Volume 1 (Issue 2)
3 Letter from the Director
7 The Cerutti Mastodon Site
OKPAN Quarterly editor Kate Newton sits down to chat with Rebecca Hawkins, co-owner of Algonquin Consultants Inc.
6 Winter Events Calendar
37 OKPAN Faces
32 Project Archaeology in Oklahoma Schools
Ongoing series highlighting OKPAN staff, volunteers, interns and advisory board members
35 Oklahoma Anthropological Society
8 Community Spotlight - Rebecca Hawkins
Calling all teachers! Learn about Project Archaeology, a program that brings archaeology into the classroom while tying into core subject material.
15 Never Stop Learning
Ongoing series highlighting OKPAN staff, volunteers, interns and advisory board members.
(Cover photo:: Wildhorse Creek, by Jeanie Myers Simpson
The latest events and news from OAS.
Not to be missed, OKPAN invites you to this special evening highlighting one of the most controversial and thought-provoking archaeological finds in decades.
5 Letters to the Editor
IN THIS ISSUE
A letter introducing the winter issue from our executive director, Dr. Bonnie Pitblado.
A forum for community members to share their opinions and perspectives with the Oklahoma Quarterly readership.
Our winter events calender for all things archaeology-related in Oklahoma.
A collection of essays contributed by various members of the OKPAN community on what it means to be and always remain a student of the past.
Wichita Mountains, Buffalo, Near Lawton, Oklahoma, duggar11, CC BY 2.0)
Letter from OKPAN's Executive Director
Dr. Bonnie Pitblado
Hello fellow members of the OKPAN Community,
Like the Oklahoma Public Archaeology Network itself, the overarching theme of this second issue of OKPAN Quarterly is that all of us—professional archaeologists, avocational archaeologists, members of descendant communities deeply connected to their own past, undergraduates, graduate students, and members of the public intrigued by archaeology—are students.
Sure, some of us have attended more formal classes in archaeology than others, and therefore have more letters after our names. But even those with multiple advanced degrees in archaeology or allied fields are students as often or more often than they are “experts.” Likewise, often those with no degrees at all, but with deep connections to places on the Oklahoma landscape, offer more relevant and valuable insights into the past of those places than the most decorated professor in the world.
In my view, archaeology is a particularly beautiful discipline for this very reason. There are so very many windows to the past, and all of us understand the past in different, yet complementary ways. When we pool our considerable intellectual resources—our different worldviews, skill sets, and areas of expertise—we can learn more about the past, more quickly, and while having more fun, than when any of us works alone.
I hope that through the essays in this issues’s special section, “Never Stop Learning,” and for that matter, through all of the articles in the issue, my point will become clear. You will hear the perspectives of diverse stakeholders of Oklahoma’s past. You will see that the backgrounds of
grounds of our contributors vary enormously, but that collectively, they—we—can at once illuminate and share the past with others.
Personally, I have always done what I consider to be my best archaeological work when I have cast my net as widely as possible when assembling a research team. My collaborations with members of descendant communities, landowners, artifact collectors, scientists of all stripes, avocational archaeologists with diverse training and skills, students of all ages, and a curious and engaged public have led to my most nuanced work in the field, lab and especially in my writing.
My vision for OKPAN is that we, the citizens of Oklahoma, adopt and expand a model of a bewilderingly inclusive archaeology—one in which we all recognize that at any given moment we may be a teacher or we may be a student—and that is all to the good. When we not only value our diverse voices, but encourage all voices that want to be part of the conversation to join it, we will together work toward the richest possible understanding of the human history of what we now call Oklahoma.
Welcome to this issue of OKPAN Quarterly, and welcome to OKPAN.
OKPAN Executive Director Robert E. and Virginia Bell Professor of Anthropological Archaeology, OU
We're all students: Bonnie's then four-year-old son learning some tricks from archaeology field school student Dan Bourse
Kathryn and Bonnie,
Bravo on your first issue of OKPAN Quarterly! I look forward to No. 2. The first issue has the new face of avocational archeology in Oklahoma, which seems strong on preservation and a step away from collecting, although collectors like the LeVicks are pointed out as people who did both well. Also, a great service is your who's-who, calendar of events, and efforts by OAS to continue community programs. It's the first time I've seen details on GOFAR and it has great promise. Caddo artist Chase Earles I've heard of, but it's the first time I've seen him featured. Thank you again for a great issue. My only regret is that it's not in print. Maybe someday...
Jon Denton, Mustang
To the Editor,
OKPAN’s GOFAR will prove to be an exciting collaborative research coalition that will benefit everyone in years to come. As a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and being situated in the eastern half of Oklahoma, I realize I am a newcomer to these lands and my tribe has only been in this area for 190 years. As a Mvskoke citizen I am proud to be a steward of not only our historical Mvskoke footprint from our years here, but also a caretaker and preservationist of the important cultural and archaeological heritage of the Tribes and Nations that have been here long before us, namely the Osage, Caddo, Quapaw, Apache, Arapaho, Comanche, Kiowa and Wichitas (from my understanding.) Working together respectfully with the original inhabitants of an area will prove to be one of the most powerful tools of archaeology, and as this work model becomes more prevalent, there will be more connections made and missing pieces unlocked to the ever long labyrinth of the archeocraft.
