GCAS member Thatcher Rogers is currently a PhD student at UNM, a ceramics analyst/archaeologist for the Office of Contract Archeology and Aspen CRM Solutions, and one of the recipients of our Nancy Coinman Grant Awards. He has kindly allowed us to include on our website his recently-published paper, "Mimbreños y Paquiméños: Historicism and the Ancestry of the Casas Grandes Ceramic Tradition."
This following announcement of Old Pueblo Archaeology Center regarding one of their regularly scheduled "Third Thursday Food for Thought" programs bears special interest for the GCAS and others in our area. Consider saving the date: Thursday, March 18, 2021.
Old Pueblo describes: “Third Thursday Food for Thought” Zoom online dinnertime program featuring "Mimbres in Context: Hohokam, Chaco, Casas Grandes" presented by archaeologist Stephen H. Lekson, sponsored by Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, Tucson, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. Free.
Roughly 90 years ago, archaeologists sponsored by universities in the US Midwestern and Eastern states excavated numerous sites throughout the Mimbres-Mogollon cultural region. As was the custom, they shipped the human remains and artifacts they uncovered to the universities and museums that had underwritten their projects. Their activities and research in our area inspired in large part the formation of our own Grant County Archaeological Society in 1928.
The Grant County Archaeological Society seeks donations for our 2020-2021 season’s priority
project at the Mattocks Site/Mimbres Culture Heritage Site in the Mimbres Valley, New Mexico.
Mattocks Site/Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. Wood House, center. © Mitchell Clinton, Mitchell Clinton Photography. All Rights Reserved.
The Vision: When the members of the Mimbres Foundation excavated and subsequently purchased the Mattocks Site in southwestern New Mexico’s Mimbres Valley, they envisioned not simply preserving the archaeological site but to transform it and its historic buildings into the Mimbres Archaeological Research and Education Center. The members of the Mimbres Foundation have remained faithful to their vision throughout the ensuing decades; they and other archaeologists continue to support the Grant County Archaeological Society’s efforts at the Mattocks Site. We now have the opportunity to take further steps to fulfill their vision.
The Opportunity: Our partners in preservation, the Imogen F. Wilson Education Foundation (IFWEF), own and maintain the historic buildings located at the Mattocks Site/Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. IFWEF has invited the Grant County Archaeological Society (GCAS) to relocate our library, archives, and collections of potsherds and artifacts from our current quarters in the site’s main ranch house (the Gooch House) to a larger space in the adjacent historic Wood House.
The Plan: The GCAS will develop two ground floor rooms of the Wood House into a research station and lab, to better accommodate the archaeologists and field schools we and IFWEF typically host at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. Concurrently we will make our library, archives, and collections more accessible to our members and visiting researchers. For example, one of our ongoing projects has been to cross-reference our library’s assemblage of research materials and field notes for over 188 archaeological sites with the portions of our potsherd and artifact collections that donors reported were collected from some of the same sites.
The Challenge: The interior of the Wood House - built of adobe in 1882 - requires thorough rehabilitation before use as a reference library or archaeological research station is feasible. IFWEF has installed a new roof and is undertaking the remaining general rehabilitation of the Wood House (plumbing and electrical upgrades; repairs to floors, walls, and ceilings; etc.). Meanwhile, the GCAS will take on the projects related to making our designated spaces usable as an archaeological library, field school research lab, and study area (specialized lighting, security and safety measures; WiFi installation; repair, construction, and/or purchase of bookcases and other furnishings; etc.). We expect most of the required labor will be done by GCAS volunteers but we need help to cover the expenses of materials, fixtures, furnishings, and supplies; and licensed contractors if necessary. The educational programs the GCAS has offered each year since 1999 to the students of seven local schools will resume at the Mattocks Site/Mimbres Culture Heritage Site post-pandemic and will continue as we develop the Mimbres Archaeological Research and Education Center.
