GREATER SOUTHWEST The peaceful harmony was shattered by the arrival of the conquistadors. Continued excavation and reexamination of older field work is painting a more realistic picture of the prehistoric past. [ DA's Promotion Coordinator, Federico Almarez, asked that SWA announce their "Affiliate Program," a community of archaeological societies and organizations at At present, DA makes no clear disclosure regarding how your sign-up data will be used by their marketing staff. Bummer! DA lists features that they hope to offer, but alternately, SWA recommends /archsoc99.html, /sasig.html and the multitude of resources at ]

NEBRASKA In 1762, Catherine the Great invited western Europeans to settle in sparsely populated areas of Russia. Germans responded in the largest numbers. 100 years later, Russia became hostile to foreigners and many German residents moved on to the American west -- and many came to Nebraska.

COLORADO About 35 million years ago, a rhinoceros-like beast wandered into a water hole on what are now Colorado's eastern plains and died. On Sunday, the wayward animal's complete skull was uncovered by a Denver Museum of Natural History volunteer and his son.

UTAH,1249,100006475,00.html? On June 9, 1909, Alice Huyler Ramsey climbed into a 1908 Maxwell. Her goal was to become the first woman to drive across the continental United States. They encountered Indians on horseback with drawn bows and arrows. Alice had read about the Wild West and figured it was all over for them.

CALIFORNIA Archaeologists determined the Avenger crashed between 1943 and 1945 during training missions over the Salton Sea. There are no immediate plans to hoist the Avenger to land. Because it has been in the salt water for about 55 years, it would have to be placed immediately in a freshwater bath to avoid disintegration.

CYBERIA Salvagers will lower a remote-controlled camera to capture images of the wreckage of two World War II F4U Corsairs. Stephenson will investigate the site under the first exploration permit ever issued by the state of Maine for submerged aircraft. The discovery of the planes is being closely watched by the British Royal Navy, which is concerned about the bodies of the two pilots believed to still be in the wreckage.,2107,59575-94941-663396-0,00.html Scientists want to know how many bugs were on the body and where they were found. But they also need to know about weather conditions, the humidity, the temperature of the insect masses. They might also want dirt samples. They can figure out how long the insects had been alive - which tells them how long the person had been dead. Decomposition has definite stages and the job is applying knowledge of insects to societal problems. There is success only if investigators collect samples correctly. A 500-year-old archaeological find proves that Englishmen have been eating bananas far longer than previously thought. Since the days of Heinrich Schliemann's Troy, spatial information has been recorded on paper maps of varying accuracy and scales. When researchers wanted to perform analyses of these data, they were required to spend hours, if not days, transposing this information to new paper maps and making arduous measurements by hand. This time-consuming process is nearing its end as researchers have moved to take advantage of geographic information systems (GIS) for spatial analysis. A GIS is best thought of as a dynamic database for spatial data. Fortunately for budget- and quality-conscious researchers, one of the oldest and most robust GIS packages, GRASS, is available for free on Linux. Why has history unfolded differently over the last 13,000 years in Eurasia, in the Americas, in sub-Saharan Africa, and in Aboriginal Australia, with the result that within the last 500 years Europeans were the ones who conquered Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians and sub-Saharan Africans, rather than vice versa? Voters were asked to change the Constitution to limit the power of the Army and, more controversially, to declare Guatemala "multiethnic" and officially recognize indigenous religions, customary laws and languages. The reforms were solidly defeated. Fewer than 20 percent of voters turned out. And where was Menchú? She never cast a ballot. It was the equivalent of Nelson Mandela's skipping a vote on the rights of blacks. Jokes reveal the nation's discomfort with a Mayan woman in her position. The most popular one goes like this: Mattel is coming out with a Rigoberta doll. Barbie needs a maid." Clinton Appoints Vikan to Cultural Property Advisory Committee. Dr. Vikan, of Baltimore, is currently Director of the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. Prior to assuming the position of Director, he was Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Medieval Art. Dr. Vikan serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins University and on the faculty of the University's School of Continuing Studies. Before coming to the Walters Gallery, Dr. Vikan was Senior Associate for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. He has previously served on the National Endowment for the Humanities' Challenge Grant Review Panel and Fellowship Review Panel. Dr. Vikan is the author, editor, and contributor to several books on Byzantine art and is an expert in this field. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College in 1967 and Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1976. The Cultural Property Advisory Committee was created to advise the President on the import of archaeological and ethnological materials into the United States. It consists of eleven private citizens who are experts in archaeology and anthropology; the international sale of cultural property; and who represents the interest of museums and the general public. The Committee renders the expert advice necessary to review requests from other countries seeking United States protection of their archaeological and ethnographic heritage.