TEXAS State archaeologists are about to dig down two feet, to the origins of Texas. Fort St. Louis, erected by the French explorer La Salle in 1685, has been lost for 300 years. Now state historians are certain they have found the fort's ruins and are preparing to unlock them from the black clay of the Gulf Coast. It has the potential of being one of the major discoveries of Texas archaeology. Archaeologists were mapping the left flank at the First Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, which sparked the Red River War on Aug. 30, 1874. The THC Archaeology Division started the Red River War Battle Sites Project in 1998 to confirm and document significant battle sites, according to Patricia Mercado-Allinger, THC Archaeology Division state archaeologist. Although the general locations of most sites are known, the boundaries need scientific confirmation to avoid further loss of historical information and damage by relic collectors and others, Mercado-Allinger said. The program was initiated in collaboration with the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program. The contribution will go toward the preservation of Citizen's Bank, a 1905 brick structure. Old City Park documents the architectural and cultural history of North-Central Texas between 1840 and 1910. It occupies the site of Dallas' oldest park, established in 1876 as City Park.

COLORADO Frank Eddy, associate professor of anthropology at the CU-Boulder, spent three years excavating the site and studying the archaeology at Chimney Rock. He speculates that because no Chacoan pottery was found among the artifacts, indicating that no Chacoan women lived with the men, the strangers may have been priests who were accepted by the natives because of their relationship with the war gods. Chimney Rock Pueblo may have been a prehistoric monastery.

NEW MEXICO To most people, the big mound of dirt studded with chamisa that sits between River's Edge and the Rio Grande is, well, just a big mound of dirt. But look closer and evidence of a village becomes apparent. The Mimbres culture centered around the Mimbres and Gila river valleys in the southwest region of New Mexico. The Mimbres are primarily known for their unique pottery, much of which was produced during the Classic Mimbres period of 1000-1150 A.D. The motifs found on Classic Mimbres Black-on-White include nonobjective designs, animals, fantastic creatures and human figures. The iconography of the bowls relates to prehistoric Mesoamerican culture as well as historic Pueblo religious beliefs and mythology. Unfortunately, much information regarding the context of Mimbres pottery has been lost due to pothunting and careless excavation. Fakes bring real profit for Museum Foundation. A few years back, retail and product development guru Pamela Kelly approached the Museum of New Mexico Foundation with a sure-fire moneymaking idea: licensing the collections. Six years and thousands of dollars in royalties later, Kelly is sitting atop a profitable entrepreneurship program she's built from the ground up. Today, the Museum has seven licensing agreements, and one pending, with producers of furniture, rugs, jewelry, textiles and paper products. Five Silver City organizations are discussing a joint effort to buy and renovate the Murray Hotel, making it the home of an international art program to attract tourists and participants worldwide. First, the old hotel must be declared a "designated project" by the National Trust for Historical Preservation.

ARIZONA Digging as deep as 14 feet over an area as large as a football field, they uncovered 860 holes or pit features that included 14 structures used for habitation and several large storage pits. The people of the Desert Archaic tradition lived in surface structures built of pole frames covered with plant material. The remnants of the shelters at the Ina Road site are large oval depressions of about 12 feet across with the post holes clearly marking the perimeter. Of particular interest was the discovery of corn, or maize, where a nomadic, basically non-agricultural people are thought to have seasonally encamped. The remains of the four people uncovered during the excavation were found buried rather than cremated, as was sometimes the practice of the people in the Archaic period. They were found in the common fetal position that archeologist refer to as a "flex burial" when they were unearthed. The remains were sent to the Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona and then repatriated to the tribe for reburial. The Athabascan-speaking Apaches drifted to the southwest from Canada about 500 years ago. The Western Apache, which included the White Mountain, Cibecue, San Carlos, and the Northern and Southern Tonto Apaches, farmed more exclusively than any of the other Apache tribes and became closely linked to their Navajo neighbors. Linda Mayro and David Cushman of the Archaeology and Historic Preservation Division for Pima County, Allen Dart of Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, and Janet Strittmatter of Johns & Strittmatter Inc. looked at the more than 200 houses and other buildings that may be eligible for inclusion in the district. The purpose of the historic district would be to maintain the authenticity of the older homes in Ajo. Homeowners would be eligible for tax benefit programs. A public meeting to explain the program to homeowners is planned for November. Because of the importance of railroads to the early history of Tucson, numerous groups have attempted over the years to have the locomotive moved to a more appropriate site for cosmetic restoration and public viewing. However, none succeeded and the locomotive remains in Himmel Park, where it has been sitting since 1962. The locomotive is historically significant to Tucson, the State of Arizona, and nationally. It is one of only a few moguls of this class still in existence. It is the challenge of the people of Tucson to preserve this landmark for future generations to see and appreciate. UTAH

