Saturday November 20, 1999


From: Sarah Schlanger Conference details, paper abstracts, and registration information for the Southwest Symposium 2000 are now posted on-line at The Early Bird registration for the Southwest Symposium 2000--first synthesis of recent research in Southwestern Archaeology of the new millennium--ends on December 10th. Register soon to avoid the fee increase. I don't take plastic, so send in your paper money with your registration form! The Southwest Symposium 2000 begins January 13 with an evening registration and welcome; invited papers and contributed poster sessions run all day Friday, January 14 and January 15 at the James A. Little Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico. See you in Santa Fe.

TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGY Ancient Rome is being painstakingly reborn by a team of classical historians, architects and computer specialists. With a click of a mouse, you are virtually transported back 2,000 years to ancient Rome. A new technique may allow scientists to date obsidian. Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee are using a complex technology called secondary ionization mass spectrometry to try to date the artifacts themselves. The longer a surface has been exposed to the air, the deeper the water goes, so age becomes a matter of hydration depth.

MEXICO The Mayas were always the favorite pre-Hispanic people among archeologists, anthropologists and historians. Now Maya culture is winning the same kind of admiration from the public, as hundreds of thousands of visitors view its breathtaking artworks. Mexican curators have assembled the largest-ever exhibition of Maya art--557 pieces in all.

ARIZONA The Judaica Museum, founded by Sylvia Plotkin in 1967, houses more than 1,000 relics of Jewish life and has become one of the major institutions of Hebrew heritage in the Southwest. A human skull found in a desert riverbed is believed to have been from an old museum, medical school or private collection. Birkby, 68, Arizona's only board-certified forensic anthropologist. Birkby, one of just 44 board-certified forensic anthropologists in the United States and Canada. Mexico's President Diaz told General Andrade that he had no right to sell any part of Tiburon to Americans. Many were drawn to Tiburon by the lure of the possible Cortez treasure. It is unlikely there ever was any Cortez treasure on Tiburon. The island is largely uninhabited now, and the Seris live on the mainland.

UTAH,1249,130008751,00.html? Marva Loy Eggett believes items found in a dig where pioneers once lived should be in a museum. The amateur archaeologists are descendants of the people who built the early American house. The Mud Castle was built in 1859 when James Pace and James Butler built an adobe house on the road between Payson and Santaquin.

NEW MEXICO The House of Representatives stamped its approval on the Four Corners Interpretive Center Act Thursday night, paving the way for the construction of an official visitors' center at Four Corners Monument Tribal Park. Human plague cases in New Mexico occurred more frequently after wetter than average winter-spring time periods. Plague was introduced into North America in 1899-1900 by shipboard transport of plague-infected rats from Asia. These rats quickly infected native mammal populations, especially ground squirrels, and plague spread throughout western North America. Plague is now most commonly found in the southwestern United States -- in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and California. In 1977, Sofaer discovered the Sun Dagger in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Every year, at the summer solstice, the sun strikes a massive rock behind aligned stone slabs. The ray passes through a petroglyph of concentric circles, appearing as a dagger of light. In 1978, Sofaer founded the Solstice Project, a non-profit group to study, document and preserve the ruins at Chaco Canyon. The Solstice Project has continued to research the culture of Chaco Canyon. The buildings were constructed between 850 and 1150 A.D. Previously interpreted by archaeologists as a trade center, researchers involved in the project now believe it was a site for astronomy and cosmology. Efforts to preserve the 19th-century wooden statue and rusted shackles at a Santa Fe X-ray room. The shackles have not been fully authenticated, but they fit the description for the leg irons used in 1881 at Lincoln to hold Billy the Kid. The cut shackles were discovered at a ranch about a mile outside Lincoln. The bulto was crafted by an anonymous santero and first listed in about 1820 in the santuario inventory at Chimayó. State museum curators will spend months of painstaking work reassembling the work before its return to Chimayó.

OKLAHOMA The chairman of a state commission investigating the 1921 Tulsa race riot said Friday archaeologists have located what they believe to be a mass burial site containing the remains of riot victims. Bones are always the best and last witness to history.

KANSAS Fred Harvey contributed to taming the Wild West. Humorist Will Rogers once said Harvey and his young servers "kept the West in food and wives." Indeed, one estimate put the number of Harvey Girls who wound up as brides of western cowboys and railroadmen at 20,000.

CYBERIA When primates first stood and walked on two legs, the thorax was freed of its support function during locomotion, breaking the link between breathing patterns and stride. This flexibility enabled humans to regulate breathing and ultimately, to speak.,1575,SAV-9911200126,00.html With the millennium approaching, many communities and organizations around the country are creating time capsules or unearthing old ones. The problem is, many forget where they put the capsules. Ecological restoration versus historical restoration. Naturalists would cart "junk" off, so that Mother Nature could grow without a rusted thorn in her side; historians would preserve "treasure", recognizing its historical significance and recording man's achievements in an unfriendly environment. Should old mine equipment be removed, preserved, or ignored? The growing number of abandoned farmhouses dotting the western Minnesota landscape tell a story of changing rural life. Gabler, an amateur geologist, began photographing abandoned farmhouses when he was driving around the state checking out rock outcroppings.