Join us for our lectures! All lectures are free and open to the public. We welcome public participation. Snacks and refreshments are provided.
When: Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Where: CU Museum, Dinosaur Room
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
Kelton Meyer – Colorado State University
Coming Together at the Continental Divide: Chronological Reconstructions of Alpine Game Drive Sites in Colorado’s Southern Rockies
The alpine tundra of the Southern Rockies is punctuated by numerous clusters of high-altitude game drive sites. Prehistoric Native American hunter-gatherer groups constructed stone features along high mountain travel corridors to coerce migratory fauna into manageable hunting spaces called intercept zones. These game drives are comprised of inconspicuous stone alignments that range in size and extent, and typically consist of low-lying wall segments, circular and semi-circular pits used as hunting blinds, and cairn lines which functioned in unison to steer animals like sheep, deer, and elk into kill areas. More than 50 years of comprehensive high-altitude research has shown that several game drive sites exhibit a broad time depth (at least 6,000 years), but that the intensity of site occupations and the management of stone features increased throughout the Late Prehistoric period (beginning roughly 2000 years ago). This presentation provides a review of chronological reconstructions at several well-known alpine game drives in Northern Colorado, with a focus on dating methods and the development of size-frequency lichenometry. The 5BL148 site from the Rollins Pass cluster of game drives, near Winter Park, Colorado, is used as a case study to address the challenges of dating high-altitude occupations in open tundra settings, and ways archaeologists estimate the antiquity and modification of stone features at these hunting sites.
IPCAS will break for summer from June through August. IPCAS will resume monthly lectures on September 13th, 2018.