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Bones, spears, and cave art: Celebrating humanity through Anthropology Days

Story by Jordan Spurgeon

anthropology days
Archaeology professor Jim Eighmey teaches students about flint knapping at Anthropology Days on Oct. 30, 2019. Kurt Lapid/The Telescope

Bones, spears, art and flint knapping, all in one event.

The second annual Palomar College Anthropology Days event was held on Oct. 30 and 31 at the San Marcos Campus, near the clocktower.

Day one showcased all the anthropology department has to offer for students. Attendees were able to touch and feel bones, watch a movie in a tent, throw an atlatl and paint cave art.

betsy pain
Anthropology professor Besty Pain at the second Annual Anthropology Days event on Oct. 30, 2019. Kurt Lapid/The Telescope

Archaeology professor Betsy Pain expressed her excitement about being a part of Anthropology Days.

“Our program is one of the best in California because it’s hands-on,” Pain said. “Students from four-year universities come here to get more experience.”

One part of the event that students appeared to be drawn to most was the atlatl throwing. It looks like spear throwing, but it was originally a technology that was used nearly 17,000 years ago to hunt.

Greg Graham Macier, an archaeology major and member of the anthropology club, spent most of the day helping out with the atlatl throwing.

“This event was fun, I’m glad to be apart of it for the first time,” Macier said.

The Anthropology Club spent a long time planning this event. Casey Vann, the club’s president, has spent much of her time around the anthropology department.

Vann helped set up the event and ran some of the booths.

“This event is great exposure to the program,” Vann said. “Not many people know about our program but now they can see it and have some fun in the sun with us.”

Students from around campus came up to the booths throughout the day to see what all the commotion was about.

casey vann
Archaeology student Casey Vann at Anthropology Days held on Oct. 30, 2019. Kurt Lapid/The Telescope

“It’s really interesting and really informative,” said Palomar student Michael Morris, “They talked about how to excavate and understand bones. I also learned there’s a magic and witchcraft class which really interests me.”

atlatl throwing
Professor Jim Eighmey teaches students how to use an atlatl, a tool used for prehistoric hunting. Kurt Lapid/The Telescope

Every professor involved took the time to demonstrate and tell students about different classes in the fields of anthropology.

Professor Jim Eighmey spent time flint knapping, to show students what he does out in the field. He had the goal of bringing awareness to the opportunities that are available through the Anthropology Department.

Day one was seen as a success by anthropology professor Anne-Marie Mobilia.

Mobilia said, “I think we had a lot of activities that got students engaged and relaxed during the school day, while also teaching them a little about anthropology.”

Day two of Anthropology Days took place on Oct. 31. They had guest speakers from different anthropological fields came to speak to students from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in room SSC1-1.

The list of guest speakers, not from Palomar, included Dr. Koanne Martinez from Cal State San Marcos and Cindy Stankowski from the San Diego Archaeological Center.

Palomar professors and Anthropology Club members also spoke throughout day two.

For more information on future Anthropology Days and on how to get involved with the anthropology department, visit

Image Sources

  • 49007756171_34d9bc6de2_k: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
  • 49007746916_ad3df16e77_4k: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
  • Archaeology Day 2019, Casey Vann: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
  • Anthropology Day, Atlatl Throwing 2019: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
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