The 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference will be taking place during the weekend of October 4 through October 6 in Globe, Arizona. This event is open to the public and attendance is free. This annual conference focuses on both archaeological research and hands-on techniques in the fields of prehistoric pottery replication and experimental archaeology.
Mary-Margaret Soulé has been a devoted member of the GCAS since the early 1990s. She rarely if ever misses a meeting. She has served for many years as a member of our Board of Trustees, and in practically every office our group has, from Secretary to President. She often hosts our monthly meetings, providing beverages and snacks. She will go on our monthly field trips now and then, but she's visited pretty much every accessible archaeological site more times than any of the rest of us, so she occasionally takes a break. During the winter months from October through April, when the GCAS holds meetings at 2045 Memory Lane in Silver City? That's all Mary-Margaret - we meet in one of her buildings - the same location as the local rockhounding group, The Rolling Stones, meets. She's generous that way. And speaking of generous:
This here website has already introduced everyone to two up and coming members of the Aldo Leopold Charter School Youth Conservation Corps Archaeology Crew. These high school students learn eco-monitoring of sensitive sites as part of New Mexico's Junior SiteWatch program, work on trail crews, build gardens of heritage vegetables, and more. Some, like Serena Floyd and Isaiah Padilla, do all of that plus regularly teach groups of younger students about aspects of archaeology that range from hands-on experimental activities to the proper way to monitor an archaeological site. Here are Serena (far left) and Isaiah (purple shirt, center) in April, 2019, comfortably guiding a group of fifth grade students from Hurley Elementary School through a day's curriculum at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. Mentor Marilyn Markel (white shirt, center) can relax with these two in control.
We may not yet know what career path(s) Serena or Isaiah will take, but like their classmates they already demonstrate a commitment to public service and have acquired a number of skills that will be valuable to them in anything they put their minds to. Thanks, Serena and Isaiah!
Our final field trip report in this series addresses the GCAS's visit to the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site (MCHS) on July 7, 2019, to examine the artifacts comprising the Croteau Collection in a special one-time-only exhibit.
Our 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.
It's always a pleasure to visit directing archaeologist Karen Schollmeyer, PhD, and her crew of the Archaeology Southwest/Preservation Archaeology Field School when they wind up another productive season of research at the Gila River Farm in Cliff, New Mexico. They held their 2019 Archaeology Fair on June 29 there and as usual it was well attended.
Marilyn Markel guided us on the second leg of our GCAS field trip of June 2, 2019, to the archaeological sites atop (way atop) a steep bluff at Ponderosa Ranch in the upper Mimbres Valley. This is yet another site that is monitored by a volunteer Site Steward (who also happens to be a GCAS member) under the New Mexico SiteWatch Program. [Photos by GCAS guest photographer Greg Conlin. Thanks, Greg!]
The summer months find the GCAS all over the place partaking of events aplenty. Our field trips are no exception; by the close of the first week of July we will have enjoyed a total of three field trips in five weeks.
On June 2, 2019, the GCAS's very own Marilyn Markel led our monthly field trip to two sites located near each other. Our first stop was to Spirit Canyon in the upper Mimbres Valley area. Spirit Canyon is a unique rock art site monitored under the New Mexico SiteWatch Program. About a half-mile walk up the canyon trail and carefully avoiding the lush growth of poison ivy, our group encountered a series of red ochre pictographs that reportedly depict either Apache Mountain Spirits, or the Apache ceremonial dancers who represented the Mountain Spirits. [Photo on left by M.Smith; photo on right by Greg Conlin.]
It's a busy summer for all levels of the archaeologically inclined. Pull out your calendars and fill 'em up with one or more of the following:
Monday, July 1, 2019, 7:00 PM: the Archaeology Southwest Lecture Series in Cliff, NM, concludes with Archaeology Southwest's own Allen Denoyer speaking about "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Mule Creek Obsidian." Location is 8179 Hwy 180 W, Cliff, New Mexico. Look for the cream building with blue portable toilets on the north side of Hwy 180 just east of Shields Canyon Road and the highway yard. (This is 2.2 miles west of the 180-211 junction in Cliff.)
Sunday, July 7, 2019, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM: A second GCAS July field trip! One time only! View the storied Croteau Collection of Elk Ridge artifacts at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site in the Wood House's panic room.