Kansas Archeology Week Posters 1994-2002
2002 - Bison: Animal and Icon
Buffalo nickels, buffalo wallows, buffalo jumps, buffalo skulls, buffalo robes, white buffalo, William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Charles Jesse "Buffalo" Jones, buffalo burgers - without much effort most of us can make a long list of images inspired by the bison. Depicted in ancient Native American rock art and continuing to be a motif in popular culture, art, and commerce, it can be argued that the state animal of Kansas is the symbol of the American West, if not all of North America.
"Bison: Animal and Icon" was the theme of Kansas Archeology Week, April 7-13, 2002. The poster and accompanying brochure show the living animal, as well as representations by American Indians and early explorers. The materials emphasize how archeological research on bison bone beds, combined with data from other sciences, can contribute to the understanding of past human behavior.
Graphic designer Michael Irvin created the poster and brochure. Text was contributed by Ramona J. Willits. Dr. Jack L. Hofman and Jeannette Blackmar of the University of Kansas provided background information and a number of illustrations. Wayne Copp of Auburn, Kansas, allowed photo-documentation of his bison herd by KSHS photographer Craig Cooper. Kansas Anthropological Association volunteers assembled poster packets for mailing to Kansas schools (librarians and teachers of social studies, history, geography, and gifted students), libraries, museums, historical and genealogical societies, county extension agents, selected National Resource Conservation Service personnel, and members of the Kansas Anthropological Association, Kansas Council for the Social Studies, Kansas Museums Association, Professional Archaeologists of Kansas, and other related organizations.
Major funding for Kansas Archeology Week was provided by the Kansas State Historical Society, Emma Balsiger Foundation, National Park Service Midwest Archeological Center, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Kansas Anthropological Association, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kansas State University Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Archaeological Association of South Central Kansas, Professional Archaeologists of Kansas, University of Kansas Museum of Anthropology, and Kansas City Archaeological Society.
Copies of the poster and brochure can be requested from Virginia A. Wulfkuhle at the KSHS, 6425 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, KS 66614-1099; 785-272-8681, ext. 255; or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kansas Archeology Week, April 1-7, 2001, celebrated the start of the new millennium by looking back at 1,000 years of agricultural traditions in the state. The poster and accompanying brochure focused on the theme, "A Millennium of Kansas Farming: Storage Pits to Grain Elevators." This theme summarized on the poster the following words:
"Towering grain elevators define the modern skyline of many Kansas towns. For a thousand years before, Native American harvests were kept below ground in storage pits. Over time, these pits outlived their original purpose and were filled with the trash of everyday life, becoming time capsules for archeologists to study."
Two successful Kansas farmers are pictured, a Wichita Indian woman and Rice County wheat producer Don Keesling.
The brochure elaborates on the prehistoric beginnings of crop cultivation and food storage in underground pits in contrast with today's internationally linked agricultural economy, symbolized by above-ground grain elevators. Archeological studies demonstrate the link between these past and present lifeways.
Graphic designer and illustrator Michael Irvin created the poster and brochure through the courtesy of CREDO Advertising & Marketing of Kansas City, Missouri. Text was contributed by Ramona J. Willits, based on research by Dr. Robert Hoard and Dr. Mary J. Adair. Kansas Anthropological Association volunteers will assemble poster packets.
2000 - A Point Well Taken
The Kansas Archeology Week poster for 2000 was the third in a series of full-color posters that feature artifacts from the Society's collections. "A Point Well Taken" shows a distinctive stone tool kit - dart point, knife, gouge, and axe - from the William Young site in Morris County. The site was investigated in the early 1960s, and the data analysis resulted in the formal definition of the Munkers Creek phase, an Archaic culture that dates to about 3550-3050 B.C.
Text and line drawings on the back of the poster provide information about chipped stone tool technology, its place in prehistoric lifeways, and its significance in modern scientific research. In addition, the poster calls for cooperation between responsible collectors and professional archeologists in facing the ethical responsibilities that accompany artifact collecting - meticulous record keeping, systematic study, proper interpretation, and safe storage.
For the third year Topeka graphic artist James Kresge has donated his talents to design the poster. Tod Bevitt has assisted. Since 1994 Ramona J. Willits, rural Lawrence writer, has produced the educational text for the poster reverse.
1999 - A Watched Pot
Prehistoric and modern technology meet in the 1999 Kansas Archeology Week poster that focuses on prehistoric ceramic tradition. The poster featured "A Watched Pot," a Cuesta ware jar from east-central Kansas, made by a skilled potter around A.D. 500. Almost 1,500 years later fragments of the pot were recovered from a Coffey County archeological site and reconstructed in the laboratory, revealing an elongated vessel with a wide mouth, sloping shoulders, and conical base. Distinctive decorations on the rim and upper body, including tool impressions, bosses, and dentate stamping, suggest a relationship with Kansas City Hopewell communities 100 miles to the northeast. Potsherds are among the most studied prehistoric artifacts because ceramic analysis guides archeologists in determining cultural connections. Through study and comparison, these artifacts may reveal ancient technologies, foodways, settlement, and trade.
