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Note: The first two articles are courtesy of Stephen Nash. These articles are posted on the 1999 Pecos Conference web page http://www.swanet.org/pecos99/index.html
New Dendrochronology Book -- Time, Trees, and Prehistory: Tree-Ring Dating and the Development of North American Archaeology 1914 - 1950. University of Utah Press, 1999. (294pp., ISBN 087480-589-9; $29.95). Stephen Edward Nash, Department of Anthropology, Field Museum of Natural History: Dendrochronology, the science of assigning precise calendar dates to annual growth rings in trees, developed at a time when archaeologists had no absolute dating techniques to guide their analyses. _Time, Trees, and Prehistory_ examines the growth, development, and application of North American tree-ring dating prior to 1950. Tree-ring dates forced archaeologists to radically revise their understanding of the prehistoric past, compressing by nearly fifty percent the estimated time-scale of the archaeological record. Classic Anasazi sites in Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde were believed to be 2000 years old and ocupied for nearly a thousand years, but tree-ring dates showed them to be half that old and demonstrated they were often built, occupied, and abandoned in just over a century. Other changes in temporal scale forced archaeologists to reconsider the rate of prehistoric cultural change, population growth, and the degree of social and political complexity. _Time, Trees, and Prehistory_ demonstrates that tree-ring dating set the stage for revolutionary developments in archaeological method, theory, and interpretation in the following decades. Dr. Stephen E. Nash, Department of Anthropology, The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago IL 60605-2496; phone: 312-922-9410 x445; fax: 312-427-7269; e-mail: email@example.com
The Development of Archaeological Tree-Ring Dating: Networks of Trees, Links of Time, and Unsung Heroes of Archaeology. The legendary account of the development of archaeological tree-ring dating suggests that the National Geographic Society, on Neil Judd's request, provided funding for astronomer A. E. Douglass to conduct Beam Expeditions to find the tree-ring specimen that would allow him to "bridge the gap" in his chronology and provide, for the first time, common-era dates for prehistoric sites in the American Southwest. Such Beam Expeditions were conducted in 1923, 1928, and 1929. As a result, specimen HH-39, which bridged the gap, was discovered at Whipple Ruin in Show Low, Arizona, on June 22, 1929. Presented in this form, the "Legend of HH-39" is a great heuristic device. To reduce the development of archaeological tree-ring dating to such a eureka event, however, does not do justice to the extensive scholarly networks, and the evidential links they produced, that made tree-ring dating possible in the American Southwest. As we approach the 70th anniversary of the discovery of HH-39, a more accurate telling of the history of archaeological tree-ring dating is in order. Clark Wissler of the American Museum of Natural History first wrote to Douglass on May 22, 1914, to inquire whether Douglass' tree-ring studies might be used to date preserved wood specimens from classic Southwestern sites. Douglass had not previously considered such an application, but was nevertheless intrigued. The American Museum provided funding for Douglass's research, at which time Judd, at Wissler's behest, obtained funding from the National Geographic Society. During the 1920s, no fewer than seven "Beam Expeditions" were conducted by Douglass, his students, relatives, and, for lack of a better term, contract archaeologists such as Jean Jeancon, Oliver Ricketson, Lyndon Hargrave, and Emil Haury. Jeancon and Ricketson traveled across the Southwest as the First (official) Beam Expedition in 1923. Douglass and his nephew Malcolm focused on Oraibi and sites in northwest New Mexico during the first unofficial beam expedition in 1926. They visited Betatakin and Kiet Siel the second unofficial beam expedition in 1927. Hargrave spent the month of April 1928 at Oraibi on the third unofficial beam expedition, during which he discovered specimen BE-269, which bridged the gap in Douglass's chronology but did not offer a ring sequence long enough to satisfy his stringent dendrochronological requirements. Hargrave and J.W. Hamilton conducted the Second (official) Beam Expedition in 1928, on which Hargrave completed his brilliant ceramic sequence analysis that allowed him to identify, on the basis of an independent data set, sites that would yield tree-ring specimens to bridge the gap in Douglass's chronology. Though Hargrave's list included sites on the Hopi Mesas and in west-central New Mexico, he and Douglass visited the sites located in east-central Arizona as the fourth unofficial beam expedition in March 1929. Among the sites visited were Whipple Ruin at Show Low, Jensen and Fourmile Ruins at Taylor, Chevelon Ruin at Winslow, and Stone Axe Ruin in the Petrified Forest, among others. Finally, on June 22, 1929, Hargrave and Emil Haury, as members of the Third (official) Beam Expedition, discovered the specimen that bridged the gap in Douglass's chronology. After fifteen years of more or less concentrated effort, seven "beam expeditions", and input from an extensive network of scholars, including Earl Morris and those listed above, tree-ring dating arrived in the technological repertoire of the Southwestern archaeologist. Douglass published a popular treatment of this research in the December 1929 issue of National Geographic, after which he offered the first course in archaeological tree-ring dating in the spring of 1930. The opening-day class roster is a veritable who's who of young archaeologists, including Emil Haury, Florence Hawley, John McGregor, Sid Stallings, and