Dear Columbia University President George Rupp:
Your full page ad in the Arizona Daily Wildcat (Feb. 5, 1996, page 16) announcing the program on Progress on the Environment between Columbia University and Biosphere 2 here in our state caught my eye.
I was astonished to read that your plans for a college level program will include study of the past environments as they influenced prehistoric cultures in Arizona such as ... "the Anasazi, the Native American civilization that once lived in the Sonoran Desert." If you truly are going to set up a "college level program" then Columbia University at least ought to get its facts correct.
The prehistoric Anasazi culture flourished on the Colorado Plateau in the northern part of Arizona beginning around the time of Christ. The environment of the Sonoran Desert, the home of Biosphere 2, saw the emergence of another great prehistoric culture in Arizona, the Hohokam culture.
I trust that Columbia's faculty will provide you with more accurate information about Arizona's past in the future.
William A. Longacre
UA Department of Anthropology professor and head