Denver Chapter Meetings

The membership and officers of the Denver Chapter of CAS meet the 2nd Monday of every month.

  • The meetings most often take place in Ricketson Auditorium, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO at 7:00 p.m.
  • Enter the Auditorium using the Security Entrance (north side). The auditorium opens at 6:30 p.m. for evening lectures and events.
  • Special Note for June: The June meeting will be in the VIP room, located just to the left of the security entrance, near the cafeteria.

All are welcome!

Upcoming Meeting

Monday, June 12th, 2017

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

VIP Room

7:00 PM

Christopher J. Kerns M.A., MPhil, RPA
Allison M. Kerns M.A.


Buried Underground: The Excavation and Re-examination of Iron Age activity at Read’s Cavern, Southwest England


The two presenters will discuss the results and conclusions from excavations they conducted at Read’s Cavern during April and May 2010. While the excavation revealed intact Iron Age deposits consistent with those reported by earlier 1920’s excavations, analysis of the material from the 2010 excavation has indicated a significantly more complex set of depositional practices than previously suggested. The cave will be placed in its broader Iron Age context in southwest England which includes activities in the Mendips and the Somerset levels as well as Britain and Western Europe more broadly. A more detailed understanding of the taphonomic processes raised questions regarding the original conclusions that Read’s Cavern was a site of habitation and domestic activity. The possible uses of the cave have been reconsidered through comparisons to activities taking place at other Iron Age sites around Britain, including other cave sites. The defining aspect of Read’s Cavern as a space is its lack of visibility, as both a feature in the landscape and as a place in which it was difficult to penetrate the darkness. Concepts of contamination and cleanliness may have had an important role in forming the intricately structured deposits within Read’s Cavern. Such an interpretation of the cave may also give insight into how people in the Iron Age viewed and understood the landscape around them. It may even give further insight into cosmological concepts and structures during the Iron Age outside the context of the cavern. The contextual aspects of the site combined with the new archaeological material recovered during the excavation has led to the proposal that the cavern may have been utilized to contain and/or negate profane objects and material within a changing and developing Iron Age cosmology.

Speaker Bios:

Chris Kerns is the newsletter editor for IPCAS and an appointed member of the IPCAS board. He is a true Colorado local having grown up in Boulder Canyon where his family has owned property since 1921. He started his journey in archaeology as a freshman at Northern Arizona Univeristy where he took an Introduction to Archaeology class as an elective. He later transferred to the University of Colorado, Boulder where he became a double major in History and Anthropology graduating with honors in Anthropology with an emphasis on archaeology. Since graduating from the University of Colorado in 2005, he has split his time between working for CRM firms across the United States and pursuing further education in the United Kingdom. He received an MA in Neolithic Archaeology from the University of Manchester in 2007, an MPhil in Landscape Archaeology from the University of Bristol in 2015, and is currently pursuing a PhD, part-time, at the University of Southampton. Over the course of his career he has had the pleasure to work on amazing projects all over the United States and the United Kingdom including the Stonehenge Riverside Project in Wiltshire, England and at The Ness of Brodgar Excavations in Orkney, Scotland. His archaeological interests are varied, but he is really interested in the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture. In particular, he’s interested in how the “Neolithic” transition directly impacted belief systems and social structures. His research has included investigating changing perceptions of the landscape and changes in material culture. His publications include For the Ferryman: The social and Cosmological Consequences of Crossing the Land-Sea Boundary during the Neolithic in Britain in the Archaeological Review from Cambridge, Monuments from the Doorstep: Exploring the temporal, spatial, and social relationship between Chambered Cairns and Settlements during the Orcadian Neolithic in an edited volume entitled Decoding the Neolithic Atlantic & Mediterranean Island Ritual, and jointly with his wife, A Preliminary Report on the 2010 Excavation at Read’s Cavern published in the Proceedings of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society.

Allison Kerns is the IPCAS Education and Outreach officer and an appointed board member. She is originally from Toronto, Ontario. She started her archaeological career as as a volunteer, and later staff member, at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. She graduated from York University with a double major in Professional Writing and Anthropology. After working for the Ontario Heritage Trust as well as a field archaeologist doing CRM in Canada, Allison later moved to England to pursue a master’s degree in Landscape Archaeology. As a master’s student she had the opportunity to work with the Newport Ship Project in Wales. The community support for the rescue excavation of this medieval ship became the focus of her MA thesis. Much of her archaeological work since has focused on Iron Age and Roman sites, including as the Assistant director for the Read’s Cavern excavations. As the assistant director, Allison worked alongside her now husband managing the excavation and oversaw all of finds processing and cataloging for storage in the museum collection. After Read’s cavern, Allison went on to work as the Education and Outreach officer on the Celts and Romans Project for Wessex Archaeology. Allison lead the education and outreach program centered on the volunteer excavation of a Roman bath house, and a hoard of Iron Age cauldrons. In addition, Allison also worked at the Roman Baths Museum, part of the Bath World Heritage Site, where she worked as a visitor assistant provide tours of amazing archaeological site. Allison currently works for the Geological Society of America, where she manages the GeoCorps America program. Allison is passionate about bridging the gap between professional archaeology and the public, and getting interested people beyond museums and onto sites.

There is no July meeting. August details to come soon.