Wednesday, March 26, 2014

April 1st - Spiro at SNOMNH!

Join us on Tuesday, April 1st at 7pm at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History for the monthly meeting of the Cleveland County chapter of the Oklahoma Anthropological Society.  Dr. Scott Hammerstedt will be our presenter, giving a talk on 2013 Excavations at Spiro.  We hope you can join us!  Please spread the word and bring friends and family - all are welcome.

Scott will be talking about recent and upcoming geophysical survey and excavations at the Spiro Mounds archaeological site.  Scott and other researchers from Oklahoma and Arkansas conducted the first professional excavations at Spiro in over three decades. The fieldwork was prompted by remote sensing evidence that showed that likely prehistoric structures were in danger of being lost to erosion.  

This is very exciting research.  Scott and his colleagues did more fieldwork over spring break and have a field school coming up this summer, so we will have more discoveries to look forward to. For more information, see the Spiro Landscape Archaeological Project on Facebook.  

Also, this is not entirely pinned down yet, but it looks like the OAS spring meeting will be at the Oklahoma History Center on May 17th.  The spring dig will be a little later than usual.  It will probably in June at the Bryson Paddock site in Kay County, in conjunction with the field school.

Friday, February 28, 2014


This meeting is cancelled. Although the main roads look good, the museum parking lot is icy and though it may partially melt today, it will refreeze this evening.  The next meeting will be Tuesday, April 1st, when we will hear about the recent and upcoming work at Spiro Mounds.

The OAS Cleveland County chapter will be having its next meeting on Tuesday, March 4th, at 7pm at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. All are welcome!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ancient American DNA

Major archaeology news!  A team of researchers have sequenced DNA from a young boy from the Clovis era (~12,000 years ago).  The major result: genetically, most contemporary American Indians are directly related to the Clovis people.

Ancient DNA Ties Native Americans from Two Continents to Clovis (Richard Harris, NPR, 13 February 2014)

Here is a link to the original article: The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana (Rasmussen et al. 2014) 

The remains, which were found on private land, were not subject to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).  The researchers have consulted with local tribes in Montana, though, and a reburial is planned for later this spring.

Ancient Genome Stirs Ethics Debate (Ewen Calloway, Nature, 12 February 2014)

To learn more about the Clovis culture, check out the Center for the Studies of the First Americans at Texas A&M and the Wikipedia article.

Clovis point (In the workplace) Example of a Clovis fluted blade that is 11,000 years old Image courtesy of the Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

February - Indigenous Burmese

Note: If the University of Oklahoma closes due to weather, 
we will reschedule this meeting for Tuesday, February 11th.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December: The Spiro Story

The Cleveland County chapter of the OAS will be meeting on TUESDAY, December 3rd, at 7pm at the Sam Noble Museum.  We will be celebrating the holidays and watching The Spiro Story.  This 1950s film was produced by KOCO-TV in association with the University of Oklahoma.  It documents the archaeological excavations at the Spiro Mounds site conducted by OU with assistance from the Works Progress Administration from 1936-41.

All are welcome!  Come join us to learn more about the history of archaeology in Oklahoma.

Also, renewal letters for 2014 membership in the Oklahoma Anthropological Society have just gone out.  Watch for yours in the mail, or visit the OAS website if are not a current member and want to join.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October Updates

Once again I've fallen behind on my updates.  Lots of anthropological stuff going on in Oklahoma and around the country right now, though, so onward!

1. Masterworks of Native American Art: Selections from the Fred and Enid Brown Collection.  This great new exhibit just opened at the Sam Noble Museum.  It will be up through January 5, 2014.  These works of art reflect developments in the Native American fine arts movement from around 1960-2010.  

This exhibit is truly spectacular.  Two of the pieces are by Yatika Starr Fields - for a sample of his artwork, check out his website.  This youtube video shows the artist in action.

Also, don't forget to check out the Museum's Ethnology blog!

2. We have continued to update the Sam Noble Archaeology Blog throughout the summer with our interns entries on artifacts from Spiro:  The latest entry, though, is a little different.  It focuses on a recent donation to the Museum by Ms. Lois Bookout and the personal meaning of this donation to her family.  

3. Once again archaeology and anthropology are on the defensive following an opinion piece in USA Today.  Researchers across the county have written detailed rebuttals highlighting the significance of social science research and its impacts on global cooperation, scientific discovery, and student training.  They also strongly refute several claims in the original piece about the relative expense of this research and the proper role of the elected officials vs. trained specialists in assigning relative value to research projects.  The following responses make for interesting and enlightening reading: