NEXT MEETING: 6:00 PM, Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley). The season's last potluck, followed by general meeting, then our Featured Speaker: Human Systems Research Associate Director and archaeologist Karl Laumbach discusses his experiences in "The Elk Ridge Story."

NEXT FIELD TRIP = SPECIAL! Friday, October 4, 2019, join the Amerind Museum Curator's Tour at 1 PM in Dragoon AZ! $8/person. Tour is limited to 30 people maximum so sign up ASAP. Go to our Events page & scroll down for sign-up info & trip details.

Art Trafficking-Looting-Vandalism

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.

Continue reading "Space Archaeology: the Coming Thing" »


GCAS August Field Trip Part II - the C-Bar Ranch Site

GCAS examines the wall outlines Are these sherds Style I or Style IIThe second phase of our August 4, 2019, GCAS field trip found us traveling from the Microwave Site to examine the site at C-Bar Ranch. Like the Microwave Site, the C-Bar Ranch Site comprises some Late Period pithouses and the ruins of more recent pueblo rooms. And like Microwave, C-Bar is well known and convenient to locals and so continues to be heavily looted to this day.

Still life with prickly pear and lichen covered bouldersThe approach to the C-Bar site criss-crosses arroyos and passes rock outcrops hosting venerable prickly pear colonies. Abundant lichens on the rocks testify to the clean air which makes for a good, healthy walk (right photo).

Big photo on left up there shows all that that remains of the site's pueblo walls. Scattered by looters and people who either didn't know any better or didn't care.

Continue reading "GCAS August Field Trip Part II - the C-Bar Ranch Site" »


GCAS August Field Trip Part I - the Microwave Site

Microwave vista NW Microwave vista to Cooke's Peak Microwave vista ENEThe Microwave Site has no microwave tower. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It once had one.

This site in southwestern New Mexico is very well known to locals who have been camping here - and gathering potsherds and stones from pueblo walls - for many decades.

Continue reading "GCAS August Field Trip Part I - the Microwave Site" »


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.

Continue reading "Still More DNA News" »


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.

Continue reading "Field Trip to Indian Wells - Part II" »


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.

Continue reading "Field Trip to Indian Wells" »


How to Show Respect When Visiting Sites

image from scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net 100_9598e1Cool people know how wrong it is to carve (photo, left) or spray-paint (photo, right) their own "art" on top of petroglyphs and pictographs.That kind of vandalism stifles the voices of the ancient artists and erases their stories. It also creates some very bad juju for the perp. However, even the most well-meaning visitor to an archaeological or historic site may not be aware of the damage that can be caused by other, seemingly harmless activity.

Continue reading "How to Show Respect When Visiting Sites" »


Another Missing Mimbres Bowl

From the GCAS Library/Archives:

No photos of this particular bowl are known to exist, but the following description may be accurate enough that someone may recognize it if they have seen it. This bowl was reportedly unearthed on private ranch land located east of Silver City, New Mexico, at some time during the late 1970s through the 1980s.

It was described as "...a beautiful Mimbres Classic bowl...[depicting] a Mimbres warrior standing up with a shield on one arm and a three-pronged spear-headed staff in the other..."

The individual who excavated this bowl was not related to the landowners and it appears he did not have the landowners' permission to remove this artifact. However, it does not appear that the landowners made any report of theft to any law enforcement authorities. Nevertheless it was assumed at the time that the individual who took this bowl eventually sold it to either an intermediary or directly to a private collector.

If anyone encounters a bowl matching this description, either on display or in a photograph, you are welcome to contact the GCAS via this website so at the very least we may be able to alert the individual currently in possession of it.

/s/ webmaster


New Vandalism at the Dragonfly Petroglyph Site

On about August 31, 2018, site stewards and members of the YCC archaeology crew at Silver City's Aldo Leopold Charter School discovered at least two separate items of vandalism at the beloved Dragonfly Petroglyph site in Silver City, New Mexico:

image from scontent-lax3-2.xx.fbcdn.net image from scontent-lax3-2.xx.fbcdn.net

 

image from scontent-lax3-2.xx.fbcdn.net image from scontent-lax3-2.xx.fbcdn.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vandalism like this at archaeological sites like the Dragonfly Petroglyph is classified as a felony. If anyone has any information about these "Joe + Liz" rock carvings or the individual(s) who made them please contact New Mexico's SiteWatch program at (505) 827-6320 or via email at nm.shpo@state.nm.us; and/or telephone the Grant County Sheriff's Office at (575) 574-0100; and/or drop the GCAS a line at webmaster@gcasnm.org.

Let's hold these people to account.

[All photos courtesy of Zacariah Orion Donnelly, leader of the YCC archaeology crew at Aldo Leopold Charter School.]

/s/ webmaster