Waldo Wedel. In 1930, the Gila Pueblo Archaeological Foundation hired Haury to apply tree-ring dating to that institution's eclectic research interests. Also in 1930, the Museum of Northern Arizona hired John McGregor to date the eruption of Sunset Crater and the Pueblo I and Pueblo II occupations in northern Arizona. Not to be outdone, the Laboratory of Anthropology in 1931 hired Sid Stallings to develop a tree-ring chronology for the Rio Grande valley. By 1942 each of the fledgling dendroarchaeological research programs had shut down. Reasons for their demise are many and complex, though financial troubles, the onset of World War II, and the development of radiocarbon dating are all at least partially to blame. Today, southwestern archaeological tree-ring dating remains the exclusive domain of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona. The 72nd Annual Pecos Conference is being held near the site at which specimen HH-39 was discovered some 70 years ago. Conference attendees will literally and figuratively cross some of the many networks and links blazed by contributors to archaeological tree-ring dating in the 1920s and 1930s. From Gallup, you may pass the McKinley County Bank, which failed in 1923 and cost the First Beam Expedition $1,174.87. In this era of sport utility vehicles and four-wheel drive, you may consider that Jeancon and Ricketson averaged eight to ten miles per hour on that trip, and that Earl Morris once fixed a blown gasket with a piece of bacon rind. From Aztec or Pueblo Bonito, you may consider the temporal link established by Douglass when he first determined in 1919 that the former postdates that latter by some 50 years. From Flagstaff, you may consider the impact of tree-ring dating on the study of cultural ecology, both in the identification of the Great Drought and in the dating of the eruption of Sunset Crater. From the Rio Grande, you may thank Sid Stallings for establishing a separate tree-ring chronology, and thereby verifying Douglass's method and technique, in an area characterized by a climate signal that is different than that west of the continental divide. From Tucson, you will pass through Globe, home of Gila Pueblo and extensive tree-ring research by Haury and, later, Gladwin. Just as the Southwest is far more than "desert", an accurate history of tree-ring dating includes far more than three Beam Expeditions and the discovery of HH-39. As we approach the millennium, archaeological tree-ring dating remains as vibrant as ever. Today, as before, networks of archaeologists contribute specimen-links to the past, and Southwestern archaeologists remain the envy of colleagues working in areas that do not satisfy the many and stringent requirements of archaeological tree-ring dating. We are, indeed, privileged by archaeological tree-ring dating. Dr. Stephen E. Nash, Department of Anthropology, The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago IL 60605-2496; phone: 312-922-9410 x445; fax: 312-427-7269; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
EUROPEAN FASCINATION WITH INDIANS EMBODIED IN VILLAGE 05/10/99 Europeans fascinated with American Indians will be able to get a taste of their life without crossing the ocean. Everything from hogans to sheep butchering and from weaving to jewelry demonstrations will be part of Indian Village Europe, a 10-acre site that opens Wednesday outside Vienna, Austria. The park will remain open through October. American Indian artists, musicians and singers, many of them from the Navajo reservation and New Mexico, will work in the park on the grounds of a historic castle. Adults will pay $16.50 to walk the grounds and $38 to sleep overnight in a teepee, plus extra fees for some demonstrations and special experiences such as participating in a sweat lodge. Fernando Cellicion, a 37-year-old flute player and dancer from Zuni Pueblo in northwestern New Mexico, will begin a two-week stint at Indian Village Europe on Aug. 23. Cellicion has performed several times in Europe. "They're more attentive and appreciative over there. Most of the people know a lot about Indian culture," said Cellicion, who performs traditional songs and original compositions on flute. Cellicion will take to Europe 11 members of his dance group who will perform Zuni social dances: the eagle, buffalo, deer, star and pottery dances. He will speak on pueblo traditions, and members of the dance group will show how they make pottery, jewelry and fetishes. Organizers estimate at least 100,000 people will visit Indian Village Europe. "If you put the word American Indian in there, people come," Cellicion said. "It sells out." Performers' expenses will be paid. They also will receive payments of $1,000 to $40,000, depending on the number of members in a group and how long they stay. The village will be an advertising tool for Indian tourism in the United States, said Gordon Bronitsky, the Denver agent who helped organize the event. Several firms that operate tours with Indian themes will be at the village advertising their services. "The idea is, 'You've tried it in Austria, now come and see the real thing here,' " said Bronitsky, who grew up in Albuquerque and has a doctorate in anthropology from the University of New Mexico. He spent time in Germany teaching Germans about Indian culture, which eventually led to his work as an agent for Indian artists who want to expand their markets abroad. Bronitsky said the village will show Indians as modern, evolving people. The project is unique because it includes modern music and art as well as traditional culture and includes tribes from throughout the United States, he said. Each performer or group of performers developed their own program, so visitors will see and hear Indians as they portray themselves. "They decide what they want to do and say," Bronitsky said. "Our job is to crank up the volume."
