New Collection Highlights


The James F. and Clara M. Linden Collection

In 2016 and 2017, the Archaeology Division accepted a gift of Great Bend aspect materials from the family of James F. and Clara M. Linden of Sterling Kansas. The Great Bend aspect dates to ca. AD 1450 – 1700 and represents a population identified archaeologically as the proto-Wichita. Encountered by Francisco Coronado in AD 1541, the Great Bend aspect people dominated the geographical region of the Arkansas and Lower Walnut River valleys in present day Kansas (including the counties of Rice, McPherson, Marion, and Cowley). By AD 1750, the population moved south to the Red River valley of southern Oklahoma. Archaeological sites are identified by significant middens, numerous cache pits, earthen semi-circular mounds, and large amounts of artifacts.

Artifacts recovered from the 9 pits included faunal and floral remains; numerous bone tools; ceramic sherds and reconstructed vessels; modified freshwater shell; and a variety of stone tools, debitage, and ground stone implements. Also recovered, but in smaller amounts, were obsidian tools, ceramics manufactured at several northern Rio Grande Pueblos in New Mexico, and chain mail.

The archaeology division is delighted to be the repository for the James F. and Clara M. Linden Collection. This collection greatly strengthens the divisions Great Bend collections and will aid researchers who study the archaeology of the Great Plains. Our collections are available for research by request, please contact the collections manager to schedule an appointment. Requests by students should be accompanied by a letter of support from their advisor.

18 different notched points, different colors and conditions.

9 different end scrapers, various sizes and conditions.