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K-State Today Student Edition

October 18, 2017

Anthropology students and faculty participate in regional conference

Submitted by Lauren Ritterbush

K-State students, faculty, and alumna attending the 75th Annual Plains Anthropological Conference, Oct. 6.

Six anthropology students and the archaeology faculty recently participated in the 75th annual Meeting of the Plains Anthropological Society Oct. 4-7 in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Jakob Hanschu, junior in anthropology and geography, presented a poster summarizing his undergraduate research titled "Quantifying the Qualitative: Locating Burial Mounds in North-Central Kansas." Through his independent research, Hanschu used geographic information system software to map locations of recorded prehistoric mortuary features in north-central Kansas, then analyzed their distribution relative to topographic and hydrologic features in order to identify spatial patterns useful for modeling areas of high potential for past burial activities. A pedestrian archaeological survey was used to test the predictive nature of the proposed models and located four previously unrecorded sites. Through identification of these features, protection is enhanced under the state of Kansas Unmarked Burial Sites Preservation Act.

Further discussion of these sites was offered by Professor Lauren W. Ritterbush and Hanschu in their presentation, "Researching and Preserving Burial Mounds: An Investigation in the Flint Hills." They presented updated knowledge obtained through the 2016 Kansas Archaeological Field School. Twelve anthropology students participated in this research while gaining valuable training in professional archaeological data collection techniques and mortuary site preservation.

Also participating in the conference was Brad Logan, research associate professor. He presented "An Unquixotic Quest: Excavation of the Quixote Site (14JF420), a Late Woodland Occupation in the Delaware River Drainage, Northeastern Kansas." His presentation summarized fieldwork and initial findings from the June 2017 Kansas Archaeological Training Program, a cooperative endeavor of the Kansas Historical Society, Kansas Anthropological Society, Logan on behalf of Kansas State University and public participants.

Students who attended the conference include Ashley Flowers, Morgan Fluker, Jakob Hanschu, Artemis King, Abby Molzer and Seth Sagstetter. They were active participants and also enjoyed visiting ancestral Mandan Indian archaeological sites along the Missouri River.

Fluker was awarded the Plains Anthropological Society's Native American Student Award, while King won the drawing for a free radiocarbon date for research from Direct AMS. Both awards were presented at the banquet by K-State alumna, Sarah Trabert, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, and 2016-2017 Plains Anthropological Society president. Trabert, a former K-State McNair Scholar, got her start in archaeology at K-State, winning the Student Paper Award of the Plains Anthropological Society based on her undergraduate research in 2007.