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TOOLS FOR GLOBAL ARCHAEOLOGISTS
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ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIGHT DEVELOPERS OVER REMAINS OF ANCIENT TOWN 06/08/99 VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) With a real estate development in the works, archaeologists are fighting for a chance to study a site they say could provide clues to the fate of a famed ancient culture along the Gulf of Mexico. The site _ now just a cluster of dirt-covered mounds called El Dorado _ is in the 200-acre Mandinga mangrove swamp along the Jamapa River, just 13 miles south of the port of Veracruz. The Mandinga Swamp Promotion and Construction company had started draining the swamp and parceling it to create a luxury housing project with a marina when the government's National Anthropology and History Institute discovered the plan in November. The institute got injunctions to stop construction and has been negotiating with the developer over ways to save the site. A few months before the work started, Annick Daneels, a Belgian archaeologist at Mexico City's National Autonomous University, had completed a study indicating the five-acre El Dorado site was important. Archaeologists say it could hold clues to the fate of the Olmecs, best known for the colossal, mysterious stone heads they carved. They flourished from 1200 BC to 400 BC, then their culture disappeared. Daneels, who has been working in Mexico for 17 years, estimates El Dorado was inhabited from around 800 BC to AD 1200, and appears to be the only site in the area with such a prolonged period of habitation. "There is a small ceremonial site there, and from what I have been able to determine from superficial evidence, it had a long period of occupation. That alone makes it more than quite important," she said. Daneels and Fernando Winfield Capitaine, former director of the Jalapa Museum of Anthropology, said El Dorado could have been peopled by Zoques, a people suspected of being direct descendants of the Olmecs. Winfield, an anthropologist, believes the Zoques lived in "chieftainships," communities much like the city-states of medieval Europe. Among them was La Mojarra, another swamp "chieftainship" 20 miles south of the port of Alvarado where archaeologists found a huge stone pillar a decade ago with one of the continent's most important hieroglyphic inscriptions. Winfield said the Zoques lived in relative harmony with the Totonacas to the north and traded salt for other goods with the Tlaxcalas, enemies of the Aztecs in the highlands of central Mexico. Real estate agents in Veracruz state estimate the Mandinga Swamp real estate project, divided in 2,700-square-foot plots, is worth $1 million and will eventually _ if successful _ be worth at least $10 million. Mandinga Swamp Promotion says it was not aware the area included an archaeological site. It has not yet accepted the institute's proposal that it help finance a study of the area. Luis Alberto Lopez Wario, director of the institute's archaeological safeguards department, said the institute has proposed a five-month study of El Dorado by six noted archaeologists so the agency can determine which areas can be developed and which should be protected as archaeological sites.
http://www.independent.co.uk/stories/A0906914.html An environmental catastrophe caused a devastating change to the global climate in the 6th century, which led to the demise of the world's major ancient civilisations. The global change in climate played a crucial role in the fall of the great Mayan city of Tikal and Teotihuacan in Mexico.
http://www.latimes.com:80/excite/990608/t000051406.html Franciscans resisted the crown's Hispanization of Indians and spent years learning Nahuatl, the official language of the Aztec empire where a multitude of local languages were (and still are) spoken. The Franciscan Spaniard Alonso de Molina wrote the great Vocabulario Nahuatl.
http://www.outsidemag.com:80/magazine/0699/9906btl.html "Mexico's last true wilderness" is how Philip True described the Sierra Madre Occidental, where the Huichol Indians have their ancestral home. Last December he set out to explore the realm of these Indians, whose peyote ceremonies and centuries-old animist beliefs have lured other modern seekers. Encroachment by the modern world has made the Indians extraordinarily tense. He went to witness the clash between modern life and ancient ways - apparently without realizing that, as one colleague later said, "He was the clash."
http://cnn.com:80/NATURE/9906/08/ancient.woman/ The bones of an early American woman found off the coast of California may rewrite the history books on how the earliest visitors arrived in North America. The newly-established age of the so-called Arlington Springs Woman lends credence to the coastal migration theory that ancient peoples first entered North America by boat down the Pacific Coast from Alaska.
