Speakers and General Meetings

Denver Chapter Meetings

  • The meetings most often take place in the VIP Room, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO at 7:00 p.m.
  • Enter the VIP Room using the Security Entrance (north side). The auditorium opens at 6:30 p.m. for evening lectures and events.
Chapter meeting dates for 2018:
  • 4/16/2018-Third Monday of the month
  • 5/21/2018-Third Monday of the month
  • 6/18/18-Third Monday of the month
  • 8/6/2018-Joint meeting with Egyptian Study Society
  • 9/4/2018-First Tuesday of the month
  • 10/1/2018-First Monday of the month
  • 11/5/2018-First Monday of the month

All are welcome!

Upcoming Meeting

Monday, April 16th, 2018
VIP Room, Denver Museum of Nature and Science

7:00 PM

Mark D. Mitchell


Early Holocene Archaeology of Colorado’s Front Range and Plains: Blackfoot Cave and Beyond


Until recently, most of what has been known about the Late Paleoindian occupation of Colorado’s Front Range and Plains came either from camps in the high country or bison kills in western Kansas and Nebraska. Late Paleoindian sites are especially rare in the Interstate 25 corridor and on the Palmer Divide between Denver and Colorado Springs. However, a handful of recent projects, in combination with emerging models of Late Paleoindian mobility and landscape use, are opening a window onto the early Holocene occupation of the region. Archaeologists are especially interested in whether people moved seasonally between the Plains and mountains during this period, or whether those two regions were occupied by different groups. This talk begins with a primer on the current state of Paleoindian archaeology and early Holocene environmental history in the region, then evaluates new data from Blackfoot Cave and other sites in the context of emerging models of Paleoindian settlement.

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Mark Mitchell is the Research Director for Paleocultural Research Group, a nonprofit organization that conducts research, trains students, and educates the public on the archaeology of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. Previously, he worked for several cultural resource management firms and for the USDA Forest Service in Colorado, Wyoming, and Kansas. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his M.A. from the University of Colorado at Denver. Mitchell’s research focuses on the archaeology of the northern Great Plains, with an emphasis on the farming villages of the Missouri River. He also studies upland land use in the Southern Rockies, Plains Indian rock art, the anthropology of technology, and the history of archaeology. His research has appeared in Plains Anthropologist, Antiquity, American Antiquity, Southwestern Lore, Colorado Archaeology, Quaternary International, and in a dozen book chapters. He is the author of Crafting History in the Northern Plains: A Political Economy of the Heart River Region, 1400-1750 (2013, University of Arizona Press) and co-editor of Across A Great Divide: Continuity and Change in Native North American Societies, 1400-1900 (2010, University of Arizona Press).

Upcoming Front Range Speakers

Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

Horses on the Rocks:
Iconic, irresistible pictographs and petroglyphs of horses

Location: Fire Station #19, 2490 Research Parkway,
Colorado Springs
Learn more: www.ColoradoSpringsArchaeology.org
Presented by Dr. Larry Loendorf

The world’s oldest horse images are painted on cave walls in France and Spain. These pictographs may be well over 30,000 years old. New World horses became extinct at the end of
the Pleistocene Epoch (about 11,700 years ago), so the modern horse evolved and was domesticated in the Old World. In the mid-1500s, Spanish explorer Francisco Vazquez de Coronado traveled to the Americas with horses on his ships – this introduced the modern horse to the American West. While a few pictographs and petroglyphs of horses here might date to the 1500s, by the late 1700s and early 1800s many rock art panels were dominated by images of horses. Horse depictions by the Blackfoot, Comanche, Crow, Navajo, Nez Perce, Ute, and other tribes exhibit attributes that allow researchers to recognize tribal affiliation.

Join us for an illustrated discussion on painted caves and rock art sites featuring horses. The presentation ranges from painted horses in Chauvet Cave in France to horse bones found in Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming, and to the hundreds of horse images in the American West that demonstrate the equine’s importance to Native Americans.