• Biographical Description

  • I am a 2008 graduate of the PhD program in the Department of Geography at the University of Denver, and am currently working as Senior archaeologist/principle investigator for ERO Resources, an environmental consulting company based in Denver.  I grew up in Denver, and received a BA in Anthropology from Colorado College in 1981 and an MA in Anthropology from CU-Boulder in 1991.  My current research involves the examination of the effects of changing climate and population dynamics on the prehistoric cultures of the western High Plains.  To this end, I have developed proxies for prehistoric hunter-gatherer population dynamics using the summed probability distributions of archaeological radiocarbon ages, and I am investigating the paleoenvironmental records derived from small spring-fed wetlands found in eastern Colorado called “pocket fens,” which have been demonstrated to contain high-resolution (sub-decadal) records of past environmental conditions on the plains.  I am also interested in the nature and timing of the southern Athapaskan (ancestral Apache and Navajo) migration into the southwestern U.S.  I have published articles and book chapters on the origin and paleoenvironmental records from "pocket fens," the archaeology of eastern Colorado, prehistoric population, geoarchaeology, gender in prehistoric plains society, Athapaskan migration and landscape archaeology.

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Dissertation Research

  • Gilmore, Kevin P. 2008 The Context of Culture Change: Environment, Population, and Prehistory in Eastern Colorado, 1000 B.C – A.D. 1540.  Unpublished PhD Dissertation, University of Denver, Department of Geography.

    Copies of my dissertation in it's entirety are avaialble by request: kgilmore@eroresources.com or through Penrose Library at http://digitaldu.coalliance.org/fedora/repository/codu:63323


  • This document is a text and image summary of my dissertation research on the influences of population and climate on prehistoric culture change during the period 500 B.C. - A.D. 1540.

  • Annotated Figures for Research Summary
  • Publications

  • Other Work in Print

  • "Push and Pull on the Plains: Measuring Human Response to Environmental and Economic Factors in Eastern Colorado Using U.S. Post Offices as an Annually Resolved Population Proxy."
    Kevin P. Gilmore (ERO Resources Corp.) and Michelle Slaughter (Avalon Archaeology)

    U.S. Census data are limited to decadal-scale resolution, insufficient for the examination of subdecadal population response to environmental and economic push and pull factors. During the late 19th and 20th centuries, U.S. Post Offices apparently opened and closed based on threshold levels of local population and, therefore, provide a robust, annually resolved proxy for historical population. The correlation between the number of post offices and census population for Las Animas County, Colorado between 1870 and 1990 is powerful (R=0.931) and highly significant (p<0.0001). Using this proxy, we observe that population responded rapidly to episodes of environmental change and economic events with in-migration, out-migration, and possibly internal migration. The agriculturally based rural population of a state-level, market-based society fluctuated in response to the changing environment, which has important implications for the examination of prehistoric populations on the Plains, as climate and economy are more strongly linked in less technologically complex, egalitarian societies.

  • This document outlines the collection and analysis of paleoenvironmental data from springs located at the Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD), situated in the Arkansas River Valley of southeastern Colorado.  Analysis of the sediments from small spring-fed “pocket fens” at PCD (and elsewhere in eastern Colorado) have demonstrated that low elevation records of Holocene climate change are not only available for the semi-arid environment of the Great Plains, but may even be relatively common. 

  • Presented March 27, 2008 in the Symposium “The Earliest Athapaskans in the Southern Southwest,” at the Society for American Archaeology 73rd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


    Like all migrations, the movement of Athapaskans from their northern homeland into the area they occupied at the time of contact was the end result of a combination of social and environmental factors.  Human migrations are rarely the product of unilinear movement of population; they are instead the product of a complex sequence of stages usually involving back and forth movement of both people and information.  Proto-Apache sites in Colorado provide evidence for both chain and reverse migration strategies used by Athapaskans to move through and ultimately occupy high-elevation landscapes, presumably aided by high-latitude adaptations retained from their northern homeland.

  • Franktown Cave (5DA272) is a multicomponent prehistoric rockshelter site south of Denver that contained perishable artifacts from Middle Archaic through Protohistoric occupations.  Completion of the NRHP nomination was funded by a grant from the Colorado State Historic Fund to the Archaeological Research Institute in the Department of Anthropology, University of Denver.  The NRHP nomination was submitted in February 2005 (citation date), and the site was formally listed on the National Register in 2006.  The form contains a description of all occupations and their relationship to the prehistory of eastern Colorado and many images of the perishable (fiber and hide) and durable (flaked and ground stone, ceramic) artifacts, as well as images of perishable ecofacts (corn).

