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.

Ceramics

Plan Soon for the 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference

2017 swkc multi firingsThe 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference is set for the weekend of October 4 through October 6 in Globe, Arizona. This event emphasizes archaeological research and hands-on techniques in the fields of prehistoric pottery replication and experimental archaeology. It is open to the public and attendance is free.

Continue reading "Plan Soon for the 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference" »


Upcoming Southwest Kiln Conference, October 4-6

2016 swkc post-firing retrieval2018 swkc 09-29-2 potsThe 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference will be taking place during the weekend of October 4 through October 6 in Globe, Arizona. This event is open to the public and attendance is free. This annual conference focuses on both archaeological research and hands-on techniques in the fields of prehistoric pottery replication and experimental archaeology.

Continue reading "Upcoming Southwest Kiln Conference, October 4-6" »


Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part V: The Croteau Collection

Wood House panic room exteriorOur final field trip report in this series addresses the GCAS's visit to the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site (MCHS) on July 7, 2019, to examine the artifacts comprising the Croteau Collection in a special one-time-only exhibit.

Continue reading "Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part V: The Croteau Collection" »


The Mills Collection

192 The_mills_collection_410-1696If you happen to be traveling along Highway 70 between Lordsburg, New Mexico, and Phoenix, Arizona, you may want to plan an extra 45 minutes to make a quick side trip when you reach Thatcher, Arizona. The Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher proudly displays the Native American artifacts collected from numerous sites throughout Arizona and New Mexico by the well-trained avocational archaeologists Jack and Vera Mills during the four decades from the 1940s through the 1970s. [Far left photo via eac.edu; near left photo via travel2arizona.com.]

Continue reading "The Mills Collection" »


Plan Now for the 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference

Swkc 2018 firing prepThe 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference will be taking place during the weekend of October 4, 2019 - October 6, 2019 in Globe, Arizona, and everyone is invited. The organizers stress that "...attendance is free and open to the public so come up to Globe and learn about the exciting things being done in the fields of prehistoric pottery replication and experimental archaeology."

Continue reading "Plan Now for the 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference" »


Let's Visit Las Cruces

image from newscenter.nmsu.eduWe at the GCAS encourage our readers to travel to Las Cruces some time between now and December 15, 2019, to visit some fine examples of Mimbres ceramics. It would make quite the day trip.

"Living in Sacred Continuum" is an assemblage of Mimbres pottery dating from 1000 CE to 1130 CE, and is now on display at the American Indian Student Center on the New Mexico State University campus in Las Cruces. The exhibit features interpretations of the pottery’s designs by five different Hopi artists with five different points of view. [Photo of the Hopi artists at work - by Atsunori Ito via NMSU. Dr. Arakawa is shown in center background.]

Continue reading "Let's Visit Las Cruces" »


Deferred, For All the Right Reasons

h/t to the GCAS's own Chris Overlock for hipping us to today's news in the Chicago Tribune.

The Art Institute of Chicago has indefinitely postponed the exhibition they had planned for May, 2019, of a private individual's collection of some 70 pieces of Mimbres pottery. The article indicates the Art Institute came to realize that grave goods comprise the majority of this private collection. Such items are inappropriate for public display.

“It’s not art,” said Patty Loew, director of Northwestern University’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, who...has followed the controversy within the community of Native American scholars. “If someone dug up your great-grandmother’s grave and pulled out a wedding ring or something that had been buried with her, would you feel comfortable having that item on display?”

Continue reading "Deferred, For All the Right Reasons" »


How to Manage a Potsherd Collection

One of many spirals on sitePeriodically this here blog addresses the issue of potsherds. We've addressed several reasons why today's avocational archaeologist should leave them where they are.

Sherd grouping  detailWe in the GCAS realize that in past decades it was considered acceptable to gather potsherds by the hatful and bucketful. Many people made a hobby out of collecting as many potsherds as they could carry. Unfortunately the novelty soon wore off so these collections tended to languish, forgotten, in a box somewhere. In our group's experience the collector's heirs eventually come across the sherds when clearing out their deceased family member's belongings. At that point, some sherd collections are no doubt thrown away in a landfill. Or dumped under a convenient tree. Or, sometimes, the heirs find the GCAS and donate them to us.

Continue reading "How to Manage a Potsherd Collection" »


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


Representation of Color in Mimbres Black-on-White Ceramics

image from 1.bp.blogspot.com image from s3.amazonaws.comFor years, individual archaeologists have proposed that the blue-green color of turquoise was represented by the fine lines (aka hachure) in certain styles of Mimbres bowls, presumably as an appeal for water. Later archaeological study suggested that "...Mimbres hachure was likely representative of color but not necessarily blue-green. In fact, it may have referenced yellow. Yellow and blue are often paired among the Pueblos, and [there may have been] interregional differences in the meaning...."

Stephanie Whittlesey carried these findings further.

Continue reading "Representation of Color in Mimbres Black-on-White Ceramics" »