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1 February 2012 James Bell Benedict 11 November 1938 to 8 March 2011
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In the time since I wrote the memoriam on Jim Benedict (the memoriam appeared in AAAR, 2011, v. 43, no. 3, pp. 485–489), the question arose as to who first recognized features constructed by early humans in the tundra. Many scientists were walking over the area at the time, and here is what I have come up with, with help from Jean Kindig and Ruby Marr. Ruby recalls hiking in the Albion-Kiowa area with her husband, John, in 1959. They came upon two low stone walls. John became very excited about them as he figured they were built by early humans as game drives. Lichens growing on them indicated to him that they were quite old. They also found pits nearby, constructed to conceal the hunters. Photographs were taken but we have not been able to locate them. Jim Benedict, in his Murray Site paper (1975) acknowledges that John showed him the structures in 1961. And, in his 1978 Mt. Albion book, Jim said he began studying alpine archaeology in 1965.

So there we have it. John Marr, who founded INSTAAR (for the first two years it was the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Ecology) and was its first director, is responsible for first showing Jim archaeological remains in the Front Range. How fortunate we are that he did, and that Jim got totally absorbed in it.{ label needed for fig[@id='i1523-0430-44-1-1-f01'] }

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Oblique aerial view of a game-drive kill area. Murray site (5BL65), Mt. Albion, Colorado Front Range. Blockfields and the borders of frost-sorted nets provided rocks for the construction of circular blinds and continuous drive walls. Animals entered the U-shaped, ridge-crest system from lower left. Photo originally appeared in AAAR, 2005, v. 37, no. 4, pp. 425–434.

Peter W. Birkeland "James Bell Benedict 11 November 1938 to 8 March 2011," Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 44(1), (1 February 2012).
Published: 1 February 2012

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