Monday, November 26, 2018

International Archaeology Day In Roxborough, Colorado




Do you find archaeology interesting?  I've always been fascinated by the past, and the people and civilizations that came before modern times and the remnants of their lives they left behind.  Every year on the third Saturday in October, the Archaeological Institute of America organizes International Archaeology Day, where the AIA and archaeological organizations across the United States, Canada, and abroad present archaeological programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. On that day, depending on where you live, many parks, museums, historic sites, colleges, and universities will hold all kinds of events including public digs, exhibits, talks, and demonstrations. 


In Colorado, the International Archaeology Day Expo held on October 20th, was held at the Roxborough Intermediate School. in Roxborough.  It was a celebration of archaeology and the thrill of discovery, via family-friendly exhibits, demonstrations, and lectures.


One of the exhibits was something I had recently heard about on Colorado Public Radio--lithophone rocks! A lithophone is a musical instrument consisting of a rock or pieces of rock which are struck to produce musical notes. Notes may be sounded in combination (producing harmony) or in succession (melody).  If you click on the CPR article--here--you can hear the sound the rocks make.  Lithophone rocks have been found all over the world, but the ones discovered by archaeologists in the high desert near the Great Sand Dunes National Park were mysteries at first.  Some were 5,000 years old and the first found in Colorado. Archaeologists thought they were tools used to grind nuts or seeds. Longmont, Colorado, archaeologist Marilyn Martorano finally made the correlation that they were ancient man-made musical instruments. The ancient people who lived near the Great Sand Dunes crafted their lithophones out of dense, often volcanic, rock to get the best sound. The stones have different sizes, which gives them different tones and pitches. We were able to hit the rocks to hears their musical sounds.


There was information for on-site tours available for archaeological sites such as Lamb Spring, where ancient Mammoths roamed, and Roxborough State Park, and South Valley Park, where ancient peoples lived.  In these areas, there were other exhibits and talks on the schedule. I have been to all three of these areas in the past, and you can read blog posts about Lamb Spring here, Roxborough State Park here, and South Valley Park here.


There were also artifacts and information about digs and discoveries throughout Colorado.


Many interesting exhibits...


...many artifacts to see...


...as well as fun things for younger children to do.


The part of the International Archaeology Day Expo that my husband and I were most interested in was the scheduled lectures. One of the volunteers proudly showed us the schedule!



Jack Warner, a member of the Denver Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society, was the first speaker, whose topic was "Ancient People of the Hogback and Foothills: Golden to Roxborough."  We know Jack from our community history society and always enjoy his lectures. It is always so interesting to learn about the prehistoric people that lived where we now live. If you'd like to see a short version of his lecture about one area along the front range, you can watch this YouTube video presentation.




Next was archaeologist Kevin Gilmore who spoke about " A Short PrHourehistory of the Palmer Divide: Everything You Need to Know in an or Your Money Back." You can read more about this unique area of Colorado's history where the earliest known area inhabitants were native-American tribes that date to the Folsom period, 10,000 years ago, on the Palmer Lake Historical Society link and also the Franktown Cave Wikipedia.






Archaeologist Neil Hauser spoke about "The Blackfoot Cave Dig in SE Douglas County" From archaeological digs there is evidence that prehistoric people occupied the cave and surrounding area from 10,000 years before present (BP) through 1540 AD. Evidence also shows that the cave and surrounding area was occupied by modern tribes from the 1540s through the 1840s. European contact occurred as early as the 1540s by the Spanish Conquistadors in the North American Continent. You can read more about the cave on this link.  My husband and I actually were able to see this archaeological dig taking place a few years ago--click here--to read that post, and we were interested in the final findings.


The last lecture of the day was presented by Douglas Bamforth about the "Mahaffy Clovis Cache." When landscapers uncovered a collection of 83 stone tools in the front yard of Patrick Mahaffy's home in Boulder, Colorado, the homeowner called the University of Colorado at Boulder's anthropology department and the next day archaeologist Douglas Bamforth came out to investigate. What they discovered is called the Mahaffy Clovis Cache. It contains elaborate stone knives and blades used to butcher ice-age mammals 13,000 years ago! You can read more about this exciting discovery on the University of Colorado at Boulder's website on this link.



I really enjoyed attending the International Archaeology Day Expo, and after listening to all the interesting lectures my mind was full of the possibilities of discoveries still waiting to be found in our part of Colorado, and also your part of the world. Perhaps in a local cave, among some large rocks, or underneath the soil, lie the secrets of life from thousands of years ago!  Doesn't that thought make you want to start digging?


You can also find me on 


I'm linking this post to the following blog events:

Amaze Me MondayMosaic Monday, All SeasonsBlue Monday,  Through My Lens MondayInspiration Monday, Blogging GrandmothersHearth, and Soul Link PartyYou Are the Star Blog HopGood Random FunNature NotesGrand SocialTravel Photos, Photo Tunes, Happiness Is HomemadeTuesday TreasuresPictorial TuesdayOur World TuesdayRuby TuesdayTuesdays With A TwistParty in Your PJ'sWordless WednesdayNanahood WWOh My Heartsie Girl's Wonderful WednesdayOutdoor Wednesday, Words On WednesdayWhimsical WednesdayYour Whims WednesdayWednesday Around the WorldWonderful Wednesday Little Things Thursday,Thankful ThursdayThursday Favorite ThingsThursday Traffic Jam Weekend LinkyPretty Pintastic PartyFriendship FridaysFriday Photo JournalSkywatch FridaySweet Inspiration, Pink SaturdaySaturday CrittersOver the MoonHappiness Is HomemadeWandering Camera (monthly-last Thursday of the month)

Bookmark and Share

32 comments:

diane b said...

