The Colorado Archaeological Society

Programs are Free and Open to the Public

Tuesday, Occtober 18, 2022

7:00 PM

Communal Hunting in the Colorado High Country

Presenter – Aaron Whittenburg

Communal hunting is an effective method of procuring large amounts of meat in a relatively short span of time but also represents a significant investment in time and resources to successfully coordinate and conduct a hunt.  Even more so above tree line.  Alpine communal hunting sites are found along nearly every major pass and travel corridor in Colorado from Rocky Mountain National Park to the I-70 corridor (with a major exception for the sites near Monarch Pass) and most of these rest at elevations above modern tree line.  These sites indicate prehistoric hunter-gatherers actively modified the alpine landscape by building complex arrangements of stone features to optimize the procurement of medium and large-bodied ungulates during seasonal migrations.  This talk focuses on two projects I have participated in that relate to alpine communal hunting: the Rollins Pass project and the James Peak Wilderness Project.  The talk discusses broad generalities and trends in these sites and uses examples from the two aforementioned projects to provide more fine-tuned detail before wrapping up with discussions for possible avenues of future research.

About Aaron Whittenburg

Aaron hails from a small town in far northwestern Montana, near the Idaho and Canadian borders.  He attended Montana State University in Bozeman, where he got his Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology in 2012.  He made the move Colorado in 2013 where he got his Master’s degree in Anthropology at Colorado State University, focusing on mountain archaeology, in 2017.  His Master’s thesis is titled Communal Hunting in the Colorado High Country: Archaeological Investigations of Three Game Drive Sites Near Rollins Pass, Grand County, Colorado.  He began working for Metcalf Archaeology in 2016 and now lives in Grand Junction, serving as Project Director and Crew Chief for the office there, where his primary roles include fieldwork and report writing.  His research interests remain the prehistoric Native American occupation of the Rocky Mountains and Western Slope of Colorado.  In particular, he is interested in the interaction of groups inhabiting these regions and how that is manifested in the archaeological record.  In his spare time, you’ll usually find him hiking, backpacking, or snowshoeing with his trusty companion, Blaze, playing tennis, or reading.

Meeting Location

Living Hope Covenant Church
6750 N. Union Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Start time: 7:00 PM


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