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!

Excavations

News from the Jornada Research Institute

Our friends to the east at the Jornada Research Institute have sent us an update on their archaeological activities and invite interested folks to join in the fun. JRI president Dave Greenwald reports that their work continues at Creekside Village including in the great kiva area. During March into April, volunteers will help complete one 2 m by 5 m area within the great kiva. Dave describes JRI’s further investigations:

Continue reading "News from the Jornada Research Institute" »


Update from our Friends to the East

We're always happy to hear from our friends in the Jornada-Mogollon region, and the Jornada Research Institute's Dave Greenwald never disappoints. His latest update has a lot of exciting news for professionals and aspiring avocational volunteers alike. Dave reports:

In November, we returned to Creekside Village and continued excavations in one of the large pithouses, Feature 11. Typically, Mesilla phase pithouses used by the Jornada Mogollon had less than about 7 sq meters of floor area. This is not the case with either Feature 11 or 37 that we have opened so far. Feature 11 measures approximately 7.2 m across, or contains about 38 sq m of floor surface, with Feature 37 only slightly smaller, perhaps about 33 sq m. As we have continued excavation, both of these houses appear to possess a straight side on the SE side of the structure, making them more “D” shaped than circular, as we had originally thought. So, why are these structures so large in comparison to other Mesilla phase pithouses? A likely explanation is because Creekside Village was in fact a “true” village, occupied on a year-round basis (rather than seasonally), whose residents were full-time agriculturalists. The smaller pithouse likely reflected greater mobility of residents, moving as resources became available throughout the year. As agriculturalists, however, residents could remain in one location, raising crops to sustain them throughout the year. Botanical studies have shown that maize accounted for over 80% of the recovered economic plant remains recovered from domestic features and refuse deposits at Creekside compared to about 10% from other Mesilla phase sites with pithouses. With permanent residence and dependence on agriculture, family size or household populations could have been much larger than more mobile groups and as such larger families (whether represented by extended families or immediate family members) would have required greater living space. Based on the size of the houses at Creekside Village we are conservatively estimating a household population of about 10 people per house.

We plan to continue excavating at Creekside Village throughout the winter and spring months on weekends until it gets too hot in May....

GCAS members interested in this exciting news and wanting to participate in JRI's excavations at Creekside Village should contact Dave Greenwald directly about the possibilities. If participation is feasible JRI will verify your membership with the GCAS and give you answers to your questions, excavation dates, and details of the project. If any GCAS member participates in this rare opportunity with the JRI, please keep us informed of your findings and your progress!

/s/ webmaster


Excavation Opportunity for GCAS Members

Excavation pic Beginning November 25-26, 2023, and continuing into Spring 2024: David Greenwald of the Jornada Research Institute has announced that JRI's excavations will resume at Creekside Village in the Tularosa NM area. Contact Dave Greenwald beforehand to secure his approval to participate, then meet at the wye in Tularosa (junction of US 54/70: the abandoned gas station) at 9:00 AM on November 25 and/or November 26 to carpool to the site. The group plans to focus on the pithouse they have been working on to perhaps remove the last of the fill from the NE quarter of it during these two days in November.  They plan to continue work at Creekside Village until late April ’24 or early May ’24 over most weekends (Greenwald's schedule and weather permitting). Once you are properly vetted, bring a lunch, water layered clothing, gloves, hat, and dust cover. For more details, email Dave Greenwald directly.

Any GCAS members who participate in this opportunity, please let us know so we can follow your progress!

/s/ webmaster


June 21, 2023: GCAS Monthly Meeting Presents Marilyn Markel

IMG_5506Everyone is welcome to attend the GCAS's monthly in-person meeting on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at the Mimbres Valley's Roundup Lodge, 91 Acklin Hill Road in San Lorenzo, New Mexico, when we welcome our Featured Speaker, the GCAS's own archaeologist Marilyn Markel. Doors open at 5PM for a potluck dinner so bring a dish for yourself or to share. Brief GCAS business meeting begins at 5:45 PM followed immediately by Marilyn's presentation, Ridge Ruin: an Extraordinary Sinagua Site and a Story of Repatriation.

In order to offer our members a safe and comfortable experience at our in-person meetings the GCAS follows CDC and New Mexico Department of Health guidelines for indoor gatherings including masking, distancing, and vaccinations. We recommend all attendees follow the same.

