Southwestern Archaeology
P.O. Box 61203, Phoenix AZ USA 85082-1203
Mobile (602) 510-2910 ; Fax: (603) 457-7957

Please note new phone numbers !

NEVADA Frank Wright of the Nevada State Historical Museum and Historical Society feels interesting Las Vegans in preservation is difficult.

ARIZONA The Borden block is a crucial piece of the historic warehouse district south of downtown Phoenix -- the same warehouse district which is this city's last chance to create a historic, mixed-use area. If the county builds a 10-story jail on the Borden block, it will crush the heart of Phoenix's historical warehouse district. The chance for its resurrection will be lost forever. Thus the controversy. Ofelia Zepeda, a Tohono O'odham linguist and poet who has helped native communities preserve their languages, was named as one of the nation's new MacArthur fellows. Geronimo holds special meaning here in Southern Arizona where he and fellow Chiricahua Apaches roamed for decades. Let's see how he fares in this rendering of U.S. Army meets Native American. Four million visitors a year come to Grand Canyon National Park. Only a relative handful will ever meet Bruce Aiken. [ Editor Note -- We met Bruce while hiking N to S rim last July. See -- BTW, he has e-mail at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. ]

UTAH,1249,100007589,00.html? Danger Cave is one of the most important historic sites in the world. Archaeologist Jesse D. Jennings excavated sections of the caves in the 1940s and early '50s. It was one of the first uses of radiocarbon dating, which uses known decay rates of radioactive isotopes to establish when organic material was alive.

COLORADO The BLM recently received a grant aimed at preserving 120-year-old historic mining structures in the San Juan Mining District. The grant money will also finance excavation of two historic mining camps. One site located near the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River may be the area's earliest mining camp. The BLM hopes to begin excavations using college students. June 20 was D-day at the NPS Denver Service Center, when 260 people lost their jobs at the federal agency that gained national notoriety for producing a $334,000 outdoor toilet. When the staff total drops to 202, Clapper will begin hiring to get "the right mix" to match the center's changing role. The center will continue being involved in the removal of dams and the preservation of archival records ranging from historic documents to aerial photography and topographic and boundary surveys. It has also begun training park superintendents to take responsibility for overseeing design and construction of projects within their jurisdiction.

NEW MEXICO American Indian church leaders say the Defense Department has approved a proposal to allow the use of peyote by church members who serve in the military. Areas considered holy by Native Americans - from sacred valleys to traditional burial grounds - sites of religious or historic significance are being overlooked. A federal grant will help preserve 53 old deeds and U.S. patents. The items, dating as far back as 1848, will then be placed in acid-free boxes and sent to the state archives.

FORT SUMNER MONUMENT INADEQUATELY TELLS INDIAN STORY 06/21/99 FORT SUMNER, N.M. (AP) A battle is brewing over a small monument in northern New Mexico that recognizes one of the darkest periods in American Indian history. Some say the 50-acre Fort Sumner State Monument doesn't explain well enough the story of the Indians who were driven from their home in the 1860s by U.S. Army forces. As many as 11,000 Navajos were marched from their home in the Four Corners region to the plains of eastern New Mexico. Nearly 1,000 of them died during what came to be known as the Long Walk. Another 1,000 died while being held captive at a reservation set up at Fort Sumner. "It's the Navajo Holocaust. That's the only way I can describe it," said Rep. Ray Begaye, D-Shiprock. The Mescalero Apaches were also rounded up by the U.S. government and sent to Fort Sumner. About 500 Mescalero Apaches were imprisoned at the reservation, and 50 died during the ordeal. Today, the Fort Sumner site includes a small one-room interpretive center, ruins of the old Army post and a hiking trail out to the banks of the Pecos River. "I haven't been out there, but I've heard about how small and insignificant the monument is," Begaye said. "It's an embarrassment to the state." A group of Navajos has made a makeshift shrine on the monument grounds, consisting of stones and smudge sticks brought more than 300 miles from the Navajo Nation. John Tohtsoni Jr., a social studies teacher at Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington, has visited the monument in the past. He said the best part of Fort Sumner is the makeshift shrine. "The greatest thing about the monument isn't what the state has done. It's what the Navajos have left behind, leaving a shrine of rocks," Tohtsoni said. Officials with the state Monument Division concede the current facility is inadequate. The museum "isn't big enough to tell the story correctly," said Scott Smith, who manages the Fort Sumner monument. "It's a fairly complex story. It's an important story, and the current facility doesn't tell it well enough." Officials for the last decade have tried to get enough money to build a new 5,000-square-foot museum and interpretive center that would attempt to seek a balanced and culturally sensitive approach to the Long Walk and the Indian wars. In the past, the Legislature has granted funding for a feasibility study for the proposed project, for architectural designs and for planning new exhibits. But funding the construction, estimated at $3.6 million, has been the real stumbling block. "There is a lot of support in the Legislature for this," said Rep. Bobbie Mallory, R-Tucumcari. "The problem is, there isn't enough money for all the projects that are requested." She has tried for two years to pass bills that include the necessary funding, but all have failed. Smith said the new museum and interpretive center is important for New Mexicans to understand the history of the state and to come to terms with the past. "History is a cultural phenomenon that's needed to understand ourselves and our neighbors better," he said. "One reason we want a new museum is to do justice to the history of the Long Walk." Supporters of the monument's expansion said they haven't given up hope on getting the $3.6 million for construction. The state Office of Cultural Affairs has ranked the Fort Sumner project No. 8 in priority. Mallory said she plans to lobby and visit with various state officials to move the project up the list. "We are a poor state," she said. "We have sewer systems that are failing and some poor roads. We have so many needs. If we can move up on that priority list, say to the top three, we'd have a much better chance." Supporters also are considering applying for federal funding. "There are a lot of angles to work and make this happen," she said.

