Brian Maitland is currently working on the molecular characterization of pine pitched basketry in the context of the Ute Tribe and Anasazi culture. This research is an interdisciplinary endeavor that combines the fields of archaeology, ethnobotany, and analytical chemistry. In short, Brian is trying to utilize molecular analysis to identify the specific pine tree used in the manufacturing of these pitch-coated baskets using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry as an analytical tool. The significance of this research is to better define the relationship between humans and their environment in the context of the Colorado and Utah area. A later pollen analysis will give context to the artifacts themselves. These two studies will provide a better understanding of the specific relationship between the Ute people and their resources. This research was made possible by Dr. Jesse Tune, Dr. Michael Grubb, and both the Anthropology and Chemistry departments at Fort Lewis College.
For his senior research project, Ian Noble is conducting a validation study on a technique for sex estimation using metric analysis of the bones of the hand. Several previous studies have developed discriminant function equations on samples outside of the United States. Ian will be testing these equations to determine whether they are applicable to a recent forensic sample from the U.S. Ian was awarded an undergraduate travel grant to conduct his research on the documented skeletal collection at the Maxwell Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Local students attended and presented at the Pecos Archaeological Conference held in Flagstaff, Arizona, from August 9 to 12, 2018