Read on to learn more about Marilyn and the work she loves:

Continue reading "June 21, 2023: GCAS Monthly Meeting Presents Marilyn Markel" »


GCAS Monthly Meeting In Person With Featured Speaker: ENMU's Dr. Robert J. Stokes

Photo 11 by Marianne Smith; © 2019 ENMU - All Rights Reserved Stokes-robert-enmuWednesday, July 20, 2022, 7:00PM: The GCAS monthly in-person general meeting congregates at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley). Start at 6PM with your own plates/utensils/beverage & a dish for yourself or to share. Brief general meeting at 6:45 PM. At 7:00 PM sharp we welcome the GCAS's friend Dr. Bob Stokes, chair of ENMU's Archaeology Department, who will present his team's Preliminary Results from ENMU's 2021 Summer Field School at the Mares Rockshelter, a Jornada Mogollon Site along the Lower Rio Grande near Radium Springs.

Continue reading "GCAS Monthly Meeting In Person With Featured Speaker: ENMU's Dr. Robert J. Stokes" »


GCAS's July Field Trip = 2022 Archaeology Fair Soon Coming!

Archswuofafair2022SBecause the first Sunday of July always collides with the July 4 holiday, the GCAS traditionally offers our "July" field trip at the end of June. So, let's all set aside time on Saturday, June 25, 2022, 10:00AM-12:00PM noon, to take our field trip to the 2022 Archaeology Fair hosted by Archaeology Southwest and the University of Arizona's Preservation Archaeology Field School at Gila River Farm in Cliff, New Mexico. The public is welcome and it's free of charge, so nothing could be better than joining GCAS members in learning about the project team's current discoveries through their informational exhibits, hands-on activities, and a brief site tour over easy terrain. General directions are: From the junction of Highways 180 and 211 in Cliff, drive 1 mile north, keep left (north) on Highway 293 and drive to Mile Marker 4. Just past MM 4, turn right into a driveway with a small sign that says, "Gila River Farm." Please use the parking area next to the large building down the driveway. Check their event flyer for more info: Download archaeology-fair-2022.pdf (455.6K). Learn more about the field school here, and here.

Safety measures will be in place so please be prepared to wear a mask and keep a safe distance. If you still have questions contact Archaeology Southwest. We'll see you at the Fair!

/s/ webmaster


Save the Date: It's the 2022 Archaeology Fair!

Archsw-uofa-2022Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 25, 2022, 10:00AM-12:00PM noon, to visit the 2022 Archaeology Fair hosted by Archaeology Southwest and the University of Arizona's Preservation Archaeology Field School at Gila River Farm in Cliff, New Mexico. All the public is invited and it's free of charge, so join GCAS members in learning about the project team's current archaeological investigations and research. Informational exhibits aplenty will be on display, and there will be hands-on activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Check their event flyer for directions: Download archaeology-fair-2022.pdf (455.6K). Learn more about the field school here, and here.

Safety measures will be in place so please be prepared to wear a mask and keep a safe distance. If you still have questions contact Archaeology Southwest. We'll see you at the Fair!

/s/ webmaster


BREAKING: New Evidence of Coronado Expedition's Route Through Arizona

Seymour and wall gunWe of the GCAS tip our hats to geologist/archaeologist Andrew R Gomolak! He kindly submitted to us an article and links to a series of short YouTube videos presenting Deni Seymour's findings from her archaeological excavations of the first sites in Arizona that can be attributed to the Coronado Expedition of 1539-1542. Andrew advises that the following materials are public information, with no restrictions on distribution; having enjoyed them ourselves we present them here for all our readers. Deni Seymour's work appears to be a monumental step forward in determining the Coronado Expedition's exact route through southern Arizona.

Andrew forwarded to us Deni's own description of her research:

Continue reading "BREAKING: New Evidence of Coronado Expedition's Route Through Arizona" »


Interactive Digs for the Armchair Archaeologist

Memoskull melisa frenchSometimes we avocational archaeologists are keen to participate in an official archaeological excavation but cannot afford the fees nor tolerate a month's tent-camping in hot, pestiferous conditions. Or possess the gear and the nerves of steel to scuba dive in a pitch black cenote. [Photo by Melisa French via Archaeology Magazine.]

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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]