Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Come Mudsling With Us

With all the recent wind and rain that came with this summer’s monsoon season, it’s time for our dedicated group of volunteers, the PGM Mudslingers to return for some regular maintenance and repairs of the platform mound. As the Hohokam would have had to do constant upkeep and repairs of the mound over a thousand years ago, so we continue to do so today. The Mudslingers will next be out here at the mound on Saturday, September 11th at 7 am. Master Mudslinger, Jim Britton who organizes the group is always looking for new volunteers. Or if you are just curious to see how this process works, Jim is also excited to share what he knows, so feel free to stop by the museum and ask him some questions. To stay up to date with the mudslinger work schedule or to find out more about various archaeology related projects throughout Arizona, visit the Southwest Archaeology Team website at www.southwestarchaeologyteam.org.

For a more detailed look at what the Mudslingers do, here is a short documentary film about their work here at Pueblo Grande Museum.

And if you are interested in finding out more about the history of stabilization on the Pueblo Grande platform mound and the creation of the Mudslingers, visit our Research Library and check out The Hohokam newsletter issue Volume 25, Number 1 that has a wonderful article written by City of Phoenix Archaeologist Todd Bostwick and Master Mudslinger Jim Britton back in 2005.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“To prevent future rain damage, a non-toxic polyvinyl acetate-acrylic polymer was added in small quantities to the adobe mud at the locations where the water runoff channels had been built. This soil amender, called SoilShield, greatly strengthened the adobe and made it resistant to rainfall without changing the adobe’s appearance. Because the soil amender experiment was highly successful, it was used in a few other areas of the platform mound beginning in 2003. Earthen berms built to channel water runoff had become weakened by rain and by rising dampness, so they were recapped with adobe and soil amender. More recently, one of the rooms in the compound has been stabilized using adobe with soil amender. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated group of Mudslingers. The Pueblo Grande platform mound and adjacent compound have received their tender care for nearly 11 years.”

For more information about volunteering as a mudslinger contact Jim Britton at jabritton@cox.net or Todd Bostwick at todd.bostwick@phoenix.gov.

Posted By Renee Aguilar, Museum Aide - Visitor Services

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