The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

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    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
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    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
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    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
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    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Archeologist speaking at library 03.24.2010

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Dr. John Norder agrees that he leads a very interesting life, but that includes experiences such as the recent situation  when he had to dig his car out of three feet of snow in the Upper Peninsula.norder.john.jpg

It includes the argumentative days when the archeologist wants one thing for the preservation of old Native American art and the tribe owning the piece wants something else.

But all in all, the trips out of his Michigan State University classroom and into the field in search of petroglyphs, pictographs, geoglyphs and more add an exciting element to his career as an archeology professor.

Dr. Norder is scheduled to speak at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Stair Public Library to discuss Great Lakes archeology, and rock art in particular.

“There’s rock art all over the place,” Norder said about the Upper Great Lakes, but that statement doesn’t include Michigan.

There are four documented sites in the state, and the Sly Petroglyph is not among them.

A large boulder west of Morenci shows markings that a University of Toledo archeologist documented as petroglyphs—engravings in rock—in the 1970s.  The rock is on property formerly owned by Don and Grace Sly. Norder looked at photographs of the boulder and decided the artist is probably the well-known Mother Nature.

He’ll take a look at the rock before his talk Thursday, but he’s quite certain the unusual markings are the result of glacial action as the boulder made its way down from the north.

“Mother Nature inspires people to see art in rocks,” Norder said.

He’s visited dozens of sites that were actually made from natural actions, and he’ll discuss the differences between those and real petroglyphs when he visits.

His field work generally takes him northeast into Ontario—one of the leading rock art regions on the planet. He studies the culture of the Anishinaabeg people—Odawa, Ojibway and Potawatomi of this region—and the Cree to the north.

As a landscape archeologist, Norder studies why rock art was placed in a particular place.

“Only certain places were chosen,” he said. “There are patterns to how humans modify the landscape.”

For example, the sites are generally near water and often accessible only by boat.

Norder also works as an applied archeologist in the field of cultural heritage management. He assists several Native American tribes in reviewing the history of centuries old art, often to help balance preservation with tourism. The process evolves into a situation similar to national park management.

His doctoral thesis and continuing research considers the social and sacred landscapes of the northern Algonquian people of Ontario.

The challenge for archeologists is to verify rock art and attempt to understand what it means—the way it reflects how people viewed the world around them and interacted with it.

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