Gano Jimmesay Perez, Muscogee Nation
If you'd like to submit your own letter to the editor,
please send it to:
(Note: To see complete calendar, please scroll down)
WINTER EVENTS CALENDAR
Archaeology Trowel, HeritageDaily, CC BY-SA 3.0
February 1st - may 31st
"Ask the Archaeologist" with Dr. Amanda Regnier
Fort Towson Historic Site, 1:00 PM
Were Humans in the Americas 130,000 Years Ago? Evidence from the Cerutti Mastodon Site - presentation by Steven and Kathleen Holen
University of Oklahoma, Norman, 7:00 PM
Introduction to Zooarchaeology Workshop
Oklahoma Archeological Survey, Norman, 9:00 AM
Spiro Mounds Archaeologcial Center, 9:00 AM
The Uncas Star Chart and the "Why" Behind It - presentation by Dr. Susan Vehik (OAS Cleveland County Chapter meeting)
Sam Noble Museum, Norman, 7:00 PM
February 1st - 28th
Smoke Over Oklahoma: The Railroad Photos of Preston George Exhibit
Chisholm Trail Museum, Kingfisher
History of Fort Supply - presentation by Bob Rea
Sod House Museum, 10:00 AM
Living History Event
Fort Towson Historic Site
Antique Doll Exhibit
Fred Drummond Home, Hominy
Introduction to Zooarchaeology Workshop
University of Tulsa, 9:00 AM
(Archaeology Trowel, HeritageDaily, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Dr. Steven Holen Kathleen Maule Holen
This March, OKPAN invites you to attend an exciting presentation. We are delighted to host Steven Holen and Kathleen Holen from the Center for American Paleolithic Research, who will present their research on the Cerutti Mastodon Site. The Holens’ research on the Cerutti Mastodon has generated a huge buzz among the public and sparked a lively debate within the archaeological community. Learn more about the research that has created this conversation in this presentation, titled “Were Humans in the Americas 130,000 Years Ago? Evidence from the Cerutti Mastodon Site.”
If you follow any news in archaeology, then you have most likely heard about the Cerutti Mastodon – now, you have an exciting opportunity to hear from the researchers firsthand! What does their research say, and what has been the Holens' experience with the resulting debates? To find out, join us tor this free special event on March 11, 2019 at the University of Oklahoma campus in Dale Hall, Room 112 at 7:00 PM. This event is free, but capacity is limited, so please reserve your spot.
Click here to claim your free ticket on Eventbrite.
Monday, March 11, 2019
University of Oklahoma
Dale Hall 112
WHEN AND WHERE?
OKPAN INVITES YOU TO A SPECIAL PRESENTATION
Were humans in the Americas 130,000 years ago?
The cerutti mastodon site
With REBEcca Hawkins
OKPAN Quarterly editor Kate Newton chats with Rebecca Hawkins
Co-Owner of Algonquin Consultants Inc., an American Indian owned consulting firm
KN: What is your background? What led you to become an archaeologist and how were you introduced to the field of archaeology?
RH: Two completely different desires merged at the end of my baccalaureate college years and led me to a graduate degree in Anthropology.
Being of American Indian descent, but not having grown up in a culturally traditional family or community, I looked at archaeology as a way to flesh out the deep past of those of my ancestors who were indigenous to North America. I wanted to know what life was like for them. Unfortunately, I acquired exactly zero useful information while in high school about what career possibilities might exist in archaeology (or anything else, for that matter) – although, I was assured that archaeology was not a bona fide profession unless a person moved to Egypt and that it wasn't something girls did anyhow. I hail from a conservative area in the mountains of central Pennsylvania and nobody encouraged young women to pursue serious college study in the mid-1970s.
During my senior year in college in 1979, I worked on a senior thesis research project with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, in a Laotian refugee camp in northern Thailand. I was so intrigued about the social differences among people living in the different refugee camps in Thailand and Nepal that I visited, especially how people organized themselves. Laotians, Hmong and other tribal hill people, and Cambodians, as well as Vietnamese, all tackled self-governance differently. I was fascinated (and a little cranky) that the question "why are their self-governance institutions and mechanisms different?" was one that political science was not able to answer to my satisfaction, but that anthropology was.
Hawkins with her friend Lynne Sebastian in Corrales, New Mexico, working on the Making Archaeology Public Project (MAPP).
and mechanisms different?" was one that political science was not able to answer to my satisfaction, but that anthropology was.
To fill in a gap in my schedule the final semester of my senior year in college after I returned from Thailand, I took the second anthropology class I had ever taken. As I was writing my senior thesis I found that I drew more on things I had learned in that earlier cultural class than on material from my political science classes. The second anthropology class I took during that final senior semester was a physical anthropology/human adaptation class and at the end of that semester, I graduated with a BA in political science, with a specialty in international affairs. However, by week three of that semester I was hooked on anthropology, applied for late admission to graduate school in the Anthropology Department at the University of Cincinnati, got a pretty hefty fellowship, and promptly immersed myself in all things cultural anthropology.
And then….what madness was this….that first semester in graduate school, it became apparent that archaeology WAS something a person could have a career in, even if that person WAS a girl. And you didn’t have to move to Egypt. Wha-what?! And oh, the melding of hard and social science in that sub-field made me weak in the knees. I could measure and weigh and, dare I dream it, use things I’d learned in math and biology and geology and statistics. It made my head spin.
KN: What made you decide to start your own CRM firm? What kind of work does your firm do?
RH: I was first gainfully employed as a cultural resources management archaeologist back in the summer of 1979. I worked as an itinerant gypsy scholar for a couple firms in the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast US for a few years and then full-time in a large environmental consulting firm in Ohio, in the mid-1980s after I got my M.A. In 1988, my former professors managed to convince me that starting a cultural resources management center at the University of Cincinnati, my alma mater, was a good idea.
By the early 1990s, the school was nearly bankrupt, the State of Ohio was hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, and the University scraped off, like so many barnacles from its hull, all the research centers and similar programs that were not bringing in the big money – which is to say, pretty much anything to do with social sciences. I found myself with the equivalent of a 401K that I could cash out and no real skills, except being an archaeologist.
So in 1992, I took my clients and went home and opened my own shop. I took only a single fellow
Pottery by Chase Kahwinhut Earles
employee with me from UC – he still works with me to this day, proof that while spiky, my personality is not without its pleasant side. Originally called Algonquin Archaeological Consultants, I re-incorporated in 2000 and added a partner and we now call ourselves Algonquin Consultants. We offer both cultural resources (archaeology and ethnography) and environmental (NEPA and related) consulting services to clients nationwide. Furthermore, we serve tribes in a variety of capacities, from program management, to funds acquisition, to assistance with National Historic Preservation Act and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act matters.
KN: You are in a unique position in the archaeological community in that you are a Native American woman who owns her own CRM firm. How does this perspective influence your work?
