Great Plains Archaeology at OU

Our Blog

Importance of Volunteers: A Guest Post from Addison E.P.

Here is a guest post from 2017 OU Field School student, Addison E.P. on the importance of Oklahoma Anthropological Society volunteers on the field school. [caption id="attachment_284" align="alignright" width="300"] Students Addison E.P (right) and Jenny W. (left) at Deer Creek[/caption] Our excavation efforts would be futile without our volunteers. Several joined us throughout our dig, but there were two men who stuck with us every day. Mick and Barry have been doing avocational archaeology longer than many of us have been alive. Though not “formally” trained, they have both worked with some of the best archaeologists in the country on sites that changed the way we view North American Archaeology.…
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Student guest post: Emily W. on surviving field school

Here is a guest post from Emily, a student with the 2017 OU Field School.   Emily’s Guide to Surviving Your First Week of Field School Buy some quality tent stakes [caption id="attachment_275" align="alignright" width="300"] Emily W. in the field[/caption] Don’t stop drinking water Seriously, don’t. Pants are your friend, not shorts. Don’t lose your hat (like me) Learn everyone’s name ASAP. Dig dogs are the best thing ever Lick the bones. When in doubt, bag it. Don’t use sarcasm after 4pm. Follow these helpful tips to avoid being maimed by your professor or something in the woods. Also, don’t actually lick anything you shouldn’t.
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2017 OU/OSU Field School off to a great start!

The OU/OSU field school is at the Deer Creek site this year. Record flooding around Kaw Lake raised the lake by 25 feet and the roads out to our site were underwater just two weeks ago! Luckily the lake was lowered and the roads dried out and we were able to get out to the site. We have a great group of students this year and they'll be helping us test the exterior fortification ditch, trash mounds, a lithic cache, and pits at the site. We are documenting how tree roots are impacting the site/features and will be providing a full report to the US Army Corps of Engineers later…
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New Deer Creek video

A public affairs specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District recently interviewed Sarah Trabert on her work at the Deer Creek site. [caption id="attachment_256" align="alignleft" width="225"] Trabert standing in tall grass at Deer Creek[/caption] You can watch that video by clicking here.
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Artifact processing party for the White Cat Village artifacts

[caption id="attachment_227" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Students working in the OU Great Plains Archaeology Lab[/caption] We have the very best students at the University of Oklahoma! Ten undergraduate and graduate students volunteered to help process the artifacts from the White Cat Village site. We had a “bag and tag” party whereby in exchange for a pizza dinner, students helped write labels and bag every artifact from the 2016 excavations. [caption id="attachment_228" align="alignleft" width="225"] Starting the catalog[/caption] The next step will be creating a catalog for the site and analyzing the collections. Look for new updates as the analysis continues!
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Fresh from the Field: Updates on Nebraska

A team of graduate students and faculty from the University of Oklahoma and University of Iowa recently investigated the White Cat Village site in Nebraska. This site rests right along the edge of a terrace overlooking Harlan County Reservoir and erosion has led to the destruction of much of the site. In 2015, our team conducted a bank survey (in challenging conditions) to see if any artifacts were eroding out of the cut bank. We found several artifacts and three burned features. [caption id="attachment_208" align="alignright" width="300"] Bank Survey[/caption] Our goals of the 2016 work was to excavate these features and to see if any additional artifacts could be found along…
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New Project in Oklahoma!

Sarah Trabert recently joined a team of archaeologists from the Oklahoma Archaeological Survey, University of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University in the investigation of the Deer Creek Site, a fortified ancestral Wichita site. [caption id="attachment_199" align="alignleft" width="200"] Excavating a fortification ditch at Deer Creek[/caption] Deer Creek dates to the mid-18th century when many Native peoples, such as Wichita, had very complex relationships with French and Spanish explorers as well as other neighboring tribes. Deer Creek is one of only a few fortified sites on the Southern Plains where Native peoples built a series of ditches, ramparts, and possibly wooden walls to protect their villages. The Deer Creek site had not…
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Cooley receives $2,200 in grants

Delaney Cooley has been awarded a Colorado Council of Professional Archaeologists Ward Weakly Scholarship, an OU Department of Anthropology Morris E. Opler Memorial Scholarship, and a University of Oklahoma Graduate Student Senate Research Grant to support her MA thesis research. Her thesis will explore how chipped stone materials recovered from Ute archaeological sites can be used to better understand the occupation of the Uncompahgre Plateau and raw material procurement strategies in Colorado.    
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Check your mailboxes (or libraries)!

The new issue of American Antiquity  is out and if you look to the Reports section, you will see an article by Sarah Trabert and colleagues, "Following a Glittering Trail: Geo-Chemical and Petrographic Characterization of Micaceous Sherds Recovered from Dismal River Sites." (more…)
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