Kathleen O'Neal Gear & W Michael Gear

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Tag Archives: Anasazi

A macaw skull tells us a lot about early trade in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.

For those of you who would like to see an Anasazi scarlet macaw cloak, we recommend the Edge of the Cedars museum in Blanding, Utah.  Even after centuries, the colors are still stunning.  Scarlet macaw feathers unquestionably had a religious significance.  That’s what makes this latest study so fascinating.

http://westerndigs.org/exotic-macaws-found-at-chaco-canyon-reveal-trade-hierarchy-ancestral-pueblo/macaw-skull 

Who Owns America’s Archaeology? The American People? Or the highest bidders?

Anasazi Utah Cedar Mesa

This is an interesting article for a lot of reasons.  The most important part of the piece comes on page 3: “The United States Senate recently voted 51 to 49 on a nonbonding resolution to sell or give away nearly all federal lands…”  

As a former BLM archaeologist, Kathleen can tell you that the federal government tried to sell public lands in 80s.  It was called “Asset Management.”  It was a money-making scheme then, and probably now.  Every time the government needs money, they think about selling off America.  Should the government be able to sell American cultural properties to the highest bidder?  Do you want China and Saudi Arabia to own one-third of the western U.S.?  Even if they outlaw foreign ownership, how about Monsanto or Exxon?  Although, in our own home state of Wyoming, it would be more like 50%, since half of the state is public lands.  

Want to know why Asset Management was abandoned in the 80s?  After the BLM had spent months surveying and analyzing, trying to comply with all the laws mandated to protect cultural, paleontology, geological and other national resources, the government decided it would cost about three as much to sell the lands as it would get for the lands.  So…unless the government is planning on ignoring its own laws to protect the public lands, this new scheme is going to fail, as well.  

We certainly hope so.  Most of the rare archaeological, historical, and paleontology sites in America–which currently belong to the American people–are not found in national parks or monuments, but outside them on other public lands administered by the BLM, Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and other agencies.  

 Anasazi Utah Cedar Mesa

Visit Prehistoric Sites With Respect

In the wonderful book, Visit With Respect, Tessie Naranjo from Santa Clara Pueblo, says: “Whenever I come to old Pueblo sites it is the beginning of emotions swelling up. About people, my people, my ancestors who used to live here.  And connections with them.  There is no past; there is no present.  There isn’t a divide there.  That’s why when we are here, we can greet the people who are here, who have not been here for hundreds and hundreds of years.  It’s as if they are here right now and we can talk to them.”  

One of the reasons it’s important to protect and preserve archaeological sites is to allow the public to experience that timeless moment that Tessie Naranjo speaks about so eloquently.  In that eternal now it is possible, we believe, to transcend the barriers of time and touch the peoples who lived in America long, long ago.  

Yes.  We are romantics.balcony_house_cropped

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