NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, July 17, 2024, 6:00PM: members and non-members are welcome to the GCAS monthly meeting at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley). We start at 6PM with a potluck - bring your own plates & utensils, and a dish for yourself or to share with with what we expect to be a larger than usual number of guests, including the starving students of the Preservation Archaeology Museum Curation and Survey Field School. Let's feed these folks well, people! At about 6:30PM we will have a brief business meeting followed immediately by our featured speaker, Archaeology Southwest's Karen Schollmeyer PhD, who will share updates on her and her field school team's work at the WNMU Museum which includes curating the artifacts comprising the NAN Ranch collection. Come meet the next generation of archaeologists and learn about the latest activity at our own WNMU Museum. In order to offer our members a safe and comfortable experience at our in-person meetings the GCAS follows CDC and New Mexico Department of Health guidelines for indoor gatherings including masking, distancing, and vaccinations. We recommend each attendee take the precautions they feel are appropriate for themselves.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: Sunday, August 4, 2024, 10:00AM: The GCAS visits Treasure Hill, 4 miles east of Silver City in the Arenas Valley and about 1 mile south of Highway 180. This is a heavily looted site of about 100 pueblo rooms. We'll meet at the site's gate at 10:00 AM sharp but this is a sensitive location so please contact trip leader Marianne Smith ([email protected] or phone/text 772-529-2627) for specific directions. Toward the end of the field trip we're asking each GCAS member to grab one garbage bag that we will provide to pick up whatever trash they can on their way back to their vehicle. Leave the bags at the gate or toss into the designated pickup truck that will go to the landfill later. Bring work gloves for protection from broken glass. Instead of our usual on-site picnic, interested members are welcome to regroup for lunch - Dutch treat - at the Whiskey Creek Zocalo on Highway 180, a short 1-1/2 mile drive from the Treasure Hill site. As always, plan accordingly with appropriate sun protection and water, and to protect vulnerable resources we offer our field trips to members only. Members’ invited guests are welcome as long as they ride in that member’s vehicle.

US Southwest

Archaeology Day in Tucson AZ!

Saturday February 24, 2024, 8:00 AM-1:00PM in Tucson, AZ FREE (though all gifts are appreciated): It's Archaeology Day with activities and demonstrations at Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane, Tucson. Representatives of Tucson's archaeology community come to Mission Garden to teach practical hands-on skills. Allen Denoyer will lead Archaeology Southwest’s Hands-on Archaeology program that allows kids of all ages to try out fascinating ancient technologies such as etching shell, painting with natural pigments, or throwing spears with atlatls. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center will also present interactive programs in which kids can make their own cordage, pinch pots, pendants, and petroglyphs. For more information visit or call 520-955-5200.

If you attend, please tell us about your visit and take pictures to share with the GCAS on this here website. Become a guest blogger!

/s/ webmaster

Update from our Friends to the East

We're always happy to hear from our friends in the Jornada-Mogollon region, and the Jornada Research Institute's Dave Greenwald never disappoints. His latest update has a lot of exciting news for professionals and aspiring avocational volunteers alike. Dave reports:

In November, we returned to Creekside Village and continued excavations in one of the large pithouses, Feature 11. Typically, Mesilla phase pithouses used by the Jornada Mogollon had less than about 7 sq meters of floor area. This is not the case with either Feature 11 or 37 that we have opened so far. Feature 11 measures approximately 7.2 m across, or contains about 38 sq m of floor surface, with Feature 37 only slightly smaller, perhaps about 33 sq m. As we have continued excavation, both of these houses appear to possess a straight side on the SE side of the structure, making them more “D” shaped than circular, as we had originally thought. So, why are these structures so large in comparison to other Mesilla phase pithouses? A likely explanation is because Creekside Village was in fact a “true” village, occupied on a year-round basis (rather than seasonally), whose residents were full-time agriculturalists. The smaller pithouse likely reflected greater mobility of residents, moving as resources became available throughout the year. As agriculturalists, however, residents could remain in one location, raising crops to sustain them throughout the year. Botanical studies have shown that maize accounted for over 80% of the recovered economic plant remains recovered from domestic features and refuse deposits at Creekside compared to about 10% from other Mesilla phase sites with pithouses. With permanent residence and dependence on agriculture, family size or household populations could have been much larger than more mobile groups and as such larger families (whether represented by extended families or immediate family members) would have required greater living space. Based on the size of the houses at Creekside Village we are conservatively estimating a household population of about 10 people per house.

We plan to continue excavating at Creekside Village throughout the winter and spring months on weekends until it gets too hot in May....

GCAS members interested in this exciting news and wanting to participate in JRI's excavations at Creekside Village should contact Dave Greenwald directly about the possibilities. If participation is feasible JRI will verify your membership with the GCAS and give you answers to your questions, excavation dates, and details of the project. If any GCAS member participates in this rare opportunity with the JRI, please keep us informed of your findings and your progress!

