The Classic Mimbres Culture

Field Trip, (this trip is full and closed to new registration)

Saturday, October 12–Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mimbres BowlMimbres BowlCourtesy of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.Mimbres BowlCourtesy of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.

Join us for a rare opportunity to spend four days immersed in the Mimbres culture of beautiful southwestern New Mexico. With Southwest archaeologist Dr. Steve Lekson, we plan to visit several archaeological sites, including the Gila Cliff Dwellings, the Woodrow and TJ Mimbres village ruins, and pictographs at Lake Roberts. We will also have a behind-the-scenes tour of the largest and finest collection of prehistoric Mimbres pottery and culture in the world at Western New Mexico University Museum, home to the NAN Ranch Collection donated in 2011.

Classic-period Mimbres people made stunningly beautiful black-and-white painted pottery in their homeland along the Mimbres and nearby upper Gila Rivers between AD 1000 and 1150. Many of their paintings survive in shallow bowls, with the vast majority using geometric motifs suggestive of mountains and weather phenomena such as lightning, clouds, and rainfall. While most designs are symmetrical patterns that rotate around an open, central space in the bottom of the bowl, the bestknown motifs represent animals such as rabbits, deer, humans, bears, and fantastic creatures.

Steve Lekson is curator and professor of anthropology at the Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, Boulder. He has directed more than forty archaeological projects throughout the Southwest, mainly in the Mimbres and Four Corners areas. His principal interests are human geography, built environments, government, and migrations. He is the author of SAR Press’s A History of the Ancient Southwest.

Our accommodations and meals will be provided by the historic Bear Mountain Lodge, a classic 1920s, New Mexico-style lodge located just three miles northwest of Silver City on 178 acres. The entire lodge has been reserved for SAR participants, so you will have full use of the facilities including the library, and the lodge’s Great Room with its two stone fireplaces. Rooms will be assigned on a first-come, first-reserved basis. For more information about the lodge, go to

Activity Level: Moderate, trip incorporates lectures at the lodge along with visits to ruins, rock art sites, and museum collections.

Cost (per person): $875 double occupancy and $1,125 single occupancy, includes three nights lodging, all meals (including wine), round-trip transportation, lectures, guide honorariums, and entrance fees.

Trip Registration: To ensure that field trip registration is equitable, SAR will be using a lottery system. Please send your field trip requests (PDF, 54 KB) by mail—postmarked no later than May 3, 2013. Do not send any trip payment with your lottery registration. A drawing will then be held for each trip, and members will be notified of the results by May 9, 2013. Please note that memberships at or above the Galisteo level receive advance registration prior to lottery.

For more information, visit the Field Trips section.

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