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!

Get Involved

GCAS Fundraiser for WNMU Museum!

MA14The Grant County Archaeological Society’s regular monthly meeting on July 19, 2023, becomes a special fundraising event for the Western New Mexico University Museum at Fleming Hall, open to GCAS members &the general public in a hybrid in-person and Zoom event! Doors open at 5PM Mountain Daylight (Silver City) Time with a recommended $5.00 minimum donation to the WNMU Museum from in-person attendees and Zoom participants alike.

In-person attendees contribute at the door while Zoom attendees support the Museum via the GCAS's online PayPal payment portal. All donations go to the WNMU Museum.

Beginning at 5PM in-person attendees can view the Museum’s exhibits of Mimbres pottery & other artifacts. Light refreshments provided. Museum’s gift shop is open. At 6:00 PM Mountain Daylight (Silver City) Time, in-person and via Zoom, Featured Speaker USFS District Archaeologist Chris Adams introduces Mimbres Pottery - Feather Imagery. Talk will follow with in-person/online Q&A.

Museum space is limited so reserve an in-person seat or request our Zoom link by contacting the GCAS at [email protected] or by telephoning Marianne Smith at 772-529-2627. Join us in this special fundraising event for the WNMU Museum, and consider becoming a member of the GCAS yourself. The GCAS and the WNMU Museum are grateful for your support.


Repost: Fill Your Calendar With Centennial Events

The Gila Wilderness holds a special place in the hearts of us out here in the territories. It was the world's first designated wilderness and it's right here in our own back yard. Find out about centennial events throughout 2024 here on the US Forest Service Wilderness Ranger District's web pages. Learn more about the Gila Wilderness's history and culture here.

Save a very special date: Saturday, June 1, 2024, 12:00PM noon-4:00PM, to visit Gough Park in Silver City: join the fun as the GCAS shifts our usual "first Sunday of the month" field trip one day earlier to the first Saturday of June to celebrate the main event of the 2024 centennial of the Gila Wilderness. The US Forest Service Wilderness Ranger District is our host, commemorating the vital partnerships throughout the community that have contributed to the preservation of the Gila Wilderness over the past century. The GCAS is one among many such community organizations that will have a booth in Gough Park to showcase how we local people working together have preserved the Gila Wilderness for us all to love and enjoy.

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Fill Your Calendar To Celebrate the Gila Wilderness's 100th Birthday

The Gila Wilderness holds a special place in the hearts of us out here in the territories. It was the world's first designated wilderness and it's right here in our own back yard. Find out about centennial events throughout 2024 here on the US Forest Service Wilderness Ranger District's web pages. Learn more about the Gila Wilderness's history and culture here.

Save a very special date: Saturday, June 1, 2024, 12:00PM noon-4:00PM, to visit Gough Park in Silver City: join the fun as the GCAS shifts our usual "first Sunday of the month" field trip one day earlier to the first Saturday of June to celebrate the main event of the 2024 centennial of the Gila Wilderness. The US Forest Service Wilderness Ranger District is our host, commemorating the vital partnerships throughout the community that have contributed to the preservation of the Gila Wilderness over the past century. The GCAS is one among many such community organizations that will have a booth in Gough Park to showcase how we local people working together have preserved the Gila Wilderness for us all to love and enjoy.

/s/ webmaster


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" »


22d Mogollon Conference: Save these dates!

Thursday, October 3 through Saturday, October 5, 2024, Silver City NM: It's the 22d annual Mogollon Conference, hosted by WNMU and the Museum at Fleming Hall.

The Museum will host a complimentary reception for attendees on the evening of October 3 before the two-day conference gets underway on Friday and Saturday at the Bessie Forward GRC on the WNMU Campus. Registration for the conference sessions is $45/person until September 19; thereafter $55/person. BUT: special offer to GCAS members! The Museum needs 3-4 volunteers to help with registration at the conference and would waive the registration fee for those folks! Contact Museum Director Danni Romero to volunteer; check the Mogollon Conference website for all other developing info including fees for the October 4 banquet and the Sunday, October 6 Mimbres Foundation reunion:

Continue reading "22d Mogollon Conference: Save these dates!" »


Upcoming Dates for SiteWatch New Mexico

Now's the chance for anyone interested in becoming a SiteWatch volunteer to step up!

SiteWatch coordinator Jessica Badner would like to come to our area on Feb. 4-5 for site steward training. If you know someone that wants to be a site steward please have them call Marilyn Markel as soon as possible at 575-536-9337. Marilyn advises that we need  about 12 people to sign up to have the training. If those dates do not work SiteWatch may schedule the training for mid February or try to do a ZOOM training.

Marilyn Markel advises us that the annual SiteWatch conference is to be held on March 2, 2024, at the Los Luceros Historic Site near Santa Fe. Watch the GCAS website for details as they develop, or check with the web page for SiteWatch New Mexico.

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New Year, New Board Members

BOD pacinoThe GCAS is starting 2024 the right way, with three new board members and six returning board members. Please welcome Eduardo Arguello, Valerie McCaffrey, and Dena Pinson, who will join Gary Barnett, Marilyn Gendron, William Hudson, Marilyn Markel, Kathryn McCarroll, and Marianne Smith in making the policy and day to day business decisions that keep the GCAS going.

Board projects for 2024 include updating our GCAS Bylaws to better comply with current state and federal law; organizing a calendar of program speakers, field trips, and special events; and assessing how we might help other local preservation-oriented groups with their own projects. We hope 2024 is as auspicious for all our readers as it promises to be for our members. Join us as we move forward!

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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!

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Repost: Help Us Move Forward

MA3895 - THAT bowlPeople, WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please step up to fill one of the following upcoming vacancies so that the GCAS can keep moving forward with out programs and events. Email Marianne at [email protected] or call her at 772-529-2627 to get details of the activity you aim to take on. It doesn't even have to be one of the following; use your imagination for how you want to contribute to the oldest continuously operating archaeological club in New Mexico!

No experience necessary for any position – we will show you the ropes and provide you with the materials you need to make it work:

Continue reading "Repost: Help Us Move Forward" »


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!

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Our GCAS Board Members for 2024 and Beyond!

Board election resultsYesterday, November 15, 2023, was our annual meeting. Our main order of business was to tally the votes of the GCAS general membership for the five candidates who so kindly volunteered to fill vacancies among our nine-member Board of Directors. We were pleased to count not just in-person votes but also the votes that other members had previously submitted via text, email, and standard mail. We received a total of 18 votes, all approving each of the five candidates; there were no "nays" in the lot. Please congratulate and welcome each of these new board members, who will begin their terms on January 1, 2024:

Eduardo Arguello

Gary Barnett

Bill Hudson

Valerie McCaffrey

Dena Pinson

In order to introduce our newest board members to how the GCAS board functions, we will convene a short informal board meeting of about 15 minutes long, before the 6:00 PM start time of our holiday get-together on December 20. We'll see you there!

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