERVATORY OFFERS VISITORS VIEW OF STARS, HISTORY 07/04/99 FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) When Percival Lowell's representative rolled into town more than a century ago, folks welcomed him with open arms. The citizens of this then-railroad and lumber town, home to less than 1,000 people, made sure A.E. Douglass was wined and dined before he made his decision on whether Flagstaff was the best site for an observatory Lowell wanted to build. Lowell, an heir to an old-money Boston family, was a Harvard-trained mathematician who had developed an obsession with Mars and wanted the best site from which to gaze at the red planet in 1894. Douglass picked Flagstaff. And while the town has grown into a city of more than 55,000 people _ focused more now on the ski industry than lumber _ the amateur astronomer's original telescope still scans the night sky from its perch on pine-studded Mars Hill. Astronomical research is also continuing at what has become the largest privately operated non-profit astronomical research observatory in the world, said Cynthia Webster, spokeswoman for the Lowell Observatory. Visitors can take in the observatory's dome by day. They can peer through the 103-year-old Clark Telescope at night. The Clark Telescope has been at the Lowell Observatory almost since it was built more than a century ago. It's only time away from the site was in 1897, when Lowell dismantled the 32-foot-long, six-ton telescope and took it to Mexico for better viewing of Mars, Webster said. The Clark Telescope, which cost Lowell $20,000, was one of the first of its size. With the exception of a few modern updates, like an electronic lens dust cover, it's pretty much the same instrument Lowell used to search for evidence of intelligent life on Mars. The telescope has a pair 24-inch lenses and is housed in a wooden dome, which moves on metal tracks and old tires. Staff astronomers conduct research observations at off-campus telescopes, but visitors can still look through the Clark telescope and others six nights a week. Tours, both at day and night, feature half-hour lectures and slide shows on the history of Lowell and are often pegged to current astronomical events. "You can come up every day of the week and get a different lecture. That's kind of neat," Webster said. Daytime visitors can also see the Slipher Building rotunda. The domed building, which was the first on the campus, has an enormous brown stained-glass planet-shaped chandelier and houses books and old equipment used to make some of Lowell's most notable early discoveries. Among them was evidence that paved the way for the discovery in 1930 of Pluto, which Lowell had worked toward but didn't live long enough to see. Visitors can go also through the exhibit hall filled with hands-on displays and see the telescope used to discover Pluto, all tucked amid the ponderosa pine trees and flower beds of the historic observatory grounds. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was so impressed with Lowell, she recently visited it as part of a tour to draw attention to sights of historical and cultural significance in the Southwest. "You can see the past all around you," she said here in May. "And yet it's not something that sits here with no use. This is a very important American treasure."

COLORADO The San Juan County Historical Society cherishes this turn-of-the-century gem, and wants a small crew to spend the next three months stabilizing the site to keep the building from falling off its 12,300-foot perch above Cunningham Gulch northeast of Silverton. The San Juan Mountains are filled with old mining ruins and holes in every direction from Silverton. Saving this out-of-the-way set of ruins might seem a bit crazy. But anyone who visits, or even sees a photo, is enthralled with the setting. PURGATOIRE CANYON - Footprints provide evidence of a brontosaurus herd advancing as a sharp-toed predator prowled. Cave art depicts succulent deer. Adobe church ruins - a tombstone honors a girl named "Lucita" - slump where Spanish-speaking homesteaders once mourned.

ARMY PRESERVING ENVIRONMENT AND HISTORY AT MANEUVER SITE 07/04/99 TRINIDAD, Colo. (AP) A small corner of southern Colorado is a testament to the surprising success of an unusual approach to environmental and historic preservation: sending in the U.S. Army. Locals grumbled in 1983, when the Army took over a 380-square-mile portion of the Purgatoire Canyon, opened a massive tank and fighter-jet training site and essentially closed it to the public. But 16 years later, those skeptics have joined the Army in saluting a preservation strategy that has kept the area's natural and historic treasures largely untouched by tourists and fossil hunters. "I had to eat crow," said rancher Willard Louden, who went to Washington to fight the army takeover and returned to the capital a decade later to testify in favor of Army control. "I told them that I felt the army was doing a darn good job," Louden, 74, said recently. The Army grants access to about 300 hunters a year, but there are few other visitors, and cattle do not graze in the area. Army officers estimate they spend more than $500,000 pampering the land. They have fenced off 106 archaeological and historic sites, they make inventories of cave art, re-seed areas where tanks tread and teach troops that artifacts should be left in place to preserve their scientific value. One 30-footwide sandstone panel halfway down the canyon is etched with pictures of deer, elk, bighorn sheep, fish, birds and a man. Archaeologists for the Army believe the pictures are 1,200 years old. "People in uniform are just as environmentally sensitive as the rest of the public," said Thomas Warren, the Army's director of environmental compliance and management. That sensitivity _ along with the lack of publicity and red-lettered signs on barbed wire that say "Military Reservation" have kept the Purgatoire pristine. "The more use it gets, the more it's going to get degraded," said Warren. But preservation has come at the price of exclusivity, and now another branch of the U.S. government _ the Forest Service _ is urging the Army to allow easier access to the canyon for "multiple use" recreation. The Forest Service has acquired 23 square miles along the Purgatoire that features the ruins of an adobe church and cemetery, an abandoned ranch, more than 1,000 rock art sites and a quarter-mile of dinosaur tracks. The Forest Service last year built jetties to keep the river away from the dinosaur tracks, and now wants to enhance access by improving a road and building a parking lot, informational signs and a toilet. A growing number of hikers and mountain bikers are visiting the canyon by making a steep descent. The only other legal way into the Forest Service land is on guided four-wheel-drive tours. The Forest Service leads 16 such tours a year with 20 people each, but rangers have to call Army site supervisors and request permission to use their "limited administrative access." Aside from those on Army land, the only access routes are too steep for vehicles or require crossing private land, which ranchers oppose. The Forest Service wants the Army to grant unlimited access and allow road improvements to enhance recreational use of the canyon. "Why open it up? Bottom line is, there's no good reason not to," said district ranger Thomas Peters. "It's going to be managed for multiple use. These are public lands. People ought to be able to enjoy their public lands," Peters said. Regional forest supervisor Bill Bass said he "wouldn't want to commercialize" the land covered by the multiple-use proposal and said there "is some truth" to the notion that the Army's stewardship is good for the Purgatoire. Still, he stressed, "If they hold off the access, I think that's wrong." So far, that is what the Army is doing. "I'm not giving it to them," Warren said. "The area that they want, we train on."