New UT job announcement on SWA at jobs99.html When a final monument management plan is adopted later this year, almost half of the 1.9 million-acre monument will likely be off limits to large-scale paleontological excavations, as well as some archaeological research. Advocates for Utah wilderness say they are unaware that wilderness designations or wilderness study areas have thwarted scientific research. In fact, they point to endorsements by the Utah Professional Archaeological Council for large wilderness as a way to reduce access and thereby preserve archaeological sites.

NEVADA Archaeologists are excavating artifacts near Little Spring, using funds from a Nevada Commission on Cultural Affairs grant to look for any artifacts left by the Anasazi Indians, who traveled through the region about 5,000 years ago. Efforts such as these to save our past are important, preserving a historical link for current and future generations of Las Vegans.

CALIFORNIA Los Angeles has the opportunity to honor its history, and once again it may be lost. The Capitulation of Cahuenga was signed at Campo de Cahuenga in what is now North Hollywood in 1847, ending the hostilities of the Mexican-American War and laying the foundation upon which California was built in 1849. The foundation of our history lies near the entrance to the Cahuenga Pass at Campo de Cahuenga. Over time, this landmark has been neglected, and its significance has been paved over in the name of progress. The site could become a national center of educational, historical and cultural vibrancy, similar to that of El Presidio in Santa Barbara. The Campo de Cahuenga Memorial Historical Assn. is circulating petitions to garner citizen support. We applaud their efforts and encourage readers to speak their voice. The campo can be faxed at (818) 762-2734 and written at P.O. Box 956, North Hollywood, CA 91603. Our history defines us. It informs our children that Los Angeles and California go back before the advent of TV, movies and the Internet. We are lost without it.

CYBERIA Construction projects are good for archaeology. It gives us the opportunity to find out what is there. Be careful where you dig, you never know what you might find. Archaeologically important sites may be exciting to archaeologists or history buffs, but for developers, such finds on construction sites can be a major hurdle to development unless dealt with properly. Vonnegut enrolled as a graduate student in the anthropology department of the University of Chicago, where his master's thesis detailing the similarities between the Cubist painters of Paris in 1907 and leaders of American Indian uprisings in the late 19th century was rejected as "unprofessional." Margaret Mead -- I was a teenage anthropologist Indian landholdings fell from about 138 million acres in 1887 to 48 million in 1934, while Indian unemployment, poverty, and disease rose. The break-up-the-reservations drive radiated the spirit of the 1890s. In the 1930s, Collier was an exemplar of his day in history, the quintessential New Dealer. His was a viewpoint consistent with such things as the 1930s rediscovery of folk culture and the eraís fascination with social planning. It was a far cry from the visions of the 1880s or 1990s. History canít tell us what new balance between the claims of Indian nationality and assimilationist pressure will be struck in the next few years, but for a cue, a look in the current social mirror is always a good beginning. American Indians who apply to receive feathers or parts of eagles for religious purposes have a long wait for orders to be filled -- up to three to four years. For Region 2 -- which includes Arizona , New Mexico Texas, and Oklahoma -- 355 requests were received and 133 orders actually filled in 1998. In 1997, 446 requests were received and 93 orders filled. Nationally, 4,500 applications can be pending at any given time, and just in the Southwest region, 1,300 applications may be pending at once. When it comes to modern fossilization, the conditions don't get much better than this. One of the laws of fossilization is that the things that get mired in the streets tend to be common objects. By the completion of excavations in 1905, Krapina had yielded more hominid fossils than any other site known at the time, and the collection remains a treasure of Neanderthal research. Now researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology have studied the X-ray images of skull fragments pieced together and shown in haunting profile, as well as many other bones. "This is exciting new data, and the first time researchers have had an opportunity to view, in total, so many radiographic images of fossils from an entire group of Neanderthals," said Dr. Alan Mann, an anthropologist at Pennsylvania. Dinosaurs also coped with the same health complaints as modern folk -- aching teeth, sore joints, creeping cancers. Skeletal characteristics, such as a jaw of fossilized teeth, a trunk-like leg bone, or a great, swooping tail, might define an animal, but scientists have found that they can also learn about a creature by studying its diseases, a field called paleopathology. While the state withdraws from many areas of public life as part of China's reform process, a great archaeological tragedy is being played out. Thousands of treasures remain hidden because private groups and universities lack the means to excavate and display them. State funds have been cut off and rural communities are too poor to finance archaeological work.

