Colorado Archaeological Society
Pikes Peak Chapter
Colorado Springs, Colorado


March 21, 7:00 PM

The Continuing Search for the 1865 Battle of Red Buttes

Presented by Danny N. Walker, PhD, RPA

Colorado River, Bonnie Moser

What happened in July 1865 during a battle between 25 United States soldiers and 2,000 to 3,000 Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors at what has become known as the Battle of Red Buttes? And exactly where in Wyoming did this battle take place? Since the 1920s, research has failed to reveal the exact location of the Battle of Red Buttes. A reevaluation of the battle including additional archaeological field and archive research has been ongoing since 2005, but archaeologists have failed to locate the battle or the mass grave (22 soldiers were killed and 3 survived). In 2012 and 2016, 25 hectares were surveyed with Bartington magnetometers. While a 4-hour battle may have an ephemeral archaeological footprint, it should still be visible due to certain battle activities, artifacts, and remnants such as burned wagon parts. Field studies in 2016 yielded the best evidence to date for the battle’s location, but definitive evidence continues to be elusive.

Danny N. Walker, PhD, RPA, is the recently retired Wyoming Assistant State Archaeologist (after 43 years). He continues to hold his position as Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wyoming. Walker graduated from Fort Hays State College with a degree in geology. He received his MA in anthropology and doctorate in zoology and physiology from the University of Wyoming. Walker’s primary research work is in prehistoric and historic archaeology of the Northwestern High Plains. He remains active in the archaeological field during his retirement.

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

April 18, 2017

Our cousins, the Neandertals: Were they just like us or different?

(L) Homo sapiens, (R) Neandertal

Presented by Frederick L. Coolidge, PhD

All recent science writers claim Neandertals were smarter than we thought; they were not inferior, stupid, or dull-witted. Yet no scientist in the past 80 years has ever written that Neandertals were inferior, stupid, or dull-witted. However, there were many important behavioral and physical differences between us (Homo sapiens) and them. However, current science writers only endorse the “indistinguishability” hypothesis – that is, there were no significant differences between us and them. Always ignored in this hypothesis is that Homo sapiens are here and Neandertals are extinct. Was it a simple quirk of fate? Or were there subtle differences in brains that allowed Homo sapiens to survive and Neandertals to go extinct? In this presentation, Dr. Frederick Coolidge reviews the physiological and archaeological evidence that explains our differences and the important implications of those differences.

Professor Frederick L. Coolidge received his BA, MA, and PhD and completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Florida. He is a Full Professor of Psychology at UCCS. He has received three Fulbright Fellowships to India. In 2015, he was appointed Senior Visiting Scholar at Oxford University. He co-founded the UCCS Center for Cognitive Archaeology, which offers courses and certificates in cognitive archaeology. Professor Coolidge has co-authored three recent books: How to Think like a Neandertal, The Rise of Homo sapiens: The Evolution of Modern Thinking, and Cognitive Models in Paleolithic Archaeology. Professor Coolidge teaches Statistics, Cognitive Evolution, and Evolutionary Neuropsychology (implications of the brain’s evolution).

The Valley of the Neandertals near Madrid, Spain. Neandertals lived here for over 100,000 years. Photo by Dr. Frederick Coolidge.