Anasazi back in the news

It’s not often that the Anasazi break into the news anymore—the ancient people disappeared from their ancient homelands in the Great Basin and other western regions, including what is now southern Nevada, in the 12th or 13th centuries. But they hit the news twice last week.

A federal land management plan drew fire for exposing Anasazi ruins in southeastern Utah to hikers, cyclists and off-roaders by changing their Bureau of Land Management designation from “areas of critical environmental concern” to “special recreation-management areas.” Protests can be lodged with the BLM.

And Ebay has posted a sale of a painting purportedly of an Anasazi woman by painter Thomas Baker. The accompanying text emphasizes a cannibalism theory about the Anasazi. The painting portrays a svelte and shapely woman and could be an airbrushed Playboy image if it weren’t for the two human skulls between her legs. Shayne del Cohen of Reno, an activist on Native American issues, calls it “a disturbing image.”