MEDAL OF HONOR SOCIETY RECOGNIZED RETIRED COLONEL AS DISTINGUISHED 06/19/99 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) You can see the fire in Mike Cody's belly burning through his eyes as he digs in to tell the story of Massacre Canyon, the fierce 1879 battle between Apaches and Buffalo Soldiers in southwestern New Mexico. When Cody gets going on a story like this, you can feel walls of rock closing in on you, see the glint of sunlight on rifle barrels and smell the sweat, the gunpowder and the fear. "Having walked through that canyon myself, I can tell you it is absolutely the perfect place for an ambush," he says, remembering the scene from the vantage point of a sunsplashed study in his far Northeast Heights home. "You had to go in there single file." Cody, 65, is a retired Army colonel who held seven commands during his 31 years of active duty and who received the Bronze Star for valor in Vietnam. Last week, he was awarded the National Medal of Honor Society's Distinguished Citizen Award, the second highest award presented by the organization of Medal of Honor recipients. Cody's fascination with the Indian Wars of the Southwest was ignited by a grave-location project he directed for the Medal of Honor Society _ but it was fueled by his admiration for the leaders on both sides. "Victorio and Nana, the Apache chiefs, let all the cavalry, about 100 men, get in there (Massacre Canyon) before they fired a shot," Cody is saying. "The first volley took down 37 horses. The Apache had learned that if you put down the horses, you can take your time with the troops." In this case, the troops were part of the 9th U.S. Cavalry, black troopers known as Buffalo Soldiers, and the time taken was from 9 a.m. until after dark, when the 60 or so Apache warriors melted into the mountains. No Apache casualties were reported. But the cavalry buried five troopers, three Navajo scouts and a civilian doctor. "Three men won the Medal of Honor there," Cody says. In 1989, Cody, was made chairman of a committee assigned the task of finding the lost graves of 10 Medal of Honor recipients buried in New Mexico. Most of those lost graves belong to veterans of the Indian Wars. Under Cody's direction, seven of the 10 graves have been found and marked, and his committee has drawn a steady bead on the other three. "We're pretty sure one of them is buried in the cemetery at old Fort McRae, which is covered by water from Elephant Butte," Cody said. Cody was honored last week with the Distinguished Citizen Award for his good work on the grave location project _ but not just for that. Cody has also: _Helped organize the Buffalo Soldiers Society of New Mexico, a reenactment group dedicated to preserving the history of black troops that served on the New Mexico frontier. _Served six years as the coordinator of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce program honoring the contributions of young Air Force men and women serving at Kirtland Air Force Base. _Served three years as chairman of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee. _Served for two years as a brigadier general in the New Mexico State Guard, during which he organized the first major local disaster exercise in Albuquerque. A trim man of less than medium height with white hair, blue-gray eyes and a face that reflects a mixture of confidence and humor, Cody is humble and somewhat embarrassed by the award he received June 11. "I've just done what's right," he said. "I've done what we expect of each other. I have been blessed with a lot of people who let me work for them." Blessed is a favorite word in Cody's vocabulary. He will tell you he has been blessed with his family _ Gretchen, his wife of 25 years, and their three daughters. He says he has been blessed by his military career, by a chance to serve with top-notch men and blessed by adversity, even the worst kind. Ten months ago, Cody was told that he had cancer and six months to a year to live. "That was a blessing, too," he said. The man who ran the half-mile in a very respectable 1:58.7 during high school now moves slowly and in pain across the room toward some boxes filled with photographs. "It gives you time to get organized," he said. "My wife and I have been going through photographs, dividing them up for our girls." Michael A. Cody grew up in Elmhurst, Ill., and was a budding entertainer when he was drafted "kicking and screaming" into the Army in 1956. "I had a great week," he said. "I had opened a show. I had the part of the leprechaun in `Finian's Rainbow.' I got the notification of my orals for my masters in speech, drama and education at Bradley University, I signed a contract to do a nationally televised show with one of the networks and I got my greetings from Uncle Sam." Cody's two-year tour of duty was, much to his annoyance, extended for six months due to the needs of the Army. Then it was extended again. "Before I knew it, I had four years in and I figured God was trying to tell me something," he said. After five years as an enlisted man, Cody was awarded a commission and worked his way up through the ranks to colonel. He was as an officer in the infantry, engineers and ordnance branches. He served in Korea, Germany and Vietnam as well as in the United States. He was stationed in Albuquerque when he retired from active duty in 1987. "The Army sent me out here in 1956 to go to school," Cody said, "and I was so impressed with the people and the history and the community that I decided if I lived long enough to retire, this is where I wanted to do it. "One thing I love about New Mexico is that we don't have a melting pot here. We have a mosaic of red and brown and white and yellow, and we can reach over and borrow from each other." He has shouldered countless community duties _ especially those supporting the men and women of the military. "He has been a dedicated member of the community _ without the motivation of honor and money," said Albuquerque's Jerry Murphy, a Korean War veteran and a Medal of Honor recipient. "He just did it because he loves the military, he loves veterans, he loves Native Americans and he loves black Americans." Paul Layer, president of Albuquerque's Sunset Memorial Park and Mausoleum, knows Cody from their work together on the Medal of Honor grave project. He said Cody is a man of wit, intelligence and poise, a man who laughs easily and is at ease with everyone. But he said Cody also is a man of character and integrity. "In a world in which you can't count on much," Layer said, "you can always count on Mike."

