NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 6PM: the GCAS is thrilled to announce this year's first general meeting IN PERSON at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley) near the junction of Highways 152 and 35! Start at 6PM with your own plates/utensils/beverage & a dish for yourself or to share. Brief general meeting at 6:45 PM. Skip social time if you like but our Featured Speaker, the WNMU Museum's new Director and archaeologist, Danielle Romero, makes her presentation on Elk Ridge Ceramics at 7PM sharp. Danielle, a ceramics specialist with years of investigating Mimbres and other sites, will make her topic most engaging. Read more about Danielle here. 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: Sunday, June 5, 2022 - Park Service-guided visit to TJ Ruin at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Meet at the Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center parking lot no later than 10:50 am, tour to begin at 11:00 am. Drive north on Highway 15/Pinos Altos Rd for about 45 miles from US 180 in Silver City. Drive can take as much as 2 hours! Site is reached via a short hike to the top of a 100 ft bluff. Site is not shaded! Dogs are not allowed on the site and cannot be left in vehicles or tied up in the parking lot. NOTE: the area is currently experiencing heavy smoke impacts from the Black Fire. Check this website and the Park Service website at https://www.nps.gov/gicl/index.htm (Alerts) the day before/morning of the field trip to see current status of the field trip and area conditions. Remember, to protect vulnerable resources we offer our field trips to members only. Members’ invited guests are welcome, as long as they ride in that member’s vehicle.

Offered Without Comment
Please Leave Potsherds Where You Find Them

Happy Birthday To Us!

Today we members of the Grant County Archaeological Society celebrate our 80th year since we image from en.wikipedia.orgfiled our Certificate of Incorporation with the State of New Mexico on July 14, 1938. That alone would make our group one of the oldest if not the oldest archaeological organizations in the state. But there's more. We have actually been an active, continuously chartered archaeological organization for 90 years.

In 1928, a group of 16 men and women interested in Grant County's prehistoric Native ruins met in Fort Bayard in Mrs. Anna Davis's tea room to investigate the possibility of organizing a local chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. Later that same year the group became the Grant County Chapter of the New Mexico Archaeological Society and continued operating under that name until incorporating as the Grant County Archaeological Society in 1938.

Shown up there in the right corner is Dr. Edgar L. Hewett of the Museum of New Mexico. He is best known for his instrumental role in gaining passage of the 1906 Antiquities Act, a pioneering piece of legislation for the conservation movement. He was also one of our group's first speakers. In 1929 he presented our group with a lecture on archaeological field work that included a slideshow illustrating the then-innovative use of aircraft for archeological exploration. One of Dr. Hewett's purposes was to mobilize groups like ours to protect local archaeological sites from destruction by looting, development, and natural forces. We later reflected Dr. Hewett's ideals in our own mission statement.

The CertificateBy August, 1933, our group was listed with the American Council of Learned Societies and had had years of continuous monthly meetings with at least one excavation in the Burro Mountains. We created two museum displays - one exhibited at the Chamber of Commerce building on Broadway in Silver City, the second one at the Bayard Inn in Bayard. The formation of a junior archeological organization was in the works to encourage boys and girls to study archaeology and learn the value of preserving archaeological sites and objects.

The SealIn about 1940, many GCAS members and other individuals raised enough money to incorporate as the Grant County Museum Association and buy the R.C. Eisele collection of Mimbres ceramics and other Native artifacts. Ultimately the Museum Association donated this collection to Western New Mexico University, where to this day it forms the core of WNMU's museum exhibits at Fleming Hall.

Our membership fees were $2 per person in 1928. By 1944 they had increased Dues  1944 to $4 per person. Today, in 2018, they are $15 per person which happens to be precisely in line with overall inflationary trends. In other words, it is still a good deal.

Between June 1949 and February 1952 no GCAS meetings were held due to lack of interest, but during the decades since then our group resumed and continues regular monthly meetings and field trips. Our members have also regularly volunteered to work on professional archaeological excavations; supported the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site by giving tours, maintaining interpretive trails, and creating museum exhibits; and assisted local 100_0231schoolteachers in classroom and field trip activities so that our county's schoolchildren can learn more about the rich cultural history of the area they call home. We of the GCAS remain active in the current events surrounding archaeological legislative policy and preservation. Please take time to read about more of our exploits here.

100_0163We hope to continue our work in our community for another 90 years and more. We would welcome anyone to join us as we explore our area and share what we learn with our friends and neighbors.

 Happy Birthday(s) to the GCAS!

/s/ webmaster

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