NEXT MEETING: 6:00 PM, Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley). Potluck followed by general meeting, then our Featured Speaker: Gila National Forest archaeologist Bella Mollard explains "Ritual Landscapes of the Jornada Mogollon."

NEXT FIELD TRIP: TBA - watch this space.

American Gothic the GCAS Way

Photo by Kyle Meredith; © 2019 ENMU - All Rights ReservedHere we see GCAS members Marianne Smith and Josh Reeves recreating Grant Wood's iconic masterpiece as they model the activewear that the fashion-forward consumer values for the ultimate in protection from sun and dust. Those in the know understand that this gear is not only handy for some serious volunteering on an archaeological excavation, but also for more casual events like GCAS field trips or community projects.

It's easy to spot Josh and Marianne when they're out and about. Be sure to ask them who they're wearing. Thanks, you two!

/s/ webmaster


What Do Volunteers Do at an Archaeological Excavation?

FSCN4286These days there are no lavish budgets for archaeological excavations, and paid crew positions are few (very few) and far (very far) between. With no money for lodging, the crew tend to camp out at or near the site for the duration of the project. Feeding the crew on a tight budget may involve a lot of pre-frozen mini-burritos.

FSCN4095 (2)The excavation has a Directing Archaeologist in charge of the project. Often there will be one or more other archaeologists supporting the Director by excavating and/or performing other essential work such as cataloguing artifacts, recording data, and performing materials analysis. Graduate and undergraduate students participating in the excavation gain hands-on experience in as many aspects of the work as they can. Sometimes - but not always - they earn class credits. However, on many excavations there are too few students available to get all the work done in the time allotted.

Continue reading "What Do Volunteers Do at an Archaeological Excavation?" »


A New Book for the Avocational Archaeologist's Library

Robert J. Stokes PhD  editor and contributorRobert J. Stokes, PhD, has just edited and published a book directed at the professional that we avocational enthusiasts can enjoy as well. Communities and Households in the Greater American Southwest: New Perspectives and Case Studies is  published by the University Press of Colorado. It is a collection of a dozen authors' latest research into how the Southwest's ancient cultures organized their families, households, and communities to live and work with one another to make the best use of their land and resources.

The reader will discover that the authors' points of view may vary but all offer insights into how recent findings from archaeological excavations inform new perspectives of how ancient cultures organized their societies. Examples include a chapter written by Dr. Stokes himself examining how landless families and households influenced Classic Period Mimbres communities. Another chapter by Barbara Roth, PhD, illustrates patterns of community development at New Mexico's Harris site; and a chapter by Deni Seymour, PhD, provides an intriguing analysis of ancient cultures' migration habits. There is much more in this volume to interest the armchair archaeologist and sociology maven. Find more 411 at http://bit.ly/2LoBaKt or via Amazon, and get you some!

/s/ webmaster


ENMU Excavation at City of Rocks State Park

Photo by Marianne Smith; © 2019 ENMU - All Rights ReservedIn July, 2019, professor Robert J. Stokes PhD of Eastern New Mexico University in Portales was Directing Archaeologist on an excavation of a small ruined structure located within the boundaries of City of Rocks State Park. The project's goals were to identify its walls, floors, and the overall nature of its construction to help determine its age and the purpose for which it had originally been built. Additionally Dr. Stokes sought to assess the context of the site within the surrounding landscape.

Continue reading "ENMU Excavation at City of Rocks State Park" »


Hummingbird Festival 2019

Mattocks still life Wood House and panic room need a new roof The GCAS Info Booth receives a visitorThe 2019 Hummingbird Festival, hosted by the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site, was a happening thing the weekend of July 27 through 28. Over 29 artisanal vendors participated and the GCAS was happy to be in the action by providing an informational booth, lecture programs, hands-on demonstrations of ancient tools, and site tours. The public turnout was outstanding - parking opportunities expanded outward and further outward around the MCHS, and not one frowny face was in sight.

Continue reading "Hummingbird Festival 2019" »


Upcoming Southwest Kiln Conference, October 4-6

2016 swkc post-firing retrieval2018 swkc 09-29-2 potsThe 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference will be taking place during the weekend of October 4 through October 6 in Globe, Arizona. This event is open to the public and attendance is free. This annual conference focuses on both archaeological research and hands-on techniques in the fields of prehistoric pottery replication and experimental archaeology.

Continue reading "Upcoming Southwest Kiln Conference, October 4-6" »


Meet Mary-Margaret Soulé

Scdp mary-margaretNot really sure where she finds the time.

Mary-Margaret Soulé has been a devoted member of the GCAS since the early 1990s. She rarely if ever misses a meeting. She has served for many years as a member of our Board of Trustees, and in practically every office our group has, from Secretary to President. She often hosts our monthly meetings, providing beverages and snacks. She will go on our monthly field trips now and then, but she's visited pretty much every accessible archaeological site more times than any of the rest of us, so she occasionally takes a break. During the winter months from October through April, when the GCAS holds meetings at 2045 Memory Lane in Silver City? That's all Mary-Margaret - we meet in one of her buildings - the same location as the local rockhounding group, The Rolling Stones, meets. She's generous that way. And speaking of generous:

Continue reading "Meet Mary-Margaret Soulé" »


Meet Another Member of the Aldo Leopold Archaeology Crew

ALCS Archaeolgy Crew students and Hurley 5th gradersThis here website has already introduced everyone to two up and coming members of the Aldo Leopold Charter School Youth Conservation Corps Archaeology Crew. These high school students learn eco-monitoring of sensitive sites as part of New Mexico's Junior SiteWatch program, work on trail crews, build gardens of heritage vegetables, and more. Some, like Serena Floyd and Isaiah Padilla, do all of that plus regularly teach groups of younger students about aspects of archaeology that range from hands-on experimental activities to the proper way to monitor an archaeological site. Here are Serena (far left) and Isaiah (purple shirt, center) in April, 2019, comfortably guiding a group of fifth grade students from Hurley Elementary School through a day's curriculum at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. Mentor Marilyn Markel (white shirt, center) can relax with these two in control.

We may not yet know what career path(s) Serena or Isaiah will take, but like their classmates they already demonstrate a commitment to public service and have acquired a number of skills that will be valuable to them in anything they put their minds to. Thanks, Serena and Isaiah!

/s/ webmaster


Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part V: The Croteau Collection

Wood House panic room exteriorOur final field trip report in this series addresses the GCAS's visit to the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site (MCHS) on July 7, 2019, to examine the artifacts comprising the Croteau Collection in a special one-time-only exhibit.

Continue reading "Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part V: The Croteau Collection" »


Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part IV: Gila River Farm's Excavation

7 - Room with Mimbres-Mogollon features 16 - Schollmeyer in education modeOur previous post featured the fine work that Archaeology Southwest Field School students display as part of their public outreach duties. The second portion of the June 29, 2019, GCAS field trip to the Gila River Farm included a tour of this season's Field School excavations. Of particular interest was evidence the Field School uncovered of cultural convergence. In a multi-room pueblo complex, the crew found artifacts of various 14th-Century Puebloan cultures including Mimbres-Mogollon (with their distinctive wall and floor construction features), and Kayenta (with their unique ceramics including Kayenta perforated plates). It became clear from the excavations that people of different cultures, practices, and languages, migrating in and out of the region, found ways to live and work together long-term. We in the 21st Century could take a lesson.

Continue reading "Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part IV: Gila River Farm's Excavation" »