|Paper||Canyon Country Zephyr|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||Tonya Auden Stiles, Moab, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Canyon Country Zephyr|
of them.” Archaeology deals primarily with physical evidence, but anthropology (of which archaeology is a branch) deals with any kind of evidence it can get, integrating the historic with the prehistoric, the living with the dead. Studies in cultural anthropology can influence the field of physical anthropology, and more and more evidence indicates that ethnohistoric and ethnographic data from living people can be accurately used to examine their origins and development. A people's perceptions and oral histories of their land.and ancestors can underly valid theories about their origins and history, and anthropological evidence shows that groups can retain memories of critical events for thousands of years. Interestingly enough, the Paiutes of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau have no memory of ever conquering the area, and their creation stories indicate they were created Even the national parks have been and still are looted, as resources don't exist to patrol such large areas. Capitol Reef National Park is now in its final year of a five-year archaeology survey, which staff archaeologist Lee Kreutzer says focuses on learning who lived in the region and how they used the land, not on finding artifacts. The park is guided by a preservation policy and has no plans to do full-blown excavations. My own frequent trips to Capitol Reef often include the visitor center, home to three bison-hide shields found in 1925 near the park. The shields have intricate designs of red, green, and yellow, and may indicate a connection between the Fremont and Plains Indians. Because of NAGPRA, the shields will eventually be returned to whichever Indian tribe can make the strongest case for ownership. Knowing this, I study the unique shields, much as a mountaineer would study that hard-won view before the final descent. Each time I feel privy to some cultural secret, much as I've felt when watching Indian ceremonies. I feel something, but it's unconnected to my own Anglo tribe and is thus out of my own frame here. Evidence also exists that the Paiutes (along with the Utes) are related to the Hopi, who have a long tradition in this area (both groups speak a branch of the Uto-Aztecan language, which linguists hypothesize had its origins in Northern America, but no one of reference and difficult to quantify. Bob McKeever says, “Archaeologists are human--we're just as obsessed with collecting as anyone, but we justify our collecting as being a scientific endeavor. We hope to someday understand the past through our analyses. What some archaeologists have to come to grips with is the fact that the Indians feel a strong spiritual component in these things that we view simply as artifacts. That spiritual connection can be broken when we remove these things. This is a very important religious belief for them and one we often disregard.” But now it's getting late, and I've dropped Howard off at his own truck. He's on his way home, a Ute elder with an English name driving a Japanese pickup. But Howard knows who he is and knows his heritage better than many of us. We archaeologists want to find all those scattered pieces of the olla in Howard's dream and glue them back together knows how long ago). Perhaps we archaeologists need new paradigms for determining who peopled the high deserts of the West. Perhaps we need to re-examine why a people's memory and knowledge of their land shouldn't be valid in the courtroom. Another prominent battle for repatriation rights has been over the 9,000 year old bones of Kennewick Man, who was discovered in 1996 when two young boaters stumbled across a skull alongside the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington. The battle has evolved into a skirmish between the Yakima Nation, who wants to bury the remains, and scientists, who want to study the remains. The case has stalled while the government performs DNA tests to link the bones with a specific tribe. The Department of the Interior is scheduled to announce this fall whether it has been able to determine such an affiliation. to form a theory about what it was for, how and when it was made, and who made it. We want our theories to hold water, so to speak. And we are human scientists, in both senses of the phrase. We feel we have the right to study these things--perhaps we'll find missing links to human behavior that will give us insights into the whole human tribe. Since this would benefit us all, it's in the common good, we rationalize. A people's perceptions and oral histories of their land and ancestors can underly valid theories about But do we really have that right? Should our desire to reintegrate the past with the present take precedence over thé cultural connections of a group of people who were here long before we were? I continue my drive home in the dark, and a picture of the burial place of some of my own ancestors comes to mind, an ancient cathedral, where final resting places included the floor and walls. I see a sign in my mind's eye: “Westminster Abbey: No digging or looting.” Some things we hold to be unalienable rights. Don't we? their origins and history, and anthropological evidence shows that groups can retain memories of critical events for thousands of years. Chinle Miller is a writer and lives in Montrose, Colorado. In Utah, State Administrative Rule R230-1 (i.e., the state's interpretation of the federal NAGPRA law) states that: “Native American burials are regarded as spiritual and sacred ceremonies where the deceased is prepared for their journey into the next dimension of life. Once the deceased, the grave and the funerary objects are blessed, consecrated and dedicated to the care and keeping of the creator the burial site is then considered holy ground, never to be disturbed. Native American burial sites discovered on state lands must. not be disturbed except as allowed by this rule and other applicable law. This rule provides — eroe procedures designed to preserve the sacred nature of Native American burials by protecting O.A.RS. North American River ‘ Native American burial sites and insuring that the final disposition of unidentified Native American remains, discovered on staté lands, shall be in keeping with that sacred nature. Remains are to be treated at all times with dignity and respect.” 543 N. Main St. Moab, UT 84532: But state and federal lands have served as collectors' playgrounds for years, from those who pick up surface finds (usually “arrowheads”), to the more serious grave diggers looking for pots and grave items to sell. American Indian burial sites have been plundered across the United States since the arrival of the first non-natives. In the Southwest, many sites had been completely dug and looted by as early as 1900. The Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding, Utah, has over 900 Anasazi pots that were donated by one local family. Making news more recently is the case of the Redd family, the only doctor in Blanding, who was arrested with his wife for allegedly plundering an ancient grave. Local politics tried to downplay the case and have it thrown out, but after public outrage it's still in the political arena. (Editor’s note: Judge Lyle Anderson recently declared a conflict of interest s ad for Mention thi ings OP 10% - 50% sav day tps Daily & Multi- and referred the case to Judge Mary Manly. Judge Manly dismissed the charges and her ruling was appealed to the Utah Court of Appeals. 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