NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, July 17, 2024, 6:00PM: members and non-members are welcome to the GCAS monthly meeting at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley). We start at 6PM with a potluck - bring your own plates & utensils, and a dish for yourself or to share with with what we expect to be a larger than usual number of guests, including the starving students of the Preservation Archaeology Museum Curation and Survey Field School. Let's feed these folks well, people! At about 6:30PM we will have a brief business meeting followed immediately by our featured speaker, Archaeology Southwest's Karen Schollmeyer PhD, who will share updates on her and her field school team's work at the WNMU Museum which includes curating the artifacts comprising the NAN Ranch collection. Come meet the next generation of archaeologists and learn about the latest activity at our own WNMU Museum. In order to offer our members a safe and comfortable experience at our in-person meetings the GCAS follows CDC and New Mexico Department of Health guidelines for indoor gatherings including masking, distancing, and vaccinations. We recommend each attendee take the precautions they feel are appropriate for themselves.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: we defer a July field trip due to conflict with the July 4 holiday weekend. Watch this space for our next field trip scheduled for Sunday, August 4, 2024, destination TBA.

GCAS Field Trip to Elk Ridge, Part I
Old Pueblo Needs Help

GCAS Field Trip to Elk Ridge, Part II

Katie Baustian and Daniel Perez guide the tourThe June 10, 2018, GCAS field trip to the UNLV Field School's final season of excavation at Elk Ridge in the Mimbres River Valley was brief due to the warm summer temperatures, but our guides shared some of their findings that their excavations has yielded to date. Skidmore College assistant professor Katie Baustian (left, in photo) and UNLV graduate student Daniel Perez (second from left) discussed with us certain features of the Elk Ridge pueblo ruins that appear consistent with other sites; and other features they uncovered that seem less common.

Room 115 - the lineage room SE corner facing Room 114For example, like most Mimbres pueblos built on lower ground near rivers or streams, the Elk Ridge structures were generally built using mostly smooth and rounded cobble stones held together by and covered over with adobe. Also similar to other Mimbres pueblos, rooms were added gradually over time and as-needed, often resulting in slightly misaligned walls built with somewhat different construction techniques. The photo on the left shows an older, larger room in the foreground; the line of walls along the right side of the photo makes a slight deviation where the more recent, smaller room in the background was joined to it.

Certain portions of some of the walls were built with one or two large Room 115 - the lineage roomrectangular slab rocks instead of cobbles, and in one such instance the large slab rock had been obviously worked by hand - but for what purpose is unknown. Look closely at the back wall behind and just to the left of the stack of orange buckets in the photo on the right, and you will see one such slab of whitish stone embedded in the upper portion of the rear wall.

One of the older pueblo rooms showed evidence of having been occupied for a long time, with Room 115 - the lineage room with post holes and hearthsome remodeling having occurred. Traces of adobe still covered small sections of one wall. The room's size had required multiple posts to support the roof, and a large, roughly square hearth full of ash was located near a ventilation chamber. (Hearth's in the lower right corner of pic.) All these factors have led the archaeologists to conclude that this was a "lineage room," representing a household in which a single extended family may have lived for a few generations.

A well-worn metate About half an entire jar The Red Heron of Death GCAS examines Elk Ridge artifactsSmaller artifacts the Field School has recovered include potsherds and pot fragments, as well as an assortment of other objects including one very well-worn metate. One of the obsidian arrowheads the GCAS was shown was so small, slim, and delicately worked that it looked more like jewelry than a functioning tool. It appears that the UNLV students can look forward to many more months of analysis and cataloguing of all they have uncovered.

Thank you, Dr. Roth and UNLV, for letting us visit and showing us the fruits of your hard work. We look forward to reading about all your conclusions!

/s/ webmaster


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