http://deseretnews.com:80/dn/view/1,1249,80002577,00.html? May 11 lecture: "The Lost Battalion: The Women Who Came With Johnston's Army," a story of the women who traveled with the U.S. Army troops sent by President Buchanan in 1857 to quell the supposed Mormon rebellion in Utah.
http://deseretnews.com:80/dn/view/1,1249,80002350,00.html The pre-Columbian past is only a day-trip or less away from communities like Flagstaff, Sedona, Cottonwood and Camp Verde, Ariz. Four area national monuments preserve remnants of Sinagua villages and cliff dwellings. The wonder of the parks is that each is so distinctive. These aren't cookie-cutter pueblos. The monuments are a tribute to the Sinagua, a remarkably adaptive people in a land "without water."
http://www.navajohopiobserver.com/comm2.htm In a statistical analysis Husinga showed that a sage plant, called Salvia dorrii ssp. mearusii, was deliberately planted near habitations by the peoples who lived in the now ruined sites in the Verde and Sedona areas. When Husinga and Hogan walked across the Hopi mesas with Hopi elders, they were told that the tribe had brought their sage plant with them in their migrations. The close connection between the two species and their limited geographic distribution supports this oral history.
http://www.navajohopiobserver.com/comm2.htm Wilcox, along with Jerry Robertson, a retired infantry officer from the 101st Airborne, has looked at clusters of sites across Central Arizona from the Phoenix basin to the Mogollon Rim, and from the Upper Verde Valley to the Tonto basin. Wilcox began studying these sites decades ago, but only in the last few years has he had a trained military mind to help him. What the two men have found is that pueblos were built in two different defensive patterns. The earlier pattern is one of dispersion and concealment in the twelfth century. The later pattern is of larger clusters of rooms, built on less accessible mesas with defensive walls and lookouts, even with some towers in the thirteenth to fourteenth century period. By 1400, most of these were abandoned and only the largest pueblo clusters, with 1,000 rooms or more, remained.
[ N.B. The other side of the coin -- I once took Dr. Gai Pei ( visiting from Academia Sinica, Beijing China ) to a South mountain picnic area near Phoenix. We sat in a thick-walled, coarse-built stone ramada and looked across the Salt River Valley. I asked the professor if he knew the function of the ramada. His instantaneous reply (in English) -- " Military gun emplacements, of course! " It was the " of course " part of the statement that really threw me... Brian Kenny ]
http://www.yumasun.com/columns/whenarizonawasyoung.html The Chemehuevis once lived on the Arizona side of the Colorado. Things began to change in 1879 when Thomas Blythe, a San Francisco financier, and Oliver Calloway laid claim to 80,000 acres of the bottom land the tribe had been using as planting grounds. Without legal title, there was little the Chemehuevis could do when Blythe and Calloway announced that they were going to settle 100 Yuma County, Calif., families along the river.
