April 2017 Newsletter

Dear HVC Members,

I hope your spring has gotten off to a good start! Before anything else, I’d like to thank Deva for her service as chapter president and all of you folks for electing me chapter president. I hope I will be able to serve the chapter as well as my predecessors. Please bear with me as I settle into this role for the first few months. I will be traveling for work, so may miss some meetings, but I will do my best to respond to any emails or other correspondence. You can get in touch with me directly at matugaines@gmail.com – I welcome any questions, suggestions, or criticism. I’d also like to congratulate Cherokee Gonzalez for being elected vice president of the chapter and thank Mark Corrao and Eric Ebel for stepping up and reprising their roles as Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

April Meeting – Thursday, April 20th – 7:30pm

Our meeting will be held in the meeting room of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology (ground floor), 434 S. State St, Ann Arbor. Open to current, former, and non-members.

This month’s speaker will be Dr. Jeff Parsons, from the University of Michigan. His presentation is entitled, The Archaeological Implications of Modern Saltmaking at Nexquipayac, Mexico.

Salt was an important commodity in many ancient societies throughout the world. This was certainly true in pre-Columbian Mexico where archaeologists have long been interested in how salt was produced, distributed, and consumed. Despite this interest, Mesoamerican archaeologists have often had difficulty recognizing the material correlates of these salt-associated activities. This has certainly been the case for my own research in the Valley of Mexico. My presentation highlights the results of an ethnographic study of traditional saltmaking I undertook at Nexquipayac, Mexico in 1988. I discuss how this study of the rapidly disappearing craft informs the efforts of archaeologists to better understand ancient saltmaking in pre-Columbian central Mexico.

Dinner – 6pm – Please RSVP

If you would like to join the speaker, chapter officers and HVC members for dinner beforehand, please RSVP with myself at your earliest convenience. As per usual, our dinner with be at The Original Cottage Inn Restaurant, 512 E William St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Reservations are for 6pm, under the name: Marshall Gaines. We hope to see you there!

As I am currently traveling for work, I will not be able to attend the April meeting. Our new VP, Cherokee Gonzalez, will lead the meeting in my absence. I will still be answering emails on the road, so feel free to get in touch with me.

Old Business:

1.) Would anybody like to volunteer to bring in the coffee and/or treats to this Thursday’s meeting? You would need to stop at Paneras/Tim Horton’s/Starbucks/etc. on your way to the meeting and buy one of the cardboard to-go boxes of coffee (for 10-15 folks, with cups, lids). You would be immediately compensated upon handing in your receipt to HVC treasurer, Eric E. A package of cookies could be purchased at any time before the meeting and brought in, to also be immediately compensated upon submitting the receipt. One person can do coffee and another cookies. Please help this chapter to be successful and welcoming to members and non-members alike. Contact me ASAP if you can volunteer to bring one or both of these items in this Thursday.

2.) If you have not renewed your MAS membership for 2017 – PLEASE DO SO ASAP!
You may have “accidentally” forgotten to pay in 2016 but please pay for 2017. Also, if you scroll down to see news of our May meeting – you DO NOT want to miss out! It will be for members ONLY.

3.) If you haven’t yet done so, please take a look at the new website I’ve been building for our chapter at https://hvcmiarch.wordpress.com/ The website’s basic structure is finished, but I do have some additions and changes I plan to make, including an “archive” of our past meetings and speakers. Please pass any comments you have, positive or negative, onto me at matugaines@gmail.com or in person when you see me.

My plan for the website is to have it replace our current chapter site, located at http://www.miarch.org/chapters/huron-valley.html My reasons for this are mainly twofold: Firstly, the current website is dated and does not give us much space to talk about what is going on with the chapter. Secondly, with our new website, I (and other chapter officers) will be able to update the website in a matter of minutes rather than having to email state officers and wait for them to get to it. I plan to email Dan Wymer, MAS president, to have him update the link to our chapter page such that it will send people to the new website when they click on it. My aim is to do this near the end of April or beginning of May, so please bring up any concerns you may have either at the April meeting or by emailing me. I appreciate any feedback you all may give. Thank you!

New Business:

1.) Upcoming MAS & Other Archaeology Talks:

Thursday, May 20th @ 7:30pm (HVC Meeting)

Our May meeting will be the final one before we break for summer. (Meetings will resume in September.) Like last year, we have prepared another blockbuster behind-the-scenes event! Current MAS members will be invited for a tour of the U-M Papyrology laboratory. Also, like last year, there will be limited places available for the tour and so you will need to sign up either at the April meeting or by emailing Cherokee Gonzalez at cherokeegonzalez95@gmail.com At time of writing this newsletter, we have ten people signed up to go. There are only about twenty available spaces, so if you’re interested, make sure your membership is up to date and get in touch with Cherokee! See the flier attached to this newsletter for more information.

Saturday, April 15th – MAS Spring Meeting

The MAS spring meeting will be held at the Michigan History Center in Lansing. Open to members and the public. The business meeting will be from 10:00 A.M. until Noon in the Learning Room. Presentations will begin at 1:00 P.M. in the auditorium.

Tim Bennett will present:

The Three Rs: Relocation, Restoration, and Archaeological Research of the Hicks School.

Dr. Dan Fisher will present:

Discovery and Preliminary Interpretation of the Bristle Mammoth, near Chelsea, Michigan.


Dr. John O’Shea will present:

The End of an Era? Early Holocene Caribou Hunting Strategies in the Upper Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes region has enjoyed a long, rich and varied history. Much of this history is known, but a great deal of information lies hidden waiting to be discovered. The Michigan Archaeological Society was formed in the 1930s for people dedicated to unearthing the past. The MAS now has a number of chapters throughout the state and members across the country, and we would like to invite you to join us.

Come to the meeting prepared to pay a $5 or $6 admissions fee to the museum. There are some very interesting looking talks lined up!

3.) Saline Salt Springs Project 2017

Interested in joining MAS volunteers to get your hands dirty and do some real archaeology yourself? Join us in Saline, MI as we excavate the site of a future park. Get in touch with Deva at mdevajebb@gmail.com for more information or to join. You must be a current member of MAS or the Saline Historical Society to participate, and information about artifacts will not be shared with the public – you’ll have to join to see what fun things turn up!

No prior experience required. Just come prepared to work outdoors in dirt. Again, get in touch with Deva for more information. You could also email me, but I’ll likely just pass you along to her.


4.) HVC Summer Book Club

Last year we revived the ol’ HVC summer book club. We selected a book before the summer break, read it over the break and then our first meeting back (in September) we held a book club discussion/member meet-and-greet/potluck. It was fun! Would you like to have the book club happen again this year? If so, what book would you like to read? We will discuss the book club’s likely continuation during the April meeting.


Miscellaneous Archaeology Links are taking a month off, but I plan to have some good reading for you all in upcoming newsletters!


HVC members, thank you for reading my first newsletter as chapter president. I look forward to what the future holds for our chapter, and I hope you do as well. Again, I implore you to email me with any questions, concerns, or inquiries. I will do my best to answer. Thank you all.



Marshall Gaines,

HVC President



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