Wednesday October 27, 1999


A subscriber has asked why 'Got CALICHE?' did not pick up and run a recent editorial story from a newspaper about an archaeological "fiasco" in Coolidge AZ.

SWA's response: the basics of that particular story were covered in an earlier edition of 'Got CALICHE?'; we never saw the specific editorial in question - search technologies are still relatively unsophisticated - while we do a fine job most days, we make no claim that we find and provide every story that might be of interest to our colleagues; though we feel we are current and comprehensive, we recognize that inherent biases exist in our selection and editorial decision-making processes.

SWA encourages your participation. We welcome the timely relay of current URL (website address) and brief story synopses that succinctly cover issues of historic preservation, and the archaeology, anthropology and history of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico. We regularly include 'Cyberia' (a selection of current events from outside the American Southwest). Please forward relevant URL, and your synopsis of newspaper and magazine stories, press releases, current events calendars, and breaking news or information from organizational web sites. You may have seen something we haven't seen...

MEXICO The Carlos Pellicer Anthropology Museum, which fronts the river, was partially flooded but none of its pieces from the ancient Olmec culture were damaged.

TEXAS A cluster of five buildings occupy the future hotel site. The San Antonio Conservation Society researched the buildings for any historic value, but no one will discuss the findings in detail. Plans being drawn up are aimed at balancing the needs of historic preservation, the River Walk and economic viability. The Conservation Society and the city's Historic Design and Review Commission will have a big say in whether those needs are balanced.

NEW MEXICO An archaeology conference about the origin of human life in North America could dig up trouble by bringing together strange bedfellows: private artifact collectors and the state museum system. Some experts are avoiding the conference. The critics argue that public institutions and responsible archaeologists should not participate in an event that may inflate the value of private collections and glorify the work of "potdiggers," slang for profit-seeking artifact hunters and traders. The conference was organized during the past two years by Forrest Fenn of Santa Fe, the self-educated collector who owns half of the 160-acre San Lazaro Pueblo ruins southeast of Santa Fe.

ARIZONA Geronimo was still roaming the countryside and Tucson was a wide-open town for gambling, drink and prostitution the year the Methodists came to town. Tucson's oldest continuous Protestant church - is celebrating its 120th anniversary in a town considerably tamer. Outlaws, Bandits and Murderers Lecture. Virginia Culin Roberts, who wrote "With Their Own Blood: A Saga of Southwestern Pioneers," discusses violence in early Arizona, 7-9 p.m., at the Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. Second St. $6; discounts available. 628-5774 he 17th annual Oracle Run, Saturday, will benefit the Oracle Historical Society. An awards ceremony at the museum will follow the event.

UTAH,1249,125011461,00.html? An early pioneer register, carved in rock in the narrows of Capitol Gorge, is one of eight historic sites in Capitol Reef National Park that has recently been named to the National Register of Historic Places.

THE NEEDLE AND THE DAMAGE DONE Ansley Hamid, an anthropologist, was charged in Manhattan federal court with theft of federal funds. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison. Hamid embezzled and misapplied funds to buy heroin, take trips, and to pay employees to work on manuscripts for books that were unrelated to the grant. Dartmouth student Monique Seguy could face penalties of up to $2,000 in fines and seven years in a state prison. Seguy is accused of taking a gravestone on October 9. The situation stems from a project for the Introduction to Classical Archaeology class. The class studied the graveyard to deduce how socioeconomic aspects of the community influenced the way the society represents the deceased. Removing the contents of the graveyard for closer study, however, was not in the syllabus.

CYBERIA Engler researches marginal landscapes, a term she coined as places of no or negative value where undesirables accumulate, such as industrial ruins, landfills or sewage plants. Her Mausoleum of Entropy, Museum of Rejects, contests the societal stereotype of museums by proposing a museum of garbage where people can view garbage specimens. She proposed that representatives from museums in neighboring cities come to the dump and take garbage back to their museums to leave out for display. The Archive of Subconscious Depositories involves the study of rejected goods people don't want to face. Engler proposed that archaeologists study what is buried in Hiriya's 35 years of layers. A treasure trove of photos found in the archives of the Museum of Civilization were taken by anthropologists working with the Canadian Geological Survey. Documenting ethnographic studies with photographs was unusual for the early part of this century. In March, a student came across 36 glass negatives while researching historic black landmarks in the city. A subsequent article stirred a memory about a box of 269 glass negatives. Keister is negotiating with the Nebraska State Historical Society on how to exhibit them nationally. How do we bring the resources of our world-class museum institutions into the classroom to fortify our schools? They wanted to landscape their local park, so an archaeologist in the historic preservation office steered the group to a grant program that would cover most of the costs of having the site excavated. It could be the largest Confederate funeral in more than a century. Twenty-two Confederate sailors exhumed from beneath the Citadel football stadium will be reburied next month with full military honors. After two decades in storage, a fossilized cranium has now been identified by Brazilian scientists as the oldest human remains recovered in the Western Hemisphere.