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May 2020

Our Latest Acquisition

Vidal coverA few months ago in the pre-COVID-19 days when the world was young, a majority of the GCAS general membership approved the pre-publication purchase of a special volume for the GCAS Library. We are thrilled to now add to our research library, The Vidal Site: An Isolated Great Kiva in Heaton Canyon Near Gallup, New Mexico.

Published by the Archaeological Society of New Mexico and edited by Frances Joan Mathien, this compelling book (ASNM Special Publication Series No. 7) comprises reports of the surveys, excavations, and materials analyses directed by Richard A. Bice and Phyllis S. Davis at the Vidal Site from 1979 through 1993.

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Papas Nativas: Native Potatoes

Moray_Webready_002-800x533Some time ago there was a post on this here website discussing the consumption of wild potatoes in the US Southwest by native populations as early as 8000-9000 BCE. It appears similar activity was occurring far to the south, in Andean cultures. Emergence Magazine provides us a "Potato Travelogue" of Peru. The investigative authors describe that:

Approximately 8,000 years ago, the first wild potatoes were harvested from the high-altitude soils surrounding Lake Titicaca at the foot of the Andes Mountains. Since then, more than 4,000 varieties of native potatoes—known in Peru as papas nativas—have been cultivated in the Andean highlands. On a month-long journey through Peru, we encounter the diverse flavors, cultural significance, agricultural challenges, history, and daily uses of papas nativas.

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Re-Post: Marilyn Markel Earns Crabtree Award

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, as the awards committee acknowledged:

"Marilyn Markel has a deep passion for archaeology and has spearheaded efforts in the Mimbres Valley, New Mexico, to preserve archaeological sites and educate young people of all ages on the value of the archaeological past. She has made significant contributions to our understanding and preservation of Mimbres sites in New Mexico, through over 20 years of volunteer work on university field school excavations, promotion of site protection through stewardship, transforming the local artifact-collecting community into an avocational/professional archaeological society, and educating schoolchildren about the value of archaeological heritage. Ms. Markel has assisted archaeological field schools, preserved sites, published children’s books on archaeology, and created a center devoted to the preservation and interpretation of Mimbres archaeology through educational outreach. Marilyn Markel is highly deserving of the Crabtree Award for her exemplary service to enhancing the preservation and public appreciation of New Mexico’s archaeological past."

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Welcome Today's Guest Blogger, Kyle Meredith!

Our very own GCAS President, Kyle Meredith, has dropped by this part of the blogosphere to take us all on a virtual trip that he and two other hardy GCAS members (plus one mascot) recently took to a petroglyph site near Deming. All text and photos are courtesy of Kyle Meredith. Away we go!

Petroglyph hill - K. MeredithBack in April, Josh and I and Greg went for an overnighter down south of Deming to look for a hill with petroglyphs we had been told about. I located our probable destination on a map and set up a route on my GPS.

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