Sunday September 26, 1999

SOUTHWEST Anthropologist Donna Roper has theorized that Coronado's search for Quivira might not have advanced beyond the Little Arkansas River. Since 1949, most historians have identified a series of Indian archaeological village sites near Lindsborg as Coronado's final stops in a two-year expedition,

MEXICO The 557-piece display, called "The Mayas," took two years of international negotiations and $6 million to bring together.

CYBERIA As is so often the case with cultural and natural resources, modern fascination with the region's petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) can mean their destruction. The origin and meaning of rock art is a culturally sensitive issue here and in other parts of the West. The Hopi, for example, have objected to the term rock art, contending it diminishes the significance of the images. There also are concerns about commercialization of pictographs and petroglyphs. Old ships in near-mint condition on the Black Sea floor have made for the most ambitious project ever undertaken in the emerging field of deep-water archaeology. Thousands of years of history may lie intact in the shipwrecks that are blanketed by the sterile waters of anoxic Black Sea. A little hurricane does a lot for geology. Erosion is one of the most helpful natural avenues to uncovering fossil sediments. Some isotopes are unstable. Since their breakdown occurs at a constant rate, like the ticking of a clock, they can be used to date events in Earth's history. But other isotopes, the stable ones, can be used too. A 100-mile-long wall and moat whose construction began a millennium ago was erected around a kingdom of the Yoruba. Over the last five years, a team of Nigerian and British archeologists and preservationists have succeeded in mapping the structure.