http://www.sciencedaily.com:80/releases/1999/06/990607154315.htm Professor Emeritus Paul S. Martin envisions reserves with buffalo roaming, deer and antelope playing, elephants browsing. In a paper called "Bring Back the Elephants," published in the spring issue of Wild Earth, Martin and co-author David A. Burney note that the disappearance of North American elephants about 13,000 years ago during the late Pleistocene occurred almost yesterday in the geological time frame. He is one of the main proponents of the theory that humans were the catalysts for the sudden wave of extinctions of large North American mammals. For instance, a mammoth skeleton unearthed in Naco, Ariz., contained eight spear points identified as having Clovis origin. email@example.com
http://www.yumasun.com/columns/whenarizonawasyoung.html The notion that camels would provide an ideal kind of transportation for the desert southwest seems to have originated in the brain of Navy Lieutenant Ned Beale. His idea found support in 1853 from Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. Congress appropriated $30,000 to buy the animals in the Middle East. Arab handlers were brought here to manage them, the most famous being Hadji Ali, or "Hi Jolly." He died at Quartzsite in 1902 where he is memorialized there by a monument. It is topped off by a camel statue. Beale used the camels to help construct the first wagon road across northern Arizona in the late 1850s, but no one else was much interested in using them. Once Hi Jolly saw that the camels could not compete with other types of transport, he turned the creatures loose along the Gila River and became a prospector. As Arizona Territory's camel populations increased, the wild animals more frequently came into contact with people who shot them on sight. Their numbers began to decline. By the 1900s, they were nearly extinct. In 1910 a Yuma newspaper reported that a year earlier they learned about three camels still roaming in the Mogollon Rim country.
http://deseretnews.com:80/dn/view/1,1249,100002648,00.html? About a mile from the park is a cemetery where 84 union soldiers are buried. Though no actual battles took place while the army resided there, Cala speculates the town's combination of guns and alcohol (they had 17 saloons) led to a number of the deaths.
http://deseretnews.com:80/dn/view/1,1249,100005666,00.html? People who want to protect the integrity of lands and the "magnificent views" are doing so on private lands, McMahon said. That's what is happening in Grafton. The partnership to preserve Grafton includes the town of Rockville, which has annexed the old Grafton site; Grand Canyon Trust; the historical society; Zion National Park; the Bureau of Land Management; Zion museum and other groups. In Utah, where groups with divergent interest often draw deep lines in the sand, co-mingled efforts like those that make up the Grafton Heritage Partnership fascinate Alder.
http://insidedenver.com:80/news/0609hors1.shtml Dan Fross was helping dig a ditch at Rocky Flats when the backhoe dredged up part of a 1.2 million-year-old horse.
http://ccp.ucla.edu/press_release.htm Researchers will examine how family time, political leanings and social life are affected by a new computer purchase. In the United States, 2,000 randomly selected people mirroring the nation's ethnic, economic and geographic makeup will be followed during the study. Singapore and Italy will also be studied in the first year; another dozen countries will be added in the next three to five years. Results will be presented annually, starting next year.
http://news.excite.com:80/news/bw/990608/tx-hidden-valley-ranch A traveling exhibition of American food history traces the eating habits and food creations of Native Americans, colonists, pioneers, 49ers, soldiers in the World Wars, and the generations of the late-20th century. The exhibition draws on historical photos, mementos and published works from a number of archival sources to deliver a comprehensive explanation of the origin of America's classic foods.
http://www.adn.com:80/stories/T99060647.html Alaska Natives have entered the state's major cities in record numbers. And like any ethnic group, they bring their culture and food with them. Often sharing happens in private, or at least away from non-Native eyes - and noses. "When we do eat Native foods in town, I notice once we get done, we put everything away as rapidly as we can, so things look like a normal table, a Western-style dining table setting," said Anchorage artist Joe Senungetuk. "All the remnants of what we have eaten in such great pleasure, we use Clorox and hard soap and detergent to wipe away. Not a smidgen of evidence is left 15 minutes after the meal is done. "I'd say it's kind of like a secret society, almost." Senungetuk says there's a history behind the secrecy and distrust: "We have been called dirty smelly Natives for so long by missionaries and teachers who have whipped us for speaking the wrong language and eating the wrong foods," he said, "that we don't want to be confronted by any authority or any white people out in the street."
http://www.spokane.net:80/news-story-body.asp?Date=060599&ID=s589390&cat= Robert E. Ackerman, a Washington State University professor of anthropology and archeology, has received a Career Achievement Award from the Alaska Anthropological Association. The award recognizes Ackerman's contributions to Alaskan archeology and support of the AAA. Ackerman, who joined WSU's faculty in 1961 and has been director of the WSU Museum of Anthropology since 1987, has focused his research on the prehistoric entry of man from Asia into the Western Hemisphere and his subsequent use of terrestrial and marine resources.