Yes ancient history is so interesting and your expo sounded fascinating. It is eerie to think of the people that lived thousands of years ago where we live now.

Gillena Cox said...

I wouldn't put my hand in the earth to go digging for stuff. But yes I luv to gape at finds at museums and expos. Very thrilling
Happy Mosaic Monday

much love...

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Sounds like a great day at the Archaeology Expo. The lectures sound interesting and cool to see the artifacts. I can only imagine the homeowner's excitement with the artifacts found in his yard. I am not sure if I would want to go digging, it is back breaking work. Thanks for sharing your day at the expo. Have a happy day and a great new week ahead!

Jeanie said...

This expo looks like it would really be a fun afternoon or day. I'm always amazed, the things they discover and love documentaries that go into that. This would be particularly interesting as it might relate even more to your area.

Candysfarmhousepantry said...

Now this is an expo that both my husband and I would love to attend. We love this kind of stuff. Found you on Grandma's Brief Link Party.

April said...

Oooo! Jealous! Archaeology is fascinating to me, not the nitty gritty of it but the cool things that they find and what we can learn from it.

Tom said...

...sounds like that is an official day for just about everything these days! Enjoy.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Fascinating Pat! I worked with a woman (a teacher) who volunteered at digs every summer. The part they let the volunteers do sounded a little tedious, but she liked the mindlessness of it (as a contrast to her regular job) while still accomplishing something useful. I would rather ‘volunteer’ to see the results at an event like this one you show ...and I wish there were something like it near us. I am off to listen to those rocks! What an amazing discovery.

Lydia C. Lee said...

I have a friend that wants to do this as a holiday....

William Kendall said...

Terrific shots!

Archaeology fascinates me, so I would enjoy that kind of expo.

Powell River Books said...

What a fun event to attend. Thanks for the visual tour. - Margy

ellen b. said...

Sounds like a well organized event. There is so much to learn out there.

Teresa Kindred said...

I love history (in case you hadn't noticed)! Thanks for sharing at NanaHood!

Michelle said...

This expo sounds fascinating to me. You are always doing precisely the kind of things I like! lol

Junieper2 said...

Thank you for sharing this interesting event with All Seasons, Pat. )one of my minors in undergrad. college was in archeology, so am very interested! But not for a dig, have heard how pain staking one little discovery can be (and back breaking work!) For a show like this, I'm all in - never enough of learning! Have a great exploring week:)
Jesh

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Wow! You learned a lot! And it does make you want to start digging. One of my sons has gone on some digs and he really loves it...and is good at it! Thanks for sharing my friend! Happy MM!

Angie said...

Pat - very interesting. I had never heard of lithophone rocks … of course, back then, people did not have a convenient way to record a lot of history, so we are left theorizing about so much of their lives. Hopefully we have slightly better records! We have some good friends who spend most of their vacations digging for dinosaur fossils on authorized sites - fascinating! Thanks for linking up to Mosaic Monday.

Linda W. said...

What a great event! I'll bet it was interesting. Wish they had something like that where I live.

Linda said...

Sounds interesting! I've done my share of digging, screening, sorting... it was fun.

EricaSta said...

Interesting to read!

Now it’s time for reading… MosaicMonday times! Each Monday a great pleasure.
I enjoyed your post.

Heidrun xxx

Fun60 said...

I find archaeology very interesting. I like the way this event brings archaeology to life and shares its findings with the community.

Lowcarb team member said...

Ancient history is very interesting, this looks a very good event.
I enjoyed seeing your photographs.

All the best Jan

Peabea Scribbles said...

Amazing when they find pottery or utensils earlier mankind used and the writing they left behind.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

The Husband and I would've gone home happily tired. Maybe I can find someplace next year that we can check out. I've never heard about lithophone rocks before. I just came back from listening to one Youtube video. Wow!

Michelle said...

A great event and I really enjoy seeing all of the things you visit and make time for. Your days are so interesting! Thanks for linking up today.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Super interesting!! I can see why it took people a long time to figure out those musical rocks. I'm always looking for things like this as I explore the Joshua Tree area. So much fun!

Jim said...

Interesting post.

April J Harris said...

I am fascinated by archaeology and I would have really enjoyed this day! I love that there were things of interest for all ages. I really enjoyed reading this post! Thank you for sharing, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Have a great weekend!

KB said...

I would also find this fascinating

Rambling Woods said...

I would have loved to attend this and see all the displays and talk to the people...Michelle

Sharon Wagner said...

I'm writing a book with a character that is an Archaeologist in Guatemala. I will have to save this post!

handmade by amalia said...

I love archaeology as well and this is so interesting.
Amalia
xo