NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, July 20, 2022, 6PM: The GCAS monthly in-person general meeting returns to 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 before introducing the evening's feature presentation by the GCAS's friend Dr. Bob Stokes, chair of ENMU's Archaeology Department, who will present his team's Preliminary Results from ENMU's 2021 Summer Field School at the Mares Rockshelter, a Jornada Mogollon Site along the Lower Rio Grande near Radium Springs. Watch this space and follow our blog for any adjustments of times, potluck procedures, etc. 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: Saturday, June 25, 2022, 10:00AM-12:00PM noon, is the GCAS's traditional "July" field trip! Visit the 2022 Archaeology Fair hosted by Archaeology Southwest and the University of Arizona's Preservation Archaeology Field School at Gila River Farm in Cliff, New Mexico. The public is welcome and it's free of charge, so join GCAS members in learning about the project team's current archaeological investigations. Eye-catching informational exhibits will be on display, and the project team will offer hands-on activities to visitors of all ages. From the junction of Highways 180 and 211 in Cliff, drive 1 mile north, keep left (north) on Highway 293 and drive to Mile Marker 4. Just past MM 4, turn right into a driveway with a small sign that says, "Gila River Farm." Please use the parking area next to the large building down the driveway. Contact Archaeology Southwest with further questions. Safety measures will be in place, so please be prepared to wear a mask and keep a safe distance. See you at the Fair!

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Lapis Lazuli in Skeletal Remains

This here blog prefers to concentrate on news of Southwest US archaeology, but this recent article from The Atlantic is way too good to pass up. There are many implications for future research of animal and human remains in our own area, and how scientific findings may be interpreted in new and exciting ways. Submitted for your consideration:

Why a Medieval Woman Had Lapis Lazuli Hidden in her Teeth -

an analysis of dental plaque illuminates the forgotten history of female scribes

image from 4.bp.blogspot.comArchaeologists were examining 1000-year-old human remains from a burial in Germany. Specifically, they were analyzing dental plaque searching for clues to medieval nutrition and disease. What they found instead was evidence of highly skilled and educated women working with high-end materials to illuminate the most bespoke of religious texts.

From the article:

"...Some [art experts] dismissed the idea that a woman could have been a painter skilled enough to work with ultramarine. One suggested...that this woman came into contact with ultramarine because she was simply the cleaning lady."

Gosh. Wonder whether that art expert was a dude.

Similar points of view have been bandied about regarding whether Mimbreño men, or women, created the intricately decorated Style III black-on-white ceramics we all love. Some individuals of decades past insisted without evidence that only men had the skill and intellect to create such beauty. The discovery of one or more burials that revealed a female interred with her ceramics kit of pigments and tools, combined with known modern Pueblo traditions, strongly suggest that the most skilled Mimbreño potters were women.

Interestingly, the German nun with the expensive ultramarine/lapis lazuli powder in her teeth, lived during the same time as her Mimbreño sisters may have been illustrating their high-end black-on-white bowls.

Science is so cool.

/s/ webmaster

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