You are in the Beadtown Museum
Card of Thanks
To the Department of Anthropology of the Denver Museum of Natural History for selecting me as a Research Associate. With this and 25 cents I can now buy a pack of gum.
Seriously, I am deeply honored to be part of the DMNH team and to serve however I can. Growing up in Kansas, we visited Denver several times (it is spectacular at Christmas). An old friend of Dad's worked in the Museum and he started my interest in rocks and minerals.
But it is more than nostalgia that makes this an honor. The DMNH is one of the nation's premier museums. Its holdings of beads are particularly rich. They include some of America's oldest beads (to be featured in the next Margaretologist) from the Lindenmeier site in Colorado. There is a very interesting Wampum belt (discussed in the last Margaretologist) in the collection. The Museum purchased a large part of the G.B. Fenstermaker collection. It also has an outstanding collection of Native American beadwork. And it holds several other interesting individual pieces. Additionally, it has developed the Bead Study Group. One of their projects has been working with the Classification system I have devised to see how well or poorly it functions with the museums' collections.
Yet, this is also the museum where you can see "the" Folsom Point. Douglas Preston has recently written (Natural History 97(2):16-22 -- February 1997) a most interesting article about this famous spear point. Its importance lies in its historical role. Once it was discovered (lodged between the ribs of an extinct bison) and recognized, the antiquity of humans in the New World was pushed back from about 1000 BC to 10,000 BC. But the full story of the find of the important artifact has often been overlooked. The person who discovered the "bone pit" that yielded the evidence (though not the associated points) was an ex-slave cowboy. George McJunkin was a remarkable man. In our day he probably would have been a leading archaeologist. He was self taught and left a mark on the town of Folsom, New Mexico that was unique. Read the article; it is very informative.
And if you are going to be in Denver in September, so am I. I shall be speaking or meeting with the DMNH, the Denver Art Museum, the Asian Art Association, Alianza, the Bead Study Group, the Bead Renaissance and perhaps other groups. The Calendar will keep you up to date as times and venues firm up.
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