Tuesday November 23, 1999

CALIFORNIA Interlocking towers were key to the railroad's movement of freight and passenger trains for much of this century. Nationwide, hundreds of the small towers were strategically placed where tracks met. From the Civil War, railroad lines had control towers -- elevated structures where an operator could sit and see in all directions. The operator could control signals and switches to guide the movement of trains. The Pentagon has bypassed a planned UCR archaeology center near Hemet, possibly robbing the facility of a key funding source. Instead, it is recommending the year-old nonprofit San Diego Archaeological Center and the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana. While final selection is more than two years away, the planned Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology would lose one of its main sources of revenue should the Pentagon follow through with its recommendations.

UTAH,1249,135006762,00.html? By celebrating an Indigenous Day on the Monday before Thanksgiving, Utah is somewhat unique.

TEXAS Samuel Maverick's brainstorm to claim a "blank" brand, thereby making all unmarked cattle his, was doomed from the start.

CYBERIA Collecting and studying objects is the essence of archaeology. (The word is from the Greek words archaio logia, meaning "ancient study.") The Blake School dig is special because students are digging for real artifacts. Archaeology is not like a chemistry experiment that you can repeat. Once you move the ground, and what's in the ground, you can't put it back the same way again. So if you don't do archaeology correctly, you're just destroying evidence. David Simon, a respected regional director of the National Parks and Conservation Association in Washington, was temporarily suspended for criticizing a Hispanic national parks official. Mr. Simon described the official as "an [Equal Opportunity Employment] experiment gone haywire. The comments have added to the perception among some civil rights activists that the Caucasian-dominated conservation movement has been slow to integrate people of color.,2107,500060615-500100120-500415424-0,00.html Babbitt plans to ask the president to designate about a dozen sites as federal monuments under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The law gives the president authority to act by executive order to protect any land that has historic, scientific or archaeological significance. No one had thought to prospect for gold in Egypt until Sami Raghy came along. Using a copy of a 3,200-year-old map showing gold-mine tunnels that is believed to have been sketched by King Seti I, Mr. Raghy, who has inevitably been dubbed Egypt's Indiana Jones, is now tracing the mines that once supplied gold for pharaonic treasures, including those of the boy-king Tutankhamen.