I arrived late Sunday, unpacked on Monday…It was hot & muggy. I attempted to avoid the heat by starting to unpack at 5:00 am on Monday…Alas, it was 85 at 5:00am…87 by dawn. Needless to say, it was a very hot, long day of moving a 17′ U-Haul full of books into my new office and getting stuff on shelves.
I also saw Frank Schambach, my predecessor, off on Monday–He and his wife Marilyn have moved back to their homeland in upstate New York…and he’s been nice enough to allow me to house sit for him while I look for a permanent address in Magnolia.
I began working as the Southern Arkansas University Research Station’s Archaeologist on Tuesday…Unfortunately, on Thurs. David Jeane (a Research Associate at the Station) and myself discovered that 26 Caddoan ceramic vessels had been stolen from the Cedar Grove collection. I’ll post more about in a few days, but it is certainly a hard way to begin a new job…these ceramic pots were Federal property (thus the FBI must be involved) and we were, in a sense, keeping them in trust until they could be repatriated to the Caddo Nation… I feel horrible.
I will post more about this in a few days, but for now you can download a large PDF of what was taken (including pictures) here, and you can read the first newspaper article that came out today on the theft here.
Pass these items along to anyone who might be able to help us find these missing sacred vessels and prosecute those who stole them.
The Knoxville News Sentinel (and the Facing South blog) reported earlier this month that President Bush has pardoned two Tennesseans convicted decades ago of moonshine charges. The pardons, of course, will restore full U.S. citizenship to the men, including the rights to vote and buy a gun.
My favorite line from this piece comes from Charles E. McKinley, 75, of Pall Mall, Tennessee (one of two pardoned moonshiners):
“I’d almost be a Republican after that.”
No word, however, on granting voting rights to the thirteen percent of African-American men–1.4 million–who are disenfranchised due to felony convictions….the majority of these convictions are, of course, for the possession of (and intent to sell) controlled substances..Apparently not all controlled substances are equal in the eyes of the administration.
Read more about the pardons at:
I don’t know if people outside of the state are aware that we in Arkansas have recently rediscovered the ivory-billed woodpecker (Nancy McCartney, curator of Zoology at the UofA Museum informs me that it is properly Campephilus principalis)–a bird that was thought to have been extinct since the 1940s. I, of course, found it amusing that the code-name that researchers used for the bird prior to a confirmed sighting was “Elvis.” (No, really we’re looking for Elvis….I heard there was an Elvis sighting around here).
Deborah Zabarenko of Reuters did a piece that appeared Dec. 11th on the woodpecker entitled “‘Elvis’ woodpecker draws searchers to Arkansas“..funny enough, but it is a quote in the last portion of the piece that caught my attention….
What happens if they find one?
The first priority is protecting the bird, and treating it if it is injured, Andrew said. That could include closing off the area, he said, though wildlife officials plan to work closely with local communities to avoid cramping their style. So far, he said, local residents had been supportive. Signs describing the ivory-bill have weathered well in Arkansas, Andrew said. “We have signs that were put up in April that have not one bullet hole in them — which is a reflection, I think, of the community’s reaction to the bird.”
Filed under Arkansas, news
The Open Collections Program of Harvard University Library recently announced the completion of its first on-line collection: “Women Working, 1800-1930,” & it is promising, indeed.
Featuring approximately 500,000 pages and images documenting women’s roles in theU.S. economy between 1800 and the Great Depression, including working conditions, conditions in the home, costs of living, recreation, health and hygiene, conduct of life, policies and regulations governing the work place, and social issues: digitized pages and images of selected rare and historical books, institutional papers, personal papers, diaries, and photographs from Harvard’s network of libraries, archives, and museums.
The collection is completely free and available to anyone with access to the Internet. The second Open Collection, entitled “Emigration and Immigration, 1789-1930″ will become available in Spring 2006, and a third Open Collection on contagion and infectious disease between ca.1700 and 1930 is also forthcoming.
Projects such as this & the Library of Congress’ American Memory Project make me happy to be a historical researcher in the 21st century….
Filed under history, news
11/8/2005: Friends & fellow AAS-ers make the news in Jonesboro by excavating an early nineteenth century trash feature containing lots o’ artifacts at Old Davidsonville State Park….
William Wirt was born on November 8, 1772 at Blandensburg, Maryland and died February 18, 1834. He was a prominent lawyer in the early days of the republic, a statesman, and an author.
Wirt acted as prosecutor in the conspiracy trial of Aaron Burr in 1807 and served as United States Attorney General from 1817 to 1829. Over the course of his career, he argued over 170 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1832 Wirt was the unsuccessful nominee of the Anti-Masonic Party for the Presidency of the United States….His head, apearantly, has been sitting on a shelf in D.C. Council member Jim Graham’s office for a year and half.
A Washington Post article of October 20, 2005 outlines how Doug Owsley, reknowned forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian and famous skull measurer, had to climb down into the Wirt family crypt and confirm that the skull was indeed that of the Honorable Mr. Wirt.
“The mystery of the missing skull is a macabre tale that includes grave-robbing, an eccentric collector, a Washington politician, a former attorney general and a mysterious skull sitting in an old tin box. It all began around Christmas of 2003, when Bill Fecke, then manager of Washington’s Congressional Cemetery, got a phone call from a man who wouldn’t identify himself. “What do you know about William Wirt’s skull?” the mysterious caller asked…”
Sounds like a movie trailer, doesn’t it? Read the whole article at:
I’ve always known that there is a deep connection between archaeologists and beer. My friend Greg Vogel has consistently informed his students that he has learned more about archaeology in bars (such as Fayetteville, Arkansas’ Maxinie’s Tap Room pictured below) “talking shop” with grizzled veterans of the discipline than he has ever learned in a formal classroom. This is true of my own experience as well. . . .
But now archaeologists can claim that we can make an important contribution to the world of beers (ok. . . maybe more quirky than important).
Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware has made a beer similar to a drink brewed in China about 9,000 years ago and they started with a formula from archaeologists who derived it from the residues of pottery jars found in the late Stone Age village of Jiahu in northern China.
Check out this article for more details:
The missing Schmoo has surfaced in Florida! Check it out here.
Filed under general, news
Civil War grafitti found during rennovation of former President Andrew Johnson’s home in Greenville, Tn.
More at: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050415/ap_on_re_us/civil_war_graffiti_1
Filed under history, news
Ben S. Pollock of the Ozark Poets & Writers Collective writes in his blog “Brick” :
“Ever wonder if the Electoral College and the College of Cardinals get together to play ball every so often, like Michigan and Notre Dame?”–Monday, April 11, 2005
Filed under Arkansas, news