Dear 2019 Archaeology Participants,
We are looking forward to having you join Archaeological Excavation at Ghost Ranch workshop. I am providing this information, hopefully in time to be of use to you. As some of you are aware, we accept participants of all “ages and stages” from beginners to pros –we have room for more participants, so spread the word among your family, friends and other contacts.
Whether you have signed on for one or both weeks, your participation will be a valued – a contribution adding to on-going efforts toward discovery, understanding and management of archaeological (and paleontological) resources at Ghost Ranch. We are excited and ready to resume both lab and fieldwork. This season, Thaddeus Liebert will provide professional expertise and overall guidance for seminar. Jacque Kocer and Thaddeus have a new baby girl – it looks like Jacque will be with us only part of the time, so we have Joseph Birkmann coming on-board to assist. Personal bios for the leadership team are included at the end of this letter.
We have the pleasure and opportunity to welcome and become acquainted with Gretchen Gürtler, who is the new director of Florence Hawley Ellis Anthropology Museum and Ruth Hall Museum of Paleontology. Gretchen has a background in paleontology along with experience and skills in museum management and operation.
For Week One, starting Monday, July 8, we will reopen site GR-145 under my direction as crew chief and acting principal investigator. Laboratory activities will focus on completing lab work needed to process the remaining artifacts collected from past excavations – continuing under the expert and wise supervision of Maisie Morris, with special assistance from Jeane Dugan, one of our regular participants. Incidentally, Cheryl Muceus will be spending much of July with the family as they visit Norway.
The second week will follow a pattern like Week One.
At GR-145 we will resume from levels developed from past seasons. In addition, we may initiate surface survey and mapping, along with targeted test excavations on the rim and slope areas just above the main site.
Our daily routine:
Excavation Crew: Leave museum at about 8:30, taking Ranch van to site; lunch in the field (sack lunches to be packed in dinning hall at breakfast time each day); leave site about 3:00 PM;
Lab Crew: 8:30-12:00 AM and 1:00-3:00 PM at lab west side of FHE Museum; Lunch at dinning hall 12-1:00.
Everyone: Attend scheduled (and spontaneous) lecture, demonstration, video, special work detail, short field trip, 7:00 – 8:30 PM or later, most evenings.
Special outings/field trips/field experience opportunities may be announced.
To round out our understanding and appreciation for the various cultures associated with Ghost Ranch, the Piedra Lumbre Valley, and the greater Southwest, we will work in one or more field trips each week to sites and areas of interest nearby. To expand our learning and to gain a broader perspective, we have lined up several guest speakers. And finely, what would a Ghost Ranch dig be without a trip to El Farolito Restaurante in nearby El Rito?
For All—What to bring:
- Water bottle
- Wide brimmed hat
- Sturdy shoes for short hikes
- Walking shoes or “tennies” (softer, more forgiving soles) for wearing on dig site
- Field clothes (sun protection) for getting dirty
- Archaeology digging tools if you wish to use your own, otherwise we can supply everything you need
- Sun protection: sunscreen SPF 30+, sunglasses
- Insect repellant- expect gnats (think No-see’ums), mosquitos, and ants.
- Rain cover (poncho, slicker, garbage bag, etc. light weight)
- Day (back)pack to carry all the above
We are looking forward to having you join us. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like more information: email@example.com 505-281-0643 (if no answer, leave a message); 505-249-3235
Safe travels and see you soon,
John Hayden on behalf of Jacque, Thaddeus, Joseph and Maisie
Meet our leaders 2018:
John Hayden, Tijeras, NM, is a retired forester who knows the natural and human history of Northern New Mexico like few others. He shares his love for God through appreciation of His creation and creatures.
John has a degree in Forest Management from Northern Arizona University. A USDA Forest Service career employee, he served as a land/resource management specialist on several Districts on the Kaibab, Coconino, Cibola and Carson National Forests, and retired in 1995.
During his tour (1967-1974) as the primary District Staff Officer on the Canjilon Ranger District, John became intimately familiar with Northern New Mexico – the history and character of its land and people, and Ghost Ranch.
