NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 5:00PM Mountain Daylight Saving Time (4:00PM Arizona Time): GCAS's regular monthly meeting becomes a special hybrid in-person and online Zoom charity event to be held in Silver City at the Western New Mexico University Museum at Fleming Hall on W. 10th St. next to the Aldo Leopold Charter School, to support the WNMU Museum's curation of their historic documents and photo archives. Featured Speaker: historian and award-winning author, Carolyn O’Bagy Davis, will discuss Hopi Quilts and Textiles as Cultural Artforms. We begin at 5:00 PM with a minimum $5 donation payable to the Museum at their front desk. Online participants also register with a $5 minimum donation to the Museum payable via the GCAS's secure Paypal portal. The Museum welcomes and appreciates additional donations in any other amounts to support their curation project. All such proceeds go to the WNMU Museum. A classic quilter's trunk show immediately follows Carolyn's presentation, offering original 25" x 30" quilted wall hangings designed and created by Hopi artist Bonnie Nampeyo Chapella for $150 each. The proceeds from one quilt will also be donated to the WNMU Museum. Register and donate online here, or Email the GCAS for registration info and other details.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: Sunday, March 3, 2024, Third time's a charm for the GCAS monthly field trip! At 10:00 AM sharp, meet our trip leader, Marilyn Gendron, at the intersection of Hwy 180 and Hwy 61 (City of Rocks turnoff). From there we will caravan 1/2 hour more, turn left onto the Hatch highway (26), and drive 5 miles to turn left again onto Green Leaf Mine Road (a good dirt road, fine for a street car). Here is a video of the road. Drive 10 more miles passing one check dam (at the 9:34 mark on the video), crossing a yellow cattle guard (11:07) and at the second check dam turn left and park (11:44). It is rocky and uphill to the ridge (1/4 mile?) but there is a trail. There are four petroglyph areas with wonderful images. It is exposed on the ridge with no toilet facilities. Wear sturdy shoes, dress in layers, and bring a lunch. As always, carpooling is encouraged. See you there!

Excavation Opportunity for GCAS Members
Support the WNMU Museum Today, Giving Tuesday!

Publication Released on Jornada-Mogollon Culture

Jorn-mog bookDavid Greenwald of the Jornada Research Institute announces a recent publication of interest to the GCAS and describes the circumstances of its development:

Beginning in the Spring of 2020 (during early Covid), myself and John Groh (JRI Research Associate) were invited to participate in a symposium on communal and ritual locations in the Mogollon region of the Southwest. The impact of Covid on the symposium resulted in delays in submitting and presenting our contribution to the professional community, eventually presenting our contribution as a Zoom talk in the Fall of 2021. John and I prepared a paper on the function of the first documented great kiva in the Tularosa Basin that dates to approximate AD 650 to 725. The discovery of this great kiva is highly significant in itself, but our research also showed that the great kiva served functions beyond that of a community ritual structure, that being as an observatory from which celestial events were monitored (both solar and lunar positions and possibly Venus and bright stars).

Other great kivas have now been identified in Tularosa Canyon and at least two others also served as observatories similar to the Creekside great kiva although they appear to have been used to monitor other celestial events. Our discovery of the use of these great kivas as observatories, plus the complexity of Creekside Village and the Twin Kivas site as large, permanently occupied villages, provides a unique look into the knowledge that Jornada Mogollon people possessed, how they viewed their cosmological associations, and how they structured their lives based on their understanding of cyclical events that they were able track through the movement of celestial bodies.

The contribution we made to the recently released book by the University of Utah Press is the first published information available on the great kivas, community irrigation systems, and villages in Tularosa Canyon and southern New Mexico. We plan to release more about the discoveries in Tularosa Canyon over the next few years in various formats because these archaeological discoveries are some of the most significant yet reported for this area. Although we lack the outstanding architecture of places like Chaco Canyon and other monuments such as Stonehenge, the ability of the people living 1400 years ago in Tularosa Canyon to monitor celestial activities is on par with other peoples around the world. Archaeologists have not yet developed an in-depth  understanding of “primitive” knowledge as it relates to time keeping, charting of the celestial movements, or what we refer to as scared geometry, archaeoastronomy, or archaeogeometry. But, more and more sites are being discovered that exhibit a relationship to specific celestial events, and with the recognition of associations, we are beginning to understand a little better that what we have referred to as “primitive” cultures should probably include some of our own thinking and understanding of the universe. The Jornada Mogollon may not have had a written language, but they had a great understanding of the universe around them, a universe that they were a part.

To acquire a copy of MOGOLLON COMMUNAL SPACES AND PLACES IN THE GREATER AMERICAN SOUTHWEST, edited by Robert J. Stokes, Katherine A. Dungan, and Jakob W. Sedig, follow this link or contact The University of Utah Press directly.

/s/ webmaster


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