NEXT MEETING: 6:00 PM, Wednesday, November 20, 2019: GCAS general meeting at 2045 Memory Lane in Silver City, New Mexico. No potluck dinner, but light refreshments provided. After the meeting, our Featured Speaker, the GCAS's very own Greg Conlin, will speak about what lies "Beyond Machu Picchu: a Travelogue of Pre-Columbian Architecture in Peru."

NEXT FIELD TRIP = Sunday, November 3, 2019: Fort Bowie, Arizona. MEET FIRST at 10:00 AM sharp at the Tyrone parking lot near the US Post Office building on Highway 90. The convoy will then drive about 2 hours to the Fort Bowie National Historic Site via Highway 90 to Lordsburg > I-10 West > Exit 362 to Apache Pass Road, to meet at the trailhead for lunch at about noon. DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ENDS AT 2AM ON SUNDAY NOVEMBER 3, SO NEW MEXICO AND ARIZONA RETURN TO THE SAME TIME ZONE WHEN THIS FIELD TRIP BEGINS. This is a 3-mile loop trip. Bring lunch and water. More details at the Fort Bowie website.

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August 2019

GCAS August Field Trip Part II - the C-Bar Ranch Site

GCAS examines the wall outlines Are these sherds Style I or Style IIThe second phase of our August 4, 2019, GCAS field trip found us traveling from the Microwave Site to examine the site at C-Bar Ranch. Like the Microwave Site, the C-Bar Ranch Site comprises some Late Period pithouses and the ruins of more recent pueblo rooms. And like Microwave, C-Bar is well known and convenient to locals and so continues to be heavily looted to this day.

Still life with prickly pear and lichen covered bouldersThe approach to the C-Bar site criss-crosses arroyos and passes rock outcrops hosting venerable prickly pear colonies. Abundant lichens on the rocks testify to the clean air which makes for a good, healthy walk (right photo).

Big photo on left up there shows all that that remains of the site's pueblo walls. Scattered by looters and people who either didn't know any better or didn't care.

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GCAS August Field Trip Part I - the Microwave Site

Microwave vista NW Microwave vista to Cooke's Peak Microwave vista ENEThe Microwave Site has no microwave tower. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It once had one.

This site in southwestern New Mexico is very well known to locals who have been camping here - and gathering potsherds and stones from pueblo walls - for many decades.

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Plan Soon for the 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference

2017 swkc multi firingsThe 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference is set for the weekend of October 4 through October 6 in Globe, Arizona. This event emphasizes archaeological research and hands-on techniques in the fields of prehistoric pottery replication and experimental archaeology. It is open to the public and attendance is free.

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Following Paul E. Minnis, PhD

Minnis with pickMeet Dr. Paul Minnis. He earned his PhD at the University of Michigan in 1981 and holds the title of Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. During his career he has authored, co-authored, or edited at least 12 books in addition to having written numerous journal articles and book chapters. Now retired and living in Tucson, Arizona, he speaks at professional conferences and in more informal presentations to the general public on topics such as prehispanic trade and cultural networks; and how ancient farming practices can enhance our modern world's food supply.

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American Gothic the GCAS Way

Photo by Kyle Meredith; © 2019 ENMU - All Rights ReservedHere we see GCAS members Marianne Smith and Josh Reeves recreating Grant Wood's iconic masterpiece as they model the activewear that the fashion-forward consumer values for the ultimate in protection from sun and dust. Those in the know understand that this gear is not only handy for some serious volunteering on an archaeological excavation, but also for more casual events like GCAS field trips or community projects.

It's easy to spot Josh and Marianne when they're out and about. Be sure to ask them who they're wearing. Thanks, you two!

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What Do Volunteers Do at an Archaeological Excavation?

FSCN4286These days there are no lavish budgets for archaeological excavations, and paid crew positions are few (very few) and far (very far) between. With no money for lodging, the crew tend to camp out at or near the site for the duration of the project. Feeding the crew on a tight budget may involve a lot of pre-frozen mini-burritos.

FSCN4095 (2)The excavation has a Directing Archaeologist in charge of the project. Often there will be one or more other archaeologists supporting the Director by excavating and/or performing other essential work such as cataloguing artifacts, recording data, and performing materials analysis. Graduate and undergraduate students participating in the excavation gain hands-on experience in as many aspects of the work as they can. Sometimes - but not always - they earn class credits. However, on many excavations there are too few students available to get all the work done in the time allotted.

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A New Book for the Avocational Archaeologist's Library

Robert J. Stokes PhD  editor and contributorRobert J. Stokes, PhD, has just edited and published a book directed at the professional that we avocational enthusiasts can enjoy as well. Communities and Households in the Greater American Southwest: New Perspectives and Case Studies is  published by the University Press of Colorado. It is a collection of a dozen authors' latest research into how the Southwest's ancient cultures organized their families, households, and communities to live and work with one another to make the best use of their land and resources.

The reader will discover that the authors' points of view may vary but all offer insights into how recent findings from archaeological excavations inform new perspectives of how ancient cultures organized their societies. Examples include a chapter written by Dr. Stokes himself examining how landless families and households influenced Classic Period Mimbres communities. Another chapter by Barbara Roth, PhD, illustrates patterns of community development at New Mexico's Harris site; and a chapter by Deni Seymour, PhD, provides an intriguing analysis of ancient cultures' migration habits. There is much more in this volume to interest the armchair archaeologist and sociology maven. Find more 411 at http://bit.ly/2LoBaKt or via Amazon, and get you some!

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ENMU Excavation at City of Rocks State Park

Photo by Marianne Smith; © 2019 ENMU - All Rights ReservedIn July, 2019, professor Robert J. Stokes PhD of Eastern New Mexico University in Portales was Directing Archaeologist on an excavation of a small ruined structure located within the boundaries of City of Rocks State Park. The project's goals were to identify its walls, floors, and the overall nature of its construction to help determine its age and the purpose for which it had originally been built. Additionally Dr. Stokes sought to assess the context of the site within the surrounding landscape.

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Hummingbird Festival 2019

Mattocks still life Wood House and panic room need a new roof The GCAS Info Booth receives a visitorThe 2019 Hummingbird Festival, hosted by the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site, was a happening thing the weekend of July 27 through 28. Over 29 artisanal vendors participated and the GCAS was happy to be in the action by providing an informational booth, lecture programs, hands-on demonstrations of ancient tools, and site tours. The public turnout was outstanding - parking opportunities expanded outward and further outward around the MCHS, and not one frowny face was in sight.

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