The image on 1999's full-color poster is a digital reconstruction; that is, computer technology was used to copy colors and textures from the 42 surviving potsherds and apply them to the missing parts of the vessel. This electronic wizardry was performed by anthropology graduate student Tod Bevitt. Graphic artist James Kresge designed the poster. On the reverse a technical illustration by Michael Irvin and text by Ramona J. Willits give information about the culture, environment, and craft of pottery making. All of these talented artists donated their time and expertise to the project.
1998 - A Stitch in Time
Plains women's skills were featured in the 1998 Kansas Archeology Week poster. Kansas Archeology Week, held April 5-11, 1998, focused attention on our rich cultural heritage, highlighting our state's nonrenewable resources and offering information about past peoples. 1998's poster, "A Stitch in Time," honors native Plains women's skill and artistry in leather work. Shoemaking and other leather-working traditions stretch far back into prehistoric times, representing an unbroken connection among generations of Plains women.
Dolores Purdy Corcoran of Topeka contributed the original watercolor of Plains moccasin leggings for this Kansas Archeology Week poster. Dolores is a member of the Caddo Indian tribe and has exhibited in the Lawrence Indian Arts Show at the University of Kansas Museum of Anthropology. Other artists donated their talents to the poster: Michael Irvin (illustrations), Jim Kresge (graphic design), and Ramona J. Willits (text).
During the week of April 6-12, many classrooms, libraries, and museums across Kansas focused on the theme, "A Place to Call Home." Based on the universal human need for shelter and a sense of place, the 1997 poster and educational materials featured Kansas farmhouses from prehistoric to recent times.
In previous years the "A Place to Call Home" series has presented grass houses, earthlodges, and turn-of-the-century farmhouses. 1997's materials summarized the theme. Teaching aids are designed to strengthen the connections between prehistoric and historic cultures and modern Kansas life. Efforts to preserve cultural resources and instill respect for diversity include a poster and companion study guide for each year, with text suitable for a wide audience but directed toward middle school students. Each guide is arranged as a five-day unit of instruction, which can be used at any time of year, year after year.
Michael Irvin of the KSHS Archeology Office provided the graphic design and illustrations for the 1997 poster. Volunteer Ramona J. Willits developed educational materials for the poster and study guide, with State Archeologist John D. Reynolds serving as technical advisor.
1996 - A Place to Call Home - Turn-of-the-Century Farmhouse
During the week of April 7-13, many classrooms, libraries, and museums across Kansas focused on the theme, "A Place to Call Home." Based on the universal human need for shelter and a sense of place, the 1996 poster and educational materials featured a Kansas farm, homesteaded in 1875.
The Martin farmstead in Republic County, which serves as the case study for this year's interpretation of the theme, operated as a subsistence farm in the Smoky Hills from 1875 until 1947. The site was investigated in 1992 due to impending highway construction. Kansas State Historical Society (KSHS) Special Projects Archeologist Christopher M. Schoen directed the archeological project, which was funded by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Michael Irvin of the KSHS Archeology Office provided the graphic design and illustrations for the 1996 poster. Volunteer Ramona J. Willits developed educational materials for the poster and companion study guide, with Schoen and State Archeologist John D. Reynolds serving as technical advisors.
1995 - A Place to Call Home - Pawnee Earthlodge
The 1995 poster is the second in a series that emphasizes human adaptation and utilization of the environment. This year the theme is illustrated using the earthlodge peoples of Kansas--the Pawnee Indians and prehistoric Central Plains Tradition. The poster includes descriptions and teaching materials on the reverse, and a 40-page illustrated companion study guide, aimed at middle school level, is arranged as a five-day teaching unit, designed to strengthen the connections between prehistoric cultures and modern Kansas life.
1994 - A Place to Call Home - Wichita Grass House
Kansas Archeology Week invited Kansas citizens to join archeologists in a partnership, sharing the joy of discovery AND the responsibility of preserving the archeological heritage of the state. April 3-9, 1994, had been designated by Governor proclamation as Kansas Archeology Week, but the partners must continue to stand guard over archeological sites throughout the year.
The centerpiece of 1994's celebration was a striking poster, designed by Chris Prouty, which features a visual progression from grasslands to grass houses. To maximize the usefulness of the poster, the reverse supplies descriptions and teaching aids that focus on human adaptation of natural materials, using the example of Wichita Indian dwellings.
The 1994 effort was the first in a three-year campaign that emphasized the environment and human processes. The long-term project will result in a collection of visual and written materials for students of all ages, educators, and preservationists.