RH: I am of American Indian descent – but I am not eligible to enroll with a tribe because of an adoption a couple generations back – and descendancy and enrollment are two very different things. I don’t own the firm alone, my partner (domestic as well as business) is enrolled with a tribe – and that’s why we can legally call ourselves an American Indian-owned business. (We are also technically not a woman-owned business.)
In terms of “unique,” I personally am not very. I was not raised in a traditional home, I’m not enrolled, and I can’t and don’t speak for any tribe (unless of course they have hired me to do that!) or for Indian people at large. My biology in no way confers that to me as some kind of right. What may be a little different, is
Hawkins and colleague Lance Mauer working in Broken Bow, Oklahoma for the Choctaw Nation.
On a survey near Roswell, New Mexico. Hawkins and long-time staff member and close friend, Scott Walley.
"I once had a professor at a university back east tell me she couldn't trust my scholarship because my ancestry guaranteed that I was 'of uncertain loyalty to science.'"
the many-faceted perspective I bring to archaeology. I live in a traditional family now, I’ve had the privilege of working with a number of tribes and Indian community members across the country over the last 30 years, and I’ve come to better understand the multiple perspectives that Indian communities have about the multiple archaeological projects and issues that are out there. These perspectives influence me to strive for perfection, bluntly put. To do my level best at all times. To be thorough and work hard. To be careful and thoughtful and respectful.
KN: Are things at times more difficult to navigate because of this and/or have you been able to use this as a means of influencing positive change in the archaeological community?
RH: I certainly TRY to use my perspective – and experience – to inspire positive change, which I broadly define as “archaeology done better” and “people being more tolerant”. What I more routinely encounter, however, is a patently ridiculous notion held by some other archaeologists, non-archaeologist civilians, and potential clients – including those in government agencies – that my being Indian means I can’t be an objective researcher, that my science is somehow skewed. I once had a professor at a university back east tell me she couldn’t trust my scholarship because my ancestry guaranteed that I was “of uncertain loyalty to science”.
We have had projects awarded and then taken away because the client discovered we were Indian and viewed our ancestry as a “built-in conflict of interest”. I have had clients refuse to get out of their cars in the field when my Kiowa nephews and I show up. Because although they wanted to hire an Indian-owned firm for the project’s public relations purposes, they certainly did not want actual Indian-looking Indians working on it.
I would argue that the lackluster mindset of a lot of CRM archaeologists that I rub elbows with in the course of a year’s time hurts good archaeological interpretation more than any real or perceived cultural tilt to my compass of science. I would argue that tons of important information is often overlooked because of “who cares, it’s just another little lithic scatter in the way of client compliance”. And I FEAR for the careful
for the careful and truthful examination of the archaeological record at the hands of developers and land management agency staff – a good chunk of whom give barely one hoot about the nation’s precontact past. Partly because our society at large gives less than a hoot. And THAT attitude, even when I am at my most charming, I do not think that I can ever change.
KN: What do you wish to see more of in the field of archaeology? What do you hope to see less of?
RH: I would like to see more serious theory testing with hard field data and more synthesis. I would like to see more of an understanding that CRM is just an aspect of the whole of archaeology (which it is, and the lion’s share of it at that), not some side-show to “real archaeology”. I would like to see more professionalizing of students before they come to work for me so that I am not always so tempted to go visit the dean of the college they graduated from and ask for their money back on their behalf. I would like to see more careful work – more actual archaeology – and less money grubbing and less laziness. It’s hard work to hike twelve miles at eight thousand feet in the blazing sun and record twenty sites. Archaeology is difficult and often tedious. I wish the lazy would go do something else for a living and stop doing archaeology poorly. I would like to see more and higher standards, and less corner-cutting.
I find an awful lot of people are doing CRM who really don’t understand very much AT ALL about what they’re doing, from the underpinnings of the laws and regulations that influence it, to the evaluation of the importance of sites. Our company has three offices
Our company has
Left Hawkins standing at the foot of the San Andres mountains in New Mexico. Working a waterline corridor, there were numerous sites to record. "I was EXHAUSTED. You will note my lack of enthusiasm at having found yet another rusted lard bucket." Right "On the same survey this African Oryx threatened to impale the radiator of my truck."
offices – one here in Oklahoma, one in New Mexico and one in Ohio and I see this nationwide, and I find it frightening.
KN: Is there something you wish someone would ask you about your work? Something others might not be aware of but you feel is important to share with the larger community?
RH: What an interesting question. And yes – but WHAT I would want them to ask would depend on who they are. If an academic archaeologist approached me, the ONE thing I would want him or her to ask – and to be sincere about it – is how can the academy better prepare students for excellence. Of course, I would want the good doctor to actually listen to me and do what I would suggest, but even being ASKED would be refreshing.
If I were having a chat with another archaeologist at the bar at a conference, who, like me had logged nearly forty years in the field, I would want my fellow geezer to plumb my thoughts on the regional differences that I have noted during four decades of working from left to right and top to bottom in the lower forty-eight.
If a member of a traditional Indian community questioned me, I would hope it would be to ask how I manage to walk that thin line that divides being respectful of traditional values and scientific inquiry, and what I feel in my heart of hearts when I try to address the needs and desires of the traditional community, on the one hand, and to conduct what amounts to triage on a threatened archaeological record, on the other.
And maybe, what HAVE I learned about the deep past of my ancestors.
You can learn more about Rebecca Hawkin's consulting firm by visiting its website by clicking here.
Click on the video to the right (double click for full screen) to watch Rebecca introduce MAPP: the Making Archaeoogy Public Project.
For further information on this project visit the Preservation50 website here
What follows is a collection of essays contributed by various members of the OKPAN community.
From school teachers, to moms returning to school years later, to avocationals and professionals in the field, they encompass what it means and what it looks like to be and remain a life-long student of archaeology.
The wisdom of the LIFE-LONG student
(Digging in the Dark, Wessex Archaeology, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
(Spring Wildflowers at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Elise Smith, CC BY 2.0)
In September and October 2018, I was very fortunate to receive a bursary (scholarship) from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki, Finland, to spend time at the University of Oklahoma, taking up a temporary academic home in the Department of Anthropology. The timing was no accident – I had heard about OKPAN and Oklahoma Archaeology Month (OAM) in particular, and I wanted to see it for myself.
