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3D Scanning

Dr. Zac Selden has been doing a lot of 3D scanning with one of our own faculty, Katy Putsavage.  Although initially the focus was on pottery from the Miles Collection, he was kind enough to take on some Paleoindian artifacts from the Clovis type-site as well.  These files not only look pretty but will assist in research and allow data to be efficiently shared.

The files are huge so this only works well with high band-width but are definitely worthwhile.

Let us know what you think.  I’ll be adding more information to the artifacts as time permits.

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Oleta Joanne Dickenson, Obituary


BWD 6570

Joanne Miller Dickenson, 75, of Melrose, NM died January 27, 2016, in her home in Rose Bud, AR, with her family by her side.
She was born to the late John W. and Ina Miller, December 21, 1940, in Clovis, NM. Joanne Graduated from Melrose High School and later earned her Masters of Science degree from ENMU.
She married James “Jim” E. Dickenson in 1958 and they lived and ranched in the Melrose area for 55 years before relocating to Rose Bud, Arkansas in 2014. Joanne was an archaeologist until she retired. She loved her work as Curator of the Blackwater Draw National Landmark near Portales, NM. Her work took her all over the United States and enjoyed sharing information about the site with others. She was featured on NOVA as rediscovering the oldest hand dug well in North America. She contributed to the writing of the book Arch Lake Woman: Physical Anthropology and Geoarchaeology.
In her earlier years raising four children and helping with ranch work, she also was involved in helping with school activities, was a Girl Scout leader, a 4-H leader, a member of a quilting club, and a volunteer sports photographer for the Clovis News Journal. She sewed, baked, and canned with neighbors for family and to share with others. She was a long time member of the Melrose First Baptist Church where she was a prayer warrior and assisted with Walk to Emmaus. After moving to Rose Bud she spent her time caring for her husband, loving on her grandchildren and their friends, learning to paint, and being involved in activities at the First Baptist Church Rose Bud.
Joanne was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Tommy Miller, and one grandson James W. Dickenson.
She is survived by her husband: James “Jim” E. Dickenson, Rose Bud, AR; four children: Ronda Lunsford and husband Russell Lunsford, James E. Dickenson, Jr and wife Christine Dickenson, Veronica Snow and husband Joe Snow III, and Rebecca Norris and husband Daril Norris; She is also survived by several sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to the Blackwater Draw NHL, c/o the ENMU Foundation, ENMU, Station 8, 1500 S. Avenue K, Portales, NM 88130. Online donations may be made through www.enmu.edu/donations and designating “Blackwater Draw Site”.

Published in the Clovis News Journal and Portales News-Tribune on Jan. 31, 2016 – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pntonline/obituary.aspx?n=oleta-joanne-dickenson&pid=177522266#sthash.Y9aeKtjv.dpuf

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Mammoths in Corvallis, Oregon

Unless you live under a rock, or are lucky enough to avoid all media, you probably know there is some good and interesting news from Oregon this week.


Loren Davis, an associate professor of anthropology at OSU, was called to the site to examine the find, the university said in a press release.

“There are quite a few bones, and dozens of pieces,” said Davis. “Some of the bones are not in very good shape, but some are actually quite well preserved.”

Davis said there are no human remains at the site. According to OSU, since the find does not appear to involve humans or human artifacts, the bones are not considered part of an archaeological site, nor is the site entitled to any protections under Oregon law.

Davis said the bones were found in an area that could once have been a bog or marsh, and that the discovery of ancient mammal bones is not unusual in the Willamette Valley.

Read the story by clicking HERE or copying the link into your browser.


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Sweet Corn Our Ancestors Would Recognize©

Interesting historical note on a New World staple crop.

Thehistoricfoodie's Blog

Country Gentleman
I’m interested in vegetables, small farm animals, and poultry which have stood the test of time and there are a great many varieties my grandparents knew that are still around. I’ve been particularly interested in Country Gentleman and Stowell’s Evergreen corn. Hugh Findley recommended both varieties for the home gardener in his “Practical Gardening: Vegetables and Fruits”, published in 1918.

Sweet corn began as a mutation in standard field corn which was then improved upon over several generations until a stable variety was produced. Sweet corn was known to Native Americans and documented in the U.S. in the 1770’s.

Country Gentleman is a shoe peg corn meaning the kernels are not in rows on the ear. It was so named because the kernels resembled the wooden pegs used to attach shoe soles. It was introduced in 1890 by S. D. Woodruff & Sons and remains the most popular shoe peg…

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Quick Tips: Archaeological Techniques –Use of Isotopes in Archaeology.

Isotopes in archaeology. Not just a baseball team in Albuquerque.

All Things AAFS!

Isotopic analysis is widely used within the worlds of archaeology and anthropology. From analysing isotopes we’re able to uncover a wide range of information regarding the past; ranging from palaeoenvironments to palaeodiets, and even using isotopes to reconstruct trade routes of materials.

But first, what are isotopes?

All of the chemical elements consist of atoms which are specific to the element and the mass of an atom is dictated by the number of protons and neutrons it contains. The identity of the chemical element depends on the number of protons found within the atom’s nucleus, but the number of neutrons within the atom can vary. Atoms of the same chemical element (same number of protons), but with different masses, which is from the varying amount of neutrons, are called isotopes.

