NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at 6:00 PM, at 2045 Memory Lane in Silver City, New Mexico. No potluck dinner but refreshments provided. Featured speaker: GCAS's own Joseph A. Bryce, Assistant Curator of History and Exhibitions at the Silver City Museum, will discuss "The Fremont Culture in Utah."

NEXT FIELD TRIP: By tradition there is NO field trip in January, but watch this space for future info on one or more possible work parties at the GCAS's library room at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. Inventory and organizing opportunities galore!

Field Trips

Registration Soon Closes for 2019 Rock Art Academy in El Paso, Texas

Badger vs. opossumThe Texas Archeological Society's two-day Rock Art Academy will be held in El Paso, Texas, on February 16-17, 2019. Registration will close at midnight on January 17, 2019.

The TAS Rock Art Academy "...explores regional rock art archeological sites, Mogollon archeological sites, and how investigators use this information to interpret the human and natural histories of an area. Classroom Bighorn sheep 1sessions for the Academy will be held at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology with field sessions at Hueco Tanks State Park..."

For registration and event details please go to this TAS page.

/s/ webmaster [Photos by Marianne Smith]


2019 Rock Art Academy, El Paso

Doe  maybe  between 2 male figuresRegistration is open and ongoing for the Texas Archeological Society's Rock Art Academy to be held in El Paso, Texas, on February 16-17, 2019.

FriendshipThe TAS describes the Rock Art Academy as "...a two-day Texas Archeology Academy that explores regional rock art archeological sites, Mogollon archeological sites, and how investigators use this information to interpret the human and natural histories of an area. Classroom sessions for the Academy will be held at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology with field sessions at Hueco Tanks State Park..."

The registration period for the 2019 Rock Art Academy continues through midnight on January 17, 2019. For details on this event, go to this TAS page.

/s/ webmaster [Photos by Marianne Smith]


Field Trip to Frying Pan Canyon and Pony Hills

Frying Pan Canyon panel and vista Meem and Kyle at Frying Pan Meem shows Frying Pan chimeraA total of 15 GCAS members, a few of the membership-curious, and three canine companions gathered for the GCAS’s November 4, 2018, field trip to examine the petroglyphs in Frying Pan Canyon and Pony Hills near Deming. We enjoyed stellar weather: sunny to partly-cloudy, a high temp of about 75F, with just enough of a breeze to keep the dust down.

Continue reading "Field Trip to Frying Pan Canyon and Pony Hills" »


Registration Soon Opens for 2019 Rock Art Academy in El Paso, Texas

Maybe deer and turkeyThe Texas Archeological Society has announced that registration will open on October 28, 2018, for their next Rock Art Academy to be held in El Paso, Texas, on February 16-17, 2019.

Cloud  possibly  with waterThe TAS explains that the Rock Art Academy "...is a two-day Texas Archeology Academy that explores regional rock art archeological sites, Mogollon archeological sites, and how investigators use this information to interpret the human and natural histories of an area. Classroom sessions for the Academy will be held at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology with field sessions at Hueco Tanks State Park..."

The registration period for the 2019 Rock Art Academy runs from noon on October 28, 2018, through midnight on January 17, 2019. For details on this event, go to this TAS page.

/s/ webmaster [Photos by Marianne Smith]


Upcoming Field Trip Courtesy of Archaeology Southwest and the Gila River Festival

10 - View of the footers of 2 right-angle wallsOn Thursday, September 20, 2018, Archaeology Southwest and the Gila River Festival 2 - Replica axe demowill present a four-hour field trip to the Gila River Farm archaeological site in Cliff, New Mexico. The adobe structures at this site date from the 14th Century CE and are culturally unique in the Upper Gila region. Archaeologists Karen Schollmeyer and Allen Denoyer will guide visitors through the site, discussing the findings from this season's excavations. They will also describe an array of ancient technologies and invite visitors to some hands-on trials of those technologies. If you have never thrown an atlatl or used a stone axe to chop wood, now is your chance.

The group is limited to 30 individuals, so act now! Details are at both Archaeology Southwest and the Gila River Festival; and you register for the field trip through the Gila River Festival, here.

/s/ webmaster [photos by Marianne Smith]


Field Trip to Sites Along Fort Bayard's Big Tree Trail

"Is this what I think it is?" [Points to half-buried odd-shaped rock...] 9 - Wendy on far L looks for sherds while the group discusses a find 10 - L to R  Wendy  Meem  Don with grinding stone  Marilyn  Janet  Kyle

"No. It's just a half-buried odd-shaped rock."

"What about this?"

"Well, now, that IS something!" [Group clusters together with excitement.]

Observe the two photos over there on the right. You can always tell you're in a group of amateur archaeologists when someone finds something interesting, and everyone gathers around to have a look...except for one person who will keep scanning the ground. Just in case.

Continue reading "Field Trip to Sites Along Fort Bayard's Big Tree Trail" »


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" »


The 2018 Archaeology Fair - June 30

image from www.archaeologysouthwest.orgOn June 30, 2018, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (noon), Archaeology Southwest and the students of the University of Arizona/Tucson's Preservation Archaeology Field School will host an open house to showcase their ongoing work at the 14th-century Gila River Farm site in Cliff, New Mexico. [Photo via Archaeology Southwest.]

Archaeology Southwest describes this worthwhile project as "...committed to increasing the diversity of views represented in archaeology, including improving communication between archaeologists and nonprofessionals and between researchers with different backgrounds and training. Students from backgrounds and institutions traditionally underrepresented in archaeology (including small colleges and community colleges) are especially encouraged...."

The U of A Field School describes this year's project as a furtherance of archaeological work performed at the site and an investigation of the artifacts that have been recovered there, all of which indicate that the ancient pueblo community "...participated in the Salado ideology, which blended preexisting local traditions throughout the Southwest with traditions carried by migrants from the Kayenta area of northeastern Arizona. Key questions [for the 2018 field school] include what kinds of pottery the site’s residents made and used and how this reflects their social connections to other areas, how residents used local plants and animals, and where they obtained raw material for stone tools, particularly obsidian."

Details and directions to the open house in Cliff, New Mexico, are on this page here, but we recommend exploring the whole website as well as the links above.

The GCAS is making an official field trip to the open house on June 30. We hope to see you there!

/s/ webmaster