In 1970, John was appointed and served as Director (a newly created position), Ghost Ranch Living Museum when it was presented to the Forest Service and served in that capacity into 1974. That four-year stint acquainted John with disciplines required for management of museum, captive living animals, and natural resources interpretation—as well as developing lasting relationships with Ghost Ranch.
In the late 1960’s John had discovered evidence of prehistoric human use of high elevation areas in the Tusas Mountains. This discovery and involvement of Dr. Ellis and Ghost Ranch gave stimulus for an archaeological research program and a long series of related seminars– at first based on the Gallina Culture and later focused on developing Ghost Ranch archaeological resources.
John continues to be involved in educational seminars on archaeological field techniques, natural history, photography and personal spiritual discovery for the Ghost Ranch. He provides technical direction and advice for museum exhibits and programs. He is currently anticipating completion of several Ghost Ranch archaeological projects including artifact analysis and reports on Rattlesnake Ridge (two sites) and Butts Ranch (four sites) and serves as advisor and crew chief for excavation of GR-145– Lower Yeso Shelter as part of the Ghost Ranch’s on-going archaeological program.
Thaddeus Liebert received his Master’s in Public Archaeology in 2016 with Dr. Bruce Huckell at the University of New Mexico. He has worked on numerous projects throughout the west, with a specific interest in hunter-gatherer archaeology in the southwest. Thaddeus has extensive experience recording and/or excavating high elevation Ute and Apache hunting camps as well as Archaic and Paleoindian sites spanning southern Arizona and New Mexico to the Great Basin and Northern Plains. These undertakings have resulted in numerous CRM reports and academic pieces. His most recent misadventures with the Office of Contract Archeology at the University of New Mexico have consisted of numerous surveys within the Middle Rio Grande Valley and the Valles Caldera; as well as the documentation of Archaic and Paleoindian occupations in the Southern Tularosa Basin.
Jacqueline Kocer is a native New Mexican with interests both in the American Southwest and the Great Plains. Working under the direction of Dr. Patricia Crown she received her master’s from the University of New Mexico in 2014 and is currently working on her Doctoral research on Gallina (A.D. 1100-1300) ceramic production practices in northwestern New Mexico. Her interests have focused on projectile points, faunal remain and diagnostic material remains from Gallina sites, presently curated in numerous New Mexico museum collections. Jacque has archaeological survey and mapping experience in Chaco Canyon and had the opportunity to excavate Room 28 in Pueblo Bonito. Jacque is also an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Nation and has worked on Plains Village Tradition sites near Pine Ridge. Also, on the Northern Plains, Kocer has worked on a Clovis cache site in southwestern North Dakota with Dr. Bruce Huckell. Recently, Jacque has conducted extensive excavations at the Hartley Mammoth site, documenting, and allowing for the preservation of multiple Columbian mammoth specimens.
After retiring from the business world, Maisie became interested in Archaeology. From 1986 to 1991, Maisie worked in various field excavations, including work in California, New Mexico and Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California. Maisie found an interest in what became of the artifacts and therefore found archival work in museums. Maisie has worked with San Diego History Center Photo Collection since 1993, and historic archaeological collections at SDSU and Fort Guijarros Museum Foundation, where she was the Archaeology Lab Supervisor from 1994 to 2012. In 1995, Maisie started leading the lab component of the Ghost Ranch Summer Archaeology Seminar. She enjoys this very much and looks forward to each new year of discovery.
Joseph Birkmann is a Ph.D student at UNM with interests in the Preceramic southwest. He received his Master’s in 2014 and has participated in survey and excavation work throughout New Mexico, Arizona, and the Hawaiian Islands with projects ranging from the Paleoindian through post-contact periods. Joseph’s primary research interests include the Middle Archaic adoption of agriculture in the southern southwest, the analysis of flaked stone technologies, paleoenvironmental reconstruction and hunter-gatherer lifeways. Most recently he has been seen wandering through the deserts of Southeast Arizona, conducting survey and excavation work in the the Chiricahua Mountains and Fishhooks Wilderness Area.