Friday, March 29, 2019, 9:30 AM to ? Work party at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. Volunteer for indoor projects or to help guide local school students in their outdoor projects. No experience necessary!

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 6:00 PM. Meet at 2045 Memory Lane in Silver City, New Mexico. No potluck dinner but refreshments provided. Featured speaker: Chris Turnbow addresses "The Search for the Seventh Parrot.”

NEXT FIELD TRIP: Sunday, April 7, 2019. Old Town and the petroglyphs of Hidden Valley Ranch. Meet at 10:00 AM sharp at the rest area on Highway 180 southbound at Mile Marker 144.7, about 3 miles south of the Hwy 180/Hwy 61 junction. These will be short walks on easy-to-moderate terrain but keep your eyes and ears open because Rattlesnake Season has begun in earnest.

Archaeology

Still More DNA News

image from c8.alamy.comThe GCAS prefers to restrict our blog posts to the US Southwest/Northwestern Mexico region on this here website, but we always make an exception for advances in DNA technology. From a Washington Post article dated March 15, 2019:

"One day about 200 years ago, a woman enslaved on a tobacco plantation near Annapolis tossed aside the broken stem of the clay pipe she was smoking in the slave quarters where she lived....the stem bore marks where she had clenched it in her teeth as she worked. But the stem bore something else she could never have imagined: her DNA.

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Field Trip to Indian Wells - the Petroglyph Part

One of the fun aspects of studying petroglyphs is that regardless of how you interpret the images, nobody is wrong and everybody is right. Following, then, are pics of some of the petroglyphs our GCAS group saw on our March 3, 2019, field trip to Indian Wells.

Moon 1 per Patterson IMG_1005Author Alex Patterson identifies this circle-with-a-dot over there on the left as a symbol for the moon. Others describe it as a symbol for the sun. Either interpretation seems reasonable but it gets complicated when considering this next image here on the right. Two moons? Two suns? One of each, perhaps?

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Field Trip to Indian Wells - Part II

Indian Wells pit house vista 1The March 3, 2019, GCAS field trip to Indian Wells was enlightening on several levels. Chris Overlock's photos gave a good overview of the general terrain and vegetation, and showcased the classic GCAS looking-for-potsherds stoop that we all know and love. Here in Part II, is a second view of the overall terrain of Indian Wells, followed by a brief illustration of what a bulldozed archaeological site looks like for those who may not have ever seen one before.

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Field Trip to Indian Wells

IMG_5382Please welcome today's guest photographer, GCAS's own Chris Overlock. Thank you for sharing your photos, Chris!

Chris was one of 11 humans accompanied by 2 enthusiastic canines on our March 3, 2019, visit to three archaeological sites that comprise Indian Wells in southwestern New Mexico. Two of our group had come all the way from Las Cruces to join the fun. High-clearance vehicles carried us over increasingly rough roads to a point from which we could reach our intended sites on foot. The weather was breezy but otherwise just right for exploration.

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Coming This Saturday: A Walking Tour!

IMG_1762 IMG_1759The Imogen F. Wilson Foundation is hosting a walking tour of their Mimbres Culture Heritage Site this coming Saturday, March 2, 2019, from 1:30PM to 2:30PM. Come learn about the history and archaeology in your own back yard as talented tour leader Marilyn Markel guides you throughout the site. IFWF explains that this walking tour involves:

The Wood House needs a roof"light walking on 1/2 mile trail of the Mattocks Ruin Pre-historic archaeological site with a member of the Imogen F Wilson Educational Foundation. Learn about the ancient people who lived in the Mimbres Valley and the homesteaders living on site in the late 1800's and early 1900's. ADA restroom, museum with gift shop, plenty of parking on site. This is an opportunity to get a good insight to what life was like in the Mimbres valley from 1000 years ago, to the mid last century.

This is a free event, however we do suggest a donation of $3. This event is open to all who wish to come."

Find more details on the IFWF/MCHS Facebook page. Come and enjoy a pleasant afternoon in the Mimbres Valley with your neighbors, and support a worthwhile cause in your community. We'll see you there!

/s/ webmaster


The Oldest Known Plant Virus Is in Ancestral Puebloan Corn

image from alchetron.com image from www.americansouthwest.netResearchers at Penn State reported a few months ago that they have isolated a 1000-year-old plant virus - a chrysovirus - from corncobs recovered from the Antelope House Ruin in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. This chrysovirus is not just the first chrysovirus found in corn, but it is the oldest plant virus scientists have found to date. [Antelope House image via americansouthwest.net; virus image via alchetron.com]

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Upcoming Oil and Gas Lease Sale at Greater Chaco

Archaeology Southwest reports that on Thursday, March 28, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will sell certain oil and gas leases within the Greater Chaco Canyon area. They are asking concerned citizens to contact the BLM to protest this lease sale and will provide information on their website within the next several days explaining how to write an effective protest. In the meantime, some background:

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Ever Heard of Lithophones?

image from encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comSome time ago, and during a period of many years, a few archaeologists and various amateur collectors retrieved a number of oblong stone artifacts from the area around and including the Great Sand Dunes National Park in south-central Colorado. Eventually, many of the stones were given to the museum at Great Sand Dunes National Park where they remain stored today. [Photo of Great Sand Dunes artifacts via Archaeology Podcast Network.]

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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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