Welcome to the 2014 Odyssey Field Season

This summer, we will be aiding excavations at the Mahaska Mammoth Site near Oskaloosa, Iowa, and we will be returning to two sites in Kansas: the Coffey Site (14PO1) in Pottawatomie County, and the Scheuerman Mammoth Site (14SC327) in Scott County (see map and photos below).

Map of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa showing location of field sites.


Congratulations to Rolfe Mandel, named a University Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas: http://news.ku.edu/2014/06/23/ku-names-three-new-university-distinguished-professors

Field Update 5, The Coffey Site; July 21, 2014

Excavations have continued along the Big Blue River during the second 10-day session at the Coffey site in Pottawatomie County, Kansas. Soil is being removed very slowly in several archaeological units as the Odyssey crew excavates Paleoindian-age levels in the Severance Formation. The crew documented and mapped a cluster of Paleoindian chipped-stone in a 50 x 50 cm section of one unit (Photo 1) before the material was removed (Photo 2). A lithic core and small scraper tool were also recovered from Paleoindian-age levels (Photo 3). Dr. Paul Hanson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, visited the site to collect sediment samples in the Severance Formation for optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating (Photo 4). The samples, collected in tubes that are inserted into the profile, will aid in developing site formation chronology (Photo 5).

Photo 1. Cluster of chipped-stone in floor of test unit.

Excavated block with chipped-stone fragments still in soil.

Photo 2. Chipped-stone from the Paleoindian levels in the Severance Formation.

Set of chipped-stone extracted from Severance Formation.

Photo 3. A core and scraper from Paleoindian levels.

Close up photo of core and scraper.

Photo 4. Dr. Paul Hanson inserting tubes to collect OSL samples in the Severance Formation.

Dr. Hanson using a rock hammer to pound a sampling canister into the exposed face of the excavation.

Photo 5. The OSL samples in the cutbank profile through the Severance Formation.

Stepped excavation into creek bank showing plugs where OSL sampes are taken.

Text by Laura Murphy, Photos by Kale Bruner


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