Researchers at Penn State reported a few months ago that they have isolated a 1000-year-old plant virus - a chrysovirus - from corncobs recovered from the Antelope House Ruin in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. This chrysovirus is not just the first chrysovirus found in corn, but it is the oldest plant virus scientists have found to date. [Antelope House image via americansouthwest.net; virus image via alchetron.com]
Archaeology Southwest reports that on Thursday, March 28, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will sell certain oil and gas leases within the Greater Chaco Canyon area. They are asking concerned citizens to contact the BLM to protest this lease sale and will provide information on their website within the next several days explaining how to write an effective protest. In the meantime, some background:
This just in, via the monthly newsletter of the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project in Velarde, New Mexico (just a bit NE of Española):
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT - PROJECT ARCHAEOLOGIST
Some time ago, and during a period of many years, a few archaeologists and various amateur collectors retrieved a number of oblong stone artifacts from the area around and including the Great Sand Dunes National Park in south-central Colorado. Eventually, many of the stones were given to the museum at Great Sand Dunes National Park where they remain stored today. [Photo of Great Sand Dunes artifacts via Archaeology Podcast Network.]
Researchers have discovered that a certain protein in tooth enamel comes from a sex-specific gene. Scientists at the University of California/Davis have taken that discovery and developed a technique by which they can determine the gender of human remains even if only a single tooth is all that is recovered. Details are in this recent article in Archaeology magazine.
This here blog previously featured a sample of the interesting and fun educational projects that Allen Denoyer brings to avocational archaeologists. Allen is Archaeology Southwest's Ancient Technologies Expert and one of their Preservation Archaeologists. Archaeology Southwest recently publicized Allen's schedule of courses for the next few months in Tucson, Arizona, and we at the GCAS feel it is worthwhile to spread the word. Coming up:
This article is a couple years old now, but its ideas remain fresh. [Image via Westerndigs.org]
A recent archaeological excavation in Tempe, Arizona, uncovered a 13th-Century Hohokam settlement at the headgates of one of the Hohokam's main irrigation canals - one of their extensive network of canals that ran throughout what is now the Phoenix metropolitan area and sustained an estimated population of 80,000.
Periodically this here blog addresses the issue of potsherds. We've addressed several reasons why today's avocational archaeologist should leave them where they are.
We in the GCAS realize that in past decades it was considered acceptable to gather potsherds by the hatful and bucketful. Many people made a hobby out of collecting as many potsherds as they could carry. Unfortunately the novelty soon wore off so these collections tended to languish, forgotten, in a box somewhere. In our group's experience the collector's heirs eventually come across the sherds when clearing out their deceased family member's belongings. At that point, some sherd collections are no doubt thrown away in a landfill. Or dumped under a convenient tree. Or, sometimes, the heirs find the GCAS and donate them to us.
Tired of renewing your GCAS membership by printing out and completing that pesky form, then having to find an envelope, stamp, and check to snail-mail it to us? Dreading having to face the same thing when you sign up to attend the 2019 ASNM Annual Meeting we're hosting this coming April?
Renew, or start a new membership, here.
Register for the 2019 ASNM Annual Meeting, over here.
Don't wait! Act now!
This here blog prefers to concentrate on news of Southwest US archaeology, but this recent article from The Atlantic is way too good to pass up. There are many implications for future research of animal and human remains in our own area, and how scientific findings may be interpreted in new and exciting ways. Submitted for your consideration:
Why a Medieval Woman Had Lapis Lazuli Hidden in her Teeth -
an analysis of dental plaque illuminates the forgotten history of female scribes