NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, October 19, 2022, 5PM IN PERSON: It's a special open house at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site! At 5PM join Marilyn Markel on a tour of the Mattocks archaeological site, followed at 5:30PM with our customary potluck meal. At 6PM, follow your GCAS and IFWEF guides to view the Wood House's rehabilitated rooms our two groups transformed into the Mimbres Archaeological Research and Education Center (MAREC), which we offer to visiting archaeologists and students - some of whom have already used our space to great success! Next, visit the museum in the Gooch House and at 7PM settle in for a brief business meeting followed by a feature presentation by John Welch of Southwest Archaeology. 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, October 2, 2022, 10:00AM: Marilyn Markel leads this month's field trip to Purgatory Chasm. Meet at 10:00am at Purgatory Chasm on Highway 35 by the Upper Lake Roberts campground near mile marker 23, where there is parking and bathrooms, picnic tables, and extra parking across the road. If driving from Silver City to Purgatory Chasm via Highway 15 and its junction with Highway 35 (the fastest route from Silver), allow about 1 hour 15 minutes. Monsoons should be over by then so hopefully no flash-flood worries, but double-check the day's forecast to reassure. 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.

A Brief Detour into Paleontology
In Search of: GCAS Volunteers

Cultural and Ethical Implications in the Fossil Trade

Amber-field-cnnLoss of important scientific data does not just happen with cultural artifacts like Mimbres pottery. It happens with fossils, too. GCAS member Kathryn McCarroll links to an article discussing the international trade in blood amber, a fossil-rich amber mined only in Myanmar. Paleobiologist George Poinar recently wrote that "...scientifically valuable fossils...end up in carvings and jewelry and [are] lost for future generations...."

The lucrative international trade of blood amber certainly disrupts scientific study of the unique fossil species found within it. Complicating matters even further, in 2017 the Myanmar military appropriated the country's profitable amber mines for their own exploitation while committing atrocities against ethnic minorities who live in some of the amber mining areas. Scientific publishers have reacted to this human-rights situation by banning publication of research involving blood amber, on ethical grounds. Unfortunately, this response may cause even more harm to scientific research as well as to the legal trade of blood amber.

Please read the whole article to ponder this very complicated issue.

/s/ webmaster [photo of amber field via CNN]

 

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