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Archaeologist to speak at Marmaton Watershed meeting

Saturday, January 12, 2013

UNIONTOWN -- The annual business meeting of the Marmaton Watershed District will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at Uniontown City Hall.

During the meeting, two board members will be elected and the district's five-year plan will be voted on. The meeting will include a slide program put together by professional archaeologist, Jim D. Feagins, who is from Belton, Mo.

Feagins will speak on the excavation of the Meech Brothers site in northern Bourbon County - a stratified multi-component prehistoric site dating from before the time of Jesus Christ until nearly a half-century before the Spanish explorer, Coronado, entered Kansas in 1541 A.D, a news release said.

Among the cultural evidence contained at the site were the remains of large house structures from a group of people whose culture is called by archaeologists, the Cuesta phase (400-800 A.D.); and evidence from campsites left by people from the Bourbon complex (late 1400s A.D. to perhaps the very early 1500s A.D.) The latter prehistoric group was named by Feagins after their sites were first discovered in Bourbon and other nearby counties, the release said.

Feagins was raised on a farm near Mapleton and graduated from Fort Scott High School in 1961. he obtained a bachelor's degree from Pittsburg State University and a master's degree from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.

Even though Feagins' parents, Ross and Violet Feagins, of Mapleton and more recently of Fort Scott, are both deceased, he said he still considers rural Bourbon County to be his home, the release said.

Feagins taught science for 30 years prior to retiring in 1995. Concurrent to teaching and continuing after his retirement from that profession, he worked and continues to work as an archaeologist for various educational, state, county and municipal institutions and agencies, including the Kansas Historical Society, the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri, the Kansas City Museum, and others.

Currently, he is part of the adjunct staff for the St. Joseph Museum and conducts archaeological consulting on a contract basis. Over the years, Feagins has done extensive research in Bourbon County, the release said.

All landowners in the Marmaton Watershed District and anyone else interested in hearing the program are encouraged to attend the meeting, the release said.

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