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UW Faculty Member Co-Edits New Book That Honors Frison and Haynes

June 20, 2016
two men posing with bison skulls
George C. Frison (left), UW emeritus professor of anthropology, and Marcel Kornfeld, a UW professor of anthropology, pose with skulls discovered in Wyoming’s bison bone beds. Kornfeld is co-editor of a new book called “Stones, Bones and Profiles: Exploring Archaeological Context, Early American Hunter-Gatherers and Bison” that will be published in July. (UW Photo)

A University of Wyoming professor is co-editor of a new reference book that explores early American hunter-gatherers and bison -- a publication that also honors two anthropology colleagues he has worked with in the field for decades.

“Stones, Bones and Profiles: Exploring Archaeological Context, Early American Hunter-Gatherers and Bison” addresses key and cutting-edge research of three pillars of hunter-gatherer archaeology. These include peopling of North America and Paleoindians, geo-archaeology and bison bone bed studies.

The book also honors George C. Frison, a UW emeritus professor of anthropology; and C. Vance Haynes Jr., an emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona.

“This book is basically a Festschrift or celebration in honor of George C. Frison and C. Vance Haynes Jr.,” says Marcel Kornfeld, a UW professor of anthropology and co-editor of the book. “They are both National Academy of Science scholars and people both I and Bruce (Huckell, the book’s other co-editor) worked with for a long time as colleagues, collaborators, co-authors and partners in crime.”

Huckell, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico, also has authored or co-edited several publications on latest Pleistocene/earliest Holocene subsistence and settlement strategies, as well as the late Holocene arrival of maize agriculture in the Southwest.

Kornfeld has written 10 books and numerous articles about Rocky Mountain and Plains archaeology and prehistory, and works closely with avocational archaeologists throughout North America.

In addition to editing the 440-page book, Kornfeld and Huckell penned an introduction about Frison and Haynes, and their role in archaeology, especially in reference to Paleoindians.

The book, published through the University Press of Colorado, consists of various research papers that present new data on Paleoindian archaeology and reconsiders previous sites and perspectives, culminating in a thought-provoking and challenging contribution to the ongoing study of Paleoindians.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section dissects established theories about the Paleoindians, including the possibility that human populations were in North America before Clovis and the timing of the opening of the Alberta Corridor.

The second section provides new perspectives on the age and contexts of several well-known New World locations, such as the Lindenmeier Folsom site in Colorado and the UP Mammoth site in Wyoming; as well as a synthesis of the geo-archaeology of the Rocky Mountains’ Bighorn region that addresses significant new data and summarizes decades of investigation.

The book’s third section focuses on bison bone bed studies and consists of groundbreaking zooarchaeological studies that offer new perspectives on bison taxonomy and procurement.

“One of the big things Frison is known for is mass bison kill sites, where you have massive layers of bones where bison were killed for subsistence purposes,” Kornfeld says. “Part of the book includes new aspects of bison hunting.”

Kornfeld says the book is the result of an archaeology symposium that took place four years ago in St. Louis, Mo. The researchers and attendees at the conference, who ultimately wrote the book chapters, were strongly influenced by the works of Frison and Haynes, Kornfeld says.

Kenneth Cannon, from Utah State University’s Archaeological Services, says of the book, “An important contribution to Quaternary studies in relation to the interpretation of archaeological deposits and the state of the discipline.”

The book, $95 in hard cover and $76 as an e-book, can be preordered now at and will be available in July.

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