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.

US Southwest

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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Field Trip to Indian Wells

IMG_5382Please welcome today's guest photographer, GCAS's own Chris Overlock. Thank you for sharing your photos, Chris!

Chris was one of 11 humans accompanied by 2 enthusiastic canines on our March 3, 2019, visit to three archaeological sites that comprise Indian Wells in southwestern New Mexico. Two of our group had come all the way from Las Cruces to join the fun. High-clearance vehicles carried us over increasingly rough roads to a point from which we could reach our intended sites on foot. The weather was breezy but otherwise just right for exploration.

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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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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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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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Registration Soon Closes for 2019 Rock Art Academy in El Paso, Texas

Badger vs. opossumThe Texas Archeological Society's two-day Rock Art Academy will be held in El Paso, Texas, on February 16-17, 2019. Registration will close at midnight on January 17, 2019.

The TAS Rock Art Academy "...explores regional rock art archeological sites, Mogollon archeological sites, and how investigators use this information to interpret the human and natural histories of an area. Classroom Bighorn sheep 1sessions for the Academy will be held at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology with field sessions at Hueco Tanks State Park..."

For registration and event details please go to this TAS page.

/s/ webmaster [Photos by Marianne Smith]


Visit a Virtual Museum

image from swvirtualmuseum.nau.eduThe American Southwest Virtual Museum describes itself as "...a digital repository of photographs, maps, information, and virtual tours of National Park Service units and museums across the Southwest." However, they offer much more than that to the avocational archaeologist. For example, browse through their Pottery Guide in the home page's right sidebar, or perhaps start with the home page's Featured Exhibit. Their interactive Artifact Exhibits include animal bone, projectile points, shells, and more - with comprehensive identifications that include provenience.

The American Southwest Virtual Museum is an excellent way for anyone to become better acquainted with the cultures, artifacts, and archaeological sites of the US Southwest. Your GCAS Webmaster says check it out!

/s/ webmaster [Style III Mimbres bowl image by Boone/Belnap, Bilby Research Center, Northern Arizona University]