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September 18, 2013 — A noted archeologist will explain new evidence about the activities of prehistoric men in North America during a talk at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture auditorium.
Vance Holliday, a professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Anthropology, will discuss “Hunting Gomphotheres at the End of the World.” His talk is the annual George C. Frison Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology and Wyoming Archaeology Awareness Month lecture.
Recent research at the El Fin del Mundo site in the southwest United States expands understanding of Clovis activities across the landscape, Holliday says. He says it provides the first evidence of hunting for gomphotheres (a large, extinct elephant-like animal) in North America.
“This adds a new item to the Clovis menu,” Holliday says. “The gomphothere at the site is the youngest in North America, now joining the list of large mammals that became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene.”
Holliday is both an archaeologist and geologist who has spent much of his career reconstructing and interpreting the landscapes and environments in which past societies lived, and how these conditions evolved. Most of his geoarchaeological research has focused on Paleoindian archaeology on the Great Plains, in the Southwest and in northwest Mexico, but also included Paleolithic sites in Russia.
He directs the University of Arizona’s Argonaut Archaeological Research, which is devoted to research on the geoarchaeology of the Paleoindian people of the Southwest.
Professor Vance Holliday conducts field work at a Paleolithic site.