NEXT MEETING: 6:00 PM, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley). Potluck followed by general meeting, then our Featured Speaker: Karen G. Schollmeyer, PhD, preservation archaeologist for Archaeology Southwest, presenting: "The Cliff Valley in the 14th Century."

Friday, May 31, 2019: GCAS members can join Dr. Schollmeyer at the Woodrow Ruin near Cliff. Meet at 8:00 AM sharp at the Silver City Visitors' Center, 201 N Hudson St.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: Sunday, June 2, 2019: Marilyn Markel leads us to Pictograph Canyon and Ponderosa Ranch. Meet at the Mimbres Ranger Station (on Hwy. 35 about 11 mi. north of Hwy 152 junction) at 10:00 AM sharp.

Anthropology

How Did Mimbreño Language Sound?

image from science.sciencemag.orgAnswer: We may never know. But there are some intriguing clues, thanks to archaeological linguists and forensic anthropologists. From an article dated March 15, 2019, in Archaeology Magazine:

"...the spread of agriculture and consumption of easier-to-chew foods may have led to changes in human jaws and their arrangement of teeth, which in turn allowed people to make new sounds and create new words....chewing tough, gritty food would have put force on hunter-gatherers’ lower jaws, making the bone grow larger so that the upper and lower teeth aligned in an “edge-to-edge” bite. Such a bite would have made it hard to push the upper jaw forward to make the sounds “f” and “v”...

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New Techniques in the Study of Human Remains

image from abm-website-assets.s3.amazonaws.comResearchers have discovered that a certain protein in tooth enamel comes from a sex-specific gene. Scientists at the University of California/Davis have taken that discovery and developed a technique by which they can determine the gender of human remains even if only a single tooth is all that is recovered. Details are in this recent article in Archaeology magazine.

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The Bioarchaeology of Care

image from westerndigs.orgThis article is a couple years old now, but its ideas remain fresh. [Image via Westerndigs.org]

A recent archaeological excavation in Tempe, Arizona, uncovered a 13th-Century Hohokam settlement at the headgates of one of the Hohokam's main irrigation canals - one of their extensive network of canals that ran throughout what is now the Phoenix metropolitan area and sustained an estimated population of 80,000.

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Following Dr. Fumiyasu Arakawa

Fumi ArakawaEveryone calls him Fumi.

He earned his PhD in Anthropology from Washington State University in 2006, with an emphasis in geology and lithics (the scientific analysis of stone tools, chipped stone artifacts, and their debris).  He has regularly spoken at conferences and written articles in professional publications regarding lithic and pottery analysis, but from the beginning his research expanded to include topics such as the migration and settlement patterns of ancient societies based on the lithic and pottery material they left behind, and the cultural implications of that activity. All of which Fumi delivers to his audiences with his characteristic dry wit.

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A New Series

image from cdn-images-1.medium.comYour Faithful Webmaster is embarking upon a recurring series of blog posts featuring anthropologists, ethnologists,  and archaeologists whose work focuses on the GCAS’s special area of interest:  Mimbres-Mogollon culture and how it relates to the world as a whole. We plan to feature a different anthro/ethno/archaeologist in a short blog post about once every two months. We want to introduce their background and work to a (hopefully) broader readership than is found in the scholarly community; and to encourage the reader to learn more. We believe the more lightly educated among us should have the opportunity to appreciate the dedication and perseverance of this particular group of scientists. None of them became multimillionaires by doing dirt work. They’re in it for the love of the game.

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A New Book for Your Library

The University of Arizona Press has published an enticing new volume of the latest in Mimbres area archaeology. Avocational archaeologists as well as professionals will recognize some or all of the 30 contributing authors whose experience in the Mimbres region reflects many decades of dedicated field work and research. Edited by Drs. Barbara Roth, Patricia Gilman, and Roger Anyon, this 288-page book is available in both hard-copy and electronic editions.

List price is $65 but scroll down in the flyer below to find a sweet 30% discount coupon for hip people like you who are In The Know:

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The 20th Biennial Mogollon Archaeology Conference - Last Call

Lonnie Ludeman, Conference Chair for the 20th Biennial Mogollon Archaeology Conference, announced that this conference is scheduled for NMSU in Las Cruces, New Mexico, from October 11-13, 2018; and is open to GCAS members to attend. 


The 20th Biennial Mogollon Archaeology Conference - Register Soon

Lonnie Ludeman, Conference Chair for the 20th Biennial Mogollon Archaeology Conference, announced that this conference is scheduled for NMSU in Las Cruces, New Mexico, from October 11-13, 2018; and is open to GCAS members to attend. 


DNA Sequencing in Chaco Canyon

This article via Western Digs is a year-and-a-half old, but it discusses the application of DNA technology image from www.pnas.org to burials that are much closer to the GCAS's home than Denisova cave.

The burials were found in Room 33, aka the Gambler's House, of Pubelo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. [Figure on right via Stephen Plog and Carrie Heitman, Hierarchy and Social Inequality in the American Southwest, A.D. 800-1200.]

From the Western Digs article: "They were interred in what’s been described as “the richest burial known in the Southwest” — 14 men and women buried over the course of 330 years in the same crypt, some accompanied by pieces of pottery and pendants, others lavished with thousands of turquoise and shell beads....And new analysis of DNA from the 14 sets of remains shows that these elites weren’t merely members of the same influential class — indeed, they were all members of the same extended family, a “dynasty” that traced its ancestry to a single woman...."

Webmaster says check it out!

/s/ webmaster


Current Issues in DNA Sequencing

image from d1o50x50snmhul.cloudfront.netOrdinarily this GCAS blog emphasizes topics that are directly related to our particular geographic area. However, this article via The Atlantic, about recent anthropological discoveries in the Denisova cave in Siberia, is relevant to us because it illustrates how DNA technology is impelling scientists to change their assumptions about how archaic and modern humans migrated, and how they interacted with the groups they encountered.

[Above photo: Excavation works in the East Chamber of Denisova Cave, Russia; by Bence Viola, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology]

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