NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 5:00PM Mountain Daylight Saving Time (4:00PM Arizona Time): GCAS's regular monthly meeting becomes a special hybrid in-person and online Zoom charity event to be held in Silver City at the Western New Mexico University Museum at Fleming Hall on W. 10th St. next to the Aldo Leopold Charter School, to support the WNMU Museum's curation of their historic documents and photo archives. Featured Speaker: historian and award-winning author, Carolyn O’Bagy Davis, will discuss Hopi Quilts and Textiles as Cultural Artforms. We begin at 5:00 PM with a minimum $5 donation payable to the Museum at their front desk. Online participants also register with a $5 minimum donation to the Museum payable via the GCAS's secure Paypal portal. The Museum welcomes and appreciates additional donations in any other amounts to support their curation project. All such proceeds go to the WNMU Museum. A classic quilter's trunk show immediately follows Carolyn's presentation, offering original 25" x 30" quilted wall hangings designed and created by Hopi artist Bonnie Nampeyo Chapella for $150 each. The proceeds from one quilt will also be donated to the WNMU Museum. Register and donate online here, or Email the GCAS for registration info and other details.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: Sunday, March 3, 2024, Third time's a charm for the GCAS monthly field trip! At 10:00 AM sharp, meet our trip leader, Marilyn Gendron, at the intersection of Hwy 180 and Hwy 61 (City of Rocks turnoff). From there we will caravan 1/2 hour more, turn left onto the Hatch highway (26), and drive 5 miles to turn left again onto Green Leaf Mine Road (a good dirt road, fine for a street car). Here is a video of the road. Drive 10 more miles passing one check dam (at the 9:34 mark on the video), crossing a yellow cattle guard (11:07) and at the second check dam turn left and park (11:44). It is rocky and uphill to the ridge (1/4 mile?) but there is a trail. There are four petroglyph areas with wonderful images. It is exposed on the ridge with no toilet facilities. Wear sturdy shoes, dress in layers, and bring a lunch. As always, carpooling is encouraged. See you there!

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March 2020

Be a Guest Blogger or Photographer!

13 - Don records Greg's flake findHave you ever thought about contributing something to our GCAS website, but weren't sure how to start?  Do you have an archaeology-related event to announce? Would you like to share a link to an article or a book you've read? Have you recently visited a historic or archaeological site and have photos to share online? Need something to keep you occupied during this Time of Social Distancing?

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Petroglyphs as Celestial Markers

Venus 1218 pmImages depicted in Southwestern petroglyphs are open to interpretation due to the absence of a written record explaining the ancient artist's intentions. However, certain petroglyphs found at various sites throughout the region appear similar to one another and so have led many researchers to propose that they depict heavenly bodies (see also photo on left) or a specific astronomical event like a coronal mass ejection or a supernova. Other petroglyphs have been found to track recurring events like solstices and equinoxes; these markers are typically spirals across which rock shadows or daggers of light trace the sun's path across the sky (photo on right). The Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project (MPPP) has something a bit different...

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Meet Our 2020 Coinman Grant Awards Recipient!

IMG_0944We here at the GCAS are very pleased to announce this year's recipient of our 2020 Nancy Coinman Grant Awards, Danielle Romero of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. [She might be found somewhere in that field school work photo over there on the right.]

Danielle is a third-year PhD candidate majoring in Archaeology with a minor in Anthropology, working toward her PhD dissertation in May 2021. In addition to her formal studies, Danielle works as a Graduate Assistant in UNLV's Mimbres Archaeology Lab. She has been part of UNLV's excavation and research field schools at the Elk Ridge archaeological site in the Mimbres Valley for several years. An accomplished public speaker, she often presents topics on archaeology, ceramics, and ancient cultural interactions at regional and statewide archaeological conferences. In the past she has also shared aspects of her research as a featured speaker at our own GCAS monthly meetings.

Danielle's current research is a fascinating study of how an analysis of Elk Ridge ceramics may sharpen archaeologists' understanding of the social and cultural interactions among the groups inhabiting the entire Mimbres Valley during the period from AD 200 to AD 1150. Read the details of Danielle's research in her own words.

Congratulations, Danielle!

