Wednesday October 20, 1999

NEVADA Confessed grave robber David Shaughnessy was sentenced Monday to five years probation and 100 hours of community service. During a pretrial hearing for Nanette Birdsell, 36, who is accused of commissioning the theft and paying about $800 in cash and drugs for one of the skulls, Shaughnessy admitted to prying open the crypt wide enough for his girlfriend to slip in and remove the skulls. Clayton, who died in 1874, was an attorney in Carson City and a founding member of the Nevada democratic party. His wife Susan died in 1905.

UTAH Other areas of the western landscape will be set aside Babbitt said during a hearing on a bill intended to head-off a presidential declaration of the Shivwits Plateau National Monument on the Arizona Strip. "If Congress does not act and produce an acceptable bill protecting these lands, I will consider asking the president to use his power." That "power" is the 1906 Antiquities Act, dusted off by the administration in 1996 to designate the 1.9 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.

ARIZONA Stump wants to create a "national conservation area" in the sparsely populated lands settled over the past century by Mormon pioneer ranchers. Babbitt joined environmentalists in denouncing the measure. "This legislation actually weaken(s) protections in existing law," Babbitt testified, "and would make it difficult if not impossible to protect sensitive, valuable resources." Although radiocarbon dating does supply us with invaluable knowledge with regard to events which have occurred in the recent past of the earth (up to about 40,000 years or so), it is entirely unable to supply ages of objects on the scale of millions of years. Moreover, since radiocarbon dating can only be applied to materials that were once part of living organisms, it cannot be used on rocks or minerals. Charles A. Bollong Assistant professor UA Department of Anthropology

[ Archaeologists should note that time is measured in various ways... siesta time; radiocarbon years b.p.; dog years... ] Make no bones about it, The Day of the Dead isn't. The annual rite features skeletons, altars and other trappings of death, but the ancient holiday celebrates life in its embrace of death.

NEW MEXICO The New Mexican - 9/19/1999: Land-grant claims deserve thorough study. With the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the people of New Mexico weren't to be dispossessed by the American war of Manifest Destiny; the treaty showed respect for their property rights, including long-held land grants. A New Mexico Territorial governor once sold historical documents for $30. The sale of the frontier documents was recounted Tuesday night during ceremonies in which Tijerina, a fiery land grant leader, turned over hundreds of his pieces of written history to UNM Zimmerman Library. History students looked through Sierra County archives for any reference to Stanley or McNally -- but a courthouse fire destroyed the records. The students were able to identify the cemeteries where the two men were buried. No one has found the actual burial sites of Stanley and McNally. With the placement of the 5-foot-tall limestone monuments that traditionally mark the graves of Medal of Honor recipients, the search for the graves will end. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Commission voted Tuesday to terminate the 15-year lease of railroad operator George Bartholomew and seek bids from other companies to operate the narrow-gauge line between Chama and Antonito, Colo.

TEXAS A marker by the first tee declares the golf facility to be the first course recognized by the Texas Golf Hall of Fame's Texas Registry of Historic Courses. The course was the first public one built in the state, in 1916. Forensics gets go ahead as full-fledged major Baylor University's sociology, social work and anthropology department celebrated a victory Thursday with the approval of the new bachelor of science in forensic science major.

