General Meetings:  Bimonthly meetings for members and visitors are held on the 3rd Thursday of alternate months from September through May. Meetings are meant to be both educational and entertaining and give opportunities for people with common interests to get acquainted. Note the location information carefully, as some meetings will be a hybrid of in-person and  Zoom Video Conference, while others will be via Zoom only. 

Upcoming Presentations

    • 4 Jan 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Zoom only

    Click HERE to register.

    Dr. David Hurst Thomas at Toquima Cave

    Abstract:  Recent Great Basin archaeology demonstrates a surprising survivance that invites us to revisit conventional perceptions of abandonment and migration. Although Paleoindians defined the Lahontan Basin as a virtually empty sacred space, Lovelock communities established nearly-sedentary lacustrine settlements that lasted until the Late Holocene Dry Period (3100–1800 cal BP). Most archaeological sites south of 40° N latitude were abandoned during the driest Great Basin climate of the last 6000 years. Despite the megadrought, the seemingly disparate Paleoindian, Lovelock culture and Numic populations maintained genetic relationships in the Lahontan Basin for more than ten millennia. Other resilient foragers in the central Basin refused to abandon their homeland, establishing summertime alpine residences that took advantage of glacier-fed mountain springs with cooler alpine temperatures and greater moisture retention elevation. Western Shoshone scholars Ned Blackhawk and Steven Crum stress the continuing survivance of indigenous Nevadans who, despite Euro-American intrusions, maintained their compelling sense of place. They adapted traditional seasonal economies to the necessities of wage labor, many rejecting reservation life to remain in familiar ritualized landscapes and resist the ways of state formation to this day.


    Bio, David Hurst Thomas, Ph.D., D. Sci., RPA

    David Hurst Thomas has served as Curator of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History (New York, since 1972); has taught at Columbia University, New York University, University of California (Davis), University of Florida, University of Nevada, the City College of New York, and lectured in more than forty countries.

    A specialist in Native American archaeology, he holds four degrees from the University of California, Davis (Ph.D., 1971) and a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from The University of the South (conferred 1995). In 1970, he discovered Gatecliff Shelter (Nevada), the deepest archaeological rockshelter in the Americas. Thomas also found and continues to excavate the 16th-/17th-century Franciscan mission Santa Catalina de Guale (St. Catherines Island, Georgia); he also led five excavation seasons at Mission San Marcos, near Santa Fe, New Mexico. In recognition of this mission research, Thomas received the Franciscan Institute Medal for 1992 (the only non-Franciscan ever to be so honored). In March 2014, he was unanimously elected as a Fellow in the Academy of American Franciscan History (one of six such Fellows elected in the past six decades).

    A member of the Writer's Guild of America, Thomas wrote the first six chapters for the award-winning The Native Americans (Turner Publishing), the book accompanying the documentary The Native Americans: Behind the Legends, Beyond the Myths, produced by Turner Broadcasting. He served as the U.S. editor for The Illustrated History of Humankind, a trailblazing five-volume set (Harper San Francisco). Publishers Weekly called the first volume of The Illustrated History "a stunning achievement and a book to treasure."

    Thomas is the instigator, general editor, and contributor to the three-volume Columbian Consequences series (Smithsonian Institution Press), with the proceeds initiating the Native American Scholarship Fund of the Society for American Archaeology; two volumes were selected as Outstanding Scholarly Books of the Year by Choice magazine. Overall, Thomas has written 38 books (including the best-selling Skull Wars: Kennewick Man, Archaeology, and the Battle for Native American Identity), edited 98 volumes, and published more than 135 scientific papers. The multiple editions of Archaeology and Archaeology: Down to Earth (presently co-authored with Robert L. Kelly) remain the best-selling college textbooks on archaeology in the United States.

    His archaeological research been featured in The New York Times, National Geographic, Natural History, Archaeology, Museum Magazine, a half-hour National Geographic film (Gatecliff: Dwelling in the Desert, 1974), and a book for children entitled From Maps to Museums: Uncovering Mysteries of the Past (by Joan Anderson, William Morrow, Inc. [1988], awarded Notable Children's Trade Book and Outstanding Science Trade Book.

    Thomas was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution appointed him as a Founding Trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian, where he served as Vice Chairman of the Board. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Presidential Recognition Award by Society for American Archaeology (1991), the Founders’ Lifetime Achievement Award from the Great Basin Anthropological Association and the Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research by the Society for American Archaeology (in 2014). the Society for American Archaeology’s Lifetime Achievement award (in 2017).

    • 28 Mar 2024
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • OSU-Cascades Obsidian Hall, Rm 207 and Zoom

    Click HERE to register for Zoom link.


