- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 22, 2007

Alanah Woody, 51, anthropologist

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Alanah Woody, who helped lead efforts to protect American Indian petroglyphs as the executive director of the Nevada Rock Art Foundation, died July 19. She was 51.

Miss Woody taught anthropology and archaeology at the University of Nevada at Reno, and managed the anthropology collections at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City.

She died from heart failure. Officials from the museum confirmed her death.

In May, Miss Woody received a Nevada Historic Preservation Award for her work in preserving the state’s ancient heritage. She had served as a witness in the past for the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuting those who stole or damaged carvings and drawings on rocks left by Indians thousands of years ago.

An article in the Smithsonian Institute magazine in 2005 credited Miss Woody with mobilizing a “small army of volunteers to educate the public, monitor sites and painstakingly record the state’s vast collection of rock art, boulder by boulder.”

“She doesn’t wear a fedora or crack a bullwhip, but her fans will tell you that the 5-foot-3 archaeologist is to the rock art of Nevada what Indiana Jones is to the Holy Grail,” the article said.

Miss Woody, who described herself in the magazine article as a “rock art evangelist,” received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in anthropology from UNR and earned a doctorate in archaeology from the University of Southampton in England.