U.S. border patrols find rare artifacts! Other Weird Stuff... In Tucson Estates, United States of America January 1970

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U.S. border patrols find rare artifacts!

U.S. border patrols find rare artifacts!

At a conservation center in Tucson, archaeologists are studying several ancient Native American pots discovered earlier this year deep in the remote desert mountains of southern Arizona.

The archaeologists believe the pots are hundreds of years old but still haven't determined their exact age or who made them. That could take a year or more.

But what they do know is that the discovery of the pots was a rare and unusual find.

The reddish-brown pots, which likely stored water and food, were intact when they were found in mountainous alcoves of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which lies just north of the U.S.-Mexico border and west of the Tohono O'odham Reservation. Most of the ancient pottery found these days are shards.

Sitting on the surface in sandy soil, they had been undisturbed since they were carefully placed there by human hands.

What's more, the pots were discovered not by archaeologists digging through ruins, but by U.S. Border Patrol agents looking for signs of illegal immigrants hiding in the mountains.

"This is a one of a kind, for sure, these pots," said Mario Escalante, a spokesman for the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, which covers most of southern Arizona.

The discovery may have prevented the artifacts from falling into the hands of illegal pot hunters known to loot artifacts from Native American sites and sell them on the black market, said Sue Walter, chief of interpretation at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

Won't reveal location

The pots were discovered as a result of Border Patrol agents increasingly trekking into remote reaches of the Arizona desert searching for illegal immigrants and drug smugglers trying to evade beefed-up border security, Escalante said.

Agents found the first vessel, a large pot 18 inches wide, in February in a mountainous area of the park.

In March, less than a month later, agents found three more clay vessels -- two pots and a bowl -- inside another alcove in the same area.

Border Patrol and National Park Service officials won't divulge any details about the area where the pots were found. They don't want to attract illegal pot hunters trying to find more artifacts.

About 95 percent of the 330,688-acre Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is designated wilderness.

"These particular pots were found in a very remote area. They are areas we don't get to on a regular basis. It was a real stroke of luck," said Connie Gibson, the park's archaeologist and cultural-resources program manager.

There are "thousands and thousands of alcoves" in the park, and the pots "apparently sat there undisturbed for hundreds of years, possibly a thousand years," she said.

Archaeologists believe the first pot found by Border Patrol agents was an olla used for holding water.

It was found partially buried in the soil in a little depression, Gibson said.

The three other artifacts were found clustered together inside a second alcove. They were two pots about 12 inches wide and one small bowl, Gibson said.

Cultural crossroads

The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is known for the multi-armed cactuses that resemble organ pipes, or giant hands emerging from the ground, fingers reaching for the sky.

The area was once a major cultural center and crossroads for the Hohokam, the prehistoric people who occupied the land that is now central and southern Arizona.

But the park is also a popular corridor for smuggling illegal immigrants and drugs because of its extremely remote location and desolate mountains, which provide opportunities to evade law-enforcement officials.

In August 2002, National Park Service Ranger Kris Eggle was shot and killed while chasing members of a drug-cartel hit squad who fled into the United States after committing a string of murders in Mexico, according to park officials. The park's visitor center was later renamed in honor of Eggle.

A 2003National Geographic article labeled the park "the most dangerous" in the U.S.

The illegal cross-border activity forced the National Park Service to close 97 percent of the park, leaving only the visitor center and the campground open to the public, said Walter, the park's chief of interpretation.

But the addition of more Border Patrol agents, fencing, technology and other security measures has allowed the park to gradually reopen more areas, she said.

About 50 percent of the park is now open to the public, she said.

'Fine balance' displayed

Illegal immigrants often hide in caves, said Escalante, the Border Patrol spokesman.

That is what prompted agents from the Border Patrol's Ajo station to examine the area while on a foot patrol, Escalante said.

The pots' reddish-brown color made them blend in with the soil, making them difficult to detect inside the alcoves, Border Patrol officials said.

The agents recognized that the objects were some sort of Indian artifacts, Escalante said.

The agents took pictures of the pots without disturbing the area, then reported the discoveries later to supervisors, Escalante said.

The agents' foresight showed "fine balance between conducting law enforcement activities and preserving our nation's historical natural resources," Jack Jeffreys, the Ajo station's patrol agent in charge, said in a statement.

After a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation, who trace their ancestors to the Hohokam, conducted a ceremony, National Park Service archaeologists removed the pots and transported them to the Western Archaeological and Conservation Center in Tucson, which is administered by the National Park Service.

The center, which is not open to the public, contains more than 24,000 artifacts found on national parks and monuments in the western region.

Sue Wells, the center's museum curator, was reluctant to talk about the pots for fear of stirring interest from pot hunters.

Pot hunting is illegal on state and federal land, and looters face stiff penalties, she said.

"It is a bad idea to plant in people's minds," she said.

Archaeologists at the center are still trying to identity the pots, Wells said. She did not know how long that could take.

Finding intact pots is very unusual, said Patrick Lyons, associate director and head of collections at the Arizona State Museum. "It might be every 10 years."

The discovery is significant because pottery can tell us "lots and lots of things about ancient people," he said.

