UTAH Known the world over as the Pilling Figurines, these remarkable clay figures were found in the early 1950's by local rancher Clarence Pilling. Exploring on his property, Mr. Pilling came across a shallow cave and discovered the figurines. The figures were laid out in male and female pairs. All of the figurines have distinctive hair styles, necklaces, aprons and display basket impressions on the backsides. Many of the figures have face and body paint and all are made of the same unfired clay. The figurines were featured in a 1980 National Geographic magazine with the photos of area rock art by naturalist Gary M. Smith.

COLORADO Tribal leaders of this central New Mexico pueblo are leading an effort to repatriate hundreds of American Indian human remains and thousand of funerary artifacts from the Mesa Verde National Park in southern Colorado. An inventory of the remains and artifacts has been published to help New Mexico tribes repatriate their ancestral remains. The 25-page inventory, which was mailed to tribes last week, has taken the U.S. Park Service nearly five years to complete. It lists more than 2,000 items taken from Mesa Verde starting in 1906 that date back to the period between A.D. 750 and 1300. Now, a 30-day clock is ticking for the tribes to claim the items from the national park museum's 2 million-piece collection.

CYBERIA Is it art? Or is it merely, as a noted anthropologist suggests, as synthetic as Disney World? The harsh judgment of the veteran anthropologist Edmund Carpenter about Inuit art comes just as the carvings are about to enjoy an international exposure they have never had before. His objection is that what is now known as Inuit art was the work of traditional carvers undertaken to suit the taste and pocketbook of outsiders. The man responsible for it all was indeed an outsider. Artist James Houston travelled to the north in the 1940s, fell in love with the people and their lives, and persuaded the Inuit they could use their skill at carving to fashion soapstone and whalebone figures that people in the south would buy. The result is that in some northern communities up to 90 per cent of the adults depend on carvings to survive. A state archeologist has determined that two sets of human remains found in a gravel pit near here are prehistoric. Archeologist Bruce Koenen investigated the site. The gravel pit is along the historic Pembina Trail, which was used by Indians and traders in the 19th century to travel between St. Paul and Winnipeg. A few years back, Phyllis Brubaker and her best friend were out driving when they spotted a 175-year-old piece of history just south of Engleside, beside New Danville Pike. This piece of Lancaster's early commercial history and development has almost dropped from memory. A team of scientists from the American Museum of Natural History and other institutions is still analyzing data from the partial hominid skull which shows features of both Homo sapiens, our forebears, and Homo erectus, an earlier species. Their most stunning conclusion so far is that Madeleine probably had a capacity for language close to that of modern humans. The specimen was actually unearthed two years ago, but disappeared into the obscurity of the private fossil market. Henry Galiano, owner of the Manhattan natural history store Maxilla & Mandible, returned the skull fragment to Indonesian government officials Aug. 30 in New York. Based on where it was discovered, he thinks Madeleine is between 100,000 and 200,000 years old and probably a very late version of H. erectus.