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.

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March 2019
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May 2019

April 2019

GCAS Field Trip to Old Town and Fluorite Ridge

04_07_2019 Old Town CO IMG_5402Sunday, April 7, 2019, provided fine and sunny weather for a field trip. At least 14 members joined trip leader Greg Conlin on a two-pronged visit to the Old Town archaeological site and later, to the petroglyphs on the Bureau of Land Management's site at Fluorite Ridge. [Tip o' the hat to the GCAS's own Chris Overlock, for sharing the photos in this post!]

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Old School Tattoo Tool

image from s.newsweek.comResearchers at Washington State University have (re)discovered the oldest tattooing tool in all of western North America. [Photo of tool on right, via Newsweek.] This 3-1/2 inch long, dual-needle tattooing instrument made out of two prickly pear cactus spines bound to a skunkbush sumac stem/handle with yucca fiber, had been excavated in 1972 from a midden at the Turkey Pen archaeological site in southeastern Utah. Based on the tool itself and human coprolites and maize cobs found in the same midden, the find was dated to 79-130 CE, about 2000 years ago during the Basketmaker II period. Similar tattooing tools retrieved from sites throughout the US Southwest were much more recent, having been dated to about 1100-1280CE. In other words, the Turkey Pen artifact now suggests that tattooing in our region had been practiced for at least 1000 years longer than previously believed.

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Deferred, For All the Right Reasons

h/t to the GCAS's own Chris Overlock for hipping us to today's news in the Chicago Tribune.

The Art Institute of Chicago has indefinitely postponed the exhibition they had planned for May, 2019, of a private individual's collection of some 70 pieces of Mimbres pottery. The article indicates the Art Institute came to realize that grave goods comprise the majority of this private collection. Such items are inappropriate for public display.

“It’s not art,” said Patty Loew, director of Northwestern University’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, who...has followed the controversy within the community of Native American scholars. “If someone dug up your great-grandmother’s grave and pulled out a wedding ring or something that had been buried with her, would you feel comfortable having that item on display?”

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