Through residue analysis, archaeologists can often determine what was cooked or stored in pots, revealing information about the diets of ancient people, he said.

For example, in 2009, University of New Mexico archaeology professor Patricia Crown concluded that cocoa had been brought to the American Southwest as early as about A.D. 1100 after finding traces of the ingredient for making chocolate in clay shards from drinking cups found in Chaco Canyon, ancient ruins in western New Mexico.

That discovery indicated that people living in the American Southwest 900 to 1,000 years ago had contact with people living thousands of miles away in Central America.

"Pretty amazing stuff," Lyons said.

Studying the pots' clay can also tell archaeologists important information about where they were made.

That's because pots found in one place may not have been made by the people who inhabited that area, Lyons said.

"There was a lot of exchange of pottery in the prehistoric era and that marks relationships between different groups of prehistoric people," he said.

He said the pots likely belonged to various groups of prehistoric tribes based in the area where they were found, including the Hohokam and the Tohono O'odham.

But determining who made them is difficult even if they look similar to other pots found in the same area.

Ancient people from different groups often traded pots, he said. Ancient people also copied pots from other cultures. They also carried pots with them when they migrated to new areas, Lyons said.

"We investigate all of those possibilities using different kinds of scientific techniques," Lyons said.

As for the pots found by the Border Patrol agents, archaeologists are still in the process of trying to identity them, Wells said.

That could take several more months or longer, she said. Eventually, however, the pots could go on display at a museum, she said.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2012/07/25/20120725border-patrols-ancient-pottery.html?nclick_check=1#ixzz2Je7dPNbi

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2nd Amendment ALERT!!! I just called Bank of America... you have to hear this,follow up!
Very very strange!!!!!!!!!


Posted : Sun 10 Feb 2013 02:58
Archaeologists unearth artifacts at Luke AFB

Archaeologists excavate land Feb. 9, 2012, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., in order to make way for a solar array the base is planning to build. The excavation team has found thousands of artifacts dating back to 3,000 B.C.

Archaeologists here recently unearthed an ancient dwelling -- just one of thousands of artifacts found here that date back as far as 3,000 B.C.

The excavation was part of the site preparation, including mitigation of surface archaeology and testing for subsurface archaeology, for a large solar array on the south side of the base,

"This site could be of importance to Arizona and the Phoenix valley," said John Hall, the senior project director with Statistical Research, which is doing the excavation. "We had some of the artifacts dated and this site is almost 1,000 years older than any other site in the Phoenix valley."

Since October 2010, the excavation team has found thousands of artifacts around the area to help them get an idea of how the people here lived.

"We believe the people to be nomadic," Hall said. "We found storage holes filled with stone tools and other things. The stone used clearly comes from a river, very different from the stone around Luke."

One of the things about the site archeologists found interesting was that it dated to the poorly understood Middle and Late Archaic periods of the Phoenix Basin and south-central Arizona between 3,000 and 1,000 B.C.

"The things we have found here will allow a very detailed examination of these ancient life ways," Hall said. "This is an unprecedented opportunity not included in the more than 100 years of documented archaeological work in and around the Phoenix Basin."

Archaeologists have long studied the Hohokam of the Phoenix valley -- one of three major prehistoric archaeological traditions of the American Southwest -- including they way they lived, the farming they did and the plants they grew. The Hohokam occupied the valley and much of southern Arizona from 1 to 1450 A.D. The Hohokam grew corn, beans, squash and agave. They also built hundreds of miles of canals throughout the valley to irrigate their agricultural fields. This site has offered a new perspective into the lives of people thousands of years before that.

"This site is 2,000 years older than the Hohokam; these people could be their ancestors," Hall said. "They were from a time before agriculture, before maze was brought up from Mexico. This will help us understand lots of things. We can get a better idea of how people got food before farming. We can narrow down the time frame when maize was brought from the south. We have 5,000 years of history right here to help us understand things. This could change our understanding of the prehistoric people of the valley."

The location of Luke AFB attracted the Native Americans who lived here 5,000 years ago as well as the Air Force in the 1940s.

"The land here is in a great location," Hall said. "You have the White Tank Mountains and the Aqua Fria River both right here close by. There was food and water at hand, and we think they may have moved between the foothills and the river over their course through the valley."

The land being excavated is located by the south end of the runway and was not being used for anything before the solar array was planned. Luke AFB officials plan to build the solar array to help offset energy costs.

"We have land here that was not being utilized because of the noise from the end of the runway," said 1st Lt Chris Warshaw, of the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron. "We have a perfect spot for a solar array that could generate almost 50 percent of the electricity the base consumes."

The solar array is still planned to be built, but it will take longer than initially planned due to the mitigation phase.

"We need to thank Luke," Hall said, "because if the base had not been here, the land probably would have been dug up years ago to make room for houses or farms."

Posted : Fri 1 Feb 2013 19:58
This experience occurred on the Thu 28 Jun 2012 00:00
This experience lasted more than a year
This experience has occurred only once.
Tucson Estates, Arizona, United States of America
Added : Fri 1 Feb 2013 12:47
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