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@Occoquan Paleotechnics 2018

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Bringing Archaeology to Life: In the Spirit of Dr. Dennis Stanford


Atlatl experiments, Front Royal, Virginia, 1970s

I was a college archaeology student in the early 90's when I first saw a film that showed Dennis Stanford doing creative experiments with stone tool technology. I saw archaeology in a new light, and was inspired well beyond seeing simple charts and graphs on paper. Several years later, as a museum technician at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History, I was fortunate to be assigned to work with Dr. Stanford, who was already a lithics legend in North American archaeology. Dennis was not only a scientist, he was a pioneer in experimental archaeology and primitive technology who made the fields accessible to those outside of museum and academic settings.  Through his congenial and open demeanor and willingness to share knowledge, Dennis motivated countless people to get out there and experience and connect with our human past. He not only influenced my early career, but also provided the spark for Occoquan Paleotechnic’s origin and ethos. Though we lost him in April of this year, his spirit lives on in our company’s mission of bringing archaeology to life. 


OccPaleo is proud to share this video on the career of Dennis Stanford. Thank you Ted Timreck and Pegi Jodry for sharing this with the public.




I'll never forget that first film showing real stone tool testing. It was my first glimpse into the science of experimental archaeology and how it could bring the past to life. Over the last 2 decades I have been extremely fortunate to work for Dr. Stanford. The field of archaeology has lost a giant, and the world will miss a wonderful human being.

#atlatls #experimentalarchaeology

#primitivetechnology

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