NEXT MEETING: The April 15, 2020, general meeting IS CANCELLED. Watch this space to learn when conditions permit our GCAS meetings to resume. Meanwhile, please stay well, practice basic precautions, and we will all get together soon.

NEXT FIELD TRIP = The Sunday, April 5, 2020, field trip IS CANCELLED. WATCH THIS SPACE FOR UPDATES AS TO WHEN FIELD TRIPS WILL RESUME.

Previous month:
December 2019
Next month:
February 2020

January 2020

Tumacácori NHP Guided Tours - Four Left - Reserve Now

Guevavi-npsThe Tumacácori National Historical Park in Tumacácori AZ is located about 47 miles south of Tucson on I-19. The first and third Saturdays of each month from now through March 21, 2020 (that is, for the four remaining dates of February 1, 2020; February 15, 2020; March 7, 2020; and March 21, 2020, ONLY), from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, the Tumacácori National Historical Park provides “Special Guided Tours to Calabazas and Guevavi Missions” starting at Tumacácori National Historical Park, 1891 E. Frontage Rd., Tumacácori, Arizona for $25/person. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. To make reservations go to https://www.recreation.gov/ or https://www.nps.gov/tuma/index.htm or telephone the Tumacácori visitor center at 520-377-5060.

The fragile historic mission ruin sites of Guevavi and Calabazas are protected within the national park but normally closed to the public. Each guided tour begins at Tumacácori National Historical Park Visitor Center, then participants ride in a 15-passenger van to Guevavi and Calabazas. At each location participants walk on unshaded, moderately improved trails to reach the mission ruins, including one short section of steep, uphill trail at Calabazas. The tours are not wheelchair accessible and require walking on uneven terrain. Participants need to bring water and wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather. After the tour returns to Tumacácori, participants are invited to visit the Tumacácori Mission church and grounds, visitor center, and museum on their own or go on the next guided tour of Tumacácori (starting at 2 p.m.) at no additional charge.

Time to take a trip to Southeastern Arizona? We'll see you out there!

/s/ webmaster [Photo of Guevavi ruins via Tumacacori NHP]


The Next Volunteer Opportunity

M.Markel and Hurley 5th graders. Learning about flintknapping Drilling with a pump drill A significant aspect of the GCAS's mission is to preserve and protect archaeological resources through education. School is in session and three groups of fourth-grade students from Deming, along with their teachers, have scheduled a day of multi-station outdoor museum classrooms at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site for Friday, March 6, 2020.

The GCAS traditionally provides volunteer guides for these field trips, coordinated by our very own Marilyn Markel. This visit is a special one because this is the first time a large number of students and teachers will travel from Deming to our area. So please, GCAS members: take time to assist Marilyn in welcoming these young students to our backyard and showing them some of their region's rich heritage.

No experience is necessary for any of these classroom stations; Marilyn will quickly get you up to speed. For hours and other details please contact Marilyn ASAP by telephone at 575-536-9337, or via email. Thank you, one and all!

/s/ webmaster


Tumacácori National Historical Park Guided Tour - Reserve Now

Guevavi-npsThe Tumacácori National Historical Park in Tumacácori AZ is located about 47 miles south of Tucson on I-19. The first and third Saturdays of each month from now through March 21, 2020 (that is, for the four remaining dates of February 1, 2020; February 15, 2020; March 7, 2020; and March 21, 2020, ONLY), from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, the Tumacácori National Historical Park provides “Special Guided Tours to Calabazas and Guevavi Missions” starting at Tumacácori National Historical Park, 1891 E. Frontage Rd., Tumacácori, Arizona for $25/person. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. To make reservations go to https://www.recreation.gov/ or https://www.nps.gov/tuma/index.htm or telephone the Tumacácori visitor center at 520-377-5060.

The fragile historic mission ruin sites of Guevavi and Calabazas are protected within the national park but normally closed to the public. Each guided tour begins at Tumacácori National Historical Park Visitor Center, then participants ride in a 15-passenger van to Guevavi and Calabazas. At each location participants walk on unshaded, moderately improved trails to reach the mission ruins, including one short section of steep, uphill trail at Calabazas. The tours are not wheelchair accessible and require walking on uneven terrain. Participants need to bring water and wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather. After the tour returns to Tumacácori, participants are invited to visit the Tumacácori Mission church and grounds, visitor center, and museum on their own or go on the next guided tour of Tumacácori (starting at 2 p.m.) at no additional charge.

Time to take a trip to Southeastern Arizona? We'll see you out there!

/s/ webmaster [Photo of Guevavi ruins via Tumacacori NHP]


Plan a Dinner and Fundraiser in Truth or Consequences on March 7

Screenshot_2020-01-18 Sierra County Historical Society Geronimo Springs Museum 2020 Annual Dinner Fundraiser - New Sierra C[...]The Sierra County Historical Society, the Geronimo Springs Museum, and the TorC Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsoring their 2020 Annual Dinner and Fundraiser at 5:30 PM on Saturday, March 7, 2020. Everyone is invited.

