NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 7:00 PM: General Meeting goes online via Zoom! Al Dart of Old Pueblo Archaeology presents “Old-Time Religion? The Salado Phenomenon in the Greater Southwest.” No business meeting, this will be a Zoom presentation only. Watch for an upcoming Special Bulletin with details on how to join in on this fascinating lecture.

NEXT FIELD TRIP = WATCH THIS SPACE FOR UPDATES AS TO WHEN FIELD TRIPS WILL RESUME.

Welcome to the Grant County Archaeological Society

FSCN4232Thank you for visiting our corner of cyberspace.

The Grant County Archaeological Society was first organized in 1928 and is the oldest continuously chartered archaeological club in New Mexico. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation aiming to preserve and protect prehistoric, historic, and culturally significant places and objects.

15 - John and KathrynCertain of our group's activities have been temporarily curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic but our group continues with our mission. When pandemic restrictions allow, we hold monthly meetings open to the public with featured speakers discussing a wide array of topics, and we arrange monthly field trips to sites of historic and cultural interest. Our members volunteer as stewards, monitoring archaeological sites; and we assist in professional archaeological excavations. We offer regular educational workshops to area students of all ages, FSCN4987and support the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site by providing educational tours to the general public and performing protective maintenance of the co-located Mattocks Ruin archaeological site. Our group's project of preserving and organizing our group's library, archives, and collections - amassed over a period of more than 90 years - continues with a view toward ultimately making the materials accessible to future researchers.

You are welcome to learn more about our group by clicking on any of the links in the navigation bar at the top of this Home page or in the sidebar to the left. Scroll down to see what's happening now in our blog, and continue scrolling to the bottom of this page to contact us directly.

Please enjoy!

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Online via Zoom: Our August 19, 2020, Featured Speaker: Allen Dart

Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 7:00 PM, online via Zoom: the GCAS welcomes our Featured Speaker, Allen Dart, archaeologist with the US Natural Resources Conservation Service in Phoenix and founder/Executive Director of Old Pueblo Archaeology Center in Tucson. His  evening's topic: "Old Time Religion? The Salado Phenomenon in the U.S. Southwest." Join us to hear about how:

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Hanging Canals of Southeastern Arizona

Hangcan1Ancient hydrological engineering in what is now the US Southwest was not confined to Arizona's Salt River basin. Archaeologists have studied a complex network of prehistoric bajada canals, aka hanging canals, located around the Upper Gila River in southeastern Arizona's Safford Basin. They estimate that Native inhabitants developed this water management system during the period from about 1250 CE - 1450 CE. [Photo of hanging canal, via Don Lancaster, tinaja.com.]

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Ancient Irrigation Techniques in the US Southwest

Hohokam canal mapMonsoon season has arrived in the US Southwest, a good time to ponder the logistical achievements of Native tribes of the past. During the period from 600 CE - 1450 CE the Hohokam established a complex canal system that reliably harnessed scarce water sources, enabling their communities to thrive for centuries. It encompassed an area of roughly 100,000 acres within the Salt River basin in what is now the greater metropolitan area of Phoenix, Arizona. It is North America's largest prehistoric irrigation canal system.

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A Mimbres Image of the 1054 Supernova

Mimbres supernovaRecently an interesting article commemorating July 5, 1054, as The Greatest Fourth of July in American History stated:

"There’s only one place in the world we know of where a picture of the 1054 supernova event was drawn that still survives: in America, by our own compatriots the Mimbres people, as just one example of their fabulous stylized pottery of the 11th Century...."

This article is a fascinating description - from an ancient Mimbreño's point of view - of the supernova event of July 5, 1054. Among many other images, the article includes illustrations of how the sky appeared at the time of the 1054 event.The author concentrates his discussion on one particular Mimbres bowl currently housed in the Weisman Art Museum at at the University of Minnesota.

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In Search Of: GCAS Newsletters

IMG_1669One of the many exciting projects of the GCAS Library, Archives, and Collections is to compile a list of all past GCAS field trips based on what was reported in our monthly newsletters. This is Phase One. When this list is as complete as it can be, Phase Two will be to match the dates and places of our field trips to the GCAS's massive collection of photographs. This two-phase project will make a more complete record of how certain archaeological sites have changed over time, which could be valuable to anyone researching a specific site.

Our archives include newsletters dating from November, 1969, to the present but unfortunately, newsletters are missing for several dates in between. That's where YOU, Dear GCAS member, come in!

If you happen to be keeping any past newsletters from any date, any decade, any century; and if you are willing to part with them permanently, please contact Your Loyal Webmaster and we will arrange to pick them up from you and immediately deliver them to the GCAS Library, Archives, and Collections for compilation.

Thank you for your help!

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Interactive Fun with the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project

Kwells and friendThe Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project in Velarde, New Mexico, has produced a virtual tour of their extensive site that anyone can enjoy. You may have to navigate through one or two screens on this link, or perhaps this link, but it is worth a few minutes of your time to see glimpses of this very unique and important site. If you have never visited the site you will enjoy this brief introduction to it. If you have already visited in person you will be thrilled to see some of its highlights again.

Please also consider sending a donation to the MPPP to support their preservation efforts. Once it becomes feasible for public health you may consider visiting the site yourself. Plan a few days, as there are 6 different trails among the petroglyphs to sign up with a docent to see!

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The Day's Guest Blogger: Kyle Meredith

Our very own GCAS President, Kyle Meredith, tells us a tale of a trip to Peru from years past. He said he was prompted to write after having seen a blog post on our website with a link to an article that discussed Peru's papa nativas (native potatoes) and the archaeological site of Moray, Peru. Welcome back, Kyle!

Pisaq Peru - photo by K.MeredithA blast from the past! I have a propensity for falling in love with every place we go, but Peru more than others. So much of it looked so familiar. I had to look up Moray on the map because I could have sworn we had seen it, but actually it looked very similar to Pisaq in many ways, also in the Sacred Valley. In fact, the reason it looked so much like Pisaq is because one of their photos WAS Pisaq from almost the exact same spot that I took the photo.

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Treasure Hill Under New Ownership

Lecture by LaVerne Herrington (far R)The GCAS's very own Marilyn Gendron reports a welcome development for archaeological preservationists. the Archaeological Conservancy announced in the Summer 2020 issue of American Archaeology magazine that they have acquired one of our local archaeological sites, Treasure Hill, from long-time friends of the GCAS, archaeologist LaVerne Herrington and her husband, engineer Ellis "Red" Herrington. The article, entitled The Treasures of Treasure Hill: The Conservancy Obtains a Rare, Well-Preserved Mimbres Site, is not yet published online as of this writing but excerpts from it, combined with LaVerne Herrington's own remarks, follow:

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An Announcement from the Southwest Kiln Conference for 2020

SWKCof logoThe Southwest Kiln Conference, established in 2003, is devoted to the art, science and technology of recreating the prehistoric pottery of the American Southwest. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic they are adapting their annual conference to the circumstances. From Southwest Kiln:

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