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.
Our 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.
Our 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.
It's always a pleasure to visit directing archaeologist Karen Schollmeyer, PhD, and her crew of the Archaeology Southwest/Preservation Archaeology Field School when they wind up another productive season of research at the Gila River Farm in Cliff, New Mexico. They held their 2019 Archaeology Fair on June 29 there and as usual it was well attended.
Marilyn Markel guided us on the second leg of our GCAS field trip of June 2, 2019, to the archaeological sites atop (way atop) a steep bluff at Ponderosa Ranch in the upper Mimbres Valley. This is yet another site that is monitored by a volunteer Site Steward (who also happens to be a GCAS member) under the New Mexico SiteWatch Program. [Photos by GCAS guest photographer Greg Conlin. Thanks, Greg!]
The summer months find the GCAS all over the place partaking of events aplenty. Our field trips are no exception; by the close of the first week of July we will have enjoyed a total of three field trips in five weeks.
On June 2, 2019, the GCAS's very own Marilyn Markel led our monthly field trip to two sites located near each other. Our first stop was to Spirit Canyon in the upper Mimbres Valley area. Spirit Canyon is a unique rock art site monitored under the New Mexico SiteWatch Program. About a half-mile walk up the canyon trail and carefully avoiding the lush growth of poison ivy, our group encountered a series of red ochre pictographs that reportedly depict either Apache Mountain Spirits, or the Apache ceremonial dancers who represented the Mountain Spirits. [Photo on left by M.Smith; photo on right by Greg Conlin.]
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.)
Sunday, 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.
People, the next four weeks are chock-full-o' archaeological goings-on to suit every taste and budget. Carve out some time and mark your calendars for some or all of the following:
Monday, June 24, 2019, through Tuesday, June 25, 2019: Archaeology Kid's Camp at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site gets underway with a field crew trip to the Cottonwood Site. To volunteer yourself, or to sign up your favorite kid for camp, contact Marilyn Markel at 575-536-9337 or email email@example.com.
The GCAS's very own Marilyn Markel is today's Guest Photographer, bringing us some images from April 28, 2019, when she and Bill Hudson guided ten or so attendees of the 2019 ASNM annual meeting on a field trip to the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site.
Marilyn has been a devoted member of the GCAS for over 18 years but her passion for archaeology has been lifelong. She has served our group in the capacities of Vice President, President, Board member, and more. She is the backbone of our educational outreach programs, introducing the general public but especially local grade school and high school students to the history and cultural heritage of their own home towns.
Torie Grass joins us today to share photos she took on a GCAS field trip to the Rock House Petroglyph Site on April 28, 2019. Torie has been a member and enthusiastic supporter of the GCAS for many years. Most recently, she volunteered her time to help make the April 2019 ASNM annual meeting in Silver City a success.
The Rock House Petroglyph Site is located on New Mexico State Trust Land near a state highway. It sits opposite the Rock House Pueblo Site which fell victim to bulldozers years ago. For years it was known locally as the “Bandito” site because of a large red stereotyped Mexican figure that a vandal had painted over a petroglyph panel. In 2015, the GCAS undertook remediation of the site and safely removed the red barn paint that had defaced the petroglyphs. Torie's photo on the left illustrates a portion of that restored panel. Her photo on the right shows a different area of petroglyphs. In both images, the group demonstrates the preferred Best Practice of taking pictures of ancient symbols without touching or walking on them. When visiting any archaeological site, be as cool as this group is.
Thank you for contributing these photos, Torie!