NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 5:00PM: The GCAS monthly IN-PERSON general meeting meets again at 2045 Memory Lane in Silver City, New Mexico. about a block or two south of the intersection of Memory Lane and Hwy 180. Doors open at 5PM for folks to socialize and get settled. Light refreshments provided and OK to bring your own light snacks or handy meal (burrito, etc.) and beverage. Meeting starts at 5:30PM sharp with a brief to nonexistent business meeting followed at 5:45PM by our featured speaker, the redoubtable archaeologist Chris Adams. Chris will showcase for us the Feather Imagery Depicted on Mimbres Pottery. Expect meeting to adjourn about 7:00PM. As ever, 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: February 5, 2023, we will meet at 10:00 AM at the MAREC HQ at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. We will have the Allard Bartlett and George Coleman collections on display with other select items including the GCAS's replica Clovis tool kit and a comparative sampling of artifact seashells and their modern counterparts. Possible trip to the nearby McAnally site may be included!

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August 2020

July 2020

Ancient Irrigation Techniques in the US Southwest

Hohokam canal mapMonsoon 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.

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A Mimbres Image of the 1054 Supernova

Mimbres supernovaRecently 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.

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In Search Of: GCAS Newsletters

IMG_1669One 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!

/s/ webmaster


Interactive Fun with the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project

Kwells and friendThe 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!

/s/ webmaster


The Day's Guest Blogger: Kyle Meredith

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!

Pisaq Peru - photo by K.MeredithA 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.

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Treasure Hill Under New Ownership

Lecture by LaVerne Herrington (far R)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:

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An Announcement from the Southwest Kiln Conference for 2020

SWKCof logoThe 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:

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