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Chapter Activities Archive (2022)

Attend Our Meetings

If you are interested in attending this event, please email us for details.

We have returned to in-person meetings at the Emery Archaeology Laboratory at History Colorado (1200 North Broadway, Denver 80203).  Please enter through the after hours security entrance on Lincoln St.  We will continue to provide an online link for those who wish to attend remotely.


Insitu biface, Jefferson County, CO

Programs in 2022

MONDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2022 AT 6:30PM MDT – 

This month’s meeting will be open to members only.
Our annual Members Night Potluck will be held in person at History Colorado Center, 1200 N. Broadway, Denver 80203.  Please enter through the Staff/After Hours Security Entrance on Lincoln Street.  Members are asked to bring a dish to share.  **Please clearly label any dishes which contain possible allergens**
We plan to offer virtual access via the Zoom platform.
The Member speakers for the evening will be:
Dr. Michael Kolb will be presenting on recent excavations at a historic 9th Street site on the Auraria campus.
Dr. Kolb is a Professor of Anthropology at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and is currently serving as a DC-CAS Director.
Amy Gillaspie will be presenting on excavations at the historic Astor House in Golden.  
Amy Gillaspie is Co-Principal Investigator at the Astor House Community Archaeology Project, Assistant Project Archaeologist at the Paleocultural Research Group, and Jones-Miller Collection Assistant at Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  She is currently serving as the CAS Representative and PAAC Coordinator for DC-CAS.
In addition to the speakers, there will also be a video presentation celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Denver Chapter receiving its charter from State CAS.
Parking: There is metered parking available on Lincoln Street (free after 6:00pm).  There is also paid garage parking on the northwestern corner of 12th Avenue at Broadway Ave.
Upcoming Events:  January 9, 2023 –  Caitlin Calvert (MSU Denver) will be presenting on archaeological survey work at Cherokee Ranch.


Arrowheads Everywhere: The Colorado Projectile Point Database
Speaker: Craig Banister (Speaker will be In-Person)

In 2018, Coal Creek Research, Inc. (CCR, Neil and Teri Hauser) created and began development of the Colorado Projectile Point Database, a database of high-resolution scanned images of projectile points from both curated sites and private collections throughout the State of Colorado, U.S.A. The scanned images and their accompanying information are freely accessible to researchers. A registered user can Search for projectile points by Latitude-Longitude, Grid Number, Site Number, Shape, or Material. An image is provided for each projectile point, as well as its data, downloadable as a CSV file: material, color, serration, shape, completeness, weight, thickness, basal grinding, side 1 and 2 flaking patterns, UV fluorescence (shortwave and longwave), and location (grid number). Grid numbers range from 1 to 1760 and correspond to the USGS 1:24,000-scale (7.5') topographic maps for Colorado. Several CAS members have provided many hours of scanning and recording projectile points from both private collections and curated collections (museum or repository). The database currently contains over 7,100 projectile points and is regularly updated as additional collections are scanned.


Craig Banister is an avocational archaeologist and associate of Coal Creek Research, Inc.


Additional Upcoming Events:

December - Our December 12th Meeting will be our annual Members Night with presentations by DC-CAS members.

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Metal Detecting: Assisting the Archaeologist
Speaker:  Norm and Sue Ruggles (Speakers will be In-Person)

Abstract:  The presentation will be on the potential interaction between the archaeologist and metal detectorist.  The basics of metal detecting will be discussed, with an emphasis on how detecting for artifacts can be beneficial to archaeological research.  The purpose, services and projects of the Denver-based Historical Artifact Recovery Team (HART) will be covered, particularly in the context of providing voluntary assistance to archaeologists and supplementing their work in the field.


