NEXT MEETING: 6:00 PM, Wednesday, December 18, 2019: GCAS general meeting & Awesome Annual GCAS Potluck Christmas Party & White Elephant Extravaganza. Meet at Josh & Kyle's party house at 615 E. Skyview Drive. Annual Board of Trustees meeting begins ~ 5:30 PM, general meeting begins at 6 PM. Bring some potluck finger-food AND a wrapped white-elephant gift to exchange. Directions: From Hudson Street/Hwy 90 southbound from Silver City's downtown, turn left (southeast) onto Ridge Road where the Chevron gas station is on the southeast corner. Continue on Ridge Road a short ways and take the second left (eastbound) onto Skyview Drive. 615 Skyview will be a ways down the hill on the left.

NEXT FIELD TRIP = Sunday, December 8, 2019: San Diego Mountain Petroglyphs. Meet BEFORE 9:00 AM at the Valero gas station in Deming a bit south of the Hwy 180/Hatch Hwy 26 junction, about 1 hr. south of Silver City. Depart Valero at 9:00 AM sharp. Convoy will drive thru Hatch to I-25 & the Rincon exit 35, then go south on I-25 to meet Las Cruces & El Paso friends at Upham exit 32 at 10:00-10:15 AM. From there, drive about 5 mi. on dirt road to the arroyo. High clearance is not necessary with careful driving. Park, then walk approx. 1 mi. on a flat, sandy surface to the petroglyphs on an uphill, uneven terrain. Round trip hike is about 3 mi. total. Bring lunch & water. Call Kyle at 575 538-5706 if questions, including concerns about the weather.

On a Committee, GCAS Members?
Field Trip to Indian Wells - Part II

Field Trip to Indian Wells

IMG_5382Please welcome today's guest photographer, GCAS's own Chris Overlock. Thank you for sharing your photos, Chris!

Chris was one of 11 humans accompanied by 2 enthusiastic canines on our March 3, 2019, visit to three archaeological sites that comprise Indian Wells in southwestern New Mexico. Two of our group had come all the way from Las Cruces to join the fun. High-clearance vehicles carried us over increasingly rough roads to a point from which we could reach our intended sites on foot. The weather was breezy but otherwise just right for exploration.

IMG_5380 IMG_5379Grazing cattle kept wary eyes upon us as we climbed to the top of a low, flat ridge to find the faint outlines of several pit houses. It was clear from the scattered rocks and absence of certain surface artifacts that regular looting had taken place during past decades and was continuing, so it was difficult to pinpoint the pit houses' age within the broad range of 200 CE - 1000 CE. Casual "collectors" had removed all surface potsherds from the site except for fragments of corrugated and plain ware.

IMG_5381We left the pit house area and climbed to a higher ridge nearby. Here we found the badly-looted remains of a small pueblo but it was difficult to locate any foundations or other original features due to the heavy bulldozing one or more persons had done in the past.  Adding insult to serious injury, visitors here have been continuing to gather any and all surface potsherds that catch their eye, as they have been doing at the pit house site.

IMG_5384 IMG_5385Our final destination was a cluster of petroglyphs about 1/2 mile away through cattle pasture and fields of sacaton and datura. Roughly half of the petroglyphs were very faint, suggesting they may be quite old. Some of the more recently-pecked images diverged from those we typically see in the Mimbres Valley, although many others shared a common theme. Sadly, some 21st-Century visitors have scratched their own work into the rocks as well.

Despite today's heavy cattle grazing and the clear signs of vandalism and looting, the trip was worthwhile for the GCAS. We explored an area of picturesque low ridge lines and a convenient watershed that for centuries had supported a population of hunters and farmers. It was easy to understand why people chose to make this place their home for so many generations.

/s/ webmaster

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