NEXT MEETING: 6:00 PM, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley). Potluck followed by general meeting, then our Featured Speaker: Karen G. Schollmeyer, PhD, preservation archaeologist for Archaeology Southwest, presenting: "The Cliff Valley in the 14th Century."

NEXT FIELD TRIP: TBA: watch this space.

Next month:
May 2018

April 2018

Prehispanic Burial Practices

This link goes to an article that's from January 2017, but I stumbled across it in preparing for next week's GCAS field trip to the Paquimé/Casas Grandes area of Chihuahua, Mexico.

Archaeologists have known that burial practices in Paquimé (an important agricultural and trading center by about 1100 CE), sometimes included reburials of partial human remains with ceramics and other grave goods. Archaeologists determined that Paquimé was a trading hub by some of the artifacts they had excavated there - item such as seashells and the remains of macaws, which clearly had to have been transported hundreds of miles to Paquimé from Mexico's seacoast and Mesoamerica's tropical jungles. However, evidence has recently emerged that trade between the inland high desert communities and those of the tropical lowlands may have begun centuries earlier.

Continue reading "Prehispanic Burial Practices" »


Teeth Wear

Archaeologists have often observed heavily-worn teeth - in fact, teeth worn down to the gum line - in the remains of Mimbres-Mogollon people. They have concluded that the extreme teeth wear had been caused by a lifetime's diet of ground corn that had been heavily contaminated with fine bits of stone from the mano-and-metate corn grinding process. However, archaeologists have seen that almost none of these burials throughout the entire Mimbres-Mogollon region show signs of trauma (from warfare or other forms of violence) or of the types of diseases that leave their marks on bones (malnutrition, leprosy, etc.). Thus, in most cases it remains somewhat of a mystery as to what exactly the causes of death were for these individuals, who represent both genders and all age groups.

image from www.sciencealert.comPerhaps there is a clue in a recent archaeological find halfway across the world, in Italy. Investigators there unearthed a burial from 1300-1500 years ago, of a man who'd lived with a prosthesis after his right hand had been amputated. Fun fact: the prosthesis was not an artificial hand...but a long knife! What makes this relevant to Grant County, New Mexico, is the article's brief discussion on how this man's pattern of teeth wear may have caused a serious if not fatal bacterial infection. Perhaps our ancient Mimbres-Mogollon people may have frequently succumbed to bacterial infections that began in exposed tooth pulp?

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Hello World

Welcome to the Grant County Archaeology Society's spot in cyberspace. This is a new endeavor for us, Dude delivering flat-screen TVso please be patient while we take some time to finish construction and do some dusting and cleaning to make your archaeological browsing experience more comfortable.

We'll talk more later.

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