Sunday September 19, 1999

ARIZONA Curt Schaafsma, curator of anthropology at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology, Museum of New Mexico, will speak Monday at the 7:30 p.m. gathering in DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. He will discuss "Casas Grandes World," a new collection of articles that reflect diverse views of scholars working on the extensive culture - looking particularly at relationships between this culture and that of the Puebloan cultures of the north and Mesoamerica. The lecture, sponsored by the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society, is free. Additional information is available by calling Vick Evans at 298-5167 or via e-mail at: Centuries-old sacred artifacts recovered through a criminal investigation were returned to the Navajo Nation yesterday.

UTAH The University of Utah needs to do more to protect the archaeological artifacts that thieves, apparently on a regular basis, are stealing from Fort Douglas. The U. should do whatever is necessary to preserve the archaeological site from the looters who apparently see it as easy pickings. The university owes this to its word, the archaeological record and to history.

COLORADO Some 4,500 archaeological sites at 7,000 feet elevation are located in a network of canyons in Mesa Verde National Park. All the mysteries of the Anasazi invite speculation. Stereotypes thrive here. Native Americans as noble savages. Westward migration by European Americans as the "settling" of an already inhabited region. Carle doesn't expect his family to escape the ignominy that comes with selling western-themed toothpick holders and commemorative spoons to road-weary travelers. "Oh, they'll beat us over the head with a rubber tomahawk in every article."

NEW MEXICO The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad Commission this week cited the corporation for breach of contract after Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar said the corporation "is apparently not financially responsible or capable to operate" the railroad. The railroad, built in the 1880s, is owned by the states of New Mexico and Colorado. Patrick Williams was responsible for looting hundreds and maybe thousands of Indian artifacts from public lands over a 30-year career. Williams likened his artifact hunting to an addiction and told police, "I found it hard to do anything else." He spent the thousands of dollars that galleries and collectors paid for the artifacts on drugs and prostitutes. The fate of the objects he looted will be decided by the tribe's historical preservation office in consultation with medicine men. The newly elected board appears to favor reorganization of the Museum of New Mexico system, said Regent Leo Marquez, an opponent of the restructuring plans. The reorganization plans might require removing the system's director position, held by Tom Livesay. Livesay has held that post for 14 years. He earns about $72,000 a year. The Museum of New Mexico system includes four museums in Santa Fe, several monuments statewide and the state's anthropology laboratory, also in Santa Fe.

TEXAS Castillo, Dorantes, and Estevanico knew the Native Americans would again rendezvous to eat prickly pears. They broke away in September 1534 from a site near the modern city of San Antonio and headed for Mexico. They crossed the Rio Grande near Rincon, New Mexico, where they saw members of the Yaqui tribe wearing items of Spanish origin. Realizing they were near Mexico, Cabeza de Vaca and his three companions headed south into the modern Mexican state of Sonora. In early 1536 they made contacts with Spanish settlers near the city of Culiacan.

MEXICO,2107,500035346-500057035-500020826-0,00.html The latest discovery, made about two weeks ago and announced Saturday, consisted of four human bones, the skeletal remains of cats and birds, snails, dozens of pieces of jade and arrowheads of dark stone, Notimex said. Teotihuacan, in the valley of the same name 30 miles north of Mexico City, used to be a thriving city and ceremonial center that predated the Aztecs by several centuries.

CYBERIA The field of anthropology involving the study of discarded materials to learn about a society's social or cultural patterns is called garbology. William Rathje, an anthropologist at the University of Arizona, is a nationally recognized garbologist. By studying garbage, Rathje has reached some conclusions about people's behavior. "What people say they do is not actually what they do, Rathje said. Descending from the grassy prairie to the Smoky Hill River is like riding a geologic escalator through layers of slate-gray shale and creamy chalk. The layers are one of the world's richest hunting grounds for fossils. One of archaeology's most significant finds came from the Smoky Valley Ranch. In 1897, a team of researchers from Yale University found an ancient bison shoulder, some 10,000 years old, with a spear point imbedded in the bone. The bison shoulder is housed at the Kansas Museum of Natural History. The spear point was stolen. The Smoky Valley Ranch offers biological richness and a wealth of historical value, from 80-million- year-old fossils and geological formations to 19th-century figures such as John Fremont and George Armstrong Custer. Her father fought Indians in the Battle of Little Bighorn 123 years ago. Carey, 92, of Ellsworth, is the last surviving child of any of the soldiers who fought in the battle where Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and his battalion were wiped out. She's the last direct link. You shake hands with her and you're shaking hands with someone who held the hand of a person who knew Custer. In fact, Carey also may be the last surviving child of any fighter from either side, since no children of the American Indian fighters have stepped forward. The Billings area is host to a variety of Montana Archaeology Week public events. The Meadowcroft rock shelter garnered international attention when anthropologists, including principal investigator, James M. Adovasio, excavated the site from 1973 to 1978, and learned through radiocarbon testing, the site was occupied by humans 16,000 years ago. Among the artifacts unearthed at the site is the continent's oldest flint spear point and bits of ancient pottery and basketry. Finds over the past few years have thrilled city residents. But irritation has built as sites have been reburied to make way for planned offices and parking spaces. Critics have accused the city of shortsightedly covering up its own past - especially after construction began on a couple of historical sites this summer. Albany has a checkered record when it comes to preserving history. Why is it that the city is so boorishly, arrogantly, ignorantly consistent in missing the signs for its salvation? The Montanists declared heretics and wiped out. All that remain of them are about 200 tombstones, scattered over central and western Turkey. A new interactive show allows audiences to manipulate history to fit their own beliefs. The theory is that history is a construction of the producer.