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ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE BEING EXCAVATED IN ANIMAS VALLEY 03/03/99 An archaeological site that might predate the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park by 1,300 years has been discovered in the northern Animas Valley. The site holds evidence of a link between the first-century ancestral Puebloans, called Basketmakers, and the Puebloans who occupied Mesa Verde through A.D. 1300, said Mona Charles, a Fort Lewis College research associate leading the excavation. "It's really only in the Durango area that we have evidence of the Basketmaker transition to the Puebloan period," Ms. Charles said. "It's somewhat unique to the area." A landowner discovered the site in June when he turned up human bones while clearing a plot for a homesite. The owner, who was not identified, shut down the site in September and invited Fort Lewis College researchers to study its contents. He has tentatively agreed to give Fort Lewis five years to study the site in exchange for a tax deferment. The location of the site and details about artifacts are being withheld because of security concerns. "A lot of looting goes on when the word gets out," said Kevin Block, assistant state archaeologist. "Particularly in areas such as Durango, because most burial sites are found with ceramic artifacts." He said there is a thriving black market in antiquities trading in the Four Corners area. John Sanders, a spokesman for the San Juan Basin Archaeology Society, said the excavation marks the first time researchers have done significant follow-up on the Basketmaker era since the 1930s, when Earl Morris did work near Falls Creek and Trimble Hot Springs. Ms. Charles said that Basketmaker sites have been found near the Iron Horse Inn and Bodo Industrial Park, but they were limited excavations. The Darkmold site is significant because new archaeological techniques can provide ways to get more information about the time period, she said. The researcher is hoping to use the site for the summer course on archaeological techniques and methods. College officials plan to make information about the site available on the Internet after May.
A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI'S TEXANA COLLECTION GETS BOOST FROM ENDOWMENT 03/03/99 Well-known lay historian and author Daniel E. Kilgore spent more than half his life hoarding books, photographs, Civil War-era letters and other rare bits of Texana. Now his widow has donated $50,000 to make sure the historical stockpile keeps growing the way it did while Kilgore was alive. Daniel Kilgore died in 1995 at age 74. In his memory, Carol Isensee Kilgore has created the Kilgore Endowment for Texana at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The endowment is a first for the university's special collections department. It also is a boon for a school that has barely begun to write its own history. In the past, collections the size and caliber of Kilgore's most likely would have gone to Austin, said special collections librarian and archivist Thomas Kreneck. A likely recipient would have been the Center for American History at the University of Texas. Its collection of Texana is the largest anywhere, director Don E. Carleton said. The Kilgore endowment _ along with other one-of-a-kind holdings at A&M-Corpus Christi such as the Dr. Hector P. Garcia manuscripts _ provides a strong foundation from which to expand a Texana library, Carleton said. "(Such a gift) is even more important for a place like Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's library," he said, "because of the fact that it is very new and doesn't have 100 years of history like we do." Carleton said his history department has been collecting materials since the 1880s and has received endowments ranging from $10,000 to $3 million. "A $50,000 endowment is a very, very nice endowment for a special collections library," Carleton said, adding that such a gift might attract others. Kreneck hopes that will happen. "Donations for bricks and mortar are wonderful," he said, "but to build library resources is a major contribution as well. It is a milestone." Dan Kilgore transferred his accumulations to the university in 1984. The materials became a centerpiece of the Special Collections and Archives Department, a treasury of regional history on the library's second floor. "If someone doesn't collect this type of material, we lose our collective memory," Kreneck said. The money that will be generated as interest on the endowment _ about $2,500 per year at first _ will allow Kreneck and his staff to buy rare and out-of-print historical books and documents that otherwise wouldn't fit into the library's budget, Kreneck said. The fruits of Kilgore's passion for history already fill row after row of bookshelves in the climate-controlled archives. The volumes alone number about 10,000. Dozens of boxes hold the rest of the goods: old maps from Corpus Christi and surrounding towns, funeral programs, lithographs and about 3,000 picture postcards. Other boxes contain Audubon Club pamphlets that span decades, original government decrees and records from frontier sheriffs in the 1800s. There are pamphlets of South Texas ghost lore and cloth-bound ledgers kept by businesses long vanished. There is an 80-year-old Corpus Christi city directory. Yellowed photographs show an uncommon scene: snow blanketing the bluff and downtown. Kilgore had the foresight not just to hold on to valuable books but also to collect more common materials that most people would dispose of without contemplation. His pack-rat habits helped make the collection remarkable, Kreneck said. Also, as Kilgore earned the respect of other historians, they would give him books and papers, knowing he would take care of them, Kreneck said. The collection already is worth at least $1 million, Kreneck said. Its value will increase as items are added and as the materials become rarer with age. Carol Kilgore, 74, first established the endowment in 1997 by donating about half of the endowment. Recently she was able to increase the amount after selling her husband's collection of about 350 trade tokens. Sometimes called "good-fers" and usually made of metal or plastic and shaped like coins, the historic tokens didn't fit the university archives' mission of acquiring paper materials. Businesses would hand out tokens to advertise their wares and services. Kilgore's