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Studies In Wyoming Hunter-Gatherer Geoarchaeology

Monday, May 13, 2024 at 7:00 PM MST

General Meeting – (Hybrid - online Zoom and in person)

Please note our in-person monthly general meetings have moved to the Martin Family Foundation Room on the 4th Floor at History Colorado Center, 1200 N. Broadway, Denver 80203.  The room change enables us to access updated technology to provide a better remote experience for our members and guests and a larger room for our in-person attendees.

Speaker: Dr. Sarah A. Allaun, Assistant State Archaeologist, OSAC/OAHP – History Colorado

Abstract: This talk covers three studies pertaining to the geoarchaeology of early hunter-gatherers in the Plains and Rocky Mountains in Wyoming. The search for these early sites has largely been passive, relying heavily on chance events to expose the subsurface archaeological record. The first study establishes the geomorphic history of the Patten Creek valley in Platte County, Wyoming, emphasizing broad scale geoarchaeological investigation to classify the distribution and age of landforms within the valley with the goal of establishing where the early archaeological record should be buried below the ground surface. In doing so, this serves as a model for site identification where obvious surface exposure is lacking and provides a method for identifying early hunter-gatherer sites beyond chance encounter. The second study focuses on the geochronological and geoarchaeological context of the La Prele Mammoth site in Converse County, Wyoming. Fundamentally, this study addresses the occupation history of the site, employing multiple independent analyses to test the hypothesis that the site represents a single occupation surface dating to approximately 12,941±56 cal BP. Finally, the third study addresses the age of the Sheaman site in Niobrara County, Wyoming and challenges the notion of a Clovis cultural affiliation ascribed to the assemblage. This suggests that attributes of the Sheaman artifact assemblage that have been characterized as diagnostic of Clovis may be neither unique to nor diagnostic of that techno-complex.  

Bio:  Sarah Allaun received her B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Central Florida in 2015.  In 2019, she completed her M.A. in Anthropology at the University of Wyoming and received her PhD in 2024.  Allaun’s research focuses on geoarchaeological and geochronological problems related to the hunter-gatherer archaeology of Pleistocene North America in the Plains and Rocky Mountains. Her methodological strengths are in geoarchaeology, faunal analysis and zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry, spatial analysis, and lithic analysis.  Allaun has worked in Belize, Florida, Arizona, Mexico, Alaska, Colorado, and Wyoming.  She began the position of Assistant State Archaeologist of Colorado in July 2023.

Upcoming Events:

June 10, 2024 – Speaker to be announced.

July 2024 -  No board or general meetings are held.  Meetings resume in August.

August 2024 – Annual Joint Meeting with the Egyptian Studies Society (ESS).  ESS will be hosting this year.  Speaker, date and location to be announced.


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