NEXT MEETING: 6:00 PM, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley). Potluck followed by general meeting, then our Featured Speaker: Karen G. Schollmeyer, PhD, preservation archaeologist for Archaeology Southwest, presenting: "The Cliff Valley in the 14th Century."

Friday, May 31, 2019: GCAS members can join Dr. Schollmeyer at the Woodrow Ruin near Cliff. Meet at 8:00 AM sharp at the Silver City Visitors' Center, 201 N Hudson St.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: Sunday, June 2, 2019: Marilyn Markel leads us to Pictograph Canyon and Ponderosa Ranch. Meet at the Mimbres Ranger Station (on Hwy. 35 about 11 mi. north of Hwy 152 junction) at 10:00 AM sharp.

Puebloan Culture

Plan Now for the 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference

Swkc 2018 firing prepThe 2019 Southwest Kiln Conference will be taking place during the weekend of October 4, 2019 - October 6, 2019 in Globe, Arizona, and everyone is invited. The organizers stress that "...attendance is free and open to the public so come up to Globe and learn about the exciting things being done in the fields of prehistoric pottery replication and experimental archaeology."

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Let's Visit Las Cruces

image from newscenter.nmsu.eduWe at the GCAS encourage our readers to travel to Las Cruces some time between now and December 15, 2019, to visit some fine examples of Mimbres ceramics. It would make quite the day trip.

"Living in Sacred Continuum" is an assemblage of Mimbres pottery dating from 1000 CE to 1130 CE, and is now on display at the American Indian Student Center on the New Mexico State University campus in Las Cruces. The exhibit features interpretations of the pottery’s designs by five different Hopi artists with five different points of view. [Photo of the Hopi artists at work - by Atsunori Ito via NMSU. Dr. Arakawa is shown in center background.]

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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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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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Holiday Gift Ideas for the Archaeologically-Inclined

We all have that certain someone on our holiday gift list. They're the kind of person who spends a fair amount of time outdoors, exploring untold numbers of historic and ancient sites in remote locations...volunteering as a site steward to protect such sites from vandalism and looting...and spending their indoor time reading and learning even more about the places they like the best.

If you're stumped by what to give to your favorite archaeo-nerd this holiday season, you may find the following suggestions helpful:

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Turkey Tales

image from wildturkeyzone.com image from www.nwtfhuagoulds.org image from i0.wp.comAs the traditional US Thanksgiving feast is hard upon us and one's thoughts turn to a roast bird with all the trimmin's, one might pause to reflect on the turkeys of yore.

Archaeogenetecists have been hard at work collecting and analyzing the DNA of the remains of several dozen turkeys recovered from archaeological sites throughout Mexico and the US Southwest. The remains have been dated within ranges from 300 BCE to 1500 CE and they showed that several distinct species were raised in different regions of the Americas. These birds included the South Mexican wild turkey, the Rio Grande wild turkey (left photo), Gould's wild turkey (center), and the Yucatan's ocellated turkey (right).

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A New Book for Your Library

The University of Arizona Press has published an enticing new volume of the latest in Mimbres area archaeology. Avocational archaeologists as well as professionals will recognize some or all of the 30 contributing authors whose experience in the Mimbres region reflects many decades of dedicated field work and research. Edited by Drs. Barbara Roth, Patricia Gilman, and Roger Anyon, this 288-page book is available in both hard-copy and electronic editions.

List price is $65 but scroll down in the flyer below to find a sweet 30% discount coupon for hip people like you who are In The Know:

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DNA Sequencing Applied to Non-Human Remains

This final post in our DNA trilogy concerns how the genetic analysis of non-human remains enhances the archaeologist's understanding of the past human culture they are investigating. And sometimes opens more and unexpected avenues of research to pursue.

image from upload.wikimedia.orgArchaeologists have studied the remains of 14 scarlet macaws recently unearthed from five different New Mexico sites including Chaco Canyon and the Mimbres region. Macaws' feathers were highly valued not just by the macaws themselves, but by Ancestral Puebloans and other cultures throughout the US Southwest.

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DNA Sequencing in Chaco Canyon

This article via Western Digs is a year-and-a-half old, but it discusses the application of DNA technology image from www.pnas.org to burials that are much closer to the GCAS's home than Denisova cave.

The burials were found in Room 33, aka the Gambler's House, of Pubelo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. [Figure on right via Stephen Plog and Carrie Heitman, Hierarchy and Social Inequality in the American Southwest, A.D. 800-1200.]

From the Western Digs article: "They were interred in what’s been described as “the richest burial known in the Southwest” — 14 men and women buried over the course of 330 years in the same crypt, some accompanied by pieces of pottery and pendants, others lavished with thousands of turquoise and shell beads....And new analysis of DNA from the 14 sets of remains shows that these elites weren’t merely members of the same influential class — indeed, they were all members of the same extended family, a “dynasty” that traced its ancestry to a single woman...."

Webmaster says check it out!

/s/ webmaster


Paleoindian-Era: Use of Wild Potatoes

Many avocational archaeologists are familiar with the evidence that indicates that people in the Southwest began cultivating and eating a variety of corn during the Archaic Period in about 2100 BCE. In contrast, archaeological excavations in Utah have revealed that people had been harvesting, cooking, and eating wild potatoes as early as 8000-9000 BCE.

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