October 17, 2008

McCain destroys Hohokam site

McCain's Arizona Compound Is Ancient Indian Burial Ground!No wonder he's losing! As was revealed in the Washington Post recently, John McCain's remote Arizona ranch features a lovely Verizon cell phone tower. Cindy, it turns out, asked for a tower back a couple years back. Verizon, remembering the Senator's wonderful work on behalf of the telecommunications industry during his time on the Commerce Committee, spent two years investigating the environmental and commercial impact of placing a permanent cell tower on the Senator's land, far, far, far away from anyone else who might benefit from it. Cindy says she asked for no special treatment, but the fact that Verizon's internal map of the area refers to it as "John McCain's ranch" suggests she may have been receiving it regardless. But this is the real story: while researching the environment impact of the tower, Verizon turned up evidence of an ancient Indian burial ground on McCain's property! Sort of!

The group that Verizon hired to conduct the study, EBI Consulting, in turn had to subcontract a local archeological firm, Aztlan Archeology (page 145), to make sure the tower wasn’t erected on Indian burial grounds or risked causing an eyesore. Laurie Slawson, the archeologist who wrote the report, explained to me that Aztlan had examined a “prehistoric rock ring” (page 160) discovered at the proposed site and contacted about a dozen local Indian tribes, from Hopis to Havasupai, to make sure no cell phone tower arose on ancient Indian burial grounds (which, she says, does happen periodically and necessitates an expensive relocation process to less-sacred areas). The McCain site did contain archeological evidence of a long-ago Indian presence—a fire pit that Slawson attributes to the Hohokam, a prehistoric agrarian tribe—though apparently nothing sacred enough to stand in the way of wireless technology.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The 2008 Presidential Campaign.

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