As this issue of OKPAN Quarterly confirms, we are all students, all the time, no matter how old we are or how many degrees we have. To give some background, I hail from the UK originally – a country which, for all its ‘interesting’ politics of late, is unusually progressive and inclusive in the ways in which it makes cultural heritage available to the wider society. Straight after my Ph.D., in which I studied the relationships between archaeologists and metal detectorists, I landed my first job. I worked for three happy years with the Council for British Archaeology, based in the medieval city of York, as their Community Archaeology Support Officer. With a remit spanning all four nations of the UK, I learned a lot about how community archaeology looks and works for a diverse range of avocational groups, archaeologists, museums and heritage organizations. The amazing people I met confirmed and gave evidence to what many of us in the UK already instinctively knew: both the legacy of the very long tradition of amateur archaeological societies and the public appetite for information about the past are alive and well.
Moving almost five years ago to
By Suzie Thomas, University of Helsinki
Becoming a student again
Avocational archaeologist and collector Jim Cox explaining some of the fascinating artifacts that he stewards at an OAM event hosted by the Sam Noble Museum in Norman, OK.
Finland for an academic position at the University of Helsinki opened my eyes in different ways. Yes, the general fascination with archaeology can be found there – perhaps as with everywhere – but the context compared to the UK is completely different. Public archaeology, while understood as a concept, is much rarer in practice and has a much shorter history. In 2017, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, a major grant-giver for humanities research and outreach, made major headway for Finnish public archaeology when the Foundation developed a dedicated funding stream for public archaeology projects. In addition, Finland has an increasingly multicultural society. Unlike the UK, but similar to Oklahoma, this diverse society includes indigenous communities – in Finland’s case (as with Norway, Sweden and Russia too), several distinct Sámi cultures.
My motivations for spending time in Oklahoma, based in the charming city of Norman, were thus several. I wanted to learn more about the ways that archaeologists and anthropologists in the state prepare to work with diverse communities, especially the many Native American Tribes in Oklahoma. I also wanted to see what kinds of events comprised OAM every October, and how this network of varied events organized by different groups was coordinated and came together under the OKPAN umbrella. My current research project in Finland is to develop a digital finds recording service for Finnish hobbyists including metal detectorists. So naturally, I was also very keen to learn how archaeologists and-anthropologists in Oklahoma, such as my good friend Dr. Bonnie Pitblado, were reaching out to avocational collectors.
It was for this reason that I jumped at the chance to accompany Dr. Pitblado and Dr. Amy Clark from OU, along with Dr. Debra Green from the Oklahoma Archeological Survey, on a home visit to an artifact collector in eastern Oklahoma. Not only was the road trip in itself well worth the time (I saw my very first coyote and box turtle in the wild!), but I also learned so much from the gentle and sympathetic approach that my colleagues took with the collector. There were various sensitivities that needed to be taken into account with the collector; an older person who had been collecting lithic points locally for many years.
OU anthropology students volunteering at an archaeology open day at the Wichita Tribal History Center in Anadarko, OK.
also very keen to learn how archaeologists and anthropologists in Oklahoma, such as my good friend Dr. Bonnie Pitblado, were reaching out to avocational collectors.
It was for this reason that I jumped at the chance to accompany Dr. Pitblado and Dr. Amy Clark from OU, along with Dr. Debra Green from the Oklahoma Archeological Survey, on a home visit to an artifact collector in eastern Oklahoma. Not only was the road trip in itself well worth the time (I saw my very first coyote and box turtle in the wild!), but I also learned so much from the gentle and sympathetic approach that my colleagues took with the collector. There were various sensitivities that needed to be taken into account with the collector; an older person who had been collecting chipped stone projectile points points locally for many years.
As many of us know, collectors are demonized by some archaeologists for allegedly facilitating looting and encouraging illegal trade in cultural objects. However, the spectrum of collectors is much broader than this, as I know from my own work in Europe with hobbyist metal detectorists. The spectrum includes many ‘regular’ people who have no intention of causing cultural damage, nor do these people have the links to global organized crime that are often cited as a reason to avoid contact with them. Rather, these people are potential (or in more and more cases actual) colleagues, with whom we can work to develop and add to our knowledge of the archaeological record.
From encyclopedic abilities for identifying artifact types to intimate knowledge of local histories and people, avocationals often are stewards of both material culture and intangible stories that can only enrich what we know about the past and what that past means in the present. Rather than trying to curtail non-professional engagement with the past, a collaborative and democratic approach seems much more useful both for archaeological knowledge production and for increasing public enjoyment
"To assume that archaeologists are the only ones with knowledge and insight to offer is at best horribly short-sighted and at worst, conceited and elitist"
of and engagement with the past.
To assume that archaeologists are the only ones with knowledge and insight to offer is at best horribly short-sighted and at worst, conceited and elitist. Whether with collectors, artifact hunters, stewards of traditional Indigenous knowledge, or just curious members of the public with insights to offer from their own lines of work, we all do better when we talk to one another.
OAM is a very good reflection of this – the events in the 2018 program included public talks, museum archaeology days, open excavations and even a barbecue! The organizers ranged from avocational groups such as the Oklahoma Anthropological Society, university departments, and local museums. In some ways, although the scale is different, it reminded me of the UK’s Festival of Archaeology in the way that one central organizer coordinates the publicity, website and information and the individual organizers submit their information. This is a great model, and it allows for anyone to do something for OAM – whether a large scale activity like a several-day program of fieldwork or a small gathering. I even got the opportunity to contribute myself, giving a talk which was live-streamed on Facebook about the research I have been involved with on the ‘dark heritage’ of Finnish Lapland. While my talk was about a place far away from Oklahoma, audience members were more than able to relate to the focus on the local meanings of cultural heritage and the universally known and understood Second World War.
