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Public is invited to an archaeological excavation of Magic Mountain

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Indiana Jones’ archaeological adventures just became more accessible to the general public.

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science invites members of the public to be a part of an excavation project at the Magic Mountain archaeological site, located near Apex Park just outside of Golden, Colo. Free public tours and excavation opportunities with professional archaeologists will be offered between June 20 – 27 and July 5 – 13. The tours are made possible by a grant from the History Colorado State Historical Society. 

“I am so excited for another season of digging into this incredible site and sharing the experience with visitors,” said Dr. Michele Koons, curator of archaeology and excavation lead for the Museum. “Magic Mountain is one of the most significant archaeological sites along Colorado’s Front Range, and is one of the largest sites of its kind with lots of artifacts still waiting to be excavated and studied.”

 Under her leadership, the Museum began excavation at the site in 2017, focused on areas of interest identified in geophysical surveys. The research team is working to better understand mobility patterns, seasonal use, and site activities during the Early Ceramic Period (200–1000 CE).

 In the off-season, Koons and a group of interns have been cleaning, sorting, cataloging and analyzing the collected material. Research indicates that hunter-gatherers camped in the area as long as 7,000 years ago. Analyses of the excavated objects will ultimately contribute to the larger picture of what life was like at Magic Mountain long ago.

 This summer, the Museum is offering increased capacity for public tours thanks to the new grant. Reservations for the free tours and excavation opportunities at Magic Mountain are available first come, first served at dmns.org/toursatmagicmountain.  

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