NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, May 15, 2024, 6:00 PM: our monthly meeting shifts to the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley) for the summer months. Doors open at 6PM for a potluck dinner so bring your own plates, utensils, and a dish for yourself or to share with the group. Brief GCAS business meeting begins at 6:30 PM followed immediately by our evening's Featured Speaker, Preservation Anthropologist Aaron Wright PhD, who will present Indigenous Rock Imagery of the Sonoran Desert. Members and non-members alike are welcome to join us for an evening of good food and an engaging discussion. In order to offer our members a safe and comfortable experience at our in-person meetings the GCAS recommends each attendee take the masking, distancing, and vaccination precautions they feel are appropriate for themselves in group gatherings.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: Sunday, May 5, 2024: we aim for an unnamed Mimbres site on Fort Bayard/USFS land. Meet our trip leader, the GCAS's own Torie Grass, at the Big Tree parking lot (USFS directions are here), about a half hour's drive from Silver City. The group will start from the trailhead at 10AM sharp for a hike of about a mile one-way, north past the USFS Hot Shot buildings. The trail is mostly flat, with an incline up to a ridge at the end to reach the site. Torie advises to bring water and a lunch if desired, and to dress with appropriate pants for walking through some dry, stickery brush. Let's go!

Art Trafficking-Looting-Vandalism

Preservation Alert! Rock & Gem Magazine Publishes Tips for Collecting Artifacts

On November 3, 2023, one of our GCAS members alerted me to a disturbing article that has appeared at least twice in Rock & Gem magazine - most recently on October 30, 2023. The TL;dr is that the article encourages people to loot artifacts on public lands.

The GCAS was impelled to respond:

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Earth Day 2023

Earth Day1 - good crowd in Gough Park Earth Day4 - interestThe GCAS operated their customary educational booth in Gough Park for Earth Day, April 22, 2023, thanks to members Marty Eberhart, Marilyn Markel, Kathryn McCarroll, and Marianne Smith. The typically breezy April day attracted 67 vendors to Gough Park - 15 more than had attended in 2022! The visiting crowds, estimated by a local newspaper at about 4000, included local residents, out of town visitors, and a healthy number of through-hikers on the Continental Divide Trail. The GCAS earned a prime spot in the park where our volunteers worked three separate tables with hands-on educational activities for all ages, as well as offering plenty of literature for the more intellectually inclined. Our booth displayed wrapped rocks as an eye-catcher and even sold a few to support our GCAS library and general fund. Many more passers-by grabbed our brochures so if you see new faces at future meetings, please make them all feel welcome!

Earth Day2 - Gough Park crowd Earth Day3 - MEberhard  KMcCarroll  MMarkel Earth Day5 - interest Earth Day6 - interest

/s/ webmaster [Photos by M.Smith]


Our Next Monthly Meeting Features Carolyn O'Bagy Davis

Carolyn O. Davis Cosgrove Camp at Swarts  1927Wednesday, April 19, 2023: the GCAS meets at 2045 Memory Lane in Silver City, New Mexico. Light refreshments provided; OK to bring your own light snacks or handy meal (burrito, etc.) and beverage if desired. Doors open at 5:00 PM for socializing. Meeting starts at 5:30PM sharp with a super-short business meeting followed at 5:45PM by this month's Featured Speaker: historian, award-winning author, and GCAS member Carolyn O’Bagy Davis. Carolyn is a fourth-generation descendant of Utah pioneers who has written 16 books on the history of archaeology, quilting, and Southwestern history. So far. When taking breaks from writing, she has curated numerous traveling museum exhibits. Please join us as Carolyn reintroduces our group to Bert and Hattie Cosgrove, avocational archaeologists who were very active in our area during the 20th Century and who were instrumental in documenting and preserving a number of local sites, including Treasure Hill in the Arenas Valley. As Carolyn describes in Hattie Cosgrove: Pioneer Mimbres Archaeologist:

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Cliff NM Lecture Series Continues!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 6:30PM - free and open to the public: Ashleigh Thompson of Archaeology Southwest discusses how to Save History: the Importance of Protecting Archaeological Sites from Looting and Vandalism as the next presentation of the 2022 lecture series sponsored by Archaeology Southwest and the University of Arizona Preservation Archaeology Field School. Lecture location is 8179 Highway 180 West in Cliff NM 80288. Look for the cream building with the orange portable toilets on the north side of Highway 180 just east of Shields Canyon Road and the highway yard. (This is 2.2 miles west of the 180-211 junction in Cliff.) This talk is an essential component of the 2022 field school currently underway in Cliff, and we of the GCAS encourage everyone to attend to learn more about what's going on in our own neighborhood.

/s/ webmaster


Cultural and Ethical Implications in the Fossil Trade

Amber-field-cnnLoss of important scientific data does not just happen with cultural artifacts like Mimbres pottery. It happens with fossils, too. GCAS member Kathryn McCarroll links to an article discussing the international trade in blood amber, a fossil-rich amber mined only in Myanmar. Paleobiologist George Poinar recently wrote that "...scientifically valuable fossils...end up in carvings and jewelry and [are] lost for future generations...."

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Site Steward Opportunity Up North - Plan Now!

The Santa Fe National Forest is looking for Archaeological Site Stewards for their area. Their training day is Saturday, March 21, 2020, so if the date and location fit your schedule, get busy now and sign up. They explain in their press release:

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What Can Be Done with Disturbed Sites?

Campfire pit lined with 1000 y.o. wall stones Grafitti  modern Bulldozer tracks at pueblo site 1Archaeologist Lewis Borck, PhD, would answer: quite a lot.

"Disturbance" describes an archaeological site that has been altered by either natural forces (erosion, animal activity, etc.), previous archaeological excavations, or - as is often the case these days - by vandalism or looting as shown in the photos. Dr. Borck explained in an article he wrote for the Fall 2019 issue of American Archaeology (Vol. 23 No. 3 at p. 44) that his research as a preservation archaeologist focuses upon disturbed sites rather than sites that may be more intact. He says, in part,

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Site Preservation 101

A gentle reminder, Dear Reader, ICYMI the first time:

Campfire pit lined with 1000 y.o. wall stonesPlease embiggen this photo by clicking on it. What you see is a recently-built, recently-used fire pit someone erected when they visited an archaeological site located on public land. They pulled stones out of a 1000-year-old pueblo wall to build up their fire ring nice and neat. Baffling, how often this happens around here and around the world, so following are some protips for campers visiting sensitive sites:

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Hear About Elk Ridge at Our Next Meeting

Laumbach 2 Karl Laumbach in actionThe next GCAS monthly meeting will be held just two days from now on Wednesday, September 18, 2019. Everyone is welcome to join us at the Roundup Lodge at 91 Aklin Hill Road in San Lorenzo/Mimbres, New Mexico. Our featured speaker is Karl W. Laumbach, archaeologist and Associate Director of Human Systems Research in Las Cruces. He plans to share details with us about his personal experiences in investigating and preserving a significant Mimbres Valley archaeological site, known today as Elk Ridge. Read some interesting details about Laumbach's talk here, and even more interesting details about Laumbach himself, here.

Our final potluck of the season begins on September 18 at 6:00 PM followed by our GCAS general meeting. Karl Laumbach will present his talk at about 7:00 PM. We'll see you there!

/s/ webmaster [photo on left, via Human Systems Research. Photo on right, by Bob Gamboa]


Space Archaeology: the Coming Thing

Globalexplorer J WolfeArchaeologists' use of satellite imagery, LIDAR, drones, and the like has taken an innovative turn thanks to Sarah Parcak PhD. In 2016 she and her organization launched an online platform, GlobalXplorer°, which uses crowdsourcing methods to analyze satellite images. Volunteers use the platform to help Dr. Parcak and her team identify possible archaeological sites and assess their risks of looting and destruction. DigitalGlobe (Maxar) provides the satellite imagery; National Geographic provides content and collaborative support.

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