Wednesday, 14 July 2004
Suddenly, Not Very Much Happened
CREDIT: © Lynn Lary & Janet Fratella/PIT 2002 Anthro Mountain Excavation.
WHERE: Anthro Mountain, Utah. WHAT: Archaeological dig site.
MAP: Anthro Mt. 39.5347N 110.2803W 9,092 ft. Thumbnail pops-up source page.
Today's editorial To Do List contained two exciting items: check out the prime    source web sites for reports on the TDF [Tour de France] stage win by crazy Queensland sprinter Robbie McEwan, who stormed through after the breakaway duo were caught twenty five metres from the finishing line when they abandoned trying to be first in favor of trying not to come second, finishing tenth and seventeenth; and check for reports on archaeological digs, as a follow up to our previous item.
Clearly excitement has as many varieties as there are ways to win a three week bicycle race, and secrets to be unearthed from the past. We burden you with this trivia of our life as a way of explaining that today's headline is not meant to be in any way a put down: let us just say that the excitement of archaeology is a bit less immediate than the excitement of bicycle racing, though neither one runs the risk of coming second. The heros of the peloton are receiving more than their fair share of coverage during July, so we decided to check on the activities of some archaeologists on a dig.
The 2002 Anthro Mountain Excavation was undertaken by a PIT team [Passport in Time] made up of U.S. Forest Service archaeologists, student interns, and volunteers.
Even in archaeology it seems the competitive spirit rages, without the performance enhancing drugs problem, we hope: on the last evening, Sandra the Sifter took both prizes, for an arrowhead and a large biface [an archaeological term for a bifacial stone tool]. The last time anyone swept the board in the TDF was in 1969 (having done the same in the 1968 Giro d'Italia) when Belgian rider Eddy Merckx took all three major competition jerseys, probably the last time in history.
We leave you to check out the sidebar menu items for an insight into the PIT teams, their work, activities, and results. [NB: the 2002 report link to the 2000 excavation report is broken; this is the correct link.] All exciting stuff in its own way.
The activity that is most relevant to our own, was the field trip to Nine Mile Canyon. The linked page shows a variety of petroglyphs worthy of close study. Archaeologists sometimes refer to an area they call the Greater Southwest, which has never been exactly defined, though everyone seems to know what is meant. We saw a neat mnemonic definition on SWAnet.org: "…from Durango Colorado to Durango Mexico, and from Las Vegas Nevada to Las Vegas New Mexico".
Another resource for those interested in the archaeological heritage of these areas comes from SUWA [Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance] in the form of a 4Mb PDF file download entitled Cultural Resources Booklet. The layout and illustration are a joy, but the message is very gloomy in many places.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)