http://www.sfnewmexican.com/news1999/news_may/may11_PECOS.html http://www.abqjournal.com/news/2news05.11.htm The remains of more than two- thousand Pecos Pueblo Indians and more than a-thousand burial objects dug up by archaeologists since early this century will be returned to their descendants in New Mexico next week. The repatriation will be the largest to date under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. That's the 1990 law mandating return of Indian burials and related artifacts held by federally funded institutions. The skeletal remains, most of which came from Alfred Kidder's excavations at Pecos Pueblo from 1915-to- 1929, will be returned to Jemez Pueblo leaders in a special ceremony May 20 in Andover, Massachusetts. The remains will be trucked to Pecos National Historical Park, where they will be reburied in an undisclosed location by Jemez leaders in a private ceremony May 22.
http://www.roswell-record.com/051199/news03.html http://www.heraldpub.com/html/boy_scouts.html Boy Scouts clean up historic New Mexican cemeteries in Chloride and Roswell.
http://www2.nando.net:80/noframes/story/0,2107,47364-76388-546583-0,00.html More than 12,000 years ago, a group of early Americans on a bluff above the Savannah River chipped stone into tools. Last year, University of South Carolina archaeology professor Albert C. Goodyear led a team that discovered the fruits of that work. This year, Goodyear will go back to the site and try to use other methods to figure out the age of an early spear head, blade fragments and a flake tool that was probably used for wood or bone carving. "The little tiny blades look very much like you see in Siberia," Goodyear said. Goodyear found the artifacts more than a yard below material left by the Clovis culture. The Clovis culture is believed to have come to North America about 12,000 years ago. The mammoth hunting culture gets it name from a New Mexico site where spear points were found. The little blades raise big questions that Goodyear wants to begin to answer. Populations could have migrated one or two times and come from Europe as well as Siberia. "All of the sudden the ball game is wide open for human history in the Western hemisphere," Goodyear said.
http://www.eurekalert.org/releases/ufl-ast051199.html Police and forensic anthropologists often are frustrated by the way Florida's wildlife eats and scatters human remains, making it difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether the person was a victim of an accident or foul play, or even where the death occurred. So UF anthropologists are using the vast Austin Cary Forest near Gainesville as a natural laboratory and the bodies of pigs as substitute victims to see how the call of the wild and nature's forces can alter the remains of a human being.
http://www.newspage.com/ Thirty-five college students trapped in caves during flooding in southern Mexico last week are missing and feared dead. The students of the National Polytechnical Institute in Mexico City were exploring caves and became trapped by flooding. The authorities have no hopes of finding anyone alive said the police chief in Chiapa de Corzo, an archaeological zone five miles (eight kilometers) from the caves.
http://www.ttgweb.com:80/caribbean.htm A new $8 million museum just opened in Curacao which offers a unique perspective on the origin of man and the history of slavery in the Caribbean. Jacob Gelt Dekker, a Dutch entrepreneur with degrees in medicine, dentistry and business, but no experience in founding a museum, invested almost $8 million of his own money to finance the museum, without soliciting any outside funds. The philosophy of the museum is to show visitors a piece of history that's not been covered by Western history lessons. Dekker chose Curacao for the museum partly because the island's capital of Willemstad is on UNESCO's World Heritage List, one of the few sites in the Caribbean to have such a distinction.
http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/Times/frontpage.html?999 Five survivors of a South Pacific plane crash swam for six hours through blinding monsoon rains off the Vanuatu islands. Andrew Gray, 43, a British anthropologist, is among the seven missing.
http://www.nandotimes.com/noframes/story/0,2107,47539-76682-548104-0,00.html In Israel, you will soon be able to see the world's oldest well, the remnants of a wrecked Roman ship or the quays of King Herod's seaport - provided you're a trained scuba diver. Already known for its biblical, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman antiquities, Israel is constructing underwater archaeological parks off the Mediterranean coast, archaeologist Udi Galili said. Divers will be able to view ancient shipwrecks or submerged Neolithic villages "not in a museum but in their natural marine environment, covered with seaweed, with the fish swimming past," said Galili, director of marine archaeology at the Israel Antiquities Authority. Instead of consulting the usual leaflet or pamphlet, the visitor will have a waterproof plastic page with descriptions of the exhibits in luminous script.
http://news.excite.com/news/r/990511/05/film-dish Banderas will play a Catholic priest investigating an archaeological discovery. It's the dawn of the millennium in the city of Jerusalem, and an Israeli archaeologist makes a find that can destroy the foundations of Christianity. The Vatican sends the priest, and the more he delves the closer he comes to losing his faith when when it appears the bones they found are indeed those of Christ.