News from the Institute of Prairie Archaeology

Alberta archaeologists featured in the October issue of American Antiquity

Dr Jack Ives - 18 November 2014

Latest Issue of American Antiquity

Researchers connected with the Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta have had a significant impact on the October 2014 issue of American Antiquity, the leading journal for archaeology of the Americas. The senior author for this issue's lead article is Loren Davis (U of A PhD 2001), now an Associate Professor at Oregon State University), who describes an unusual stemmed point cache at the Cooper's Ferry site in Idaho that may pre-date the Clovis era. Dr. Davis has continued work at this site since it figured in his dissertation research under Emeritus Professors Charles Schweger and the late Alan Bryan, as well as Emerita Professor Ruth Gruhn of the Department. A second article involving John W. (Jack) Ives (Landrex Distinguished Professor, Faculty of Arts) and colleague Duane Froese (Canada Research Chair, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) describes a high precision chronology developed with Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit colleagues Fiona Brock and Christopher Ramsey Bronk with dating of moccasins and other perishable items from Utah's Promontory Caves (Ives et al. (2014) Promontory AMS Dates).

These artifacts are believed to have been left behind by migrating Dene peoples who had departed Subarctic Canada and were on their way to becoming the Navajos and Apaches of the American Southwest. A third article, authored by Ives, Froese, Brock and Matthew Collins of York University describes analysis of a bone projectile point from southern Saskatchewan, originally believed to have been fashioned from mammoth bone (Ives et al. (2014) Grenfell Bone Point).

The point was actually made of bison bone and came from the end of the Paleoindian era. Ives and Michael Billinger (U of A PhD 2006) currently have another Apachean Origins article in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (Billinger & Ives (2014) Promontory Demography) in which they use the A.D. 13th century Promontory moccasins to assess the demographic structure of the population who briefly inhabited these Utah caves.

Promontory Cave Utah 2014

Fieldwork under way during 2014 in Promontory Cave 1, as MA student Jennifer Hallson (centre) uncovers Julian Steward's 1930 trench. Looking on to the left are Cody Sharphead and Jack Ives, while previous Landrex Distinguished Professor Sally Rice (Linguistics) stands at the head of the trench. Emeritus Professor Joel Janetski (Brigham Young University) stands to the left, while Lisbeth Louderback (Curator of Archaeology, Natural History Museum of Utah) gestures behind Jennifer Hallson.