  • This list of the AMS and standard radiocarbon ages from Franktown Cave contains mofe technical information than the list contained in the NRHP nomination form.  All of the components were determined by comparing the dates and determining if they were statistically the same or significantly different at the p=.01 level of significance. 

  • Archaeology of the Eureka Ridge Site (5TL3296), Teller County, Colorado. (2005).  Kevin P. Gilmore and Sean Larmore.  Submitted by RMC Consultants to the USDA Forest Service, Pike National Forest, Pueblo, Colorado.


    The Eureka Ridge site (5TL3296) is a large, single component Western Dismal River Aspect/proto-Apachean site, consisting of features and flaked lithic, ceramic and ground stone artifacts.  The site is situated on the crest of a ridge overlooking an intermittent drainage at an elevation of 8880 ft. in the upper montane environmental zone.  In addition to small side-notched and un-notched projectile points and a bi-pointed beveled biface, the collection of diagnostic artifacts includes over 450 plain-ware, simple-stamped, and cord-impressed sherds representing 7-10 vessels, the majority manufactured from locally available materials.  Three direct AMS dates of 460 ± 40 BP (2-sigma calibrated age range of A.D. 1410 - 1480), 410 ± 30 BP (2 Sigma Cal AD 1430-1510), and 305 ± 30 BP (2-sigma calibrated age range of A.D. 1490 – 1650) obtained from crushed body sherds document at least two occupations of the site.  These dates place occupation of the Eureka Ridge site firmly within an emergent pattern of sites in the Front Range that supports a 15th century (or earlier) date for Athapaskan migration into eastern Colorado.  In addition, obsidian sourced to the Jemez Mountains suggests either contact with Rio Grande Pueblo groups or actual Athapaskan presence in New Mexico by the early 15th century.  Extensive testing resulted in the discovery of three features, two possible hearths and a post-mold configuration that most likely represents either a small hide lodge or wickiup.  This cultural material represents the best documented component from the late Pre-contact period in eastern Colorado, and contributes significant new information regarding this little-known period of time.

  • Gilmore, Kevin, and Sean Larmore (2003) The Palmer Divide Archaeology Project: Documentation of Artifact Collections from the Tenth Fairway (5DA123), Rainbow Creek (5DA124), and Jarre Creek (5DA541) Sites, Douglas County, Colorado.  Manuscript on file at the University of Denver, Museum of Anthropology.

     Abstract: With funding from the Colorado Historical Society State Historical Fund (00-M2-011), staff of the Archaeological Research Institute at the University of Denver (DU) and a graduate student in the DU Department of Anthropology analyzed artifact collections from the Tenth Fairway (5DA123), Rainbow Creek (5DA124), and Jarre Creek (5DA541) sites held by the University of Denver Museum of anthropology (DUMA).  These site collections date to the 1950s and were selected because they have previously published Late Prehistoric radiocarbon ages associated with them.  The sites are located in the northwestern corner of the Palmer Divide, an area south of Denver above 6000 feet in elevation that extends from the base of the Front Range out onto the plains, and contains a mosaic of plains and foothills vegetation communities that in effect forms an eastern extension of foothills environments.  The prehistory of this unique area is relatively unknown, and the information from these sites adds greatly to the corpus of knowledge regarding the prehistoric occupation of the Palmer Divide.  Collections from the Tenth Fairway and Rainbow Creek sites contain cultural materials representing occupations from the Early Archaic through the Early to Middle Ceramic periods, including projectile points, ceramics, and a wide variety of flaked lithic, ground stone and bone tools.  The Jarre Creek site is a single component dating to the transition between the Early and Middle Ceramic period.  In addition to diagnostic projectile points, a reconstructable ceramic vessel with a decorated rim and other flaked lithic and groundstone artifacts, there is an apparent habitation structure.  General patterns common between the three sites includes a reliance on local raw materials, a relative lack of exotic raw materials and a large number of retouched flake tools, all of which suggest that the sites functioned as camps and (in the case of Tenth Fairway and Rainbow Creek) represent a series of long occupations over the past 7000 years.

  • Gilmore, Kevin P. 1991  Bayou Gulch:  Geoarchaeology of a Multicomponent Site in Central Colorado. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado, Boulder.  

    Copies of my complete thesis are available on request: kgilmore@eroresources.com

  • Teaching

  • Photos

  • Pocket Fens and Marshes of Eastern Colorado

This portfolio last updated: 04-Nov-2016 2:25 PM