NEXT MEETING: 6:00 PM, Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 2045 Memory Lane in Silver City, New Mexico. No potluck dinner but refreshments provided. After the meeting our Featured Speaker, University of New Mexico PhD candidate and 2018/2019 GCAS Coinman Grant Awardee Thatcher A. Rogers will speak on the findings of his current research, regarding "Following the Green Stone Road: Exploring the Upper Gila Connection to Paquimé (Casas Grandes)." Please join us!

NEXT FIELD TRIP = Friday, February 28, 2020, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (noon). The GCAS's March field trip happens early as we attend the admission-free Friday morning session of the Gila Symposium featuring several archaeologists from around our region. The slate of speakers is here and directions to the Global Resource Center of WNMU on West 12th Street in Silver City are here. Consider attending the entire three-day event from Thursday, February 27, through Saturday, February 29!

Petroglyphs

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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Fish Identification Via Petroglyph Part II

34 - Kevin H at Fish 1Following is more speculation about the images of three separate fish the GCAS observed on their December 2019 field trip to the San Diego Mountain "Three-Fish" petroglyph site. Your faithful webmaster proposes that they are not fantasy images but instead are relatively factual representations of three separate fish species, at least two of which may have been marine fish - in other words, fish not local to the rivers and lakes of the desert Southwest but to Mexico's Gulf of California.

CA opaleye and hogfish  Ensenada de Alacran 6-24-2009 Puerto Refugio Pacific porgy  7-9-2009Up above there is the petroglyphic image of Fish Number One - it measures about 22 inches long by about 10 inches high. Note the rounded head, dorsal fins set far back, and the broad tail. I venture to guess that this petroglyph may be a fair and accurate representation of either a California opaleye or a Pacific porgy. The California opaleye (photo left, upper fish) inhabits coastal waters from California south along the Baja peninsula and into the Gulf of California and can reach a bit over two feet in length. The Pacific porgy (photo right) is found from Baja California and the Gulf of California to Peru. They also reach a maximum of two feet long.

Does any fisherperson out there have samples of other possible contenders?

/s/ webmaster


Fish Identification Via Petroglyph Part I

54 - Fish 3  5' LOA Cabo Falso doradoSo far there has been no feedback to the questions posed by the fish images among the petroglyphs at the Three Fish Site, the destination of the December 2019 GCAS field trip. Therefore your faithful webmaster will present her own suppositions.

Let's begin by assuming that each of the three fish petroglyphs are factual representations of three certain fish species, made approximately to scale. Secondly, let's suppose that whoever created the fish petroglyphs may not necessarily have recorded a fish that had been caught locally, but that the artist(s) had at one time or another seen such a fish somewhere in their travels and was recording the fish from memory.

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The Three-Fish Site Part II

33 - Fish 1The GCAS's informal name for the site of our December field trip was inspired by the three separate petroglyphs of three different fish in three different places. Every reader of this here blog is invited to ponder the images and give us their opinions of what species of fish each image may represent. Over there on the right is Fish Number One - a stand-alone petroglyph about 22 inches across by 10 inches high, more or less. (No one measured.)

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GCAS Field Trip to San Diego Mountain: the Three-Fish Site

4 - MG  KM  MC  KM at mortar 15 - John and KathrynOn December 8, 2019, 22 GCAS members congregated southeast of Hatch, New Mexico, to visit a petroglyph site most of us had never seen before. Weather forecasts threatened rain but luckily the trip stayed dry and overcast with wind increasing in the early afternoon; near-perfect conditions for photographing petroglyphs. The trail was generally easy to moderate, but one difficult section required scrambling across a canyon's side along a steep patch of rock that would have been impossible to safely traverse when wet.

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Today's Guest Photographer: Torie Grass

TG Rock House 1 04-28-2019Torie Grass joins us today to share photos she took on a GCAS field trip to the Rock House Petroglyph Site on April 28, 2019. Torie has been a member and enthusiastic supporter of the GCAS for many years. Most recently, she volunteered her time to help make the April 2019 ASNM annual meeting in Silver City a success.

TG Rock House 2 04-28-2019The Rock House Petroglyph Site is located on New Mexico State Trust Land near a state highway. It sits opposite the Rock House Pueblo Site which fell victim to bulldozers years ago. For years it was known locally as the “Bandito” site because of a large red stereotyped Mexican figure that a vandal had painted over a petroglyph panel. In 2015, the GCAS undertook remediation of the site and safely removed the red barn paint that had defaced the petroglyphs. Torie's photo on the left illustrates a portion of that restored panel. Her photo on the right shows a different area of petroglyphs. In both images, the group demonstrates the preferred Best Practice of taking pictures of ancient symbols without touching or walking on them. When visiting any archaeological site, be as cool as this group is.

Thank you for contributing these photos, Torie!

/s/ webmaster


GCAS Field Trip to Old Town and Fluorite Ridge

04_07_2019 Old Town CO IMG_5402Sunday, April 7, 2019, provided fine and sunny weather for a field trip. At least 14 members joined trip leader Greg Conlin on a two-pronged visit to the Old Town archaeological site and later, to the petroglyphs on the Bureau of Land Management's site at Fluorite Ridge. [Tip o' the hat to the GCAS's own Chris Overlock, for sharing the photos in this post!]

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Field Trip to Indian Wells - the Petroglyph Part

One of the fun aspects of studying petroglyphs is that regardless of how you interpret the images, nobody is wrong and everybody is right. Following, then, are pics of some of the petroglyphs our GCAS group saw on our March 3, 2019, field trip to Indian Wells.

Moon 1 per Patterson IMG_1005Author Alex Patterson identifies this circle-with-a-dot over there on the left as a symbol for the moon. Others describe it as a symbol for the sun. Either interpretation seems reasonable but it gets complicated when considering this next image here on the right. Two moons? Two suns? One of each, perhaps?

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Field Trip to Indian Wells - Part II

Indian Wells pit house vista 1The March 3, 2019, GCAS field trip to Indian Wells was enlightening on several levels. Chris Overlock's photos gave a good overview of the general terrain and vegetation, and showcased the classic GCAS looking-for-potsherds stoop that we all know and love. Here in Part II, is a second view of the overall terrain of Indian Wells, followed by a brief illustration of what a bulldozed archaeological site looks like for those who may not have ever seen one before.

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