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EXCAVATION SITE PROVIDES CLUES TO FOREST AREA'S HISTORY SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) _ Legends, myths, scattered ruins, and incredibly exquisite pottery, rarely found intact, are all that are left of the ancient Mimbres culture. The why and how of their disappearance is still a mystery. Anthropologists and archaeologists are the mystery solvers of human history, detectives of the lost, if you will. They sort through endless chains of physical clues, no matter how scant, or precious, to study and examine the known facts and unknown possibilities. Lake Roberts, located in the southwestern corner of New Mexico, is home to the Lake Roberts Vista site, called the "Ruins" by most locals. It has provided many clues and enough facts to throw out some conclusions about the long-ago inhabitants of the Gila National Forest area, north of Silver City. Answers to some questions gave rise to even more questions. Marilyn Markel said she knows the Ruins well. She worked with Western New Mexico University Museum officials and archaeologists when they excavated the site in 1994-95. Some of her knowledge comes from a degree earned at the University of New Mexico, where she majored in anthropology and minored in the history of the Southwest. As a volunteer historian, she is happy to share her information with others, which is why Forest Service officials, who manage Lake Roberts Vista, recently accepted her proposal for an interpretive project at the site. Her project goals are actually twofold: to allow the public to discover, understand and simply enjoy the Ruins, and to provide historical information about the Gila National Forest. "It's going to be a fun thing for everyone who visits," she said recently. "Especially the kids." Since her inclination and background is aimed at teaching history to children, Markel had them in mind when she made her proposal. There will be several hands-on activities for youngsters, including grinding corn on cement slabs, or metates. There will be other educational tools, as well. For example, a trunk full of attention-getting artifacts will be passed around. What child can resist looking at deer antlers, deer bones, turkey feathers and bones, deer skin and rabbit fur, pictures of Mimbres pottery, and, perhaps, a jar or two of white clay slip, with yucca brushes thrown in for good measure? Interpretive talks are planned for younger and older visitors alike, and table displays will hold materials like native plants, pieces of broken pottery and stone tools. Also included will be site maps, articles written about the Mimbres people, and pictures of famous Apaches like Victorio, Geronimo and, perhaps, the fierce Mimbres Apache, Mangas Coloradas (Spanish for Red Sleeves), who massacred Mexican miners. The interpretive signs are already in place. As part of the Gila Wilderness 75th anniversary celebration, the Forest Service is probably going to include the Lake Roberts Vista site project in the regional festivities, which will begin June 5. According to Alice Cohen, Forest Service educational specialist, the project should be part of the upcoming celebration. "I think it would be great," Cohen said. "A real group effort." A key segment of the group she referred to is going to be community volunteers. Markel is going to need a lot of help. Rough Rock Community School is using newsprint to spark an interest in Navajo culture. Some of the articles feature the cradle board, a Navajo Code Talker teaching Navajo language, traditional farming and sacred sites. Navajo culture can be taught in science, math and technology and now, even in newspaper. Heeding requests from American Indian tribes, an international panel of biologists has officially changed the name of the Colorado squawfish to the Colorado pikeminnow. It's the first time a fish's name has been changed for political reasons, biologists say. In Colorado, the Animal Formerly Known as Squawfish is principally known as the federally protected endangered species that has blocked construction of the Animas-La Plata water project south of Durango. GeoNative Mative American The Women of the West Museum in Boulder will celebrate the tenacity and resilience of the women who raised their families in these "soddies" when its "Museum Without Walls," an online interactive Web site, makes its debut this month at The first exhibit, on sod houses, will present life as seen through the eyes of Mattie Oblinger, whose correspondence with family members about life on the prairie is preserved in the archives of the Nebraska State Historical Society. From Hearth to Heaven: Chinatown Living, offers a rare glimpse into how Chinese pioneers lived and worked, telling previously untold stories of the city's original Chinese families through photographs and artifacts. An eight-day pottery workshop in Chihuahua, Mexico.