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.

Excavations

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]


American Gothic the GCAS Way

Photo by Kyle Meredith; © 2019 ENMU - All Rights ReservedHere we see GCAS members Marianne Smith and Josh Reeves recreating Grant Wood's iconic masterpiece as they model the activewear that the fashion-forward consumer values for the ultimate in protection from sun and dust. Those in the know understand that this gear is not only handy for some serious volunteering on an archaeological excavation, but also for more casual events like GCAS field trips or community projects.

It's easy to spot Josh and Marianne when they're out and about. Be sure to ask them who they're wearing. Thanks, you two!

/s/ webmaster


What Do Volunteers Do at an Archaeological Excavation?

FSCN4286These days there are no lavish budgets for archaeological excavations, and paid crew positions are few (very few) and far (very far) between. With no money for lodging, the crew tend to camp out at or near the site for the duration of the project. Feeding the crew on a tight budget may involve a lot of pre-frozen mini-burritos.

FSCN4095 (2)The excavation has a Directing Archaeologist in charge of the project. Often there will be one or more other archaeologists supporting the Director by excavating and/or performing other essential work such as cataloguing artifacts, recording data, and performing materials analysis. Graduate and undergraduate students participating in the excavation gain hands-on experience in as many aspects of the work as they can. Sometimes - but not always - they earn class credits. However, on many excavations there are too few students available to get all the work done in the time allotted.

Continue reading "What Do Volunteers Do at an Archaeological Excavation?" »


ENMU Excavation at City of Rocks State Park

Photo by Marianne Smith; © 2019 ENMU - All Rights ReservedIn July, 2019, professor Robert J. Stokes PhD of Eastern New Mexico University in Portales was Directing Archaeologist on an excavation of a small ruined structure located within the boundaries of City of Rocks State Park. The project's goals were to identify its walls, floors, and the overall nature of its construction to help determine its age and the purpose for which it had originally been built. Additionally Dr. Stokes sought to assess the context of the site within the surrounding landscape.

Continue reading "ENMU Excavation at City of Rocks State Park" »


Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part IV: Gila River Farm's Excavation

7 - Room with Mimbres-Mogollon features 16 - Schollmeyer in education modeOur previous post featured the fine work that Archaeology Southwest Field School students display as part of their public outreach duties. The second portion of the June 29, 2019, GCAS field trip to the Gila River Farm included a tour of this season's Field School excavations. Of particular interest was evidence the Field School uncovered of cultural convergence. In a multi-room pueblo complex, the crew found artifacts of various 14th-Century Puebloan cultures including Mimbres-Mogollon (with their distinctive wall and floor construction features), and Kayenta (with their unique ceramics including Kayenta perforated plates). It became clear from the excavations that people of different cultures, practices, and languages, migrating in and out of the region, found ways to live and work together long-term. We in the 21st Century could take a lesson.

Continue reading "Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part IV: Gila River Farm's Excavation" »


July's Events

It's a busy summer for all levels of the archaeologically inclined. Pull out your calendars and fill 'em up with one or more of the following:

Monday, July 1, 2019, 7:00 PM: the Archaeology Southwest Lecture Series in Cliff, NM, concludes with Archaeology Southwest's own Allen Denoyer speaking about "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Mule Creek Obsidian." Location is 8179 Hwy 180 W, Cliff, New Mexico. Look for the cream building with blue portable toilets on the north side of Hwy 180 just east of Shields Canyon Road and the highway yard. (This is 2.2 miles west of the 180-211 junction in Cliff.)

79 - Neck-coiled pitcher  view 1  incised bottom row  5H x 5WSunday, July 7, 2019, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM: A second GCAS July field trip! One time only! View the storied Croteau Collection of Elk Ridge artifacts at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site in the Wood House's panic room.

Continue reading "July's Events" »


Field Trip to Gila River Farm Site

1 - GCAS members mingle with the general publicOn June 30, 2018, assorted GCAS members joined the general public in Cliff, New 2 - Replica axe demoMexico, to visit the Gila River Farm's open house and 2018 Archaeology Fair presented by the University of Arizona field school and Archaeology Southwest. The field school had prepared a number of informational displays that described all aspects of this year's excavation, including plant analysis, lithic typology, ceramics identification, and much more. Visitors were even encouraged to use a replica stone axe to try shaping wood for a post. We learned that it takes practice. Good times were had by all and sundry.

Continue reading "Field Trip to Gila River Farm Site" »


GCAS Field Trip to Elk Ridge, Part II

Katie Baustian and Daniel Perez guide the tourThe June 10, 2018, GCAS field trip to the UNLV Field School's final season of excavation at Elk Ridge in the Mimbres River Valley was brief due to the warm summer temperatures, but our guides shared some of their findings that their excavations has yielded to date. Skidmore College assistant professor Katie Baustian (left, in photo) and UNLV graduate student Daniel Perez (second from left) discussed with us certain features of the Elk Ridge pueblo ruins that appear consistent with other sites; and other features they uncovered that seem less common.

Continue reading "GCAS Field Trip to Elk Ridge, Part II" »


GCAS Field Trip to Elk Ridge, Part I

Daniel Perez UNLV  explains the dig - 3The Elk Ridge archaeological site comprises a large Classic Mimbres (1000-1130 CE) pueblo containing more than 200 rooms, making Elk Ridge the most significant site of the upper Mimbres River Valley. Karl Laumbach of the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society describes that, "Prior to the spring of 1989, no one knew that a large intact Mimbres Pueblo lay buried under alluvium on the West Fork of the Mimbres River. For the 90 days before the law took Elk Ridge midden - Darrell Creel deep in thoughteffect, the landowner used heavy equipment to extract as many pots as possible but the sheer depth of the deposits prevented complete destruction...." Eyewitnesses to the bulldozing reported at the time that each day, buyers from around the world would park their cars along a nearby road and bid on each artifact as it was removed from the ground. (Reports are that the bidders' cars were parked along the same road as you see by the vehicles in the background of that photo up on the right, just a few yards uphill from that test trench and archaeologist Darrell Creel.)

Elk Ridge's ceramics and other antiquities are undoubtedly still scattered in private collections around the world.

Continue reading "GCAS Field Trip to Elk Ridge, Part I" »


GCAS Field Trip to Paquimé, Part VI

Mexico dinner with group 3 - Mata Ortiz hotel portalTo read the full narrative of the great GCAS field trip of May 2-4, 2018, see Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V. 20 - Our field trip tour group  14 of 16

I have been remiss in not disclosing that our group dined - and well - while in Mexico. No photos were taken of the excellent seafood restaurant our guide Luis introduced us to in Janos; but we had a more traditional lunch experience in a small hotel in Mata Ortiz that had little trouble in providing our group of 16 gabachos with a classic lunch of chiles rellenos, tacos, and much, much more.  (h/t Marcia Corl for the dining photo up there on the left; webmaster focused instead on the chile ristras along the garden portal.)

Day 3: May 4, 2018. We arrived in Paquimé. The site's thick adobe walls may be slowly dissolving back into the earth, but it remains an awe-inspiring sight to look out over Paquimé's grand plaza, its ceremonial structures, and its residential areas comprising some 1700 rooms.

6 - Residential compound 7 - View of 2d-story floor timbers and floor grooves 12 - Small patio-plaza with drainage feature 16 - Room of 17 corners 11 - Doorway into small plaza + T-doorway with bowed lintel 8 - LtoR = Kyle  Kevin  Josh  Bob  Luis

Continue reading "GCAS Field Trip to Paquimé, Part VI" »