NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 6:30 PM: It's the GCAS's first post-pandemic in-person general meeting! Meet at the Roundup Lodge at 91 Acklin Hill Road in Mimbres, New Mexico.  The Roundup's ongoing renovations preclude our traditional potluck dinner; instead bring FINGER FOOD SNACKS ONLY for yourself or to share. Beverages must be in recyclable containers. Cleanup is unavailable except for what you can take home yourself or put in the trash. Weather permitting, we gather outdoors between 6:30 PM and 7:00 PM to get reacquainted with one another after so long apart. President Kyle Meredith emphasizes: "While those who have received vaccinations have little fear of contracting or transmitting the disease, the state mandate—as I understand it as of this writing—still requires everyone to wear a mask at “mass gatherings” of no more than 150 persons.  It is especially important among those who have not been vaccinated. Any risk is entirely the choice of the individual." We move indoors at 7PM for the general meeting. The GCAS's own Marilyn Markel & Marianne Smith will follow the general meeting with a PowerPoint slideshow, "MAREC: How It Started/How It's Going," featuring historical and present-day photos of the Wood House and the progress of our Mimbres Archaeological Research and Education Center project. Come see what we've been doing!

NEXT FIELD TRIP = WATCH THIS SPACE FOR UPDATES AS TO WHEN FIELD TRIPS WILL RESUME.

Petroglyphs

Meet D-Stretch: the Archaeologist's Friend

Picto 3 - natural Picto 3 - StretchSome avocational archaeologists have already learned of the fascinating technology of D-Stretch, aka decorrelation stretch, a digital imaging tool that was originally developed to enhance (i.e., "stretch") the color differences in aerial photographs. Today, this technology has become more widely used and user-friendly to boot. It is now an essential tool to analyze rock art images, especially ones too faint for the naked eye to see.

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Online Via Zoom: Our February 17, 2021, Featured Speaker: Lawrence (Larry) Loendorf

Larry-loendorf Larry Loendorf excavating in front of Main rock art panel  Valley of the Shields  MontanaJoin us Wednesday, February 17, 2021, at 7:00 PM on Zoom to hear our Featured Speaker, Lawrence (Larry) Loendorf of Sacred Sites Research, Inc. explain the relationships he and other anthropologists, archaeologists, and ethnobotanists have studied between "Medicinal Plants and Rock Art Sites in Southern New Mexico."

Larry was born and raised in Montana. His BA and MA degrees are in anthropology and archaeology from the University of Montana and his PhD is from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After receiving his PhD, he taught at the University of North Dakota for 22 years and then moved to undertake research and teaching at the University of Arizona and New Mexico State University. He currently manages Sacred Sites Research, Inc., a non-profit company that is dedicated to protecting ancient pictograph and petroglyph sites.

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Online Via Zoom: Our November 18, 2020, Featured Speaker, Margaret Berrier

MarglyphWednesday, November 18, 2020, 7:00 PM: GCAS general meeting via Zoom. No business meeting, which means we will begin by welcoming our Featured Speaker, archaeologist Margaret Berrier, who will share with our group "Pisciform Iconography of the Jornada Mogollon," also known as, "Let's Look at Fish: Pisciforms in the Jornada Mogollon Region of Southern New Mexico, Northern Mexico, and West Texas." Margaret points out,

"Numerous examples of fish are depicted on ceramics of the Southwest's ancient Mimbres Culture. These are well illustrated in publications and the Mimbres Pottery Image Digital Database (MimPIDD). However, no significant catalog or publication exists for the Southwest's Jornada Mogollon culture that was partly contemporaneous with the Mimbres. This presentation will include examples of pisciform iconography (fish forms) and their distribution in the Jornada Mogollon area. It also summarizes ethnographic accounts of fish use and interpretation of fish iconography. Included in the presentation will be many examples and comparisons with other archaeological artifacts."

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Interactive Fun with the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project

Kwells and friendThe Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project in Velarde, New Mexico, has produced a virtual tour of their extensive site that anyone can enjoy. You may have to navigate through one or two screens on this link, or perhaps this link, but it is worth a few minutes of your time to see glimpses of this very unique and important site. If you have never visited the site you will enjoy this brief introduction to it. If you have already visited in person you will be thrilled to see some of its highlights again.

Please also consider sending a donation to the MPPP to support their preservation efforts. Once it becomes feasible for public health you may consider visiting the site yourself. Plan a few days, as there are 6 different trails among the petroglyphs to sign up with a docent to see!

/s/ webmaster


The Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project's Monthly Lecture Series

The Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project in Velarde, New Mexico, has adapted their monthly lecture schedule to fit the vagaries of our COVID-19 pandemic. Where appropriate they plan to livestream their lectures so even those of us interested folks down here in the territories can enjoy them. Please remember to double-check all the following dates directly with the MPPP to stay on top of any sudden or last-minute changes. The MPPP announces:

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Welcome Today's Guest Blogger, Kyle Meredith!

Our very own GCAS President, Kyle Meredith, has dropped by this part of the blogosphere to take us all on a virtual trip that he and two other hardy GCAS members (plus one mascot) recently took to a petroglyph site near Deming. All text and photos are courtesy of Kyle Meredith. Away we go!

Petroglyph hill - K. MeredithBack in April, Josh and I and Greg went for an overnighter down south of Deming to look for a hill with petroglyphs we had been told about. I located our probable destination on a map and set up a route on my GPS.

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Petroglyphs as Celestial Markers

Venus 1218 pmImages depicted in Southwestern petroglyphs are open to interpretation due to the absence of a written record explaining the ancient artist's intentions. However, certain petroglyphs found at various sites throughout the region appear similar to one another and so have led many researchers to propose that they depict heavenly bodies (see also photo on left) or a specific astronomical event like a coronal mass ejection or a supernova. Other petroglyphs have been found to track recurring events like solstices and equinoxes; these markers are typically spirals across which rock shadows or daggers of light trace the sun's path across the sky (photo on right). The Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project (MPPP) has something a bit different...

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GCAS February Field Trip - Providence Cone

2020_02_02 TG - Providence Cone Field TripProvidence 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.

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More Comparative Petroglyph Musings

Solar analemma white sandsThere are many multiple-exposure photographs existing throughout cyberspace that illustrate the solar analemma. Each week, a dedicated photographer photographs the sun from the same position during the course of a full year. The result is a photograph of 48 to 52 images of the sun in the shape of what most people recognize as a figure-eight, i.e., the "infinity" symbol. If photographed from the Northern Hemisphere the highest point of the analemma is the sun's position at the summer solstice and the lowest point is the position of the winter solstice. The path of the moon follows a similar analemma shape. Here on the right is one sample of a solar analemma via weatherscapes.com:

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