Teachers also continue to learn, and I was able to participate in a couple of classes during my stay. In addition to joining one of Dr. Clark’s public archaeology seminars at OU (which inspired me with great ideas to take back to Helsinki!), I was very lucky to be accepted into an afternoon course at OU on “Protocol Training for Building Long-Term Research Relationships in Oklahoma Indian Country.” This covered fundamental steps for non-Indigenous researchers hoping to build research relationships with the Indigenous Tribes of Oklahoma. Just as each Tribe in Oklahoma is a different culture with its own language, heritage, and traditions, Sámi communities inng approaches for working with specific Indigenous groups and simply assuming that they will work in other contexts in a similar way, but I nonetheless gained a lot of food for thought for future instances when my research may bring me into contact with Sámi-related issues, particularly those
in Finland are by no means a homogeneous group. One must always be cautious about taking approaches for working with specific Indigenous groups and simply assuming that they will work in other contexts in a similar way, but I nonetheless gained a lot of food for thought for future instances when my research may bring me into contact with Sámi-related issues, particularly those concerning cultural heritage. My main take-away point for future endeavors – simple but often forgotten – is to make contact with communities (not only but especially Indigenous ones) far ahead of doing any work, even before obtaining funding. This is something I will strive to do better in the future.
This year my Faculty is again offering financial support to a lucky few to spend time at a different university in a different country. I envy the colleagues who will be going off around the world this year, and the inspiration and new friendships that they will enjoy. Would I do it all again? Most definitely! Would I come back to Oklahoma? In a heartbeat!
My favourite cultural crossover: an Angry Bird (created by Rovio, a Finnish game company) depicted in the medium of Native American beadwork at the Sam Noble Museum, Norman, OK.
The breathtaking Reading Room of the Bizzell Memorial Library - a favourite place to find inspiration for writing.
I’ve had the honor of teaching thousands of students over the last thirty-five years, and I continue to add to that number in my current position as “PEAK” Gifted Specialist with Putnam City Schools. My initial fascination with archaeology began as a 6th-grade student. I vividly remember being introduced to archaeology during a social studies class. I was tasked with creating a mural depicting an archaeologist unearthing artifacts in an exotic location. My father taught me a respect for cultures and perspectives different from my own, particularly Native American cultures, and I was fascinated by this field of study where I could integrate my curiosity regarding other cultures with the thrill of field discovery. Since that time, archaeology has become a life-long passion. Although I am not formally trained in the science of archaeology, I have actively sought opportunities to immerse myself in the science of studying past peoples, cultures and civilizations. I now use this passion to introduce archaeological inquiry to my students and colleagues.
While in college at Oklahoma Baptist University, I participated in a six-week archaeological excavation sponsored by Baylor University. We helped unearth Tel Uza, a fortress located in the Negev Desert, in Israel. We worked during the week and toured archaeological sites in Israel, Jordan and Greece on the weekends. I later moved to Arizona and continued my love of learning as I visited various Southwestern sites such as Chaco Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, and numerous Hohokam, Sinagua and Anasazi localities, becoming ever-more
(Buffalo and French Lake, Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma, Jonathan C. Wheeler, CC BY 2.0)
A Teacher's Story
Randy Utt at an Oklahoma Anthropological Society dig in Fort Washita.
By Randy Utt, Gifted Dept. Chair, Putnam City Schools
Randy at the Crow Canyon Lab. Crow Canyon - Indian Camp midden crew.
enthralled with the study of past cultures. In addition, I received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to travel to Ohio to study the Hopewell Mound Builders.
I also traveled with the support of NEH to Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado, where I studied ancestral Puebloan archaeology. I helped excavate pit houses and worked in the laboratory with recovered artifacts. My time at Crow Canyon also included a visit to Mesa Verde National Park, where I spoke with and learned from members of the Hopi and Ute Mountain Ute tribes. A defining moment during this trip involved the discovery of a special pottery sherd. It was not just a common fragment, but a piece that clearly showed the fingerprint of the ancient potter herself embedded in the clay! I stood in amazement as I thought about the way that this single moment in time was preserved, forging a connection with a person who lived more than 1,300 years ago.
Locally, I have participated in two Oklahoma Anthropological Society digs. I helped excavate on a rainy fall Saturday at Ft. Washita, OK, finding lots of rusty nails and broken glass. I also traveled to the Newkirk Site in 2017 and helped unearth some chipped stone tools and flakes with the help of a young archaeologist at a test site. This was very interesting as she allowed me the opportunity to assist her in drawing and cataloging the site.
In 2015, I learned about Project Archaeology (PA) by attending a workshop in OKC led by OKPAN’s Meghan Dudley. Project
Project Archaeology teacher training.
Archaeology: Investigating Shelter is a supplementary science and social studies curriculum unit for grades 3-5. It consists of nine comprehensive lessons guiding students through the archaeological study of shelter – for example, a Crow tipi or Pawnee earth lodge. Each lesson includes geography, historic photos, oral histories, and a final assessment of understanding. The lessons connect students to the human past through discovery. Through PA, students learn how archaeologists study the past and help investigate a real archaeological site! I had been searching for a curriculum that I could teach to my students and I had created units of study based on archaeology from my own personal studies, but had not encountered a curriculum specifically designed to teach archaeological inquiry. I applied to become a Master Teacher of Project Archaeology and traveled to Bozeman, Montana to be trained in the PA curriculum with other educators and archaeologists around the nation. During my time in Montana, I traveled to the Madison Buffalo Jump and learned about tipi rings. I had the honor of listening to the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Crow Nation, Dr. Emerson Bull Chief, tell stories of his people.
Since that time, I have shared my passion for archaeology by introducing the Gifted Specialists of Putnam City Schools to PA curriculum with the help of Meghan Dudley, OKPAN's Project Archaeology state coordinator. I have taught the curriculum to my students for the past four years, focusing
Randy Utt with OKPAN's Meghan Dudley, working to get the word out about Project Archaeology.
primarily on the Pawnee earth lodge and Crow tipi investigations. I organized an Archaeology Day with the help of OKPAN in 2017 where all of the fourth-grade students at my school rotated through stations, participating in a variety of interactive activities such as flint knapping, a 3D interactive dig simulation, and a presentation about Oklahoma’s important Spiro Mounds site. Teachers and students were amazed and completely engaged.
