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How the past can be present for our future: archaeological interpretation for the public, the Lindenmeier Folsom site in northern Colorado




Parks, Erin Margaret, author
LaBelle, Jason M., advisor
Todd, Lawrence C., 1954-, committee member
Bright, Alan D., committee member

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The Lindenmeier site is a significant Paleoindian prehistoric site located north of Fort Collins, Colorado in Larimer County. Lindenmeier was discovered in 1924 by Judge C.C. Coffin and later surveyed and excavated beginning in 1934 by Frank H.H. Roberts, Jr. and the Smithsonian Institution (Roberts 1936). The site uncovered thousands of lithic materials dating to the Folsom period that included 468 known Folsom projectile points (Ambler 1999; Gantt 2002; Wilmsen and Roberts 1978). The private ranch Lindenmeier is located on was purchased by the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program. Lindenmeier is now part of the Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and open to the public. Developing an appropriate cultural resource interpretation is essential because Lindenmeier is now open to the public. The opening of Lindenmeier created a necessary examination of other Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene interpretive sites within the Great Plains region. I examined six sites for this analysis: Lubbock Lake Landmark in Lubbock, Texas; Hudson-Meng near Crawford, Nebraska; the Mammoth site in Hot Springs, South Dakota; Blackwater Draw near Clovis, New Mexico; Pine Bluffs Windows on the Past Interpretive Center and Museum in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming; and Murray Springs near Sierra Vista, Arizona. Each of these six sites were visited and documented by examining three topics: archaeology, visitation, and public interpretation. Examination of archaeology at each site focused on the information visitors are receiving about the archaeological record and archaeological methods at the sites. The examination of archaeology provides a framework for public programs of the site. Second, visitation explores the type of people visiting the site, the reasons people are visiting, what types of facilities are offered to visitors, and site integrity and security. Examining visitation helps determine the logistics of management approach to the interpretation. Third, public interpretation analyzes how information is presented to visitors. Public interpretation includes educational materials such as brochures, interpretive panels, interpretive trails, and exhibits. Public interpretation also covers how the site is funded, associations with organizations, and how information is presented. The results of archaeology, visitation, and public interpretation analysis from the six sites are compared and contrasted. The results of that analysis are then used to make ideal recommendations for the cultural resource interpretation of Lindenmeier. Overall, examining interpretive sites dating to the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene period in the Great Plains region will provide the best model for Lindenmeier's interpretation.


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public interpretation
Lindenmeier Site (Colo.) -- Management
public education
Visitors' centers -- Colorado -- Lindenmeier Site
Visitors' centers -- Research -- West (U.S.)
Historic sites -- Interpretive programs -- Research -- West (U.S.)
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Interpretive programs -- Research -- West (U.S.)


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