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 https://www.nps.gov/gicl/index.htm (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.

MAREC - With Gratitude to Our Contributors
Meet D-Stretch: the Archaeologist's Friend

Navajo Culture On Mars!

Mars-Rover-600x-SM-1Earlier this month NASA reported some very uplifting news about their Perseverance Rover Team's research on Mars. Via Forbes, because "...a big contingent of Perseverance science is centered in universities and national labs in New Mexico and Arizona, which include traditional Navajo land...", the team is naming a number of Martian geological features with words from the Navajo language.

The article continues:

"Before launch, Perseverance’s team divided the Jezero Crater landing site into a grid of quadrangles...The team decided to name these quads after national parks and preserves on Earth with similar geology. Perseverance touched down in the quad named for Arizona’s Canyon de Chelly National Monument...

Aaron yazzie nasa...Mission scientists worked with a Navajo (or Diné) engineer on the team, Aaron Yazzie of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, to seek the Navajo Nation’s permission and collaboration in naming new features on Mars.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, and their advisors made a list of words in the Navajo language available to the rover’s team. Some terms were inspired by the terrain imaged by Perseverance at its landing site. For example, one suggestion was “tséwózí bee hazhmeezh,” or “rolling rows of pebbles, like waves.” Yazzie added suggestions like “strength” (“bidziil”) and “respect” (“hoł nilį́”) to the list. Perseverance itself was translated to “Ha’ahóni.”

President_nezFor updates on the Perseverance team's research, including images and sounds of the Red Planet, visit NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover page.

Mr. Yazzie and the Navajo Nation view this as a significant opportunity to inspire Navajo youth not only to learn the value of their native language, but to appreciate Navajo contributions to science and engineering as well as to seek out careers in those fields.

Today, the traditional homeland of Dinétah has reached out and spoken to another planet. Those of us who are the Navajos' Southwestern neighbors send them our very best congratulations for enriching the cultural history - and the future - of us all.

/s/ webmaster [Images of Perseverance via Electronics Weekly; Aaron Yazzie via NASA; President Nez via Navajo Nation.]

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