This past November, Meghan and I presented a session on Project Archaeology and staffed a vendor booth at the meeting of the Oklahoma Council for the Social Studies. Our goal at the conference was to inform teachers from across Oklahoma about the public outreach provided by OKPAN and Project Archaeology curricula. There was tremendous interest. I look forward to continuing my involvement with Meghan and the creation of a Project Archaeology Investigation of our own Oklahoma site in order to teach our Oklahoma students about the value and cultural significance of sites in their home state. We also plan to present a Project Archaeology workshop to educators in late March, 2019.
I am amazed that a simple social studies lesson in the 6th grade could have sparked a life-long passion for archaeology, which I still find so compelling and relevant today. Now, my goal is to spark that same passion for history and love of continued learning in my students and colleagues. It is more important now than ever to teach my students about our past, empowering them to learn about differing perspectives and to appreciate cultures that are different from our own. It is also vitally important that future generations learn to protect and cherish our historic cultural landmarks, so we can continue to learn from them for many years to come. I am so grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had to pursue my interest in archaeology, and to invest in OKPAN’s mission to involve all Oklahomans in the study of the past through education and outreach.
"I am amazed that a simple social studies lesson in the 6th grade could have sparked a life-long passion for archaeology"
By Mary Brinkley, OKPAN Operations and Outreach Intern
Mary (center) with her wife and children.
ARe you the Professor?
I was always a poor student. It’s a tale as old as time: ability, but no motivation. “If you’d just apply yourself…” my dad would start every time my grades came in. I’d roll my eyes and go back to listening to Bon Jovi, and nothing would change. (Years later, because karma doesn’t play around, I found myself mother to a child with a similar modus operandi. I like to think that, somewhere in the afterlife, my dad high-fived himself the first time he heard me say “If she’d just apply herself…”)
My parents were both fortunate enough to secure well-paying jobs, despite neither of them having attended college. We lived a comfortably middle class life in California, although higher education was never anything that was stressed to me, or, frankly, mentioned as an option. Shortly after high school, I developed a strong interest in ancient Egypt. Later, I moved to Oklahoma, got married, and had three kids. Every so often I’d tell someone, “I should’ve been an Egyptologist.” As far as I was concerned, I may as well have been saying, “I should have been born a member of the royal family,” because both things seemed equally improbable. Archaeology was for smart people. Okay sure, I was smart, but not archaeology smart. And, anyway, wasn’t it too late? My ten-year high school reunion had come and gone. I was officially a grownup, and I’d missed the boat. One day, I happened to watch a movie about female college students in the 1950’s. I came away from it with a burning desire I’d never had before: I wanted to go to college.
I wanted to know everything that had ever happened since the beginning of time. I thought
Or How I Became an Undergrad a Couple Decades Late
(Lake Jed Johnson, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma, Larry Smith, CC BY 2.0)
Mary's son helping to wash artifacts following the field school at Spiro.
that might be pushing it a little with my course load though, so I scaled back my expectations a bit and decided to pick one thing I was passionate about.
Finally, it hit me. There was one subject that excited me, that made me want to learn more, one thing I could imagine myself not dreading waking up to do every day: archaeology. The Egyptology part wasn’t going to happen (between you and me, I hate the desert). But Egypt isn’t the only place where there’s archaeology to be had, so I set about finding the path to becoming an archaeologist. I was living in Ada at the time, so I decided that I would begin my college career at East Central University, where I would get all of my general education classes out of the way before transferring to OU. After a couple of years at ECU I applied for a transfer to OU. The idea of me attending a major university still seemed so incongruous that I wasn’t convinced I’d be accepted. When I got my acceptance letter, I cried.
Since arriving at OU, I have learned much and had some wonderful experiences. There have been ups and downs. I’ve struggled with the one gen ed requirement I didn’t fulfill at ECU: foreign language. After some false starts, I now have just one semester of Spanish standing between me and graduation. I attempted field school in the Rocky Mountains, completely forgetting about my fondness for electricity and indoor plumbing. It didn’t work out. But, the following summer, I completed field school at Spiro Mounds, and was honored to do so. We stayed at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith for the five weeks we were in the field, so I even managed to get a taste of the whole dormitory/suitemate experience!
Later, I delved into the museum side of things in the archaeology department of the Sam Noble Museum. I also worked on a project at a Cultural Resource Management (CRM) firm analyzing lithics and am now working for both OKPAN and the Natural Resources Conservation Service/USDA as an archaeology assistant.
The one thing I wasn’t expecting was how long my journey would take. Reasons I’ve been in school for eight years are all related to
Mary (left) excavating at Spiro.
being an adult. I got divorced, I’ve had to drop classes in order to have time to take care of my kids properly. At times, my schedule simply wouldn’t allow for the classes I needed, so I took online courses to keep my enrollment at half-time. My oldest child, who was ten when I started college, is now a college freshman at OU. Yes, my daughter and I go to the same university. In the time I’ve been at OU I’ve had friends finish their BA and start on their Masters. Meanwhile, I’m still chugging along in pursuit of that first degree. The finish line has moved several times, but I can see it now. It’s so close that if I didn’t have a temperamental knee, I could do a spectacular leap across it, but we oldsters have to pace ourselves. “Know your limits” has a different connotation for us non-traditional students than it does for our younger counterparts.
I may be taking the long way ‘round, but isn’t life about the journey and not the destination? I am completely open to any opportunities that may arise, and I’m making sure to stop and admire the view along the way.
I will graduate this May, and so far the future is a bit of a question mark. If I could pick a dream job, it would be writing about archaeology and anthropology, so that I could work remotely and from home, and then participate in field projects during the summer. My dream project would involve some sort of WWII archaeological site or landscape, although I'm also interested in excavating Roman ruins in the UK.
As for what’s kept me going all these years, it’s a combination of stubbornness and a genuine fascination with archaeology. In a perfect world, someday, I would make a discovery that yielded completely new information that no one had known before. On a slightly less lofty note, I want to find the things that our forebears left behind, to better understand them. People of the past have a right to have their stories told, and told accurately. We owe it to them to dig for the truth and quell any erroneous or fantastic information that may be disseminated (Ancient Aliens, I’m looking at you). We would not be here without our ancestors, and if we do not understand our past, how can we fully understand the present and prepare for the future?
