Third Sunday Archeology: 'Ice Age Colorado Plateau: Been There, Dung That'

Dr. Jim Mead

Event Details


Date: January 15, 2017

Times: 2 p.m.

Location: Froiland Science Complex 113A/B (formerly GSC 100)

Ticket Info: Free and open to the public

January's installment of Augustana's Third Sunday Archeology Program will feature speaker Dr. Jim Mead, site director and chief scientist at the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs (South Dakota), on the topic “Ice Age Colorado Plateau: Been There, Dung That,” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15, at the Froiland Science Complex 113A/B (formerly GSC 100).

The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a question/answer session. Refreshments will be served.

The Ice Age Colorado Plateau has been the speaker’s focus of study for the past 40 years. Paleoecological data and the analysis of animal remains, including dung and packrat middens, are used to reconstruct past climatic events from the late Pleistocene/early Holocene interface. The presence or absence of certain creatures in faunal assemblages serves as a critical indicator of climatic reorganization. A better understanding of climate oscillations leads to a better understanding of the survival strategies of humans as they adapted to changing environments.

Dr. Jim MeadAbout Dr. Jim Mead:

Jim Mead earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Geosciences: Paleoenvironments and Paleontology from the University of Arizona-Tucson. He is the site director and chief scientist at the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs in South Dakota. Prior to accepting the position at the Mammoth Site, he was professor of vertebrate paleontology and chair of the department of Geosciences at East Tennessee State University. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and four edited-volume books. His current focus is the evolution of bovids (such as bison and mountain goat) and the morphology and evolution of squamates. He has conducted fieldwork since 1974 on Quaternary mammals and squamates with projects in Arizona, Mexico, western North America, Tennessee, Australia, Siberia and China.

Mead has described a new genus and species of pygmy mountain sheep from the early Pleistocene of Arizona; a new species of extinct mountain sheep from the lower Pliocene of Nevada; and a new species of terrestrial crocodile from the South Pacific. Much of his work has focused on the late Pleistocene and early Holocene of the Colorado Plateau, i.e., the time after the last glacial advance and the period of the earliest well-documented human presence in North America.

Photo: Dr. Jim Mead, site director and chief scientist at the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs (South Dakota)

This program is funded in part by the David B. Jones Foundation, Augustana University’s Mellon Fund Committee, Augustana University’s Archeology Laboratory and the Sioux Falls Chapter of the South Dakota Archaeological Society.

Up Next

February's installment of Augustana's Third Sunday Archeology Program will feature speaker Dr. Leland Bement, on the topic “A Tale of Two Seasons: Late Paleoindian Subsistence Practices in the Oklahoma Panhandle” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Froiland Science Complex 113A/B (formerly GSC 100).

On Sunday, March 19, speaker Dr. Doug Bamforth, professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado-Boulder, will speak on the topic “Making New Societies in Northeastern Nebraska in the 13th and 14th Centuries” at 2 p.m. at the Froiland Science Complex 113A/B (formerly GSC 100).


L. Adrien Hannus
Director, Archeology Lab
Augustana University
605.274.5493
adrien.hannus@augie.edu