/s/ webmaster

Publication Released on Jornada-Mogollon Culture

Jorn-mog bookDavid Greenwald of the Jornada Research Institute announces a recent publication of interest to the GCAS and describes the circumstances of its development:

Beginning in the Spring of 2020 (during early Covid), myself and John Groh (JRI Research Associate) were invited to participate in a symposium on communal and ritual locations in the Mogollon region of the Southwest. The impact of Covid on the symposium resulted in delays in submitting and presenting our contribution to the professional community, eventually presenting our contribution as a Zoom talk in the Fall of 2021. John and I prepared a paper on the function of the first documented great kiva in the Tularosa Basin that dates to approximate AD 650 to 725. The discovery of this great kiva is highly significant in itself, but our research also showed that the great kiva served functions beyond that of a community ritual structure, that being as an observatory from which celestial events were monitored (both solar and lunar positions and possibly Venus and bright stars).

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Excavation Opportunity for GCAS Members

Excavation pic Beginning November 25-26, 2023, and continuing into Spring 2024: David Greenwald of the Jornada Research Institute has announced that JRI's excavations will resume at Creekside Village in the Tularosa NM area. Contact Dave Greenwald beforehand to secure his approval to participate, then meet at the wye in Tularosa (junction of US 54/70: the abandoned gas station) at 9:00 AM on November 25 and/or November 26 to carpool to the site. The group plans to focus on the pithouse they have been working on to perhaps remove the last of the fill from the NE quarter of it during these two days in November.  They plan to continue work at Creekside Village until late April ’24 or early May ’24 over most weekends (Greenwald's schedule and weather permitting). Once you are properly vetted, bring a lunch, water layered clothing, gloves, hat, and dust cover. For more details, email Dave Greenwald directly.

Any GCAS members who participate in this opportunity, please let us know so we can follow your progress!

/s/ webmaster

Our Next Monthly Meeting Features the GCAS's Own Kyle Meredith

KMeredith with cactusWednesday, 11/15/2023: Doors will open at 5PM for the GCAS general meeting at 2045 Memory Lane in Silver City. No potluck but light refreshments provided. The usual short business meeting will start at 5:30PM, to be followed immediately by our very own Kyle Meredith, who will present a history of 19th-Century topographical engineer, cartographer, and explorer Lt. William H. Emory: EMORY IN SOUTHWEST NEW MEXICO - If Emory didn't go over Emory Pass, which way did he go? And what was he doing here in Mexico, anyway?

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Our Next Monthly Meeting Features the GCAS's Own Jeff Banfield

Jeff-BanfieldWednesday, September 20, 2023: Join us at our regular monthly meeting as we return to the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley) near the junction of Highways 152 and 35 for the last time this year. Potluck starts at 5PM with your own plates/utensils/beverage & a dish for yourself or to share. Brief general meeting will begin at 5:40PM, then at 6PM sharp we welcome our Featured Speaker, GCAS member Jeff Banfield, who will present Hunting for Anasazi (Ancestral Puebloan) Sites in Canyon of the Ancients National Monument. Jeff arrived in the Canyon of the Ancients in an unconventional way: after retiring from the Math Department at Montana State University in 2012, Jeff and Lisa Banfield moved to Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) where Lisa taught at an international school. Since returning to the US they have lived in Tucson, Cortez, and now Silver City. Jeff tells us:

In Santo Domingo I learned to never buy bananas from the street vendors because they always give you your change in bananas. In Tucson I volunteered as a naturalist in Sabino Canyon where I got to see a tarantula and a tarantula hawk battle it out (the wasp won). In Cortez I volunteered at the Anasazi Heritage Center and was able to spend four years wandering through Canyons of the Ancients National Monument looking for Anasazi (Ancestral Puebloan) sites. Now that we live in Silver City, I volunteer at City of Rocks State Park on Mondays and I spend the rest of the week trying to persuade something besides goatheads to grow in the caliche that makes up most of our yard.

We'll see you at the Roundup for a fine meal and to learn from Jeff about Ancestral Puebloan sites in Colorado!

/s/ webmaster

Our Next Monthly Meeting Features Allen Dart, RPA Via Zoom

Wednesday, August 16, 2023, VIA ZOOM: The GCAS will begin at 5:30PM Mountain Daylight (New Mexico) Time/4:30PM Mountain Standard (Arizona) Time with a very short business meeting. At or shortly before 5:45PM New Mexico/4:45PM Arizona time, we will welcome our Featured Speaker, archaeologist Allen Dart of Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, who will describe The Antiquity of Irrigation in the Southwest:

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June 21, 2023: GCAS Monthly Meeting Presents Marilyn Markel

IMG_5506Everyone is welcome to attend the GCAS's monthly in-person meeting on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at the Mimbres Valley's Roundup Lodge, 91 Acklin Hill Road in San Lorenzo, New Mexico, when we welcome our Featured Speaker, the GCAS's own archaeologist Marilyn Markel. Doors open at 5PM for a potluck dinner so bring a dish for yourself or to share. Brief GCAS business meeting begins at 5:45 PM followed immediately by Marilyn's presentation, Ridge Ruin: an Extraordinary Sinagua Site and a Story of Repatriation.

In order to offer our members a safe and comfortable experience at our in-person meetings the GCAS follows CDC and New Mexico Department of Health guidelines for indoor gatherings including masking, distancing, and vaccinations. We recommend all attendees follow the same.

Read on to learn more about Marilyn and the work she loves:

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