NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 6PM: the GCAS is thrilled to announce this year's first general meeting IN PERSON at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley) near the junction of Highways 152 and 35! Start at 6PM with your own plates/utensils/beverage & a dish for yourself or to share. Brief general meeting at 6:45 PM. Skip social time if you like but our Featured Speaker, the WNMU Museum's new Director and archaeologist, Danielle Romero, makes her presentation on Elk Ridge Ceramics at 7PM sharp. Danielle, a ceramics specialist with years of investigating Mimbres and other sites, will make her topic most engaging. Read more about Danielle here. In order to offer our members a safe and comfortable experience 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.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: Sunday, June 5, 2022 - Park Service-guided visit to TJ Ruin at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Meet at the Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center parking lot no later than 10:50 am, tour to begin at 11:00 am. Drive north on Highway 15/Pinos Altos Rd for about 45 miles from US 180 in Silver City. Drive can take as much as 2 hours! Site is reached via a short hike to the top of a 100 ft bluff. Site is not shaded! Dogs are not allowed on the site and cannot be left in vehicles or tied up in the parking lot. NOTE: the area is currently experiencing heavy smoke impacts from the Black Fire. Check this website and the Park Service website at https://www.nps.gov/gicl/index.htm (Alerts) the day before/morning of the field trip to see current status of the field trip and area conditions. Remember, to protect vulnerable resources we offer our field trips to members only. Members’ invited guests are welcome, as long as they ride in that member’s vehicle.

Field Trips

Sign Up Now for an Upcoming Rock Art Tour

OPAC HQFor those unfamiliar with Old Pueblo Archaeology Center [photo on right via OPAC], it is an organization headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, devoted to education and preservation of historic and archaeological sites and artifacts throughout the region of the US Southwest and Mexico Northwest. They serve as a clearinghouse for events, tours, educational programs, and volunteer opportunities for individuals including students of all ages, professionals, and interested nonprofessionals.

Continue reading "Sign Up Now for an Upcoming Rock Art Tour" »


GCAS August Field Trip Part II - the C-Bar Ranch Site

GCAS examines the wall outlines Are these sherds Style I or Style IIThe second phase of our August 4, 2019, GCAS field trip found us traveling from the Microwave Site to examine the site at C-Bar Ranch. Like the Microwave Site, the C-Bar Ranch Site comprises some Late Period pithouses and the ruins of more recent pueblo rooms. And like Microwave, C-Bar is well known and convenient to locals and so continues to be heavily looted to this day.

Still life with prickly pear and lichen covered bouldersThe approach to the C-Bar site criss-crosses arroyos and passes rock outcrops hosting venerable prickly pear colonies. Abundant lichens on the rocks testify to the clean air which makes for a good, healthy walk (right photo).

Big photo on left up there shows all that that remains of the site's pueblo walls. Scattered by looters and people who either didn't know any better or didn't care.

Continue reading "GCAS August Field Trip Part II - the C-Bar Ranch Site" »


GCAS August Field Trip Part I - the Microwave Site

Microwave vista NW Microwave vista to Cooke's Peak Microwave vista ENEThe Microwave Site has no microwave tower. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It once had one.

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.

Continue reading "GCAS August Field Trip Part I - the Microwave Site" »


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" »


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" »


Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part III: Gila River Farm

2 - Fascinating research displaysIt'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.

Continue reading "Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part III: Gila River Farm" »


Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part II: Ponderosa Ranch

Ponderosa Ranch approachMarilyn 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!]

Continue reading "Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part II: Ponderosa Ranch" »


Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part I: Spirit Canyon

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.

2019-06-02 CO Spirit Canyon field trip IMG_1067On 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.]

Continue reading "Back to Back to Back Field Trip Reports - Part I: Spirit Canyon" »


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" »


Upcoming Events

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:

Hurley kids at riverMonday, 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 mmarkelmimbres@gmail.com.

Continue reading "Upcoming Events" »