CYBERIA A Russian zoologist Wednesday said the remains of an adult woolly mammoth preserved 23,000 years ago in the frozen wastes of Siberia was not a complete specimen. Assistance was sought from an anthropologist. Decomposition had reduced the "hand" to bone, pieces of skin, and ligaments. The errant paw was traced - a local taxidermist admitted discarding it and a second paw while working on a project. The paw will be preserved and used for educational purposes. Native Americans and the Digital Divide. Sue Masten, tribal chairwoman of the Yurok Tribe located near the Klamath River in Northern California, was elected to a two-year term as president and is the second woman since NCAI's formation in 1944 to serve as president. "Tribes face a tremendously broad spectrum of issues that include welfare reform, nuclear waste, sovereign immunity, tribal gaming, state and federal taxation, means testing, housing, economic development, anti-defamation, cultural resource and historic preservation, the census, land into trust, federal appropriation and education." Krech, an anthropologist at Brown University, examines specific ecological issues and dissects each one into cultural and factual components. Our notion of the Native American as the Ecological Indian, keeper and preserver of the environment, is merely an image fashioned by mythmakers. If we look closely, the image is unsubstantiated. Krech presents evidence sufficient to peel away beliefs from facts until finally the concept of the Ecological Indian as ecologist and conservationist erodes. The cultural processes that created the Ecological Indian are still at work today. What white American society thinks it "knows" about American Indians is largely that society's cultural invention, untested by empirical science. This mythmaking is convenient, portable and can be used anytime, anywhere. It is also dangerous. The Global Business Network is an eclectic group of business leaders, futurists, anthropologists, writers and artists. GBN Web site is well worth a visit for a primer on scenario planning. Anyone can read the brief guide to scenarios and the process of creating them. The Missouri River "Voyage of Recovery" Conference will be held on Nov. 8 and 9 in Saint Charles Mo. Experts will present case studies and information to community leaders, local officials, and representatives of agencies from Missouri River communities. The largest ever Viking ship replica is to be built by the world-famous Roskilde Viking Ship Museum in Denmark. The 30-metre, ocean going longship will be built using the same methods, tools, and materials employed by the Vikings nearly 1,000 years ago. The reconstruction has been made possible by a DKr10.5m (EUR 1.41m) donation from the Tuborg Foundation and Carlsberg's Memorial Bequest, both part of the Danish brewing group, Carlsberg A/S. Among the most influential of macho apologists is Lionel Tiger, the anthropologist who coined the term "male bonding." Male dominance, Tiger maintains, is critical to social stability, since it "disciplines men by imposing on them an extraordinary lifelong financial if not also emotional responsibility to spouses and children." Without this patriarchal perk - and the celebration of male power as a basis for mating - men are regressing to a pathological version of their natural state. Encyclopaedia Britannica, the longtime leader in information that has lost its way in the Internet era, is giving away its knowledge for free.

[ SWA believes that archaeologists should be doing the same... ]


First Exchange:

Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 From: Rick Mc Donald Subject: Excrement ... of Treasure Hunting to the web? Im sorry but I trully dont understand that statement on your website. Please clarify. Thanks Rick

From: To: excrement means shit. probably pure slander (or at least humor) on the part of SWA when considering the role of treasure hunting... especially as treasure hunting relates to professional archaeology done under permit and in consultation with interested parties. you found the statement on the Anti-archaeology page of SWA... obviously -- we are trying to send up treasure hunting.

From: Rick Mc Donald Obviously Excrement means manure or as you say Shit. My mistake, thought you guys were a bit more high tea than that. Rick P.S. I've been on digs that would make you "Shit" your little nickers.

From: To: Archaeologists are very earthy... but we do wash our hands before dinner. No doubt about your digs, I suppose... but please, leave out my knickers. I hardly know you.

From: Rick Mc Donald HAHA, touche.

Second Exchange:

Rick Mc Donald wrote: Please stop by for a visit. Im sure you will find it entertaining at the very least. :) The Rarest relics in America are comonly posted on this site and you now have my personal invitation to stop by for a cup of coffee and a visit. Come see the responsible side of Treasure Hunting. It is our hope and wish that someday Archys and relic hunters can work together for the preservation of our history and heritage. We have so many common things that we share already. Archys and hunters in Europe have already seen the value of working together. We have so much info and research background that could be shared. For instance, did you know that Mecenaries from the state of NY fought for The Republic of Texas? Well they did. I know because we found early NY buttons (a coat) in a newly discovered Republic of Texas camp. See, we're not all stupid. :) Rick

