MEXICO Sierra wrote that, before the Porfirian era, "our ruins were dying. They were the ruins of ruins." Under Diaz, the State again became trustee of the Indian ruins, responsible for saving them, for protecting, conserving, and restoring them. Porfirio encouraged research, the teaching of ethnology and archaeology, the diffusion of information, all of which was reflected in a magazine of high scholarly quality, the Anales del Museo, which was published throughout the Porfirian era. For the Porfiristas, the dead Indian was a fossil from a remote and symbolic past, almost totally alien to their everyday experience. The living Indian was his real heir, all that really remained of him, but the memory of the dead Indian served the political purpose of legitimizing the State, while the living Indian was a blemish on the landscape of modern, progressing Mexico. But behind the life and times of the "great venerator of the past" was a very different truth: The arrogant Mexico of 1910 had turned away from its deep, indigenous roots.

CALIFORNIA Workers digging a drainage ditch for a new business complex stopped work Tuesday after finding bones from a 200- to 500-year-old American Indian man.

NEVADA In reference to the loss of what appeared to be a 90-plus year-old sign that was painted on the side of the Odeon Hall & Saloon in downtown Dayton: After reading published accounts in the Nevada Appeal as well as an editorial by Nancy Dallas regarding the deletion of said sign by painting over same, without required permits needed from the Comstock Historic District Commission, I've come to the conclusion the blame falls partially on the shoulders of Nevada State Historic Preservation Officer, Mr. Ron James.


[ Did you see the AAHS notice for the 25 Sep field trip to Romero Ruin? ] The Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona in Tucson has geared up for Hispanic Heritage Month with two scholarly projects and a one-day show and sale designed to introduce the public to the little known treasures of northern Mexico. In 1892, the Army band director at Fort Whipple north of Prescott had a 10-year-old son named Fiorello La Guardia who played the cornet and grew up to be mayor of New York City. Local archaeologists thought they were probably excavating the historic home of Emil Ganz, one of Phoenix's earliest influential businessmen and its only Jewish mayor. In the summer of 1998, when the city was getting ready to tear up various parking lots located between Third and Fourth Avenues and Adams and Monroe Streets, in order to replace them with a parking garage, Phoenix City Archaeologist Todd Bostwick stepped in and pushed for the area to first be excavated. As city archaeologist, Bostwick has the authority to "serve as an advocate for archaeology," he explained, even when it is not required under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. So far, approximately one-third of downtown Phoenix has been excavated.

NEW MEXICO Mark Davis and a small crew from WGBH, a Boston public television station, were in Portales Aug. 29 to get footage at the Blackwater Draw Archaeological Site for a "Nova," a PBS science show. Recently, he said, there have been some dramatic discoveries of early skeletons. These finds, such as Kennewick Man in Washington state, have prompted questions about the first Americans. "What we're trying to do is look into what's going on in the science and how scientists are trying to understand what these finds mean."

[ Clovis And Beyond Conference, 28-31 October, 1999 in Santa Fe NM ] Albuquerque Mayor Jim Baca and 15 other mayors are teaming up to promote a national celebration of Route 66's 75th anniversary that they hope will turn into a year-round tourism draw for New Mexico. The 75th anniversary festivities are designed to increase awareness of the history and economic-development opportunities along Rt66. The Mimbres Paquime tour allows you to visit the remains of their villages, museums of their artifacts, and Mexican villages where famous Indian pottery comes from, as well as the famous Deming Luna Mimbres Museum displaying the early history of Luna County. For the rock enthusiasts, visit Rockhound Park. In Silver City see the famous Cliff Dwellings, Gila Wilderness and Western New Mexico University Museum featuring the Mimbres Indians. On the tour loop, don't forget to visit the Shakespeare Ghost Town south of Lordsburg, and much more.For your free official Mimbres Paquime Connection Tour Guide, contact the Deming Headlight at P.O. Box 881 Deming, NM, 88031; call 505-546-2611; or email to A partnership exists between the American Express Foundation and the White Mountain Apaches. According to American Express Foundation President Mary Beth Salerno, the foundation awarded the Arizona tribe a grant to further its plans to develop a cultural center in 1998. Such grants, she said, can be used to lure in additional funds for development. The foundation also awarded Mesa Verde National Park funds to initiate a pilot project to seek new methods of preservation for its structures. In fact, she said the foundation has committed $10 million specifically for preservation. Within the past several years, she said more than 50 sites in the country have been supported with foundation money. "Preservation has to come first," she said. "After preservation, you figure out how it's accessible for tourism. Unmanaged tourism can create problems."

TEXAS A local group is working to rekindle interest in the 300-year-old El Camino Real (the royal road) and historical markers placed along it in 1918. 10 such markers in Bexar County have survived to this day. A search is on for as many of the 128 markers as can be found. The route also is known as the King's Highway and the Old San Antonio Road. It was used by Spain and later Mexico to supply outposts in East Texas and also was used by Indians, pioneers and others to travel across Texas. Denton County's Courthouse Museum, which recently took on a new life as a county government entity, will receive $17,749 more from the city than it did last year. The additional money will go toward helping the museum promote Denton. The Culberson County Historical Museum will host the 100th anniversary celebration of the Van Horn Old Settlers Reunion this weekend. The Old Settlers Reunion originated on August 28th, 1899.

CYBERIA Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt today announced his appointment of members to the National Park System Advisory Board. The board advises the director of the National Park Service (NPS) and the Secretary of the Interior on issues concerning the national park and programs managed by the NPS. It also makes recommendations concerning national historic landmarks, national natural landmarks and proposed national historic trails. The National Trust for Historic Preservation today hailed the financial incentive in the current tax bill for housing restorations in federal, state and local historic districts as a welcome first step and called on the Congress and the White House to strengthen the provision in any subsequent legislation. Though online chronicles of ongoing archaeological digs are relatively uncommon, virtual excavations have become controversial. Some archeologists contend that researchers should delay publicizing their work until it is completed. But Ricciardi said the risk of looting is small and the Internet helps solve nagging questions quickly and builds interest in local history. The Packard Foundation gave away $200 million in 1997; that total will double this year. Archaeology $441,000,2107,88151-139247-968262-0,00.html Reynolds's was on an archaeological dig looking for Roman roads. He thought he could go back and track down locations where the movie was filmed, and prepared for it exactly the way he would an archaeological expedition. He ended up working with Berbers to track down the Fiberglas bones of the dinosaur that C-3PO walks past in an early scene in 'Star Wars.' He then turned out a cross-section book and visual dictionary for the original trilogy, two more of the same for "Phantom Menace" and two pop-up books. Surprisingly, an archaeologist was just what was called for, since Reynolds needed to examine the "archaeological record" from the films, novels and comics and re-construct the societies that left those "remains." Faith and natural selection aren't mutually contradictory. There is no reason a person cannot worship God and also believe Darwin was right about how the beak of the finch evolved. Evolutionary theory does not pretend to know how life began. Natural-selection biology only seeks to explain how life that already exists evolves into new forms.