If you're curious about archaeological sites and research along the Gila River, there are two upcoming online lectures sure to suit you. Get your calendar ready for:
The Jornada Research Institute (JRI), headquartered in Tularosa, New Mexico, is dedicated to the study, preservation, and protection of the archaeological, ethnohistoric, historic and natural resources of the northern Chihuahuan Desert of Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and adjacent regions. Following is one of their special upcoming events as well as a short list of other items of interest to avocational archaeologists of the Southwest:
On September 14th, 2021, Jeff Hanson will be conducting a one-day ZOOM class on The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act for continuing education credits towards New Mexico state permitting (overseen by the Historic Preservation Division). Registration fee is $80.00 (discounted to $70.00 for students and JRI members). Please contact Jeff for more information or to sign up: email@example.com or 817-658-5544; or visit the Events page of JRI's website for more information.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 6:30 PM: GCAS general meeting at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site located at 12 Sage Drive in Mimbres, one block east of Highway 35 between Mile Markers 3 and 4 and just a bit north of the old Mimbres Valley Cafe.
We are thrilled to host Allen Denoyer of Archaeology Southwest who will offer us a 2 for 1 presentation. In the early part of the evening he will demonstrate flintknapping on the porch of the Gooch House. If you have never witnessed his skills, you will be amazed! Then, as it gets dark, he will present a slideshow on the Early Agricultural Time Period. Meet at 6:30 for snacks and chats, and we will briefly make any announcements that might arise before Allen's presentation starts at 7:00 PM sharp. Due to uncertain pandemic concerns, please have your masks handy, and we will see you there!
A mere 2 days from now, on Tuesday August 31, 2021, at 7 PM Central Daylight Time, and free online via Zoom, Dr. Michael Ruggeri, Professor Emeritus from the City Colleges of Chicago, presents “Mesoamerica/Ancient Southwest Chocolate Trade,” sponsored by the Aztlan Listserv. He will explain that although trade between Mesoamerica and the ancient Southwest in macaws, parrot feathers, copper bells, turquoise, turkeys, and pottery has been well known to archaeologists, they have only recently become aware of the large chocolate trade that began in about the 9th century.
Until you can schedule a trip to the Santa Fe/Espanola area to see the Mesa Prieta petroglyphs for yourself, please enjoy a virtual tour courtesy of the Archaeological Conservancy's Virtual Tour Series. To date the Archaeological Conservancy has released four episodes showcasing some of the sites they have acquired for preservation and protection. They are all worth your time.
Scroll down at this link to check out Episodes 1 through 3, but Episode 4 is the one that is all about petroglyphs the like you have never seen before. It features their Wells Petroglyph Preserve narrated by their archaeologist, Chester Liwosz, and former owner/donor/founder of the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project, Katherine Wells. If time permits you can watch the full hour-long virtual tour here, or see the same episode in four shorter segments by clicking here.
Of course, the Archaeological Conservancy also has an ongoing Virtual Lecture Series to keep you apprised of the latest in research. Get busy!
If you plan to travel to the Blanding, Utah area in late September, you may want to join a special one-day ceramics event on Thursday, September 23, 2021, to precede this year's Southwest Kiln Conference. It's a one-afternoon workshop in ancient ceramics painting techniques hosted by Cherylene Caver and Tori Hoopes, both accomplished ceramics replicators. Their announcement for "Painting Pottery the Ancient Way" describes,
Our monthly GCAS general meeting returns to Zoom format on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at 7 PM. As is our Zoom custom, our brief-if-any business meeting will be immediately followed by our Featured Speaker, David Lee, founding member of Western Rock Art Research, who will present "Closer Than We Know: Comparing the Rock Art of Australia and Western North America."
David Lee is an independent rock art researcher, focusing on the function and context of Native American rock art of western North America and the rock art and associated traditional knowledge of northern Australia. He is a founding member of Western Rock Art Research, a non-profit organization located in Bishop, California and dedicated to the study and management of rock art and the cultures who produced it. He has documented rock art in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon and Australia, and has written or co-authored many papers, reports and books on the Mojave Desert, eastern California, and Australia including "Rock Art East of the Range of Light" and "Learning to Listen: A Personal Journey to the Land of the Lightning People." In 2005 he and his wife Charlotte began a project to document the rock art and associated traditional stories of the Wardaman People in northern Australia, work that continues to shed light on how rock art fit into the lives of the peoples who made it.
David's presentation will describe how:
Readers of this here blog know that our basic policy is to focus upon archaeological developments in our own region because there's certainly plenty of it. However, readers also know that our policy includes an exception whenever news of advancements in DNA research is involved. Behold:
A 10-year DNA study of human remains from Viking-Age burials across Europe and beyond (generally, 750 CE - 1050 CE) is leading anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians to redefine who Vikings were. The DNA results revealed many cases of individual and group mobility, such as four brothers buried together in one Viking grave in Estonia, and a pair of cousins buried hundreds of miles apart from each other - one in Oxford, UK, and the other in Denmark. Additionally, the DNA results revealed that Vikings from certain areas preferred specific destinations for raiding and trading - refuting the traditional assumption that Vikings conducted their sailing expeditions wherever the winds of fortune carried them.
Obsidian was valued by ancient cultures for its sharpness and durability. Archaeologists commonly find obsidian nodules or worked obsidian in the form of points, knife blades, etc., in archaeological sites throughout the Western Hemisphere and beyond. Because of the particular way obsidian is formed, each source of obsidian has a unique geochemical signature. Thus researchers can identify where the obsidian that was used to make a particular artifact originally came from. The source provides clues about how the humans who made the artifacts interacted with other groups, either via trade or migration. In our own region, artifacts and raw material originating from the obsidian deposits at Mule Creek, New Mexico, have been found at archaeological sites up to 120 miles away.
It's been a long time coming - 16 months to be exact - but the GCAS field trip program is gradually reemerging from its Pandemic Pause. Our group jumped at the chance to inaugurate our New Normal by visiting the Gila River Farm archaeological site near Cliff, New Mexico, on June 26, 2021. Our group's friend, Dr. Karen Schollmeyer of Archaeology Southwest, and her field school crew shared with us the latest results of their work at their annual Archaeology Fair.