TEXAS City Historic Preservation Officer Ann McGlone and city planners have started work on zoning to preserve the Alamo viewshed. It's a pre-emptive strike to prevent anyone from buying empty lots or other property available east of the Alamo and building a high-rise structure that would loom above the site of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo. The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon will commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Second Battle of Adobe Walls on June 26 and 27. A lecture titled "Archeological Investigations of the Red River War of 1874-1875 in the Texas Panhandle" will be presented by Brett Cruse, a Texas Historical Commission archaeologist. On June 20, 1841, the Santa Fe Expedition left Central Texas to solidify the Republic of Texas' claims to territory around Santa Fe. Members of the group were taken prisoner by Mexican troops, marched to Mexico City and imprisoned. They were finally released in 1842.

CYBERIA Broken treaties and a country in depression. Combine that with land given the Indians by treaty and the concept of manifest destiny, and the allure of a better life in the West, and something had to give. On June 25, 1876, Custer became a convenient scapegoat for a bankrupt government policy. Conservation organizations say the bill would make the Antiquities Act the only act of presidential discretion subject to National Environmental Policy Act review. In addition, the bill would require the president to comply with an environmental review process that goes beyond existing NEPA procedures, "thereby defeating the very purpose of the Antiquities Act to allow the president to act expeditiously to protect significant public resources." Laws against fossil theft have not kept up with the sizzling market. There are specific laws for archaeological theft, but not for paleontological. Oftentimes it is just a misdemeanor for years of public theft.$01.frm Four skulls and sets of bones unearthed last week by a couple digging in their yard might be American Indian remains. An inspection is scheduled today by a forensic anthropologist at Michigan State University. Under the federal Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, developers and museums are required to turn over Indian remains for reburial. If confirmed, the bones probably would be turned over to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. Other area tribes will be notified and offered a chance to participate in a reburial ceremony at a reservation cemetery.,2107,62945-99988-712403-0,00.html Using the same techniques he used to locate the Titanic, Bob Ballard has found the oldest known deepwater shipwrecks: a pair of wine-laden ships more than 2,500 years old. Besides a woven hat and a pair of dainty bracelets, the voluptuous Venus of Willendorf doesn't wear so much as a smile. So perhaps it's not surprising that the exaggerated sexual features of this stone-cold babe -- a 4-inch-tall limestone figurine unearthed near Willendorf, Austria, in 1908 -- have mesmerized archaeologists and art historians much as the charms of Pamela Anderson Lee have distracted otherwise diligent Web surfers. But experts now are taking a second look at the scanty bits of apparel worn by Miss Willendorf and by some of the hundreds of other "Venus" figurines that have been preserved from Ice Age Europe. They say the necklaces, string skirts and other "Venus-wear" that do so little to hide the obvious are proving to be equally revealing about the hunter-gatherer societies that existed along the receding glaciers. These odd and mysterious figurines suggest that people living 26,000 years ago possessed well-developed weaving skills that were at least as valuable to the community as the strength and prowess of male hunters. Even the head dress worn by the Venus of Willendorf arguably reflects social traditions still seen today in the babushkas worn by women in Eastern Europe or even the bonnets favored by Amish women in Pennsylvania. These new insights, ironically, are derived from Venus-wear that has been in plain sight for decades. "The vast majority of folks have simply ignored the fact that these are woven fabrics," said James Adovasio, director of the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute in Erie. It's an oversight he attributes to the mindset of archaeologists. Stone implements, not textiles, supposedly were state of the art during the Paleolithic period, the Stone Age. "When you have these stereotypes, you don't look beyond the stereotype," he explained.

