Colorado Archaeological Society
Pikes Peak Chapter
Colorado Springs, Colorado


May 16, 2017

Solving Two Archaeological Mysteries: The Story of Identifying a Rare Artifact and Finding a 'Lost' Cliff Dwelling

Presented by Beth Sagstetter, Author of The Cliff Dwellings Speak

The Telluride Blanket
Photo copyright Telluride Historical

The Telluride Historical Museum had a problem. They had been gifted a Native American blanket from an estate. Now known as the Telluride Blanket, it had been accompanied by a blurry black-and-white photograph of a cliff dwelling and a newspaper article about the blanket’s discovery, dated 1896. Everyone assumed the blanket had been found in the pictured cliff dwelling. However, no living person had ever seen this cliff dwelling or had any clue where it might be located. Subsequently, all information about the blanket was misidentified: its age, fiber, and cultural affiliation. Come hear about Beth and Bill Sagstetter’s adventures searching remote, backcountry wilderness to find the “lost” cliff dwelling – and to solve the many mysteries surrounding this exceedingly rare artifact. (Hint: Thought to be a few hundred years old, the Sagstetters proved the one-of-a-kind Telluride Blanket is nearly 1,000 years old!)

About Beth Sagstetter

Beth Sagstetter, together with her late husband Bill, spent nearly 50 years exploring the cliff dwellings of the Greater American Southwest. This obsession resulted in five books and several television specials and films, one of which won an award at the Aspen Film Festival. Beth and Bill worked as a correspondent/photographer team at the Denver Post as well as for several national magazines. Their most well-known books are The Mining Camps Speak (focusing on the archaeology of ghost towns) and The Cliff Dwellings Speak (tips to understand cliff dwellings using observation techniques).

Join us for a free educational and entertaining evening:

  • Pre-meeting Dinner
  • (On your own)
  • Time: 5:30 PM
  • Panera Bread
  • 7344 North Academy Blvd
  • Colorado Springs
  • 719-522-1100

June 20, 2017

Ephemeral Bounty: Archaeology of the Ute Indians and their Final Years in Western Colorado

Presented by Curtis Martin, Principal Investigator for the Colorado Wickiup Project

Curtis Martin

Wondrous new things were coming into the lives of Native Americans with the arrival of European trade goods and horses. A golden era had come to the land and life was good – or so it seemed. Regrettably, it came with the high price of freedom. Colorado archaeologist Curtis Martin will present his talk on the Ute Indians, many of whom remained on their traditional homelands in western Colorado after their “final removal” to reservations in Utah in 1881. He will show images of some of the remaining wooden structures the Utes constructed throughout Colorado’s mountains and plateaus. Surviving structures include hundreds of brush wickiup shelters, tipi frames, tree platforms, and even caches of firewood. Along with these ephemeral features, some sites contain European trade goods such as metal arrowheads, tinklers, buttons, horse tack, and colorful glass beads. The presentation will include readings from Martin’s new book Ephemeral Bounty: Wickiups, Trade Goods, and the Final Years of the Autonomous Ute. Copies of the book are for sale, which he will be happy to sign.

About the presenter

Curtis Martin received his Master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Key achievements include directing the inventory of Ancestral Puebloan sites in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and re-excavating and stabilizing Lowry Ruins near Mesa Verde. Martin has worked as an archaeologist for the Colorado State Highway Department, the Museum of Northern Arizona, and a series of private cultural resource management firms throughout the West. He currently conducts archaeological contracts through Grand River Institute, is Principal Investigator for the ongoing Colorado Wickiup Project, and teaches “Field Methods in Archaeology” at Colorado Mesa University. The Colorado Wickiup Project has received the Colorado Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation and, this year, Martin was awarded the Museums of the West Heritage Archaeology Award.