Bio:  Norm and Sue Ruggles have been metal detecting for 10 years, and have led and participated in numerous projects of historical significance.  They have detected and located hundreds of important artifacts which they have donate to various institutions across Colorado.  Norm is the Team Leader of HART, and Sue is on the Board of Directors of Eureka Treasure Hunters Club.  Sue is a retired accountant, and Norm is a retired attorney and retirement fund C.E.O


Additional Upcoming Events:


November -  Craig Banister will be our guest speaker for the November 14th General Meeting.  He will be presenting on the P3 Project.

December - Our December 12th Meeting will be our annual Members Night with presentations by DC-CAS members.

Monday, September 12, 2022 at 7 pm MDT

General Meeting (Hybrid)

Peopling of the Americas: Mounting Evidence for an Earlier Arrival
Speaker:  Emily Seabold, MSU Denver Graduate and CRM Archaeologist
(Speaker will be virtual)

As the list of pre-Clovis sites continues to grow, the date of human arrival in the Americas is being pushed back. Some sites offer compelling evidence for human presence in the Americas 25-30,000 years ago. There is genetic evidence that not only pushes back the timeline, but also shows a rapid and complex peopling of the two continents. Water travel, migrations, population turnover and more exciting discoveries through genetic research on ancient human remains are significant to archaeological research and future study of first colonization. Sites once completely dismissed are now gaining more attention. South America continues to yield data that colonization was very early, and newly discovered biogeographic evidence shows a consistent presence on the land.


Emily Seabold is a recent graduate from MSU Denver with a Bachelor's in Anthropology, minoring in Sustainability. She has mentored middle school students in Archaeology and technology through Kids Tek and the Academic Mentors Program. She has a professional background in biological survey preceding her degree at Metro. She is currently working in Cultural Resource Management as she navigates applying for Masters programs.

Additional Upcoming Events:

October Speaker: Norm Ruggles

November Speaker: Craig Banister

December: Members Night Potluck

Monday, August 8, 2022 at 7 p.m. MDT –

ANNUAL DC-CAS/ESS Joint Meeting (Hybrid)

Flexible ‘Foreignness’ and Multicultural Kingship In Ancient Egypt


Speaker: Danielle Candelora – (Presentation will be in-person)

Danielle Candelora is an Egyptian archaeologist and an Assistant Professor of Ancient Mediterranean History at SUNY Cortland.  She earned her Ph.D in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA, and her dissertation is entitled: Redefining the Hyksos: Immigration and Identity Negotiation in the Second Intermediate Period.  Her research investigates the multivariate processes of identity negotiation in the Eastern Nile Delta during the Second Intermediate Period, an era of intensive immigration from the Levant which culminated in the rule of the Hyksos in the North of Egypt.  She explores how immigrants integrated into and influenced Egyptian society, as well as the cultural blending which resulted.  Danielle is a co-director of the AEF Osiris Ptah Nebankh Research Project, a co-director of the Museology Field School at the Museo Egizio di Torino, and a member of the UCLA Coffins Project directed by Kara Cooney.

Additional Upcoming Events:

September Speaker: Emily Seabold

October Speaker: Norm Ruggles

November Speaker: Craig Banister

December: Members Night Potluck

Monday, June 13, 2022 at 7 p.m. MDT – General Meeting (Hybrid)

After Wrecking: Examination of Spanish Salvage of the 1622, 1715, and 1733 Plate Fleets

Speaker: Amber Cabading, Maritime Research Division, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology

Please Note – Speaker will be presenting virtually


From the 16th to the 18th century, Spain dominated the transatlantic trading empire, though not without cost. As fleets departed Havana, Cuba for their voyage back to Spain, they faced many dangers. The greatest danger were unexpected tropical storms and hurricanes. As a result of such storms, Spain suffered three massive fleet destructions in 1622, 1715, and 1733. Since the loss of even one galleon could impact Spain’s economy, Spanish-American authorities established permanent salvage teams equipped with specialized vessels at principal ports throughout the Caribbean to administer aid to survivors and recover lost cargos. Salvaging and repairing floundered galleons became essential in maintaining Spain’s financial lifeline. These salvage operations continued seasonally for several years after the initial wreckings and produced an extensive historical record. Despite the well-documented history of the fleets, little research has focused on the salvage camps, the methods used to recover submerged cargo, and the enslaved Indigenous and African free divers who conducted the salvage operations. Working under a maritime cultural landscape framework and critical race theory, this research seeks to extrapolate information pertaining to the Spanish-American salvage industry by examining the material culture and vessel type implemented in the salvaging process, as well as uncovering the untold stories of the individuals participating in the salvage operations. Ultimately, this research seeks to contribute to the study of 18th century Spanish colonialism and commerce by examining the lives of the salvagers to reveal the networks between these individuals and the global colonial landscape.