IOWA WESLEYAN OFFICIAL THINKS HE'S FOUND MORMON CAMP 06/22/99 MONTROSE, Iowa (AP) An Iowa college professor thinks he has stumbled upon Mormon history in southeastern Iowa. In 1996, Mike Foley, director of the Iowa Wesleyan College Design Center, helped lead the re-enactment of the trek along the Mormon Trail. As he was preparing for that trip and tracing the trail's route in Lee County, he stopped to visit his nephew near Montrose and happened to have his divining rods in his hands. To his surprise, the rods crossed and uncrossed as he walked along the gravel driveway at the house his nephew was renting. Foley thought at the time that he had discovered a grave, but did not have time to investigate further. He returned to the area this spring and for the past two weeks, has been marking what he believes was the first campsite along the Mormon Trail. "They would not have left much behind, they needed what they had," he said. "We may discover traces of metal from iron bands around wagon wheels and harness parts." In 1846, Brigham Young led an estimated 14,000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints out of Illinois to Utah after encountering anti-Mormon sentiment. Along the way, the early groups of settlers set up camps to supply and provide a way station for other Mormon pioneers who followed later. Students of Mormon history have long speculated about a camp near the banks of Sugar Creek in central Lee County. The camp had been referred to in the diaries of pioneers heading west from Nauvoo, Ill., but accounts of its precise location varied. Foley said any type of digging changes the natural magnetism of the earth and divining rods _ two metal poles with plastic handles will cross when they are placed over disturbed earth. Foley has used his divining rods to trace the ruts cut deep into the earth by Mormon wagon trains. Now near Montrose, he and other researchers have mapped what they believe are the locations of 13 cabins, two dormitories, three latrines and several graves. Foley said the find is important to Mormons and non-Mormons alike. "We're Iowans researching Iowa history," he said. "These were pioneers no matter what their affiliation." Former state historian Loren Horton, who now teaches at the University of Iowa, said the first 3,000 or so Mormon pioneers hit the trail on Feb. 4, 1846. By April 24 of that year, they had reached Garden Grove in south-central Iowa. A second wave of church members, about 10,000 people, made their way across the trail in the spring. Horton said few of them stayed very long at the Sugar Creek camp. But the last group to cross the Mississippi River was different. Horton said those pioneers, about 1,000 people, were mostly pregnant women, poor, elderly or sick. In September 1846, the Illinois Militia rousted them out of Nauvoo, Ill., at bayonet point, put them into boats and dropped them off on the Iowa side of the river near Montrose. A rescue party of other Mormons came back to help them and Horton said they all likely stayed the winter at Sugar Creek. Horton said he doesn't know whether the buildings at the site were put up by one of the first two waves of Mormons or by the last group for the rough winter ahead. Because those in the final group were in the poorest health, it is likely that many of the graves at Sugar Creek are theirs. Horton said diaries kept by the pioneers show the Sugar Creek camp was still being used as late as 1853. Officials from the Mormon-affiliated Nauvoo Restoration Inc., which has rebuilt and restored dozens of historic sites in Nauvoo and Carthage, Ill., have visited the Sugar Creek site and plan to return again. Foley said he expect more research in the months to come. "We've only been at it two weeks," he said. "I can't tell you what's next."