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Archaeology celebrates 40th with bones

The Palomar Archaeology Program set up tents by the clocktower on Thursday, October 20 to celebrate it's 40th anniversary at Palomar College. The tents had tables with information about the program and repicas of artifacts found on excavation digs. Michael Schulte/The Telescope
The Palomar Archaeology Program set up tents by the clocktower on Thursday, October 20 to celebrate it’s 40th anniversary at Palomar College. The tents had tables with information about the program and repicas of artifacts found on excavation digs. Michael Schulte/The Telescope

The archeology department at Palomar College uncovered its 40th anniversary on Oct. 20.

Professor Phillip de Barros and Andres Berdeja, a student speaker, hosted the event and spoke of alumni from the program. Displays of archeoligical items such as skulls and bones were showcased at the event held by the clocktower. Scientific demonstrations such as flint carving.

Archaeology Department Chair James Emighmey took over the program after Barros’ 20-year tenure leading the archeology program.

Eighmey said his foray into archeology was “kind of as a fluke” as the job he had in between college quarters during the summer of 1979 led him to his current position.

“They needed excavators at a excavation in Kansas,” Eighmey said. “I went up there and really liked it and I changed my major. I started teaching part time, and nine years ago I got my

Palomar College offers an AA certificate in Anthropology along with more than 25 courses catering to Conservation and Archaeology. The bones featured on the table are plaster castings of real skeleton fragments found at archaeological sites worked on by the Anthropology department. Michael Schulte/The Telescope
Palomar College offers an AA certificate in Anthropology along with more than 25 courses catering to Conservation and Archaeology. The bones featured on the table are plaster castings of real skeleton fragments found at archaeological sites worked on by the Anthropology department.
Michael Schulte/The Telescope

full-time position here at Palomar and it has been great.”

Berdeja said the archaeology program has grown within the last three to five years. This “boom” in growth for the program was in part due to outreach in local high schools.

Archaeology Professor James Eighmey demonstrates the ancient Native American technique for chipping stone into an arrowhead using primitve tools used by local tribes. "It's important for archaeologists to recreate the practices of the people who left behind what we dig up, to understand how these things were made," said Eighmey. Michael Schulte/The Telescope
Archaeology Professor James Eighmey demonstrates the ancient Native American technique for chipping stone into an arrowhead using primitve tools used by local tribes. “It’s important for archaeologists to recreate the practices of the people who left behind what we dig up, to understand how these things were made,” said Eighmey.
Michael Schulte/The Telescope

Marlo Willows, a bioarcheology professor, was also in attendance presenting skulls and bones for students to examine. Willows studies the past lives of individuals through their skeletal remains to predict how they may have lived.

“What their lives where like so maybe what kinds of diseases they might have suffered from during life if they had dental disease or arthritis, if they had tuberculosis or Syphilis,” Willows said of her studies. “Maybe what kinds of occupations potentially that they had, maybe what kinds of diet they had. If they’re malnourished I can see on the skeleton.”

Eighmey believes the programs anniversary event offered an opportunity for the community to become familiar with the department and enjoyed seeing everyone in attendance.

“I think a lot of people on the campus don’t know anything about the archeology program even though we been here for 40 years and we’re one of the best known programs in the state,” Eighmey said.

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