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Cynthia Bettison, WNMU museum director, installs pieces of the NAN Ranch collection, which will be featured for the first time during this week s Mogollon Archeology conference. Bettison is holding a classic Mimbres water jar dated A.D. 1050. The 17th Biennual Mogollon Conference kicks off today at WNMU.
SILVER CITY Western New Mexico University Museum will host more than 100 archeologists this week during the 17th Biennial Mogollon Archaeology Conference, which begins today on campus.

Archaeologists and individuals conducting research and interested in the Mogollon culture area of the American Southwest are expected to attend the conference.

WNMU Museum has hosted the conference several times since I became the director in 1991, said WNMU Museum Director Cynthia Bettison. Archaeologists love being in Silver City the archaeology, the environment, the University Museum, the people and the restaurants all being a draw. Forty-eight research papers will be presented at the conference. Some of the papers have created a buzz, including Classic Mimbres Social Field and Drinking Buddies: What DNA Evidence and Large Pots May Tell Us About Mimbres Ceremonies and Feasts; and Coloring the Past: the Importance of Color Symbolism at Paquimé, Chihuahua, Mexico (A.D. 1150-1450).

To learn more about the 17th Mogollon Archaeology Conference and to register, visit Registration is required to attend the professional paper presentations.

This year's conference celebrates the NAN Ranch Collection of Mimbres pottery and materials and will feature two public events, a Town & Gown Mini-Symposium and a VIP Opening Reception for The NAN Ranch Collection: The Legacy of Margaret Ross Hinton.


The conference opens Friday, with the town of Silver City and Western New Mexico University sponsored mini-symposium, The NAN Ranch Collection: The Beginning, the Present, and the Future. Short presentations will explore the story of how the NAN Ranch Archaeological Field School began; the collection's current status, exhibitions, and research access; and some ideas to stimulate future research. The mini-symposium will be held in the Global Resource Center Auditorium beginning at 8:30 a.m. It is free to the public.

The second public event, the VIP Opening Reception for The NAN Ranch Collection: The Legacy of Margaret Ross Hinton, closes the conference on Saturday. The VIP Opening Reception will feature the unveiling of the fourth exhibition WNMU Museum has designed and installed featuring the NAN Ranch Collection since the collection arrived in May.

The exhibition explores the legacy of Margaret Ross Hinton, who donated the NAN Ranch Collection, which is the largest collection of Mimbres materials in existence. It examines how the 30-plus years of excavation and survey by Texas A&M University archaeologists resulted in the most comprehensive body of information ever gathered at a single Classic Mimbres pueblo site leading to a deeper understanding of the Mimbres culture. The Hinton family is very excited about the exhibition and will be here from Texas for the conference and the VIP opening reception, Bettison said. A number of NAN Ranch Archaeological Field School alumni also plan to attend, making the reception the first unofficial NAN Ranch Field School Alumni event.

The VIP Opening Reception will be held at the WNMU Museum from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets/reservations are $35 per person. There are a limited number of tickets available. Tickets can be purchased at WNMU Museum until 4 p.m. the day of the event.

The Mogollon Archaeology Conference and the VIP Opening Reception of The NAN Ranch Collection: The Legacy of Margaret Ross Hinton are made possible by the support of the 2012-2013 NAN Ranch Collection Major Sponsors: the town of Silver City and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold. Associated Students of WNMU provided funding in part to support The NAN Ranch Collection: The Legacy of Margaret Ross Hinton exhibition. WNMU Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It is closed university holidays and closures. For more information about this and other events, please visit