NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 6PM: the GCAS is thrilled to announce this year's first general meeting IN PERSON at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley) near the junction of Highways 152 and 35! Start at 6PM with your own plates/utensils/beverage & a dish for yourself or to share. Brief general meeting at 6:45 PM. Skip social time if you like but our Featured Speaker, the WNMU Museum's new Director and archaeologist, Danielle Romero, makes her presentation on Elk Ridge Ceramics at 7PM sharp. Danielle, a ceramics specialist with years of investigating Mimbres and other sites, will make her topic most engaging. Read more about Danielle here. 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, June 5, 2022 - Park Service-guided visit to TJ Ruin at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Meet at the Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center parking lot no later than 10:50 am, tour to begin at 11:00 am. Drive north on Highway 15/Pinos Altos Rd for about 45 miles from US 180 in Silver City. Drive can take as much as 2 hours! Site is reached via a short hike to the top of a 100 ft bluff. Site is not shaded! Dogs are not allowed on the site and cannot be left in vehicles or tied up in the parking lot. NOTE: the area is currently experiencing heavy smoke impacts from the Black Fire. Check this website and the Park Service website at (Alerts) the day before/morning of the field trip to see current status of the field trip and area conditions. Remember, 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.

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Online Via Zoom: Our February 17, 2021, Featured Speaker: Lawrence (Larry) Loendorf

Larry-loendorf Larry Loendorf excavating in front of Main rock art panel  Valley of the Shields  MontanaJoin us Wednesday, February 17, 2021, at 7:00 PM on Zoom to hear our Featured Speaker, Lawrence (Larry) Loendorf of Sacred Sites Research, Inc. explain the relationships he and other anthropologists, archaeologists, and ethnobotanists have studied between "Medicinal Plants and Rock Art Sites in Southern New Mexico."

Larry was born and raised in Montana. His BA and MA degrees are in anthropology and archaeology from the University of Montana and his PhD is from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After receiving his PhD, he taught at the University of North Dakota for 22 years and then moved to undertake research and teaching at the University of Arizona and New Mexico State University. He currently manages Sacred Sites Research, Inc., a non-profit company that is dedicated to protecting ancient pictograph and petroglyph sites.

Loendorf’s early career was mainly as a “dirt” archaeologist. Working with field crews, he located and excavated dozens of sites in the Pryor Mountain-Bighorn Canyon region. For the past thirty-five years he has concentrated on rock art related research projects. This research was often concentrated in Montana, Colorado, and New Mexico, although he directed a three-year project recording rock art sites in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona.

He has written numerous scholarly articles, reports, monographs, books, and chapters in books including many that are on rock art topics.  The recognition that there is a relationship between medicinal plants and rock art sites comes from research at sites on Fort Bliss and in the Permian Basin region around Carlsbad, New Mexico. Learn more about Larry's research background here: Download L-Loendorf-abbreviated-c-v-2019.doc (40.0K)

In his presentation to our group, Larry will describe how:

"Over the past decade, archaeologists have discovered a relationship between several different medicinal plants and rock art sites in southern to central New Mexico. Tobacco (Nicotiana obtusifolia) is the most common medicinal plant, with datura (Datura inoxia) another common plant found at New Mexico sites. Other plants like Mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora), desert marigolds (Baileya multiradiata) and Morning glory (Convolvulus capillaceus Kunth) are also found at New Mexico rock art sites. The red beans of the Mountain laurel are well-known for their hallucinogenic properties but their relationship with rock paintings is not understood.

In the presentation, I will discuss the finding of these medicinal plants at rock art sites. Other researchers have discussed a possible relationship between psychotropic plants and rock art, but the point of the lecture is to show there is a one-to-one relationship with medicinal plants growing at rock art sites. No one knows why this relationship occurs, but it is suspected that in using the plants, their seeds were left to propagate and continue to grow at the sites.

Painted triangle motifs are commonly found with tobacco plants at sites. Based on ethnographic accounts, these may represent water gourds and suggest a connection between tobacco and water or rain-making rituals. Some sites with Datura near them have depictions of the Datura flower, some in the process of opening, or of the Datura moth associated with the plant.

Datura quids (chewed parts of the Datura plant) stuck in the ceiling of Pinwheel Cave in California have recently rejuvenated the notion that some rock art images are a product of hallucinations. Several sites in southern New Mexico contain images that suggest a relationship to Datura and the Datura moth. There is also a possible relationship between Mimbres pottery designs and Datura. The combination of medicinal plants at rock art sites, painted images that are duplicated from one site to another and designs in Mimbres bowls are the topic of the presentation."

We'll see you on Zoom!

/s/ webmaster


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Beth Buskirk

We'd like to attend the Zoom meeting featuring Larry Loendorf, but we don't see where to sign up to receive the link. Could you please send it to us?

Marianne Smith

Hi, Beth - Our general policy is to offer our monthly Zoom meetings to GCAS members only, but I'll forward your question to our president, Kyle Meredith, to see if an exception is OK. He should reply to you soon. Thank you for your interest in Larry's upcoming presentation, and for checking out what our website has to offer!

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