NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 5:00PM: The GCAS monthly IN-PERSON general meeting meets again at 2045 Memory Lane in Silver City, New Mexico. about a block or two south of the intersection of Memory Lane and Hwy 180. Doors open at 5PM for folks to socialize and get settled. Light refreshments provided and OK to bring your own light snacks or handy meal (burrito, etc.) and beverage. Meeting starts at 5:30PM sharp with a brief to nonexistent business meeting followed at 5:45PM by our featured speaker, the redoubtable archaeologist Chris Adams. Chris will showcase for us the Feather Imagery Depicted on Mimbres Pottery. Expect meeting to adjourn about 7:00PM. As ever, in order to offer our members a safe and comfortable experience the GCAS follows CDC and New Mexico Department of Health guidelines for indoor gatherings including masking, distancing, and vaccinations. We recommend all attendees follow the same.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: February 5, 2023, we will meet at 10:00 AM at the MAREC HQ at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. We will have the Allard Bartlett and George Coleman collections on display with other select items including the GCAS's replica Clovis tool kit and a comparative sampling of artifact seashells and their modern counterparts. Possible trip to the nearby McAnally site may be included!

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?

/s/ webmaster


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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