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“The Historical George McJunkin Reimagined through His Archaeological Sites” Presentation

September 21, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

On Thursday, September 21, 2023, Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s “Third Thursday Food for Thought” Zoom online program will feature “The Historical George McJunkin Reimagined through His Archaeological Sites” by applied anthropologist and archaeologist Brian W. Kenny. This free Zoom presentation will be held from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. (ARIZONA/Mountain Standard Time, same as Pacific Daylight Time).

George McJunkin, who is widely known today as the original discoverer of a fossil bone deposit exposed after a devastating 1908 flood in Wild Horse Arroyo near Folsom, New Mexico, died in Folsom in January 1922. The “Folsom site” he discovered turned out to be where archaeologists in 1927 first confirmed the antiquity of humans in the Americas based on direct association of in-situ stone tools and Pleistocene bison bones. The Folsom site has been examined in popular and academic works, but among professional archaeologists there are generalized and continuing disputes regarding the type and extent of credit and recognition McJunkin should receive for our early historical understanding of the Folsom site. McJunkin was born a slave in Texas, was emancipated, and left home as a young man to become a cowboy in west Texas. He learned his trade from Mexican vaqueros and was known for superior cowboy skills and some wild adventures as he worked in the big cattle outfits that moved stock up from Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado to the transcontinental Overland Route. After the Colorado and Southern Railroad was completed in 1888 he settled near Folsom, patented a homestead, built a house in town, and worked for local ranchers. He was well respected by the local community and became a ranch foreman and leader of Black and Mexican cowboys working for New Mexican ranchers.  During his time there, McJunkin built a number of ranch facilities, many of which are now obsolete, abandoned, or reused in alternate ways. These sites, their contents, and the nature of their construction, use, and abandonment hold the key to investigating McJunkin from alternate perspectives. From 2021-2023, a century after McJunkin’s passing, Brian Kenny and colleagues initiated archival, ethnographic, and archaeological research in the Folsom community. In Old Pueblo’s September Third Thursday presentation, Kenny will tell how the members of “Team McJunkin” have visited and documented known McJunkin sites using basic methodologies of community ethnography, archival research, landscape scale characterization, and archaeological survey, and how team members are currently reviewing their field results and preparing for journal publication.

To register for the Zoom webinar go to https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0SwzVEeWTdGHvp1Qyh_Wsg. For more information contact Old Pueblo at info@oldpueblo.org or 520-798-1201.

Flyer: 20230921(v1)ThirdThursday_BrianKenny_TheHistoricalGeorgeMcJunkinReimagined

Caption: George McJunkin photo courtesy of Brian Kenny (public domain)




September 21, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Allen Dart



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