Edwin Ditto wrote: Surfed through your SWA pages while planning my next trip out to Four Corners. You may be aware of this, but you should visit eBay ( sometime and do a keyword search on "Anasazi". You'll get back dozens of hits on pots, sherds, arrowheads, sandals, and other relics which are for sale. I imagine that it will arouse some anger in you... OK... Ed Digging Up The Past Without Recriminations By PAUL G. BAHN The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday September 7, 1999. Among the reactions in the press to the recent and important discovery of the "Valley of the Gilded Mumnies" in Egypt - which contains more than 100 potentially up to 10,000 mummies - has been the predictable claim that archaeologists are nothing more than grave robbers. What those who make such claims fail to grasp is that archaeologists would be only too happy to leave such finds in the ground. We already know of far more unexcavated sites in the world, we already have far more unstudied, material in our bulging museum storerooms, than could possibly be investigated by all existing archaeologists in several lifetimes. The last thing we need or want is another 10,000 mummies - all requiring painstaking care and conservation and study - to further drain our overstretched resources. But once such a site has been discovered - in this case, by a donkey falling into a hole - the choice is simple: Either we excavate and protect it, or we abandon it to looting. To suggest, as some have, that the discoverers of Tutankhamen's tomb would have done better to photograph its contents and then reseal it, is simply fatuous. Had they done so, none of its treasures would remain there today. Equally off base is the frequently leveled charge that archaeology is "Eurocentric," and so by extension narrow-minded and exploitative. To begin with, there can be no doubt that archaeology today is truly a world-wide discipline, with each country producing its own home-grown specialists Indeed, Zahi Hawass, the archaeologist in charge of excavating the recently discovered mummies, is an Egyptian. The more essential point, however, is this: Although learned people in other regions such as the Far East showed, a deep interest in antiquities at an early point, it nevertheless remains true that, archaeology as a discipline arose and was developed in Western Europe. Hence it should come as no surprise that archaeology's early efforts were devoted to studying the remnants of European (or Biblical) cultures, or that it was Europe that instigated and financed much of the archaeological work that was done elsewhere in the world. In consequence, European countries rapidly amassed huge collections of archaeological material from all around the world, which they housed and displayed in their major museums. And although a case could be made for repatriating some rare or unique finds to their country of origin, there are also strong arguments in favor of maintaining these truly international collections. One consideration is that Western museums have on the whole been extremely safe repositories for these collections, which in many cases would not have survived in far more volatile indigenous settings such as Guatemala, Lebanon or Afghanistan. Moreover, it is a profound and important experience to be able, in the course of one day in one of the world's great museums, to walk from room to room, from civilization to civilization, and see unfolding a sample of the whole variety of human experience. To be sure, the history of how these major European collections were acquired has its shameful episodes. But the fact that most early archaeologists never thought to seek permission from indigenous people to excavate or remove the remains of their past should be viewed in light of another fact: Few native peoples of the time would have been interested in their activities in any case. Even today, different communities around the world have very different conceptions about the past that often rely on oral traditions rather than archaeology, and indeed that often run counter to the picture of the past built up by Western archaeology. In recent decades, many countries, eager to recover their own past and assert control of their own heritage, have demanded the return of material - especially skeletal material - that was long, ago taken from them. And now that we have the technology to produce perfect facsimiles of many items, one might argue that at least some originals should be repatriated and replaced in the museums by replicas. But in view of the West's mostly proud record of safe custodianship, one might just as well suggest that the museums should maintain their collections intact and supply facsimiles to the source countries. Europe's contributions to the study of world archaeology have been profound and innumerable. Without them, we would know very little about the human past. And since the very economy of some developing nations rests predominantly on the income from archaeological tourism -with the vast majority of tourists coming from the West - it is perhaps worth reflecting on the debt that the world owes those European pioneers who really helped to bring about this invaluable cultural phenomenon. Mr. Bahn is editor of the "Cambridge Illustrated History of Archaeology" (Cambridge University Press, 1996).