(Sorghastrum nutans, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, amy_buthod CC BY 2.0)
Gerald Franklin giving a knapping demonstration.
By Gerald Franklin, OAS member
In former lives I was a career soldier, a software engineer, and a rancher. Today I am a blacksmith and avocational archaeologist. I joined the Oklahoma Anthropological Society (OAS) about 13 years ago and became a member of the Greater Southwest Chapter in Lawton. I lived in a part of the state that some would consider remote (about fifty miles from Lawton), so much of my education was limited to reading, attending programs hosted by the Lawton Chapter of OAS, and participating in digs when traveling distances and ranching duties permitted.
I moved to Norman about four years ago and found I was exposed to archaeology to a much greater degree than I had been in the Lawton area. My new local OAS Chapter in Cleveland County has a slate of excellent speakers lined up for their monthly meetings each fall and spring, so I continue to get my “learning itch” scratched by attending those. I have also continued learning by auditing graduate-level classes at the University of Oklahoma in lithic analysis and ceramic analysis.
Fortunately the Norman area (and Tulsa, for those who live in that region) provides opportunities for continued learning even beyond the university classroom. I have participated in OKPAN workshops that offer training in a variety of archaeological subjects, which has helped me in my volunteer capacity at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and at the Oklahoma Archeological Survey. These volunteer jobs put me into close contact with professional archaeologists who are more than willing to help me learn. For instance, I have been able to process artifacts from the time they were excavated at a dig site, through the lab-intake process, and eventually to a final place of curation. I also get to handle, catalog, and revitalize artifacts that are not part of the museum exhibits. Another side benefit of doing volunteer work is having access to good libraries at both the Survey and SNOMNH.
Mammoth Excavation in SW OK, 2014.
Gunnison Basin survey, Southwest Colorado.
of Natural History and at the Oklahoma Archeological Survey. These volunteer jobs put me into close contact with professional archaeologists who are more than willing to help me learn. For instance, I have been able to process artifacts from the time they were excavated at a dig site, through the lab-intake process, and eventually to a final place of curation. I also get to handle, catalog, and revitalize artifacts that are not part of the museum exhibits. Another side-benefit of doing volunteer work is having access to good libraries at both the Survey and SNOMNH.
We have had two excellent archaeological conferences here in Oklahoma hosted by OKPAN. The first two Oklahoma Archaeology Conferences were in Norman, and the third will take place in Tulsa in March 2020. The poster sessions, speakers, and panel discussions at the conference provide great learning opportunities for both professional and avocational archaeologists.
In the summer of 2015, I was fortunate to participate in a surface survey of several sites in the Gunnison Basin of Colorado. This was a total-immersion experience with several OAS members and some really sharp OU graduate students. We worked together, camped together, and learned together for about eight days. It provided a distraction-free environment to learn how to survey, map, and record archaeological sites. At night, back in camp, we were treated to lectures by and discussions with the grad students. If another opportunity like this comes around again, I will certainly make time to participate in it. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about archaeology.
Most professors will tell you that preparation for teaching increases their own personal knowledge. I have been fortunate to help OU's Dr. Bonnie Pitblado by teaching the art of
Mammoth Dig in SW OK, 2014
flintknapping to her lithic analysis students (she believes that students who know basic knapping skills make better analysts). To do the job, I prepared myself to describe the actual knapping process in detail and to answer questions and give guidance in the process. We also held workshops in tool-making where we made billets, pressure flakers, and other knapping tools. As the semester progressed, we had workshops in hafting and stone tool usage. My preparation for these workshops solidified my knowledge of lithics far beyond what I could have accomplished with self-study alone.
So, what’s next in my learning schema? By the time you read this article, I will be involved in more classes at OU. I’m also in the process of constructing OKPAN workshops in knapping and blacksmithing for the historical archaeologist (I enjoy the fact that I can both take and teach workshops, both learning new skills and sharing ones I already have). Each workshop prep will require reading, study, and writing, which are main components of any teacher’s preparation.
Not all of us are as lucky as I am to live close to a major university and world-class museum. However, opportunities for learning about archaeology as a science and about the archaeological record of Oklahoma are available for those who seek them. There are several OAS chapters around the state to join, OKPAN conducts workshops at various locations, and the OAS projects are always a sure way to begin learning from the ground up (groan). Maybe I’ll meet you at one of these events.
Fall dig, 2016 Ft. Washita
Gunnison Basin survey
PROJECT ARCHAEOLOGY IN
Allow US TO INTRODUCE:
WaNt to Bring archaeology INto your classroom?
"Project Archaeology uses archaeological inquiry to foster understanding of past and present cultures; improve social studies and science education, and enhance citizenship education to help preserve our archaeological legacy."
At twenty-eight years old, Project Archaeology is one of the oldest continuous K-12 archaeology outreach education programs in the nation. Initially developed by the Bureau of Land Management in Utah in an effort to combat looting and vandalism of Utah’s past through classroom education, PA is now taught in classrooms across the country.
Project Archaeology's goal is simple: to teach the next generation of citizens about scientific and historical inquiry and the importance of protecting our nation's rich cultural resources. To accomplish this, a network of national staff and state volunteers create curricular materials and educational programs for K-12 educators and their students.
Using high-quality materials to bring archaeology into the classroom allows us to accomplish several goals. First, for our Oklahoma program, it allows us to teach about our state's heritage and why it is important to preserve archaeological sites. For example, we are currently adapting Project Archaeology's Investigating Shelter module specifically for Oklahoma classrooms. This will provide teachers and students with a Native American narrator who shares why their community values each site and how they work to carry on certain traditions, such as how they used to build their houses. In doing so, students are introduced to an archaeology consisting of multiple voices and perspectives, each articulating why it is important to learn about and protect our state's past.
Second, archaeological investigations
Oklahoma Project Archaeology state coordinator, Meghan Dudley, in the classroom.
