Friday, March 29, 2019, 9:30 AM to ? Work party at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. Volunteer for indoor projects or to help guide local school students in their outdoor projects. No experience necessary!

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 6:00 PM. Meet at 2045 Memory Lane in Silver City, New Mexico. No potluck dinner but refreshments provided. Featured speaker: Chris Turnbow addresses "The Search for the Seventh Parrot.”

NEXT FIELD TRIP: Sunday, April 7, 2019. Old Town and the petroglyphs of Hidden Valley Ranch. Meet at 10:00 AM sharp at the rest area on Highway 180 southbound at Mile Marker 144.7, about 3 miles south of the Hwy 180/Hwy 61 junction. These will be short walks on easy-to-moderate terrain but keep your eyes and ears open because Rattlesnake Season has begun in earnest.

The Oldest Known Plant Virus Is in Ancestral Puebloan Corn

image from alchetron.com image from www.americansouthwest.netResearchers at Penn State reported a few months ago that they have isolated a 1000-year-old plant virus - a chrysovirus - from corncobs recovered from the Antelope House Ruin in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. This chrysovirus is not just the first chrysovirus found in corn, but it is the oldest plant virus scientists have found to date. [Antelope House image via americansouthwest.net; virus image via alchetron.com]

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Upcoming Oil and Gas Lease Sale at Greater Chaco

Archaeology Southwest reports that on Thursday, March 28, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will sell certain oil and gas leases within the Greater Chaco Canyon area. They are asking concerned citizens to contact the BLM to protest this lease sale and will provide information on their website within the next several days explaining how to write an effective protest. In the meantime, some background:

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Ever Heard of Lithophones?

image from encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comSome time ago, and during a period of many years, a few archaeologists and various amateur collectors retrieved a number of oblong stone artifacts from the area around and including the Great Sand Dunes National Park in south-central Colorado. Eventually, many of the stones were given to the museum at Great Sand Dunes National Park where they remain stored today. [Photo of Great Sand Dunes artifacts via Archaeology Podcast Network.]

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New Techniques in the Study of Human Remains

image from abm-website-assets.s3.amazonaws.comResearchers have discovered that a certain protein in tooth enamel comes from a sex-specific gene. Scientists at the University of California/Davis have taken that discovery and developed a technique by which they can determine the gender of human remains even if only a single tooth is all that is recovered. Details are in this recent article in Archaeology magazine.

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Hands-On Training in Ancient Technology

image from i2.wp.comThis here blog previously featured a sample of the interesting and fun educational projects that Allen Denoyer brings to avocational archaeologists. Allen is Archaeology Southwest's Ancient Technologies Expert and one of their Preservation Archaeologists. Archaeology Southwest recently publicized Allen's schedule of courses for the next few months in Tucson, Arizona, and we at the GCAS feel it is worthwhile to spread the word. Coming up:

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The Bioarchaeology of Care

image from westerndigs.orgThis article is a couple years old now, but its ideas remain fresh. [Image via Westerndigs.org]

A recent archaeological excavation in Tempe, Arizona, uncovered a 13th-Century Hohokam settlement at the headgates of one of the Hohokam's main irrigation canals - one of their extensive network of canals that ran throughout what is now the Phoenix metropolitan area and sustained an estimated population of 80,000.

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How to Manage a Potsherd Collection

One of many spirals on sitePeriodically this here blog addresses the issue of potsherds. We've addressed several reasons why today's avocational archaeologist should leave them where they are.

Sherd grouping  detailWe in the GCAS realize that in past decades it was considered acceptable to gather potsherds by the hatful and bucketful. Many people made a hobby out of collecting as many potsherds as they could carry. Unfortunately the novelty soon wore off so these collections tended to languish, forgotten, in a box somewhere. In our group's experience the collector's heirs eventually come across the sherds when clearing out their deceased family member's belongings. At that point, some sherd collections are no doubt thrown away in a landfill. Or dumped under a convenient tree. Or, sometimes, the heirs find the GCAS and donate them to us.

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Now Featuring Online Payments!

Tired of renewing your GCAS membership by printing out and completing that pesky form, then having to find an envelope, stamp, and check to snail-mail it to us? Dreading having to face the same thing when you sign up to attend the 2019 ASNM Annual Meeting we're hosting this coming April?

Well, today's your lucky day! Our membership and ASNM Registration forms now include handy online payment options!

Renew, or start a new membership, here.

Register for the 2019 ASNM Annual Meeting, over here.

Don't wait! Act now!

/s/ webmaster


Lapis Lazuli in Skeletal Remains

This here blog prefers to concentrate on news of Southwest US archaeology, but this recent article from The Atlantic is way too good to pass up. There are many implications for future research of animal and human remains in our own area, and how scientific findings may be interpreted in new and exciting ways. Submitted for your consideration:

Why a Medieval Woman Had Lapis Lazuli Hidden in her Teeth -

an analysis of dental plaque illuminates the forgotten history of female scribes

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