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.

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Make A DIY Shell Bracelet

image from swvirtualmuseum.nau.eduimage from storage.googleapis.comAncient cultures prized jewelry fashioned from the shells of the Glycymeris genus (saltwater bittersweet clams). Various sizes of clam shells were made into rings, necklaces, and especially bracelets. The Glycymeris shells that have been recovered from archaeological sites throughout the US Southwest generally originated from points along the Pacific shore of Baja California, throughout Mexico's Gulf of California, and as far south along the Mexican mainland as Acapulco. It appears some travel was involved to get the clams from their briny homes to the arid pueblos of our region.

Excavations of Hohokam sites in Arizona have yielded Glycymeris bracelets both plain and fancy. In certain larger, thicker shells, the umbos (that protruding little bump on the back of the shell) were found either carved into animal shapes or inlaid with bits of turquoise. [Left photo of artifact shell bracelets by Monica Saaty shows umbos on upper rear of bracelets; right photo of unfinished shell by Guido Poppe shows umbo at center top.]

If you are interested in making your very own Glycymeris jewelry - with or without umbo embellishment - Allen Denoyer, Archaeology Southwest's Ancient Technologies Expert and Preservation archaeologist, has a photo-rich, step-by step DIY tutorial that requires no power tools at all. Your list of supplies simply includes the Glycymeris shells of your choice, an appropriate set of abrasive sandstone, lots of time, and elbow grease. Let's get started - Thank you, Allen!

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