NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, February 16, 2022, online via Zoom at 7PM: the GCAS general meeting features Cody Dalpra M.A., R.P.A., District Archaeologist for the Las Cruces District Office of the Bureau of Land Management. Cody will discuss Landscapes of the Past American Southwest: Cultural Meaning from Ethnographic Viewshed Analysis. Cody will illustrate how visually prominent landforms throughout the US Southwest, including southern New Mexico, influenced cultural, settlement, and mobility patterns among Native American populations prior to the completion of the railroad in 1881. As usual, about a week beforehand watch your email inbox for the Zoom link to join us to hear about Cody's research and different ways of seeing the landscapes around us.

NEXT FIELD TRIP = TBA - watch this space for details as they develop.

Bice Award Nominees - Last Call
Registration Soon Closes for 2019 Rock Art Academy in El Paso, Texas

How to Show Respect When Visiting Sites

image from 100_9598e1Cool people know how wrong it is to carve (photo, left) or spray-paint (photo, right) their own "art" on top of petroglyphs and pictographs.That kind of vandalism stifles the voices of the ancient artists and erases their stories. It also creates some very bad juju for the perp. However, even the most well-meaning visitor to an archaeological or historic site may not be aware of the damage that can be caused by other, seemingly harmless activity.

We discussed why it is important to leave potsherds and other artifacts exactly where you find them. The Friends of Cedar Mesa (Utah) agree. The same goes for material like fossils and dinosaur tracks. Remember that if you are on public land, it is illegal to move any such artifacts. Find a bone? Leave it alone. Find an obviously human bone? Do not touch, and immediately notify the ranger or other person in charge of the site.

100_9587e1Lake Roberts pictographs 8 with bullet holesThe Friends of Cedar Mesa have a handy list of these and other tips for a respectful visit to a sensitive area. A favorite among their many handy hints is their suggestion to avoid building fire rings or cairns in or near archaeological sites -- because the most attractive stones you would find for your project would very likely be portions of an ancient pueblo's wall, hearth, or other architectural or cultural feature. The only way to be sure you are not destroying an archaeological feature is to not play with the rocks in the first place.

Enjoy these sites to the fullest by staying on the trails, taking pictures, and keeping your hands to your own self. Marvel at how long these features have lasted, and please help preserve them so that the people who visit after you may enjoy them as they are.

/s/ webmaster


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