NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 5:00PM: The GCAS monthly IN-PERSON general meeting meets again at 2045 Memory Lane in Silver City, New Mexico. about a block or two south of the intersection of Memory Lane and Hwy 180. Doors open at 5PM for folks to socialize and get settled. Light refreshments provided and OK to bring your own light snacks or handy meal (burrito, etc.) and beverage. Meeting starts at 5:30PM sharp with a brief to nonexistent business meeting followed at 5:45PM by our featured speaker, the redoubtable archaeologist Chris Adams. Chris will showcase for us the Feather Imagery Depicted on Mimbres Pottery. Expect meeting to adjourn about 7:00PM. As ever, 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: February 5, 2023, we will meet at 10:00 AM at the MAREC HQ at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. We will have the Allard Bartlett and George Coleman collections on display with other select items including the GCAS's replica Clovis tool kit and a comparative sampling of artifact seashells and their modern counterparts. Possible trip to the nearby McAnally site may be included!

Mexico Northwest

GCAS Field Trip to Paquimé, Part II

IMG_423125 - Olla - photographing the cliff face May 2, 2018, the first day of our GCAS international field trip to archaeological and 33 - Yep  Golondrina historic sites in Chihuahua, Mexico, was windy and action-packed. We hiked for about 1/3 mile from La Cueva de la Olla crossing a shallow stream and the valley floor, up a short, steep path to the cave and cliff dwellings of La Cueva de la Golondrina ("Cave of the Swallow"). Occupation of this site has been dated to roughly 1000-1050 CE; somewhat more recent and for a shorter duration than La Cueva de la Olla. (h/t Marcia Corl for far left image.)

One of the structures in La Cueva de la Golondrina (see photo over here on the right) was built in a unique 27 - Golondrina circular cliff dwellingcylindrical shape, yet it and the other more conventional, rectangular-shaped adobe rooms at this site used the same defensive techniques of small ventilation windows and narrow, low, T-shaped doorways that seem typical of cliff dwellings of this era throughout northwest Mexico and southwest US.

31 - Golondrina far L wall's carved steps 32 - Golondrina far L wall porthole detail with lintelsFacing the cave, the cliff dwellings on the far left appeared more intact than those at La Cueva de la Olla; their walls extended all the way to the cave's roof. Slim rows of latillas in the upper parts of small ventilation windows remained in place despite graffiti etched into the surrounding adobe. Steps carved into the sloping rock were still usable to climb up to the cave floor (see photo on far left). The fine sand of the cave floor itself appeared uniformly flat and smooth, even into the cave's furthermost recesses.

Facing the cave along its upper right side, a long panel of white-painted pictographs came into view.

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GCAS Field Trip to Paquimé, Part I

22 - Olla - LtoR= GB  Luis  site steward  Marcia  Anne  KM  Kevin  unk  JuliaThe three-day GCAS international field trip to Paquimé, Chihuahua, Mexico, May 2-4, 12 - Tour guide Luia Benavidez2018, was a great success. A total of 16 hardy souls participated: four from El Paso; one from Las Cruces; one from Santa Fe; and ten from assorted locales around Grant County, New Mexico. Our tour guide, Luis Benavidez, and his associate, Oscar, took very good care of us while introducing us to points of interest all over the place. That's Luis, over there in that photo on the right.

May 2 found our group in two vans, checking in with Mexican Immigration in Palomas and then riding for about three hours from there to the greater Nuevo Casas Grandes area. Our first archaeological destination of the trip was among the windswept mountains of 6 - Olla  valley floorthe Sierra Madre Occidental near the town of Ignacio Zaragoza. We visited cliff 26 - Trail from Olla to Golondrinas with Rio Piedras Verdesdwellings in two separate cliff-side caves along the valley of the Rio Piedras Verdes. Luis explained to us that millennia ago this region was somewhat similar to the Mimbres River in New Mexico, in that archaeological sites of small groups of dwellings have been found every few miles along the river and its fertile valley. Human occupation in certain parts of this valley has been dated to 5500 BCE.

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Prehispanic Burial Practices

This link goes to an article that's from January 2017, but I stumbled across it in preparing for next week's GCAS field trip to the Paquimé/Casas Grandes area of Chihuahua, Mexico.

Archaeologists have known that burial practices in Paquimé (an important agricultural and trading center by about 1100 CE), sometimes included reburials of partial human remains with ceramics and other grave goods. Archaeologists determined that Paquimé was a trading hub by some of the artifacts they had excavated there - item such as seashells and the remains of macaws, which clearly had to have been transported hundreds of miles to Paquimé from Mexico's seacoast and Mesoamerica's tropical jungles. However, evidence has recently emerged that trade between the inland high desert communities and those of the tropical lowlands may have begun centuries earlier.

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