Archive for Thursday, April 22, 1999

ARCHAEOLOGY EXHIBIT EXPLORES LIVES OF KANSAS NATIVES

April 22, 1999

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The exhibit's focus is on two prehistoric sites near Leavenworth -- the Quarry Creek and the DB sites.

For the last decade, Brad Logan has labored over two archaeological sites, piecing together the cultures of the various tribes that stopped there until about 500 years ago.

Logan, curator at Kansas University's Museum of Anthropology and director of the Office of Archaeological Research, is fascinated by the clues left by the people that visited the Fort Leavenworth area centuries ago.

His labor has resulted in the "Archaeology in Kansas" exhibit now on display at the museum housed in Spooner Hall. The exhibit will run through August.

Logan's work at the sites was done in conjunction with KU and Kansas State University students, who excavated areas that proved to be rich in artifacts.

"The exhibit's focus is on two prehistoric sites and it tells the story of those sites," Logan said. "They are two miles apart but were settled by different peoples."

The display features stone tools, projectile points and pottery artifacts along with photographs taken at the sites. Both sites give researchers clues about the cultures that once lived in the lower Missouri Valley.

At the first location, called the Quarry Creek site, well-preserved stone tools and pottery, including scrappers and drills, helped investigators determine whether the people were nomadic, what they ate and even the type of animals they hunted for food.

Dating of the site placed the inhabitants there between 200 and 550 A.D.

The area proved so rich in materials that it is now protected by its inclusion on the National Register.

Two miles away, excavators discovered the second location, called the DB site. This proved to be a camping ground for various tribes that visited temporarily to harvest nuts in the late summer and early fall.

"It provides a great contrast in a variety of ways," Logan said. "The site shows short-term occupations by different peoples over a period of time."

The location was used as a campgrounds because its location on a ridge made it unsuitable for year-round habitation.

Excavation was limited at this site, but Logan said diverse artifacts showed that several groups, not just one culture, used the site over a period of several hundred years.

Logan believes the exhibit is a timely one.

"We felt it was time to bring out the better artifacts and let the public see them," he said.

-- The Mag's phone message number is 832-7146. Send e-mail to jbiles@ljworld.com.

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