Monsoon season has arrived in the US Southwest, a good time to ponder the logistical achievements of Native tribes of the past. During the period from 600 CE - 1450 CE the Hohokam established a complex canal system that reliably harnessed scarce water sources, enabling their communities to thrive for centuries. It encompassed an area of roughly 100,000 acres within the Salt River basin in what is now the greater metropolitan area of Phoenix, Arizona. It is North America's largest prehistoric irrigation canal system.
Due to current coronavirus conditions the annual Southwest Kiln Conference scheduled for 2020 in Globe, Arizona, has been deferred until 2021. The Conference organizers announce:
Until Next Year Friends
Recently an interesting article commemorating July 5, 1054, as The Greatest Fourth of July in American History stated:
"There’s only one place in the world we know of where a picture of the 1054 supernova event was drawn that still survives: in America, by our own compatriots the Mimbres people, as just one example of their fabulous stylized pottery of the 11th Century...."
This article is a fascinating description - from an ancient Mimbreño's point of view - of the supernova event of July 5, 1054. Among many other images, the article includes illustrations of how the sky appeared at the time of the 1054 event.The author concentrates his discussion on one particular Mimbres bowl currently housed in the Weisman Art Museum at at the University of Minnesota.
One of the many exciting projects of the GCAS Library, Archives, and Collections is to compile a list of all past GCAS field trips based on what was reported in our monthly newsletters. This is Phase One. When this list is as complete as it can be, Phase Two will be to match the dates and places of our field trips to the GCAS's massive collection of photographs. This two-phase project will make a more complete record of how certain archaeological sites have changed over time, which could be valuable to anyone researching a specific site.
Our archives include newsletters dating from November, 1969, to the present but unfortunately, newsletters are missing for several dates in between. That's where YOU, Dear GCAS member, come in!
If you happen to be keeping any past newsletters from any date, any decade, any century; and if you are willing to part with them permanently, please contact Your Loyal Webmaster and we will arrange to pick them up from you and immediately deliver them to the GCAS Library, Archives, and Collections for compilation.
Thank you for your help!
The Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project in Velarde, New Mexico, has produced a virtual tour of their extensive site that anyone can enjoy. You may have to navigate through one or two screens on this link, or perhaps this link, but it is worth a few minutes of your time to see glimpses of this very unique and important site. If you have never visited the site you will enjoy this brief introduction to it. If you have already visited in person you will be thrilled to see some of its highlights again.
Please also consider sending a donation to the MPPP to support their preservation efforts. Once it becomes feasible for public health you may consider visiting the site yourself. Plan a few days, as there are 6 different trails among the petroglyphs to sign up with a docent to see!
Our very own GCAS President, Kyle Meredith, tells us a tale of a trip to Peru from years past. He said he was prompted to write after having seen a blog post on our website with a link to an article that discussed Peru's papa nativas (native potatoes) and the archaeological site of Moray, Peru. Welcome back, Kyle!
A blast from the past! I have a propensity for falling in love with every place we go, but Peru more than others. So much of it looked so familiar. I had to look up Moray on the map because I could have sworn we had seen it, but actually it looked very similar to Pisaq in many ways, also in the Sacred Valley. In fact, the reason it looked so much like Pisaq is because one of their photos WAS Pisaq from almost the exact same spot that I took the photo.
The GCAS's very own Marilyn Gendron reports a welcome development for archaeological preservationists. the Archaeological Conservancy announced in the Summer 2020 issue of American Archaeology magazine that they have acquired one of our local archaeological sites, Treasure Hill, from long-time friends of the GCAS, archaeologist LaVerne Herrington and her husband, engineer Ellis "Red" Herrington. The article, entitled The Treasures of Treasure Hill: The Conservancy Obtains a Rare, Well-Preserved Mimbres Site, is not yet published online as of this writing but excerpts from it, combined with LaVerne Herrington's own remarks, follow:
The Grant County Archaeological Society was first organized in 1928 and is the oldest continuously chartered archaeological club in New Mexico. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation aiming to preserve and protect prehistoric, historic, and culturally significant places and objects.
Certain of our group's activities have been temporarily curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic but our group continues with our mission. When pandemic restrictions allow, we hold monthly meetings open to the public with featured speakers discussing a wide array of topics, and we arrange monthly field trips to sites of historic and cultural interest. Our members volunteer as stewards, monitoring archaeological sites; and we assist in professional archaeological excavations. We offer regular educational workshops to area students of all ages, and support the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site by providing educational tours to the general public and performing protective maintenance of the co-located Mattocks Ruin archaeological site. Our group's project of preserving and organizing our group's library, archives, and collections - amassed over a period of more than 90 years - continues with a view toward ultimately making the materials accessible to future researchers.
You are welcome to learn more about our group by clicking on any of the links in the navigation bar at the top of this Home page or in the sidebar to the left. Scroll down to see what's happening now in our blog, and continue scrolling to the bottom of this page to contact us directly.
The Southwest Kiln Conference, established in 2003, is devoted to the art, science and technology of recreating the prehistoric pottery of the American Southwest. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic they are adapting their annual conference to the circumstances. From Southwest Kiln: