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James M. Aton: The Crimson Cowboys: The Remarkable Odyssey of the 1931 Claflin-Emerson Expedition

September 28, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

In 1931 a team of six archaeologists from Harvard’s Peabody Museum and three guides set out to do what no archaeologists had done before nor have tried since: explore, survey, and excavate Fremont Indian sites on the Tavaputs Plateau. Their 400-mile expedition is the longest horse-pack archaeological trip in the history of American archaeology. It should have been a highpoint in American archaeology, but it wasn’t. The report summarizing this and three previous years’ work south of the Tavaputs was never written. What should have been one of the greatest archaeological expeditions in American history was relegated to boxes and file folders hidden away in the Peabody Museum basement in Cambridge. Jerry Spangler’s and my book, The Crimson Cowboys, tells the story of this remarkable expedition and is the winner of the Don D. and Catherine S. Fowler Prize..

James M. Aton is a native of Louisville, KY and has been a professor of English at Southern Utah University since 1980. He is the author or coauthor of seven books on the artists, explorers, and rivers of the Colorado Plateau. He is an avid river runner and hiker.

Program sponsored by Utah State University’s Center for Colorado River Studies.


September 28, 2019
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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