Karen Schollmeyer's official job title at Archaeology Southwest is that of Preservation Archaeologist. For those unfamiliar with the term, a Preservation Archaeologist is much more than just an archaeologist who works to preserve our common past. If such a person is Karen Schollmeyer, she is also a researcher, historian, and detective. Dr. Schollmeyer goes even further and has become engaged in a long term Mimbres-Mogollon paleoethnobotany project.
Many if not most of the amateur archaeologists in the US Southwest only pay attention to the intricate beauty of Mimbres black-on-white ceramics. However, Dr. Schollmeyer's partnership with paleoethnobotanist Mike Diehl has already yielded findings that will form an extensive database of the plants and animals that were used throughout the Mimbres-Mogollon region back in the day. Schollmeyer explained in March, 2018, that they have not just performed their own archaeological excavations; with their combined experience and through their and their team's years of historical research they "...have also identified the burned seeds, wood, and animal bone in previously unanalyzed collections from several older excavations in the region. We now have animal bone data from 96 assemblages (collections of bones from a specific time period within an archaeological site). We’ll be working on what the plant and animal datasets together might tell us over the coming months. The animal data are already providing some interesting information."
[Map image courtesy of Catherine Gilman.]
For details on what data Dr. Schollmeyer and the team have collected so far, the GCAS highly recommends visiting Karen Schollmeyer's posts at Archaeology Southwest; or find her at one of the free lectures she kindly gives - such as tomorrow's June 13, 2018, 7PM talk: “Two Millennia of Hunting and Farming in the Mimbres Region, AD 200-1450” at Archaeology Southwest’s Preservation Archaeology Field School Headquarters in Cliff, New Mexico. (Details here.)