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 (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.

Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part III: Gila River Farm
Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part V: The Croteau Collection

Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part IV: Gila River Farm's Excavation

7 - Room with Mimbres-Mogollon features 16 - Schollmeyer in education modeOur previous post featured the fine work that Archaeology Southwest Field School students display as part of their public outreach duties. The second portion of the June 29, 2019, GCAS field trip to the Gila River Farm included a tour of this season's Field School excavations. Of particular interest was evidence the Field School uncovered of cultural convergence. In a multi-room pueblo complex, the crew found artifacts of various 14th-Century Puebloan cultures including Mimbres-Mogollon (with their distinctive wall and floor construction features), and Kayenta (with their unique ceramics including Kayenta perforated plates). It became clear from the excavations that people of different cultures, practices, and languages, migrating in and out of the region, found ways to live and work together long-term. We in the 21st Century could take a lesson.

21 - NNE end of large possibly communal roomDirecting Preservation Archaeologist Karen Schollmeyer PhD and Preservation Fellow Leslie Aragon aptly demonstrated to the crowd the concept of preservation archaeology with their tour of this season's Field School excavations. Their crew meticulously excavated only select portions of the site so that future archaeologists have the opportunity to examine undisturbed areas and arrive at their own conclusions from their own research. The 2019 Field School will re-bury materials they have excavated instead of simply transporting everything they uncover to a museum for storage. In this way future archaeologists will have access to the same artifacts and features for study. The most valuable aspect of preservation archaeology, we learned, is the compilation of comprehensive and detailed research data so that in addition to materials left in situ, future archaeologists will have an evidentiary baseline upon which to agree - or disagree - with the archaeologists of the past.

8 - Granary platform  hearth to L 13 - Long view  wall base with cemientos 14 - Aragon explains floor level 17 - Hearth where ash was found - Kayenta features 18 - Long view  room with ash-filled hearth 22 - Metate fragment at large communal room[Above photos, L to R:] 1. Here, one partially-excavated room reveals a stone platform typical in Mimbres-Mogollon pueblos for supporting a granary (large covered pottery jar for storing grain). 2. Another room's wall base shows the Mimbres-Mogollon construction of the era, in which large stones (cemientos) were held together with adobe mud. 3. Leslie Aragon explains to the group the significance of the various layers of soil deposits, and that the crew excavated below floor level to confirm that the pueblo was built on native soil instead of any earlier habitations. 4. In another partially-excavated room, a hearth was found to have contained ashes that disclosed a wealth of information about the occupants' diet and lifestyle. 5. Moreover, Kayenta-style pottery in the form of perforated plates were uncovered in this room indicating that at least two different cultures lived in this pueblo at the same time. 6. A fragment of a well-worn metate, found in an unusually large and elongated pueblo room.

Perforated_plate-1[What a perforated plate looks like. Photo via Archaeology Southwest, not from this excavation. ----> All other photos by M. Smith.]

/s/ webmaster




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