Held at the TorC Civic Center at 400 West Fourth Street, the cost for the presentation alone is $15 per person, or $25 per person (or $45 per couple) for the presentation and a brisket dinner. Children 12 and under get dinner for $15 per child. Come out to support this worthy cause while enjoying a meal and hearing a special presentation.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Matthew F. Schmader, adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico, who will present "Vazquez de Coronado and the Southern Tiwas, 1540-1542." This talk will highlight the battle at Piedras Marcadas Pueblo (Southern Tiwa Pueblo) between Vazquez de Coronado and the Native Pueblo inhabitants in 1540. This pueblo was the largest in the Albuquerque area with over 1000 rooms and over 1500 Coronado period artifacts have been recovered. Learn about this important historic encounter that happened in Nuevo Mexico...and view some of the Coronado artifacts.

For more information contact the Geronimo Springs Museum at (575) 894-6600. The GCAS will see you there!

/s/ webmaster


Las Cruces Lecture Series Part IV

Karl Laumbach in actionPlease join Karl W. Laumbach in Las Cruces at 7:00 PM on Thursday, January 23, 2020. Karl wears many hats as professional archaeologist, Director of the Cañada Alamosa Project, and Associate Director of Human Systems Research, Inc.. On January 23 he continues his monthly series of lectures entitled, "A Synthesis of Twenty Years of Archaeological Discoveries on the Cañada Alamosa," with his penultimate lecture about the "Late Pueblo Period at the Cañada Alamosa: Tularosa, Magdalena, and Glaze."

All lectures in this series are FREE and start at 7:00 pm in the Social Center Auditorium at the University Terrace Good Samaritan Village, 3011 Buena Vida Circle, Las Cruces. For contact info and details of the entire remaining series, please check out HSR's PDF: Download Canada Alamosas Lectures in Cruces-1 or scroll through our "Events" page for all the upcoming action in this lecture series and more!

/s/ webmaster


Everyone's Welcome to the 8th Natural History of the Gila Symposium

8thGNHSPlease plan to attend the Eighth Natural History of the Gila Symposium, to be held in the Global Resource Center of WNMU in Silver City from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on February 27 and 28, 2020, with field trips offered on Saturday, February 29. Thanks to the Gila National Forest Service ADMISSION IS FREE and that can't be beat. Go to the Symposium's website for further details and more news as it develops.

There is still time for anyone, especially those with an archaeological specialty, to present a paper at the Symposium. The deadline to submit your paper's abstract, however, is January 20, 2020, so step lively now and contact Dr. William Norris of the Symposium's Steering Committee immediately.

Continue reading "Everyone's Welcome to the 8th Natural History of the Gila Symposium" »


Our January 15, 2020, Featured Speaker: Joseph A. Bryce

Joseph.brycePlease welcome our first Featured Speaker of 2020, our own Joseph A. Bryce. He will discuss "Experimental Archaeology: What and Why." He explains:

Experimental archaeology is one of the many methods that can help us understand more about
artifacts, how they were made and used, and what role the played in peoples life. While experimental archaeology can have many meanings, it is mostly used to describes replicating artifacts or conducting actions in the present that help us understand the archaeological record. Replicating artifacts often reveals new information and even details that were not expected. During this presentation I will describe several experiments that I have conducted: what started them, how they were conducted, and what was learned.

Joseph Bryce is the curator at the Silver City Museum. He holds masters in Anthropology and Museum Studies. He has worked on excavation and survey projects in the Great Basin, American Southwest and Midwest, Mexico, and Jordan. His archaeological interests include ceramics, perishable artifacts, experimental replications, and using digital technologies in archaeology.

Everyone is welcome to hear Joseph's presentation at our January 15 meeting. We'll see you there!

/s/ webmaster


What Can Be Done with Disturbed Sites?

Campfire pit lined with 1000 y.o. wall stones Grafitti  modern Bulldozer tracks at pueblo site 1Archaeologist Lewis Borck, PhD, would answer: quite a lot.

"Disturbance" describes an archaeological site that has been altered by either natural forces (erosion, animal activity, etc.), previous archaeological excavations, or - as is often the case these days - by vandalism or looting as shown in the photos. Dr. Borck explained in an article he wrote for the Fall 2019 issue of American Archaeology (Vol. 23 No. 3 at p. 44) that his research as a preservation archaeologist focuses upon disturbed sites rather than sites that may be more intact. He says, in part,

Continue reading "What Can Be Done with Disturbed Sites?" »


2020 Events A-Plenty

Long-tail bighorn sheepPeople, we have not even completed the first full week of 2020 and there are already enough archaeological events in the queue to keep you busy for the whole year. Pull out your calendar and set aside some time to travel around our region of south-central Arizona, south-central New Mexico, and Far-West Texas for all kinds of indoor and outdoor fun.

For a full slate of GCAS meetings and field trips, plus a selection of events and lectures offered by other organizations located in El Paso, Las Cruces, and Tucson, go to our GCAS Events page.

Continue reading "2020 Events A-Plenty" »


More Comparative Petroglyph Musings

Solar analemma white sandsThere are many multiple-exposure photographs existing throughout cyberspace that illustrate the solar analemma. Each week, a dedicated photographer photographs the sun from the same position during the course of a full year. The result is a photograph of 48 to 52 images of the sun in the shape of what most people recognize as a figure-eight, i.e., the "infinity" symbol. If photographed from the Northern Hemisphere the highest point of the analemma is the sun's position at the summer solstice and the lowest point is the position of the winter solstice. The path of the moon follows a similar analemma shape. Here on the right is one sample of a solar analemma via weatherscapes.com:

Continue reading "More Comparative Petroglyph Musings" »