Friday September 24, 1999

CYBERIA Chinese porcelain worth at least 20 million US dollars will be recovered from the wreck of a Dutch East India Company ship which sank off the South African Cape coast in 1785. A full excavation will cost about 3 million dollars. It will be the first hi-tech deep water archaeological excavation of a shipwreck ever conducted in South Africa. An Ohio state agency has given a company the right to mine gravel in a Civil War battlefield despite the protests of preservationists. The United States has started to compile an astonishingly bad record at studying and preserving ancient human remains. If it continues much longer, irreplaceable evidence on the prehistoric settlement of the Americas will go missing, destroyed by misguided public policy and the refusal to confront a troubling alliance between multiculturalism and religious fundamentalism. Remote sensing equipment used to map out Fort Phil Kearny has revealed unknown buildings and showed other buildings in unexpected places, and excavations have uncovered many artifacts.

TEXAS Of the 46,000 acres, only about 10,000 of it has been surveyed in conjunction with the building of roads, pipelines or other construction. A 1998 wildfire that burned Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument uncovered several petroglyphs, including the first human figures to be found in the area.

ARIZONA Las Cienegas National Conservation Area is a rich mix: caves, springs, more than 600 archaeological sites and home to a wide range of animals. The career of gunfighter Johnny Ringo ended when he was found dead in the mountains of southeastern Arizona with a single bullet wound in his head in July of 1882. Some said that Tombstone's former deputy marshal, Wyatt Earp, executed him.

Desert Archaeology's recent 12-page issue of the "Archaeology Southwest" newsletter covers how non-profit groups are contributing to archaeological research (including an article on SWA's competencies). For information, see