collection included tokens from fig pickers near Houston, turkey pluckers in Comfort, sheep shearers, hardware stores and brothels across Texas, Carol Kilgore said. An especially reverent collector paid $25,000 for the batch. Mrs. Kilgore knew she didn't want the cash. "I just felt uncomfortable with the money, and my needs are modest," she said. She decided there was no cause more deserving than expanding the collection her husband spent his life building. "He was grateful that his life's work _ because he worked on this for 40 years _ has a place to be protected." Dan Kilgore, a certified public accountant, was a seasoned bargain hunter, Mrs. Kilgore said. She knew him to say as he haggled over the prices of rare books: "I don't want a good deal. I want a real good deal." He had to be frugal, she said. He had three children to support at home in their Clarkwood farmhouse. Any time they entered a new town while traveling, he would search for used-book stores. And where some book collectors fixate on the quality of bindings, she said, her husband cared more about the content. He started collecting books because he needed them for research to satisfy his appetite for history and as he wrote more and more historical papers, she said. "More papers means you need more books," she said, and the collection blossomed from there. Among Dan Kilgore's books were "A Ranger Legacy: 150 Years of Service to Texas" and "How Did Davy Die." The latter book ignited a national debate about whether, as Kilgore theorized, folk hero David Crockett was captured at the Alamo after hiding with several other men in a back room after the siege, contrary to the popular belief that Crockett died in the heat of battle. Kilgore helped popularize local history by speaking before community groups any time he was asked, Kreneck said. Kilgore also was a founding member of the Nueces County Historical Society and the Nueces County Historical Commission and was president of the Texas State Historical Association in the 1970s. "People knew Dan and they appreciated Dan," Kreneck said. "This is a tangible legacy of Dan." The Kilgore materials, like the rest of the special collections and archives, are accessible to researchers, students and the public 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
NATIVE AMERICAN VOICES DIFFICULT TO GET PUBLISHED 03/05/99 American Indians may have a lot to say, but their words aren't published enough. There aren't enough Indian voices to fill up these (Indian-focused) journals," said Devon Mihesuah, associate history professor at Northern Arizona University and editor of the American Indian Quarterly for the past year. Discussing Underrepresented Voices: American Indians and Publishing," Mihesuah said many of the issues American Indians write about are controversial _ treaties, land use, water rights and more. And because Indians who write often feel strongly about the subject, sometimes their writing is seen as biased in the world of academia. For many Indians, writing is emotional and political. They like to write primarily for an Indian audience, but they're concerned how their writing will be perceived and received (by non-Indians)," said Mihesuah, an Oklahoma Choctaw Indian. Indian scholars often are concerned that their writing will be scrutinized more carefully (than non-Indian writing)." Mihesuah said many American Indians write stories that need almost a translation when it comes to their customs and practices. Yet to do that may take away from the material, or it may anger the tribe that wants to keep certain customs secret. American Indians are not being published enough in academic journals possibly because not enough have higher degrees, she said. She cited statistics saying there are only eight American Indian women and six American Indian men in the United STates who hold doctorates in history. Only four women and five men hold doctorates in anthropology, nine women and nine men in sociology, 14 women and five men in literature and 31 women and 27 men in the many forms of education doctorates. We need more American Indians to graduate and get higher degrees," she said. She also told her listeners that while some American Indians don't want to read materials written by non-Indians about Indians, sometimes they should. You have to have a very strong knowledge of the canons of your field," she said, adding that sometimes that kind of knowledge is only available in writings by non-Indians. With the American Indian Quarterly, I try to get a lot of Indian people to critique articles, write, review books, but the problem is I can't really find any." One graduate student said she was frustrated because some Indian graduate students aren't allowed to write on certain subjects. They say there's no research on the subject so we can't write about it," said the woman, an American Indian. But how can we ever get this research done if we're not allowed to (do it)? We're discouraged from writing about subjects we're passionate about." Curtis Hinsley, an NAU regents professor of history, said there were ways around that, depending upon the professor. One ploy is to propose to the professor to provide an alternate set of sources _ Indian and non-Indians sources _ and put them against each other," he said. When a professor says that, it's a code for saying these are legitimate or not legitimate subjects. So you ask _ politely _ `What's legitimate and what's illegitimate?' It can be done. But sometimes you have to work the piano through the door very carefully." Mihesuah said she'd heard American Indian students complain that they weren't able to write about an Indian subject, but their non-Indian counterparts were. That's when they feel silenced and criticized," Mihesuah said. One Navajo student who writes fiction stories said she came to the Mihesuah's talk to find out about Indian publishing but was slightly discouraged by the content. I learned about what we have to go through, that we face a lot of things. The typical stereotypes and criticism we have to face," said Eugenia Sloan, a junior. Mihesuah said that even she has to work not to be negative about the situation. She added that the challenge for educators is to help Indian students graduate so they can write, research and get in a position where their opinions are respected. You don't ever want to be hired because of your race," she said. You want to be hired for your ability to do the job, for your skill in the field chosen."