Ebersole ‘Decade’ speaker May 2; Arbogast keeps Garden of Gods archaelogical sites secret

       UCCS archeologist Bill Arbogast knows where there's prehistoric rock art at the Garden of the Gods, but he won't say where, he told about 100 people in his presentation April 18 that kicked off the Garden of the Gods “Decade of Discov-ery” lecture series.
       If the location of the site, which is among 11 prehistoric finds at the Garden resulting from a research effort in the mid-1990s, were not kept secret, it would risk defilement, he said - not unlikely in a city park that's visited by about 2 million people a year.
       The next speaker in the lecture series will be Kirk Johnson, chief curator of paleontology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, discussing fossil finds at the Garden of the Gods and surrounding region Monday, April 25. The series will conclude with a talk by Jim Ebersole, Biology Depart-ment co-chair at Colorado Col-lege, Monday, May 2, regarding the ecology of the Garden, how it has been impacted by people and what he and others have been doing to restore it.
       The lectures are all at 7 p.m. at Slocum Com-mons on the Colorado College campus. There is no admission charge, but donations are accepted for the Garden of the Gods Foundation, a non-profit that is doing a special fund-raising effort for the Garden's upkeep this year to commemorate its 10th year of existence.
       Arbogast's talk ad-dressed archaelogy around the state, as well as the Garden. In the region, he said the earliest human finds have been at Palmer Lake, from about 10,000 B.C., during an ice age, when mammoths were still there to be hunted.
       On the whole, Arbogast said in his talk, the Garden “is not the best place for preservation” of prehistoric artifacts. Because of the bedrock, “things wash away too easily,” he explained.
       The earliest known occupants at the Garden of the Gods go back to about 1,350 B.C. This belief is based on a carbon-dated fire pit, he said.
       The Garden of the Gods' rock art was probably painted by Ute Indians from west central Colorado who had been visiting the area, he said. As for the location, “It's well-hidden, and I hope it stays that way,” Arbogast said.

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