The summer is usually a time to catch up – temperatures can be too hot in Texas for viable fieldwork and most of the students we work with are off doing other things. This year has been a little different. We have only been in the lab since June and Jennifer Gandy, our curator, sent out emails to all of our past students and volunteers – we were more than pleasantly surprised when ten of them began working with us immediately! W now have people working on cataloging a large collection, washing, sorting, reboxing, documenting, and photographing different projects. Jennifer has also received a number of requests from students to intern with us this fall and others who wish to volunteer. Dr. Steve Howard will be excavating again this fall with our field volunteers and I cannot ever thank again the two men, Mike and Lee, who help me stay on top the grass and weeds at the Gault site. We often mention the more than 2,300 volunteers who worked at Gault and do not mention enough the more than 1,000 who have worked for us since. Their efforts got us recognized as Preserve America Stewards in 2016 by Michelle Obama.
We’re not going to take any credit but we are beaming with pride when our alumni go off into the world and do their own work. Dr. Ciprean Ardelean , a professor at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, published last year regarding stone tools with 26,000 year old dates at Chiquihuite Cave in Zacatecas (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/when-did-humans-reach-america-mexican-mountain-cave-artifacts-raise-new-questions-180975385/).
Dr. Ashley Lemke, now at the University of Texas Arlington, seems to be perpetually in the news with her work underwater in Lake Huron where Paleoindian hunters went after migrating caribou (https://www.uta.edu/news/news-releases/2021/06/15/lemke-lake-huron).
Recently the University of Michigan announced an article coauthored by Brendan Nash regarding the Benson Clovis site that may change our ideas on how early people might have been living in Michigan (https://news.umich.edu/farm-field-find-rewrites-archaeological-history-in-michigan/?fbclid=IwAR3_DiGnt7N0_cTibBDAHhhuA7LVaGKw2_I1tSCZf1V5XmvifdfzYZZUXzE).