PLAN TO AUCTION DINOSAUR FOSSIL CANCELED 07/05/99 GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) Two Kansas men who tried to use the Internet to auction off what is believed to be the largest Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever found have called off the sale after discovering phony bids. The weeklong auction was to have ended Sunday, but when they began calling bidders they discovered three of the four bids _ the highest being $8 million _ were frauds. Alan Detrich of Great Bend and Fred Nuss of Otis had hoped for $15 million. On Sunday, they announced they were rejecting all the bids they received on the eBay Internet auction site. "We scrapped the mission. We had buyers waiting in the wings who didn't step forward because the integrity of the auction was lost," Detrich said. "Who wants to bid against someone who doesn't intend on paying?" Detrich blamed "young hackers having fun" for the dinosaur auction's demise, but he said he and Nuss were not discouraged. "We can sit back and relax and somebody is going to step forward in the next few months. This will have a home before the new millennium," he said. Detrich and Nuss, who are professional fossil hunters, were digging in South Dakota in 1992 when they discovered the bones of the dinosaur, dubbed Z Rex. Paleontologist Dale Russell of North Carolina, who analyzed the fossil, estimated it to be about 35 feet long with a hip height of 11.4 feet and about 65 million years old. Sue, the largest of the 22 T-rex fossils that have been unearthed, was 41 feet long with a hip height of 13 feet. The Field Museum in Chicago bought the fossil at auction two years ago for $8.36 million. Detrich and Nuss had opened the Internet bidding on Z Rex at $5 million. Detrich said some people have priced the fossil as high as $20 million. He said it still might be bought by an individual, but most likely it will end up in a museum. "The good things in this world end up in museums," Detrich said. "I don't feel bad. I feel good. I'll have a smile on my face when I wake up in the morning." It wasn't the first case of fraud in Internet auctions. In May, a 13-year-old New Jersey boy bid more than $3 million for goods at Internet auctions and was the winning bidder on $925,000 worth of merchandise _ including an antique bed, a 1971 Corvette and a wrestling championship belt.

TEXAS In 1891, jelly glasses were made by wrapping strings around bottles where they were to broken. The string was saturated with kerosene, the bottle filled with cold water level with the string. When set afire and burned off, the top of the bottle was tapped with a stick and off it would come. Then the sharp edge was rubbed with a smooth flint stone, and it was ready for jelly. The jars were sealed with brown paper which had been wet in hot vinegar. [ Imagine how artifact modification and re-use looks in an archaeological context... ]

CYBERIA New test planned to date Kennewick Man skeleton. A scientific study that can't confirm his age at 9,300 years results in the call for another radiocarbon dating. A team of American volunteers are scouring government buildings in the Pacific island state of Fiji for a box of bones that could finally solve the mystery of U.S. aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. FORENSIC scientists have reconstructed the face of a warrior of 500 years ago who was tossed into a mass grave a mile from one of Britain's bloodiest battles. In the mid-eighties, state capital Patna was the center of smuggling of human skulls. At that time, India exported human skulls and skeletons to more than 23 countries. The Kwakiutl chieftain's potlach party. The multi-millionaire's usually public acts of philanthropy. The hacker's long hours of effort to produce high-quality open source. Examined in this way, it is quite clear that the society of open-source hackers is in fact a "gift culture." "We went into their homes to follow their actions on how they use the Internet," said MediaOne anthropologist Ken Anderson. "We found a huge amount of 'attention switching' going on between the PC and the TV." The anthropologists coined a new term for the phenomenon: "chair swapping." They observed that family members would frequently engage in a sort of musical chairs game, with one person hopping up from the computer to return to the television set, while another reversed that course.

[ Finally, when cultural allegory goes bad.... ] The film would open in prehistoric times (the 1970s), showing a primitive people barely scraping by with Stone Age tools like pens, typewriters and filing cabinets. Suddenly, a strange, monolithic box appears: the Altair personal computer. In awe, each naked savage fearfully creeps up to the box, touches it, then withdraws in terror. Eventually, they all accept the box's eerie presence. Next, we see the effect of the monolithic box on one ape-man (the reclusive one with the pocket protector) who gets a powerful vision, set to the majestic trumpets and timpani of Strauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra." Driven by one colossal idea, the ape-man throws a bone high into the air, drops out of Harvard and starts a software company.