CSFA Impact Member Letter

The Scoop!

Center for the Study of the First Americans

Welcome Impact members!

A Busy Summer

Alaska Field School

Drs. Kelly Graf and Ted Goebel taught a 5-week summer field school in Beringian archaeology. Eight undergraduate students enrolled in the field school course and two senior undergraduates (Annie Melton and Megan Watt) were teaching assistants. Students surveyed for archaeological sites in the Nenana Valley, test excavated both the Little Panguingue Creek and Walker Road sites.

Friedkin Site, Texas

After being away for four years, Dr. Mike Waters and a crew of about 12 undergraduate and graduate students returned to the site for eight productive weeks! Hunter-gatherers would seasonally come to the site and camp. At some point they would leave the site and the artifacts they left behind became buried by the sediments from the creek. We know that this was a campsite that was used multiple times in the past by the types of artifacts we found there. In all levels, we found flakes from resharpening of tools, broken tools, and expedient tools with straight, concave, and convex edges that could be used for a variety of different tasks.
This excavation area proved to be one of the most productive and important areas we have dug at the site. We are currently conducting laboratory analysis of the artifacts we collected. Stay tuned for the results!
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Page-Ladson and Sloth Hole Site, Florida

During June and July of 2015, a field crew of seven underwater archaeologists conducted geoarchaeological excavations at the Sloth Hole (8JE121) and Page-Ladson (8JE591) sites, both of which are underwater sinkhole sites in the Aucilla River of Northwestern Florida. We had worked at each of these sites before.
While much research in recent years has been focused upon understanding the very first Americans, trying to answer questions about where they came from, when they arrived, and who they were on a genetic level, comparatively little recent research has focused on the folks at the end of the Paleoindian period facing a world profoundly different than that of their ancestors. We hope to address this gap in part by applying the same precision of analysis to the Younger Dryas and the transitions from Clovis to Archaic. We eagerly await the results of these analyses.


Morgan Smith (Ph.D.)

I am currently studying organic tool technology from Paleoindian contexts through experimental reproduction and analysis of existing specimens. My fieldwork concerns Paleoindian sites in Florida that were submerged during the last sea level transgression at the end of the Pleistocene. These sites represent some of the few areas in North America that preserve these commonly overlooked organic tool forms. For the last several summers, I have assisted on a CSFA excavation in the Aucilla River, Florida at the Page-Ladson site—one of the earliest archaeological sites in North America. My research interests include organic tool technology, peopling of the Americas migration theory, and the Paleoindian cultural chronology of the Southeast United States. This summer, I worked with Dr. Michael Waters and Dr. Jessi Halligan (University of Wisconsin- La Crosse) to survey and excavate rivers throughout North Florida to locate terminal Pleistocene archaeological sites in an attempt to expand the understanding of Florida’s place in First Americans archaeology. (Chair: Mike Waters)

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Recent Center Graduates

Center for the Study of the First Americans

College of Liberal Arts
Texas A&M University