Based on an interview with,
Meghan Dudley, OKPAN Director of Education
Sarah Luthman, OKPAN Public Archaeology Education Coordinator
tions teach critical thinking skills
and the scientific method, helping students become better at interpreting evidence. For example, many of Project Archaeology's lessons teach about the ethics of site preservation, with students asked to weigh the claims of various stakeholders. Because such issues are central to cultural heritage preservation, it is important that students learn to critically assess the available evidence and develop informed opinions on this topic. Finally, the written components give students the opportunity to practice reading and writing. The skills and understandings in these curricula help teachers cover the state standards they already teach, making PA materials a supplement for teachers to use, rather than a hindrance in the classroom.
There are many ways to get involved with Project Archaeology and to bring archaeology into the classroom. Through OKPAN's website teachers can place a request for an archaeologist to visit their classroom. Project Archaeology also offers professional development workshops for teachers. At these workshops teachers will get hands-on experience with Project Archaeology's most popular curriculum guide for 3rd - 5th graders, Investigating Shelter.
Project Archaeology, both nationally and in Oklahoma, is only possible because of the network of teachers and archaeologists who work together to bring the past into the classroom. If you are passionate about bringing archaeology into your classroom, don't hesitate to reach out and get involved today!
Follow us on Facebook at @ProjectArchOK and be sure to join our email list!
For more information please contact Oklahoma Project Archaeology state coordinator, Meghan Dudley at email@example.com
Sarah Luthman, OKPAN Public Archaeology Education Coordinator at Sarah.E.Luthmanfirstname.lastname@example.org
Project Archaeology in the classroom.
Muddy Muldrow excavation unit.
2018 FALL DIG: RAINED OUT
Sunnier conditions at the 2018 Fall Dig.
The Oklahoma Anthropological Society's Fall Dig in 2018 was cut short by rainy conditions. The dig, near Muldrow, had to be called off after just two days.
Rain can make archaeological excavation difficult, and the soggy conditions at the Fall Dig prevented researchers and volunteers from working. Many hopeful volunteers had to cancel their plans to join the dig, but not all was lost. Before the rain hit, principal investigator Scott Hammerstedt of the Oklahoma Archeological Survey found some interesting anomalies using his remote sensing equipment.
Because of the promising data and missed opportunities, the OAS has scheduled another visit to Muldrow for the 2019 Spring Dig. If the rain caused you to miss out on the Fall Dig, then come out
to the site from May 10-19, 2019. Anyone is welcome regardless of experience, but an OAS membership is required to participate in the dig.
Read on to the next page for more information on the Spring Dig.
THE OKLAHOMA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY
NEWS AND EVENTS
Please click images to enlarge and click again to minimize
2019 OAS SPRING DIG
The Oklahoma Anthropological Society will award four grants of $100 each to undergraduate and graduate students for the purpose of attending society excavations or fieldwork.
For more information on the awards please click on the image to the left to enlarge.
Archaeologists and volunteers screening excavated soil.
Top: Flyer for Spring Dig
Bottom: OAS Membership form
Join the Oklahoma Anthropological Society for the 2019 Spring Dig in Muldrow, Oklahoma!
OAS is returning to the Andrews site, a possible Pre-Columbian hunting camp, contemporaneous with Spiro Mounds.
Dates for the dig are Friday, May 10 through Sunday, May 19, 2019.
All dig participants must be OAS members. Anyone may join OAS for a modest fee.
For more information, contact OAS dig chairman Ray McAllister at email@example.com
Public Archaeology Education Coordinator
Sarah is a Ph.D. student in the anthropology department at the University of Oklahoma. She has a B.S. in Middle School Education (from Miami University), a Masters in Teacher Leadership (from Ohio University), and a Masters in Anthropology (from the University of Oklahoma). She has eight years of experience teaching middle school and one year of experience teaching undergraduates about archaeology and anthropology. Her research focuses on people living along the Lower Mississippi River Valley during the Mississippian Period. She enjoys sharing archaeological methods and findings with school groups and adults, and looks forward to creating and sharing curricula about Oklahoma’s history!
Paige is a Ph.D. student at the University of Oklahoma. She has a B.A. in archaeology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in anthropology from Eastern Carolina University. As an archaeologist and ceramicist, Paige is interested in how peoples in the southeastern United States identified themselves, interacted, and shared ideas in the past. She enjoys both research and teaching, working with the public on field projects in Oklahoma, Maryland, and North Carolina. Paige looks forward to facilitating and strengthening communication among descendant communities, archaeologists, and the public, and illustrating the diverse range of perspectives on archaeological issues.
Charons Garden Wilderness #2, Larry Smith, CC BY 2.0
Collaboration Forum Coordinator
Sarah Ware is an undergraduate studying cultural anthropology and history at the University of Oklahoma. Her interests include Cuban history, immigration, and contemporary political issues. She serves OKPAN as an Administrative Assistant within the Operations and Outreach division. Sarah is an advocate of the holistic experience of anthropology at OU, which drew her to OKPAN to broaden her exposure to archaeology.
Mary is a senior undergraduate at the University of Oklahoma, where she is majoring in anthropology with a focus on archaeology and museum studies. Mary completed field school at the venerated Spiro Mounds, Oklahoma, where she was part of a team that excavated to find evidence of potential temporary housing in a previously unexplored area. Mary has been an intern at both the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History and the Oklahoma Archeological Survey. Along with her work with OKPAN, she is also currently undertaking a directed research project at the Sam Noble Museum that has her rewriting policies and manuals for the Archaeology Department.
Operations and Outreach Intern
Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and visit our website, okpan.org!
Special thanks and congratulations to our OKPAN Quarterly cover photo contest winner, Jeanie Myers Simpson. Jeanie's beautiful photo of Wildhorse Creek in Stephens County, Oklahoma graces the cover of this issue.
OKPAN's Mission Statement:
“Bridging communities with a passion for the past through public education and outreach, research and teaching partnerships, and professional development opportunities.”
(Wichita Mountains, Buffalo, Near Lawton, Oklahoma, duggar11, CC BY 2.0)
OKPAN Quarterly Staff:
Kate Newton - Editor-in-Chief
Allison Douglas - Assistant Editor