Reply From: dogyears To: Rick Mc Donald Rick - please do not put words in my mouth. i've never said any of you were stupid. i've got nothing against a metal detector as a piece of useful equipment. i also know and appreciate the value of multidisciplinary techniques. further, i support that people follow the law, and don't mind seeing scofflaws go to jail. all the professional and avocational archaeologist i know obtain permits and written permission to do their work and they have then in hand, and they have a written research design (plan of research) that is reviewed by other before work begins. it is written and carried out in consultation with persons or communities to be effected by the work. it wasnt alway that way in the past, but it is that way today. as a professional archaeologist in the southwest, i am directly responsible for managing a budget of about $3 million of archaeological work each year, so i know something about the functioning of this process, all about community consultation, and all about labor-saving devices and techniques and technology. we (archaeologists in the southwest) use volunteers (avocational and professional) in our work; many retired persons from other disciplines conducting projects with us. we have many examples of volunteers and professionals working together. hundreds of projects. well connected to the law enforcement community in the SW, i have no problem with getting people busted when they come on a site and dig or collect artifacts when it is outside of the permit process noted above. it is up to a jury to decide if they are guilty. many different agencies catch people working outside of the process and bust them. some of them are metal detectorists. i dont fret about it. if they are breaking the law, let the chips fall where they may in a court of law. other than that, i dont think about metal detecting at all. why? while detectorists find it a hobby or a way of life, archaeologists do not. for archaeologists, a metal detector merely is another piece of equipment (or a technique) to use when appropriate. so whatchya say. come dig in my jurisdiction. come to the national or local parks in the area. bring your metal detector and screwdriver. huh? no ARPA permit? hey... we'll be glad to try and see that you get busted and that you get to meet a jury of your peers. funny thing is, juries of peers often convict. if you want to point out the responsible side of treasure hunting, there is a federal and state process in each state for conducting archaeological work. when was the last time you went to your state SHPO or state museum or other agency to obtain a permit? when was the last time you when was the last time you took voluminous field notes, archived them for posterity in an approved repository, then used the materials to produce technical and popular reports for distribution to the public via community libraries? probably never, right?

Third Exchange:

From: Rick Mc Donald I NEVER dig without permission. I NEVER dig on National Park land or any other govt. controlled area. Never. I have several good sites to hunt. Texas Confederate as well as a newly discovered (by my team) Republic of Texas camp (1837) so I wouldnt have any need at all in coming to one of your govt. controlled sites. I do my own research so I would not have to consult with the likes of over blown over stuffed over paid archys. Now be very honest and tell me that you have NEVER taken a relic home while on the payroll of some grant money paid by tax payers. I SAID HONEST! Well sure you have. To assume (ref Excrement on your website) that all Hobbiests are uneducated SHIT is more than a bit shallow so far as mindset goes. Again if you're honest with yourself you would see this without being told by your equal. I think maybe your condesending manner of speech is maybe the more irritating characteristic which you possess. If I did come hunt in Arizona it would be on private land and whatever I might dig would be beyond ANY of your control at all. I do know the laws. I bet I have donated more valuable relics to Historical Society museums around Texas than some archys have dug. Oh yeah and about money. You said that you have control of 3 million a year for your budget. Congrats to ya! My 22 year old Asphalt paving business only handles about 1.5 mil a year but at least its MY MONEY and not tax payers bucks Im spending. I expect that I rest a little better than you do at night and if I ever do decide to come to "YOUR" Jurisdiction, I assure you I can take care of whatever would come up financially. I dig some of the most rare Republic of Texas and Confederate relics to be had so there is no way I would come hunt on Federal land with an educated person as yourself. If you're nice maybe I'll take YOU hunting sometimes. I bet you would have a ball and you would actually be digging stuff thats worth a little something. Last point is this........If we relic hunters stopped hunting today, 95% of the remaining relics that are in the ground would rot before you had time and Grant money to dig them. We add to the amount of preserved History available to be seen in museums, each and every time we go out which is very often. You never did answer my question of before. Did you know that NY soldiers fought for the Republic of Texas Army? No of course you didnt. You know it wouldnt take years for you guys to find and document camps if you knew how to do it. I can take a metal detector and you to Louisiana and be in a virgin camp before daylight is gone if we started early. See there are things you could learn from people YOU consider to be lesser a man than yourself. Too bad you never will. I dont recall acusing you of using the word stupid. HH

From: To: Rick -- To be completely honest with you I have nver taken home an artifact to keep even for a little while. Never. states "Concerned members of the historic preservation community can track metal detecting activities as on the web by visiting the Treasure Net or The On-Line Treasure Hunter (Bringing the Excrement of Treasure Hunting to the World Wide Web!)." Nowhere does it say "all Hobbiests are uneducated SHIT." Please do not put words in my mouth. BTW, I do rest very well at night. I have a lovely family and a fulfilling life, thank you very much. No I did not know that NY soldiers fought for the Republic of Texas Army. I am not sure that I am expected to know that fact especially since that period of time and that genre of history are not my expertise and never have been my area of research. Regards


"K. Kris Hirst" wrote: Dear Dogyears: I have now been a subscriber to Got Caliche? for a couple of months, and I must say I have become very fond of your newsletter; you are always entertaining and news-full and quite often surprising in a, dare I say, delightful way. Thanks, very kindly. Kris Hirst Office of the State Archaeologist The University of Iowa or Scribal Traditions