/s/ webmaster

An Update from the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site

Wood House and panic room need a new roofIn accordance with New Mexico's statewide health protocols, the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site has announced:
Special Notice
Due to the COVID-19 Virus emergency and in accordance with recent Government Requirements the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site museum and gift shop will be closed until further notice. Our interpretive trail will remain open.
The Heritage Site still has caretakers and site stewards keeping their eyes on things, and they welcome any visitor who wants to walk their trails. Please also help support their rehabilitation projects in the site's historic buildings [see photo]. You can check back from time to time for updates at their website, to plan your next visit once circumstances allow the museum and tours to resume regular hours.
/s/ webmaster [Photo by M.Smith]

Congratulations, Marilyn Markel!

IMG_0287 Marilyn Markel with Pat GilmanThe GCAS is very proud to announce to all of cyberspace that the Society for American Archaeology has awarded our very own Marilyn Markel their 2020 Crabtree Award for outstanding Avocational Archaeologist. The SAA will present the award to Marilyn at their annual meeting, to be held this year in Austin, Texas, from April 22 through April 26.

To be nominated for this honor, a person

"...should have made significant contributions to advance understandings of local, regional, or national archaeology through excavation, research, publication, site or collections preservation, collaboration with the professional community, and/or public outreach."

Marilyn Markel personifies all of the above.

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The 9th Annual Buffalo Fundraiser Is Tomorrow!

HSR BR PosterUPDATE 3:19PM, March 13, 2020: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED AND MAY BE RESCHEDULED AT A LATER DATE. Check with the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum's website for more info as it comes available.

On Saturday, March 14, 2020, it's the 9th Annual Buffalo Roast Fundraiser at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces! Human Systems Research Inc. proudly presents the keynote speaker, Mark Santiago, discussing "Labyrinth of Blood: Apaches and the Spanish Empire." This is an Advance-Ticket-Only event with tickets going for $50/person. For time of presentation, tickets, and other information please telephone the NMFRHM at 575-524-9456. Meanwhile, enjoy the presentation summary:

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Potential Field Trip Out Tularosa Way

DSC00831Saturday, March 21, 2020 through Sunday, March 22, 2020: David Greenwald, President and Board member of the Jornada Research Institute, plans a field session at Creekside Village and the Twin Kivas sites north of Tularosa, New Mexico, just after the vernal equinox (March 19). If enough participants join in there will be excavating at both sites.

Mr. Greenwald has focused the past 18 years of his work upon the history and archaeology of the entire Tularosa Basin. He is eager to share his knowledge with all who wish to participate and it is bound to be a worthwhile experience.

If interested, please follow the Jornada Research Institute's Events page as things develop, or contact them directly for details.

/s/ webmaster [photo via Jornada Research Institute]

Tumacácori National Historical Park Guided Tour - Last Call! Reserve Now!

Guevavi-npsThe Tumacácori National Historical Park in Tumacácori AZ is located about 47 miles south of Tucson on I-19. On March 21, 2020, ONLY, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, the Tumacácori National Historical Park provides its final special guided tour of the season to the ruins of the Calabazas and Guevavi Missions. The tour starts at Tumacácori National Historical Park, 1891 E. Frontage Rd., Tumacácori, Arizona for $25/person. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. To make reservations go to or 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.

Last chance to take a trip to Southeastern Arizona before the weather heats up! Reserve now and we'll see you out there!

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

Plan Now for THREE Special Events in March!

HSR BR PosterOn Saturday, March 14, 2020, it's Event Number One, the 9th Annual Buffalo Roast Fundraiser at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces! Human Systems Research Inc. proudly presents the keynote speaker, Mark Santiago, discussing "Labyrinth of Blood: Apaches and the Spanish Empire." This is an Advance-Ticket-Only event with tickets going for $50/person. For time of presentation, tickets, and other information please telephone the NMFRHM at 575-524-9456. Meanwhile, enjoy the presentation summary:

Continue reading "Plan Now for THREE Special Events in March!" »

Site Steward Opportunity Up North - Plan Now!

The Santa Fe National Forest is looking for Archaeological Site Stewards for their area. Their training day is Saturday, March 21, 2020, so if the date and location fit your schedule, get busy now and sign up. They explain in their press release:

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