http://www.usnewswire.com:80/topnews/Current_Releases/0608-116.htm The National Trust's 1999 list of "America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places" will be released June 14. http://www.nthp.org/main/endangered/heritage.html.
http://www.newsweek.com/nw-srv/printed/us/st/ty0124_1.htm Radar offers a cheap, less-invasive way of peering 10 feet down. The excavations were delicate: it's sometimes possible to remove a body and find the gravedigger's footprints beneath it.
http://www.journalstar.com:80/archives/060499/loc/sto2 The archaeological excavation is part of a summer field experience for students. It has already turned up an exciting artifact: a brown patent-medicine bottle, "Dr. M.M. Fenner's Peoples Remedies," with the date 1872-1898. The UNL Anthropology Department holds summer field classes like this every year.
http://www.journalstar.com:80/archives/060699/neb/sto1 Mounted U.S. cavalry reappeared Saturday on the parade ground of this historic Western outpost where the wind whispers the names of Dull Knife and Crazy Horse. This was the 125th anniversary celebration of one of the American West's most historic sites.
http://flash.oregonlive.com/cgi-bin/or_nview.pl?/home1/wire/AP/Stream-Parsed/OREGON_NEWS/o1267_PM_WA--ExpeditionStops Fear of snakes halts expedition. A group of historians trying to prove that William Clark had perhaps first sighted Mount Hood from a cliff above the Columbia River was foiled by clouds and reports of snakes.
http://www.apbonline.com:80/911/1999/06/08/piglet0608_01.html A thief has pilfered a popular pickled piglet with two heads from the museum. Anyone with information about the missing two-headed pig is asked to call the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center at (608) 635-8110.
http://www.phillynews.com/inquirer/99/Jun/09/sj/JLOO09.htm The historical group has undertaken two archaeological investigations of the site in addition to the restoration of the 2-story structure, at Broad and York Streets. Documents can only tell you so much about the structure. An archaeological investigation will fill in the details and tell us about the lives of people who once lived here.
CLUB PUTTING HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS ON INTERNET 06/08/99 LOUISVILLE, KY. (AP) An 18th century collection of rare maps, letters and documents leaps into the digital age when The Filson Club Historical Society places them on the Internet in the months ahead. The material will be available to schoolchildren, history buffs and scholars around the world. "It will be almost a `virtual' museum, but one you create yourself," said Filson Club Director Mark Wetherington. The project is a joint effort between the Filson Club and the University of Chicago; the $145,596 grant is coming from the Library of Congress and phone giant Ameritech. The grant will cover the cost of scanning the documents _ many of them extremely fragile _ into digital images and assembling the Web pages. The project, titled "The First American West: The Ohio River Valley, 1750-1820," is scheduled to go online in about 18 months. It will join a growing group of online collections being assembled by the Library of Congress, which has begun a major effort to put the nation's historical treasures on the Internet. The Filson Club and the University of Chicago are well known among historians as repositories of information about Kentucky's role in the development of the western frontier. The territory was home to some of the first pioneers who ventured from the original colonies, such as Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark. The university and the Filson Club have close ties, largely because of the school's longtime stewardship of the Durrett Collection, an array of documents, manuscripts and other materials on Kentucky's frontier history that was gathered in the 19th century by Louisville attorney Reuben Durrett. The university bought the collection in 1913 after Durrett's death. "The First American West" will include images of 745 items encompassing 15,000 pages of material (9,000 pages from the Filson Club, 6,000 pages from the University of Chicago). The collection _ which represents only a fraction of the materials the two institutions hold _ will focus on four themes: The Land, The Migration, Frontier Politics and Frontier Cultural Institutions. It will include practical items, such as maps and scholarly essays, along with travelers' accounts of their journeys into the frontier. A typical piece could be a letter signed by Daniel Boone or an 1824 map of the Falls of Ohio. "An Excursion through The United States and Canada," for example, details an 1822-23 trip by an anonymous Englishman. "I was much pleased with my voyage down the Ohio, which is indeed a most majestic river," began an account of his visit to Kentucky. The vast trees, some of which cover the neighboring hills and mountains, while others are growing almost out of the water, present a scene that is quite novel to the eye of an Englishman." By offering personal glimpses that go beyond more official historical accounts, such stories become vital to understanding what life was like on the frontier, Wetherington said. "That's the exciting thing," he said. "You see how ordinary people saw the frontier."