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Understanding and Managing the Jones-Miller Collection

MONDAY, MARCH 13, 2023 AT 7:00 PM MST –


Speaker: Natalie Patton, Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Speaker will be In-Person)

Abstract: The Jones-Miller site is an example of early hunting strategies used on the Western Plains 11,000 years ago. Over 300, now extinct, Bison antiquus were hunted and butchered at the site using some of the 200 stone tools also recovered from the site. Examining the strategies used to hunt Bison and their behaviors can help us understand why the site looks the way it does. From 11,000 years ago to today the 300+ bison have now made their home in the collections at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. How we care for these animals in the museum contributes to how we understand the site and how faunal collections fit into museum practice. The museological methods used to process this collection result in better intellectual control of the site and improve access for future research.


Natalie Patton has worked with museum collections since 2018, and has worked primarily in Southwest museums including the Museum of Northern Arizona, Blackwater Draw Museum, the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, and most recently the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Her first experience working with a museum collection was as an analyst in a zooarchaeological research lab at Northern Arizona University. Trained in zooarchaeology and archaeological methods, she conducted research on modified bone tools from Wupatki National Monument. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a Masters in Science for Museum and Field Studies in 2022. As a graduate student, she had the opportunity to work on data reconciliation for Olsen-Chubbuck, another prominent Colorado bison kill site. In addition to these experiences with museum collections, she excavated a bison butchering campsite and bison kill site over two seasons in the Oklahoma panhandle where she became more familiar with the make-up of bison kill sites.

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