Humanists Feb. 7 Science Sunday Program Explores Indigenous People in the San Luis Valley

American Indian Lifeways in the San Luis Valley is the next Science Sunday presentation by the Central Colorado Humanists on Feb. 7.

   Anthropologist Dr. Mark D. Mitchell, research director for Paleocultural Research Group, will guide the program starting at 10 a.m. on Zoom.

   Mitchell will explore the archaeology of the San Luis Valley, drawing on the results of recent public archaeology projects.

   The program will focus on the archaeological record of American Indians in the San Luis Valley - a record of hunting and gathering. All the indigenous peoples who called the valley home, from the earliest big-game hunters to the Utes who lived there in the nineteenth century—were hunter-gatherers.

Mitchell will explore the varied strategies American Indians used to subsist in the valley’s cold-desert environment. He will explain how residents and visitors alike adapted to shifting environmental conditions, transformative technological innovations, demographic changes, and the appearance of European and American colonists and settlers.

  Mitchell’s Southern Rockies research has focused on American Indian land use in the San Luis Valley and adjacent mountains.

  With more than 35 years experience in archaeology field and laboratory research, Mitchell is the author of journal articles, book chapters, and monographs on the archaeology of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains.

 Mitchell will review how the Utes and the Jicarilla Apaches, met by the colonizing Spanish during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, maintained a stronghold in the valley for centuries. While these groups considered the valley their homeland, others such as the Kiowas, Comanches, Tewas, and Navajos visited the great valley for hunting, trading, or ceremonial purposes.

Time will be allowed after the presentation for audience questions.

The ZOOM program link can be found on the Humanist website, or at 

Central Colorado Humanists sponsor “Sunday Science” presentations on the first Sunday of each month. Each presentation features a science topic understandable by both scientists and non-scientists.

  CCH is now recording these “Sunday Science” presentations. The videos are normally available to check out if you would like to hear a presentation again or would like to view one you may have missed. You may also borrow one to use with science classes, youth groups or other meetings.

 If you are interested, click on the Contact Us page of the Humanist website. You must sign an acknowledgement that you will not duplicate the video, as it usually contains copyrighted material.

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