The Goal: The GCAS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Our goal is to raise $10,000 in donations that the GCAS will spend exclusively on the GCAS’s portion of the necessary rehabilitation and upgrades in the Wood House at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. Please contribute to help the GCAS establish the Mimbres Archaeological Research and Education Center (MAREC) as the members of the Mimbres Foundation envisioned. The GCAS welcomes your donations via either our website, at https://www.gcasnm.org/news/donate-marec.html, or via standard mail by sending your checks to:
Grant County Archaeological Society, Attn: MAREC
PO Box 1713
Silver City NM 88062
For further information please contact Marianne Smith at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 772-529-2627; or email Marilyn Markel at email@example.com or telephone: 575-536-9337. Thank you so much for your generosity in helping us to achieve this goal.
Recently an interesting article commemorating July 5, 1054, as The Greatest Fourth of July in American History stated:
"There’s only one place in the world we know of where a picture of the 1054 supernova event was drawn that still survives: in America, by our own compatriots the Mimbres people, as just one example of their fabulous stylized pottery of the 11th Century...."
This article is a fascinating description - from an ancient Mimbreño's point of view - of the supernova event of July 5, 1054. Among many other images, the article includes illustrations of how the sky appeared at the time of the 1054 event.The author concentrates his discussion on one particular Mimbres bowl currently housed in the Weisman Art Museum at at the University of Minnesota.
The GCAS's very own Marilyn Gendron reports a welcome development for archaeological preservationists. the Archaeological Conservancy announced in the Summer 2020 issue of American Archaeology magazine that they have acquired one of our local archaeological sites, Treasure Hill, from long-time friends of the GCAS, archaeologist LaVerne Herrington and her husband, engineer Ellis "Red" Herrington. The article, entitled The Treasures of Treasure Hill: The Conservancy Obtains a Rare, Well-Preserved Mimbres Site, is not yet published online as of this writing but excerpts from it, combined with LaVerne Herrington's own remarks, follow:
On June 3, 2020, the GCAS Board of Trustees submitted a formal comment in opposition to the US Bureau of Reclamation's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which proposes a diversion of the Gila River in the general area of Virden, New Mexico. All of the Bureau of Reclamation's proposed alternatives for river diversion and construction appear certain to damage or destroy a large number of historic and archaeological sites throughout the proposed project area which spans both New Mexico and Arizona.
Providence Cone is located east of Deming, jutting upward from the surrounding flatlands. Locals know it as Rattlesnake Peak and there is a good reason for that name. As long as one stays alert Providence Cone makes for a good wintertime field trip as twenty-eight hardy GCAS members demonstrated on February 2, 2020.
Features of interest in the easier, more level portions of the area include a few difficult-to-find petroglyphs and grinding holes, and an area of rubbing rocks where megafauna like mastodon and bison groomed themselves some 10,000 years ago.
The GCAS proudly donated funds to the Southwest New Mexico Audubon Society in partnership with the Mimbres Region Arts Council Youth Mural Program, to support their latest civic educational and beautification project. The mural was dedicated to the public on October 26, 2019. As the Southwest New Mexico Audubon Society describes,
The mural theme, “Plants, Pollinators and Climate Change,” was proposed by SWNM Audubon and designed by Aldo Leopold High School art students, under the direction of teacher Alison Phillips, with input from supporting organizations and based on original photographs by Elroy Limmer. Mimbreño designs bridge past with present, the border consists of blue to red stripes depicting global temperature changes over the last 100 years.
One of our core missions is to preserve and protect archaeological resources through education. Large groups of local students and their teachers are taking field trips to the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. We of the GCAS provide volunteer guides for these field trips, coordinated by our very own Marilyn Markel.
Many students from two schools are planning field trips between the date of this post and November 22, 2019. Please take time to assist Marilyn in showing these young visitors their rich heritage. No experience is necessary for any of these field trips; Marilyn will quickly get you up to speed. Please help with one or both: