NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, July 17, 2024, 6:00PM: members and non-members are welcome to the GCAS monthly meeting at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley). We start at 6PM with a potluck - bring your own plates & utensils, and a dish for yourself or to share with with what we expect to be a larger than usual number of guests, including the starving students of the Preservation Archaeology Museum Curation and Survey Field School. Let's feed these folks well, people! At about 6:30PM we will have a brief business meeting followed immediately by our featured speaker, Archaeology Southwest's Karen Schollmeyer PhD, who will share updates on her and her field school team's work at the WNMU Museum which includes curating the artifacts comprising the NAN Ranch collection. Come meet the next generation of archaeologists and learn about the latest activity at our own WNMU Museum. In order to offer our members a safe and comfortable experience at our in-person meetings the GCAS follows CDC and New Mexico Department of Health guidelines for indoor gatherings including masking, distancing, and vaccinations. We recommend each attendee take the precautions they feel are appropriate for themselves.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: we defer a July field trip due to conflict with the July 4 holiday weekend. Watch this space for our next field trip scheduled for Sunday, August 4, 2024, destination TBA.

Previous month:
November 2023
Next month:
January 2024

December 2023

Update from our Friends to the East

We're always happy to hear from our friends in the Jornada-Mogollon region, and the Jornada Research Institute's Dave Greenwald never disappoints. His latest update has a lot of exciting news for professionals and aspiring avocational volunteers alike. Dave reports:

In November, we returned to Creekside Village and continued excavations in one of the large pithouses, Feature 11. Typically, Mesilla phase pithouses used by the Jornada Mogollon had less than about 7 sq meters of floor area. This is not the case with either Feature 11 or 37 that we have opened so far. Feature 11 measures approximately 7.2 m across, or contains about 38 sq m of floor surface, with Feature 37 only slightly smaller, perhaps about 33 sq m. As we have continued excavation, both of these houses appear to possess a straight side on the SE side of the structure, making them more “D” shaped than circular, as we had originally thought. So, why are these structures so large in comparison to other Mesilla phase pithouses? A likely explanation is because Creekside Village was in fact a “true” village, occupied on a year-round basis (rather than seasonally), whose residents were full-time agriculturalists. The smaller pithouse likely reflected greater mobility of residents, moving as resources became available throughout the year. As agriculturalists, however, residents could remain in one location, raising crops to sustain them throughout the year. Botanical studies have shown that maize accounted for over 80% of the recovered economic plant remains recovered from domestic features and refuse deposits at Creekside compared to about 10% from other Mesilla phase sites with pithouses. With permanent residence and dependence on agriculture, family size or household populations could have been much larger than more mobile groups and as such larger families (whether represented by extended families or immediate family members) would have required greater living space. Based on the size of the houses at Creekside Village we are conservatively estimating a household population of about 10 people per house.

We plan to continue excavating at Creekside Village throughout the winter and spring months on weekends until it gets too hot in May....

GCAS members interested in this exciting news and wanting to participate in JRI's excavations at Creekside Village should contact Dave Greenwald directly about the possibilities. If participation is feasible JRI will verify your membership with the GCAS and give you answers to your questions, excavation dates, and details of the project. If any GCAS member participates in this rare opportunity with the JRI, please keep us informed of your findings and your progress!

/s/ webmaster

2023's Last Field Trip

C-Bar EA1 C-Bar EA7Our last field trip of 2023 happened on December 3 when Kyle Meredith guided about 13 GCAS members to the C-Bar Ranch area of the Burro Mountains. The day was cool, dry, and pleasant - well suited to exploring archaeological sites and features on foot. Kyle reported it was a perfect day, with the group about equally divided between established members and folks fairly new to the GCAS. We're certain everyone enjoyed the trip, judging by the photos Kyle and Eduardo Arguello took of people in action.

C-Bar EA8Kyle provided the two photos shown of pictographs enhanced by dStretch software, and Eduardo shared his group shots. Thanks to both Eduardo and Kyle for their reports!

Pictos 1b Pictos 2b/s/ webmaster

Repost: Help Us Move Forward

MA3895 - THAT bowlPeople, WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please step up to fill one of the following upcoming vacancies so that the GCAS can keep moving forward with out programs and events. Email Marianne at [email protected] or call her at 772-529-2627 to get details of the activity you aim to take on. It doesn't even have to be one of the following; use your imagination for how you want to contribute to the oldest continuously operating archaeological club in New Mexico!

No experience necessary for any position – we will show you the ropes and provide you with the materials you need to make it work:

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