Stone Circle at Drombeg Within nature, most of the elements consist of a number of isotopes. These isotopes can be…

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Upper Paleolithic Tool Kit Essential Skills

Here is a short but excellent video describing through actual production of blade-based lithic tool production.  Watch, learn, and love.

Explicación de los procesos de elaboración de útiles óseos y líticos durante el Paleolítico Superior. Durante el Paleolítico Superior el hombre moderno aprovechó la materia prima, el mismo, para obtener un mayor número y variedad de útiles.

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UF9076–A Complete Skull and Jaws of a Giant Lion (Panthera atrox) Found in the Ichetucknee River, Florida

I can’t get enough of the Panthera clan.


A little over 50 years ago, a lucky fossil hunter found the complete skull and jaws of a giant lion in the Ichetucknee River.  This remarkable specimen was missing just a few teeth.  One can imagine how exciting the moment of discovery was for the person who found it.  This particular skull is from a large male lion, and it is larger than almost every lion skull ever excavated from the La Brea Tar Pits in California.  The specimen belongs to the University of Florida Museum of Natural History, and the catalogue number is UF9076.

Overview map of Ichetucknee SpringLocation of Ichetucknee Spring State Park.  The Ichetucknee River flows through this state park into the Santa Fe River where giant lion specimens have also been found.

The Pleistocene Felidae of Florida - Page 222This is a skull of Panthera atrox found in Florida.  The genus name has been changed since the article in the above photo was published. Fossils of this species are rare…

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Morning Foragers

Winter came slowly and late to the Southern High Plains this year but finally hit us with a bang just over a week ago.  Many birds were killed in the recent blizzard as were large numbers of cattle.  I suspect the large mammals are having a difficult time keeping full on the meager food provided.  The grasses, pinyon,and juniper around the yard provides a much needed browse for our live-in deer herd.


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Wild Squash (Cucurbita sp.) was Abundant during the Pleistocene

“Wild squash evolved bitter poisons known as cucurbitains in their flesh that discouraged seed consumption by rodents. However, large mammals have fewer bitter taste receptors and can consume large quantities of cucurbitains without ill effect. Most squash seeds could survive passage through the gut tract of a megaherbivore and were spread throughout the environment in fertile piles of dung.” Very interesting.


A new study suggests wild squash and megafauna had a long mutually beneficial relationship during the Pleistocene.  Wild squash evolved bitter poisons known as cucurbitains in their flesh that discouraged seed consumption by rodents.  However, large mammals have fewer bitter taste receptors and can consume large quantities of cucurbitains without ill effect.  Most squash seeds could survive passage through the gut tract of a megaherbivore and were spread throughout the environment in fertile piles of dung.  The squash plants thrived in open sunny environments created by megafauna foraging and trampling.  Mammoths, mastodons, and giant ground sloths killed trees by uprooting them or by stripping off the bark.  This opened woodland canopies where squash plants were exposed to direct sunlight.  Trampling and wallowing also killed grass, resulting in bare soil environments where squash plants could germinate with less competition.  In exchange for providing food, wild squash enjoyed a wide and continuous geographic…

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Projectile Points from the Upper Magdalenian; expanding horizons beyond North America

Projectile insets and backed pieces from the Upper Magdalenian of La Madeleine (Tursac, Dordogne, France), new data from lithic technology

Alexis Taylor, in Paleo, Revue d’Archeologie Prehistorique


From a reconstruction, Magdalenian bladelettes in antler spear point.

I never lost interest in the Upper Paleolithic of Europe despite the fact I ended up living half a world away.  The Magdalenian is when things become especially interesting technologically (to me) in Europe.  Have a look at this article (in English even) for some insight into tools from La Madeleine and even some interesting information for the modern knapper who wishes to replicate this ancestral toolkit.  I think, in the rare cases where bone and antler preserve in the New World, we could benefit from looking at this technology as an analog for Clovis.


Stone tool fragments are not the end-all of Upper Paleolithic or Paleoindian technology but a small part of a much wider system for surviving in a complex world.  It is worth looking beyond our constructed borders to learn as much as we can without wearing self-imposed blinders.


Have a look at the rest of this short, but interesting article HERE.

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Pleistocene Megafauna Wallows and Southern Appalachian Bogs

Interesting thoughts ahead, or jump to the associated paper here: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23566


The wallowing, trampling, and foraging of Pleistocene megafauna probably maintained the open character of mountain bogs in the southern Appalachians during the Ice Ages.  Bogs were common natural environments during moist interstadials when cool temperatures reduced evapotranspiration rates and total precipitation increased.  Bogs occurred near the headwaters of mountains rivers and upper piedmont streams on flat poorly drained sites.  Boggy communities were “embedded” in mixed forests of pine, spruce, oak, and beech; and they provided a diverse array of habitats for wildlife.  Beavers created some bogs by damming streams.  The backwaters flooded depressions created by the wallowing activities of mastodons, horses, bison, peccaries, and possibly the extinct stag-moose (Cervalces scotti).  Scientists don’t know whether Cervalces scotti wallowed or not–some species of deer such as the present day moose wallow while other species do not.  Abandoned beaver ponds succeed to wet meadow communities consisting of herbs, grass, and sedge; thus…

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