- Amber Cabading is a recent graduate of East Carolina University's Graduate Program in Maritime Studies. Her thesis focused on 18th century Spanish salvage of Plate Fleets with specific interest in the enslaved divers conducting the salvage operations. Amber has conducted maritime archaeological surveys at several Tar/Pamlico River sites, and Outer Banks underwater and terrestrial sites. She has also conducted underwater excavations with Task Force Dagger Foundation (TFDF), Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) of a WWII aircraft. Currently, she is a Project Underwater Archaeologist at the Maritime Research Division, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology where she helps protect and preserve the maritime cultural heritage of South Carolina.

Monday, May 9, 2022 at 7 p.m. MDT – General Meeting (Hybrid)

Chaco Style Great Kivas and Intersite Visibility

Speaker: Gene Wheaton, Professor of Anthropology, Community College of Denver

As the major lunar standstill approaches, we will examine Chaco style great kivas and the common design criterion that was applied in order to be able to view solar and lunar events. We will review how this traditional architectural form during the Chaco era acted as a mechanism to coordinate seasonal ceremonial activities by observation of astronomical events.  Evidence that this common design criterion involved an orientation of building elements to the summer and winter solstice sunrise and sunsets is reviewed. In the La Plata River Valley, several Chaco-era communities are revisited with an eye toward inter-site visibility and shared site attributes that indicate integrated community structure. This integrated community structure incorporates Chaco style great kiva architectural features and natural landscape elements.


Gene Wheaton is a Professor of Anthropology at Community College of Denver and a professional archaeologist who provided technical support in inventory and management of cultural resources under the jurisdiction of the Park Service at Aztec Ruins National Monument and the Forest Service at various positions throughout the American Southwest. Professor Wheaton recently completed an excavation of the Wootton site on the Auraria campus and is currently working on an archaeological project at the Ninth Street Historic District Park on the Auraria campus. The main focus of these projects is to foster student and community involvement in archaeology. 

Monday, April 11, 2022 at 7 p.m. MDT – General Meeting (Virtual)
Comic Books as Archaeological Data Points: Saving Ephemera

Speaker: Roger Oberdier

Comic books hold a special place in 20th Century American history. As a medium,
comic books have been the printed embodiment of many different genres, appealing to
a wide range of demographics. As archaeological data points, fragments of comic books
have the potential to inform us about the age, gender, and individual interests of the
occupants of 20th Century sites. Identifying and recording comic books in the field is
necessary for this kind of analysis. As ephemera, comic books may not be present the
next time someone visits the site and/or they may not survive excavation processes
unless they are looked for and valued as data. Practical suggestions for identifying and
recording information about these ephemeral artifacts make up the bulk of this
presentation. Some suggestions for collecting and preserving comic books are also
After graduating from University of Colorado Denver in 2017, archaeologist Roger “Obi”
Oberdier has worked in a variety of field settings, as well as in labs and historical
archives. He now works for a CRM firm in Denver.

March 14th at 7PM (MST) – General Meeting (Virtual Meeting)


Speaker: Deb Bollig, Avocational Archaeologist and DC-CAS Membership Secretary


New Science and Old Stones:  Latest research findings on Stonehenge

Stonehenge is one of the most studied archaeological sites in the world.


