Category Archives: Archaeology

Museum Summer Camps

Robert Gay, Curator of Museum Education Taylor Barnett, Cross Orchards Site Manager The Museums of Western Colorado has a long history of providing hands-on educational opportunities to the youth of the Grand Valley. These have ranged from single-day camps at Cross Orchards to week-length experiences around the Grand Valley and the region. This summer the Museums of Western Colorado is proud to announce that we are expanding our offerings going into summer 2017. This year … Read More

Loyd Files Research Library and Archives News

Many exciting projects are underway with the collections at the Museum of the West, the Loyd Files Research Library and Archives, and Cross Orchards. Erin Johnson Schmitz, Curator of Collections and Archives, has been working to get our collections ready for reaccreditation, as well as to make them more available to researchers and the public. The Museum of the West houses artifacts that help to tell the story of Grand Junction and Mesa County. It … Read More

Bears Ears

In the sweltering deserts of southeastern Utah lies a treasure trove of natural and cultural history. Rocks dating back almost half a billion years are exposed in harsh ridges, deep canyons, and forested plateaus. Fossils of strange, sail-backed amphibians, plant-eating crocodiles, and enormous dinosaurs can be found across this region, while the remains of more recent life wait to be found. Sloths, bison, American horses, and other large animals roamed the land during the last … Read More

Digging Up the Past: Part II

When last we spoke, CMU’s archaeological field school finished their initial exploration of the mysterious building on the western side of Cross Orchards. After a brief reprieve from the site to perform archaeological tests elsewhere in western Colorado, the students were back and ready to fulfill the second half of their mission: the foundation of the old silo. The silo was potentially an untapped treasure trove of historic artifacts. This area was previously recommended for … Read More

Intern Conducts Collection Research At “Body Farm”

Few people may be aware that Grand Junction is home to one of six “body farms” in the United States. Known as the Forensic Investigation Research Stations (FIRS), it is operated as part of Colorado Mesa University under the direction Dr. Melissa Connor. FIRS consists of an outdoor space on an acre of land surrounded by privacy fencing and an indoor facility that includes a classroom, wet lab/morgue, walk-in cooler, in-take area, office, and secure … Read More

Digging up the past at Cross Orchards Historic Site

For the first time since the 1983 CAS (Colorado Archaeological Society) excavation of the bunkhouse, archaeological work is currently underway at Cross Orchards. With the help of CMU’s Assistant Professor of Archaeology, John Seebach, Ph.D., and his students, surveys are being done on two very intriguing areas on the site. The first part of the project was to investigate a mysterious structure on the far western side of the property. Historic aerial photographs of Cross … Read More