    Kate McDonough and Richie Rosencrance

    Abstract:  For the last nine years the University of Oregon Archaeology Field School has conducted excavations at the Connley Caves in central Oregon. This talk shares an update on their most recent fieldwork and plans for 2024. Katelyn and Richie will also discuss their new edited volume (co-edited with Jordan Pratt, Texas A&M University) titled Current Perspectives on Stemmed and Fluted Technologies in the American Far West. This 14-chapter volume provides the most comprehensive overview of archaeological research into late Pleistocene and early Holocene technologies in far western North American in over a decade. It focuses on the relationship between stemmed and fluted point technologies in the region, which has recently risen to the forefront of debate about the initial settlement of the Americas. 

    Current Perspectives on Stemmed and Fluted Technologies in the American Far West is now available for preorder on the University of Utah Press website:


    Katelyn McDonough is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History’s Archaeology Field School at the University of Oregon. She is an environmental archaeologist interested in long-term relationships between people, foodways, and landscapes. Much of her ongoing research focuses on people’s interactions with plants and changing environments during and since the late Pleistocene in North America.

    Richie Rosencrance is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno, and an instructor at the Archaeology Field School run by the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon. His research focuses broadly on hunter-gatherer technological innovation in the deep past, chronology building, lithic procurement strategies, and archaeology of the Great Basin and Columbia Plateau.

Past Presentations

16 Nov 2023 Exploring Purpose and Context: Spirit Power, Doctoring, and Gambling Medicine in Klamath Basin Rock Art by Dr. Robert David
18 Oct 2023 Great Basin Anthropological Conference
4 Oct 2023 Interactive Archaeology Presentation by Eileen Gose
21 Sep 2023 Prehistoric Bison Hunters of the Northern Great Basin
10 Sep 2023 Rock Art: More than Just Images by Eileen Gose
18 May 2023 Deschutes River Railroad War, 1909 - 1911 by Steve Lent
2 May 2023 Rock Art: More than Just Images by Eileen Gose
6 Apr 2023 Growing Up in the Ice Age: Were Children Drivers of Human Cultural Evolution? by Dr. April Nowell
16 Mar 2023 New Discoveries at the Cooper's Ferry Site in Western Idaho Push Projectile Technology Back to 16,000 years ago by Dr. Loren G. Davis
16 Feb 2023 The Roles and Research of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History Archaeology Field School by Katelyn McDonough
19 Jan 2023 12,600 Years of Perishable Technologies at Cougar Mountain Cave, Oregon by Richie Rosencrance
8 Dec 2022 Archaeology and the Human Experience at the Paisley Caves in the Northern Great Basin & General Meeting
20 Oct 2022 Water and Wind: Paleoenvironmental and Archaeological Correlations at Rimrock Draw Rockshelter
22 Sep 2022 Evidence of Humans in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum
30 Jun 2022 Waldo Lake History, Precontact to Present Times
12 May 2022 The Dam Fiasco at Bull Flat
21 Apr 2022 Getting Blood From a Stone: Excavations at a Paleolithic Oasis in Jordan by Dr. April Nowell
17 Mar 2022 Wenas Creek Mammoth Dig by Patrick Lubinski
17 Feb 2022 15,000 Years of Great Basin Archaeology by Dennis Jenkins
3 Feb 2022 Oregon Historical Society presents: Centering Chinese History in Oregon: A panel discussion
13 Jan 2022 Connley Caves Talk by Katelyn Mcdonough
9 Dec 2021 Prehistoric Bison Hunters of the Northern Great Basin by Scott Thomas
14 Oct 2021 Archaeology of the Portland Area by Virginia Butler
30 Sep 2021 All Member Meeting
29 Apr 2021 April Presentation: Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project and gold mining in the John Day area by Donn Hann
18 Mar 2021 March Presentation: Tribal member and Archaeologist Dr. Robert David educates us on Shamanism and myths from a Modoc petroglyph site
18 Feb 2021 February Presentation: Dr. Loren G. Davis on Cooper's Ferry Site in Idaho
21 Jan 2021 January Presentation: Paul Claeyssens on How Archaeological Work is Effected by Wildfire
10 Dec 2020 December Presentation: Dr. Virginia L. Butler on The Ciwicen Village Site in Port Angeles, WA
19 Nov 2020 November Presentation: Dr. Michel Waller provides insights into our human evolution ​by examining tool-use in different species
17 Sep 2020 September Presentation: Dr. Dennis Jenkins on his latest findings from ​15,000-year-old sites in the Oregon High Desert
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