  Over the past 20 years, 5 major new research projects have been undertaken at the World Heritage site, upending conventional wisdom about the site (as usual) and uncovering many new monuments.  Based on the research using updated scientific tools, numerous books, papers, articles, and videos have been produced that cover the new findings.

 This presentation is an overview of many of the discoveries of those projects and others, from the Doggerland area of Mesolithic times to the migration of the Copper/Bronze Age Beaker people into Britain.  Much of this information was based on the 2021 DMNS exhibit which was focused on the work led by Professor Michael Parker Pearson who was associated with four of the projects.  Professor David Jacques and the work at Blick Mead is also covered.

 The presentation ends with a quick look at the current fight to preserve the World Heritage site from a proposed road tunnel which would disturb thousands of in-situ archaeological artifacts.

Deb Bollig is an avocational archaeologist whose advanced degrees are in Mathematics and Management Information Systems.  Her earlier careers were mathematics instructor and software engineer.  After retiring several years ago, she developed a serious interest in archaeology.  She has taught classes about Paleo-Americans, Stonehenge, Computers, and Weather for the Osher Life-Long Learning Institute sponsored by DU. She will be continuing her research with a focus on the Lindenmeier and Hell Gap sites.

February 15th at 7PM MST, General Meeting (Virtual Meeting)


Speaker:  Samantha Murphy, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado-Denver


Relating Status to Access to Healthcare in Pre-Contact Peru

During the Middle and Late Horizon Periods


Competition for resources has always been crucial to the study of past populations, and while not always included in these studies, access to healthcare should be considered a resource because it can be vital to the survival of an individual.  Resources are normally limited in quality and quantity to the high-status members of the community, and if healthcare is considered a resource, it will not be available to all. Pre-contact Peru offers an excellent case study as there were complex societies that were highly stratified with limited social mobility, along with advanced medical and surgical practices.  By analyzing data from several skeletal research collections for trauma and surgical intervention, access to healthcare was assessed.  An attempt was made to determine status based on grave good analysis.  However, many of these skeletal collections have become separated from initial burial records and, therefore, have minimal burial context.  In an attempt to counter this, nutritional markers were used to assess health over time, assuming those of higher status would have better overall health.  Early results suggest that most members of the community suffered some kind of trauma over the course of their lifetime and recovered.  Access to and quality of surgical intervention do not appear to be restricted based on age, gender or status.  This suggests that healthcare was highly accessible and was not a restricted resource as expected.  This new research not only assesses responses to disease and trauma in the past, but how communities value different resources and other community members. 


Samantha Murphy is a graduate student at University of Colorado-Denver, who will be finishing up her Master’s degree in the Spring.  She received her undergraduate degree in Archaeology at Clemson University in South Carolina.  She has enjoyed working all over the United States, but is excited to focus on her research passion, Bioarchaeology in Pre-Contact Peru and Bolivia.

January 10 at 7 PM MST, General Meeting (Virtual Meeting)



Speaker: Athena Van Overschelde


Athena Van Overschelde is a Master's graduate from the University of Miami. She is a maritime archaeologist who will be speaking to us about her work on the Maritime Heritage Trail's archaeological sites in Biscayne National Park, Florida. She has recently moved from Florida to South Carolina where she is working with the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology.


"Biscayne National Park’s (BISC) Maritime Heritage Trail includes the archaeological remains of six historic shipwreck sites that are open to the public and actively interpreted. Until recently, only limited research on the sites had been completed, making their accurate interpretation a challenge. Between 2019 and 2020, in conjunction with a larger documentation effort to record damages to the sites associated with Hurricane Irma in 2017, BISC partnered with the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center to combine the results of more extensive historic research with recently acquired 3D imagery of the sites into an ArcGIS StoryMap to create an immersive and interactive experience available to the public online. This effort specifically sought to utilize emerging technologies to create a means to provide accurate interpretive material for the heritage trail to a wider audience, including non-divers, those participating in digital interpretation programs, or even those practicing social distancing."



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