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.

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

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,

"...I view this as a form of historical reparations because it is respecting the wishes of descendant groups to minimize the impact to intact archaeological sites....I also view it as historical reparations because we are demonstrating that there is a ton of data you can get out of these looted sites, and it's our responsibility to recover as much as possible....It's also a form of landscape reparations, because we fill in the sites so that they don't look damaged afterwards."

Generally, Dr. Borck examines and sets aside any looted debris from a site, then proceeds to excavate, map, and date the remaining archaeological structures and features. He believes archaeologists should not dismiss disturbed sites as too difficult to interpret because - especially with current scientific technology - there is still abundant archaeological data to retrieve. These data can be applied to the findings from numerous other sites to gain a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of ancient regional settlement patterns, land use, and cultural identities.

To read more of Dr. Borck's published work and the perspective he brings to his research, start here.

/s/ webmaster [all photos courtesy of M.Smith, GCAS]

 

 

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