Upcoming Lectures

When: Thursday, May 11, 2023 at 7:00 pm

    • IN-PERSON: 2520 55th St, Boulder, CO 80301 
      *Please note that the door will be locked when you arrive. Please call or text the number listed at the door to be let into the building.”

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Cost: Free & Open to the Public


Ceramics Patterning in Rio Blanco County, Colorado

Kimberly Biela

Over the past 70+ years, archaeologists have identified 157 ceramic-yielding sites in Rio Blanco County, Colorado with site occupations ranging from A.D. 500-1850. This accounts for approximately 3% of all sites in the county, suggesting that the use of ceramics in this region may have been limited by past peoples. Ceramic analysis in archaeology is a broad technique to determine cultural affiliation, chronology, and trade networks across well-known regions. This project aims to investigate the nature of Fremont and post Fremont (Ute, Shoshone, Intermountain, etc.) occupation in Northwestern Colorado through the study of prehistoric and historic Native American ceramics from Rio Blanco County. The nature of ceramic research in Northwestern Colorado has not been a standardized practice, causing over fifty ceramic typologies, some of which have overlapping characteristics, to be named in the literature from this region.

This talk will present the methodology and preliminary results of 2,052 ceramics that have been analyzed for this project, with a focus on the trends observed in the variety of ceramic pieces present (e.g., body, rim, base, handle, effigy), differences in surface treatments (e.g., painted, corrugated, punctuated), differences in temper, and sherd measurements. Additionally, this presentation will showcase a spatial analysis of these trends across the county and how some of them have changed with different field methods through time. This analysis may hold implications for the significance of ceramic spatial patterning and the intensity of ceramic use by the groups who occupied this region in the past.

Kimberly Biela is a Master’s student at Colorado State University working under Dr. Jason LaBelle. Born and raised in Southington, Connecticut, Kimberly moved to Colorado in 2020 upon completing her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Geology from the University of Maine, Orono. Her thesis pertains to the study of ceramics from Rio Blanco County in Northwestern Colorado. In 2021, she received Alice Hamilton Scholarship funding in order to complete her thesis research which went towards the purchase of analytical equipment and travel to institutions across the state.



April 2023: Beth Parisi: Archaeological Site Stewardship

February 2023: Sam Bock: The Sand Creek Massacre: The Betrayal that Changed Cheyenne and Arapaho People Forever

January 2023: Harold Henke, PhD: The Metal Detector: As Useful a Tool as a Shovel or Trowel for the Historical Archaeologist

November 2022: Spencer Little: Unbelievably Deep: A Reanalysis of the Hells Midden Site (5MF16)

April 2022: Michael J. Prouty: “Through This Tangled Mass”: Identification and Recordation of Historical Trails in Colorado

February 2022: Chris Johnston: Projectile Points, Chronology, and the Oshara Tradition in the San Luis Valley

January 2022: Anna Cordova: Stewardship of Colorado Springs’ Archaeological Resources

December 2021: Devin Pettigrew, PhD: Lessons from Realistic Experiments with Archaeological Weapons

November 2021: Dr. Holly Norton: Archaeology for a Changing Colorado

May 2021: Claire Novotny, PhD: Games of Change and Fate: Patolli at the Ancient Maya Site of Gallon Jug

April 2021: Vicki Twinde-Javner: Excavation of the Lessard Site, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin



Is there a particular speaker that you would like to see? Email the IPCAS Vice President to suggest a speaker.