News

#159 CEQ & ACHP Handbook for Integrating NEPA and Section 106

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On March 5, 2013 the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) issued a press release detailing their new handbook that was created with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The handbook was created assist interested parties in successfully managing NEPA and Section 106 requirements together.

According to the press release the two agencies came together to reduce the regulatory barriers and work more efficiently for the benefit of the American people. The document goes on to say, “This creates a means to ensure statutory requirements of two important laws are met while strengthening the coordination of two similar but separate processes that frequently should proceed in tandem.”

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From the press release:

“For example, review of a project under NEPA would include consideration of the broad range of environmental impacts, ranging from wildlife to air and water quality and including historic and cultural resources. Section 106 of the NHPA would require consideration of how the project might affect the historic resources, such as historic buildings and districts, archaeological sites, and cultural landscapes. The handbook is designed to guide users in coordinating the two mandated reviews to improve efficiency and informed decision making.”

Here is a link to the PDF handbook.

Have you read the handbook? Is it helpful? Questions? Concerns? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you in the field!

#156 Pigments on Arrow and Dart Shafts in Southern NV

In a recent paper from Eerkens, et al. (2012) titled, "Chemical Composition, Mineralogy, and Physical Structure of Pigments on Arrow and Dart Fragments from Gypsum Cave, Nevada" the authors analyze pigments found on arrow and dart fragments to determine their chemical composition, mineralogy, and physical structure. They show that green, red, pink, brown, and black pigments were created using a variety of minerals:

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The combined analyses reveal that the pigments from Gypsum Cave were produced from a variety of different minerals. None of the five subjectively-defined colors was characterized by a homogenous/standardized compositional or mineralogical recipe. This indicates that the individuals who used Gypsum Cave exploited a wide range of minerals and blended them in varying amounts to create the palate of colors seen in the weaponry fragments recovered during the archaeological investigations.
…the study demonstrated that interesting patterning existed within colors and between color and substrate type, but produced more questions than it answered. For example, analyses revealed the presence of many other non-pigmenting minerals within the paint, such as quartz, feldspar, gypsum, and various alumina-silicate minerals. It is unclear whether these were contaminants from sediments within the cave or were intentionally added to the pigments.

The authors speculate on the reasons for the different chemical compositions for the same colors on wood and can shafts. They suggest several possibilities ranging from availability during seasonal rounds and religious or traditional beliefs.

Read the paper here.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you in the field!

References Cited

Eerkens, Jelmer W., Amy J Gilreath, Brian Joy

        2012     Chemical Composition, Mineralogy, and Physical Structure of Pigments on Arrow and Dart Fragments from Gypsum Cave, Nevada. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 32(1):47-64.