Tony Baker's Bio

updated 4/9/11


Basics -- Age 66, married to Simone Baker, two grown offspring, reside in Denver, Co.

Education -- BS-Civil Engineering 1967 Univ. of New Mexico, MA-Anthropology 1990 Univ. of Colorado, Thesis-Expediency and Projectile Resharpening (click for abstract).

Employment - Retired in 1999 after 32 years with Texaco in the upstream business.

Places I Have Lived - Albuquerque, NM (born & raised); Andrews, TX; Midland, TX; Pecos, TX; Wichita Falls, TX; Casper, Wyo.; Denver, Co. and Sumatra, Indonesia.

Countries I Have Visited For More Than a Day - Austria, Canada, Czeck Republic, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Singapore, and United Kingdom.

Important (to me) Archaeological Sites I Have Visited -- /USA/ Alibates Flint Quarry, Blackwater Draw, Casper, Copper/Jake Bluff, Dent, Folsom, Gault, Hell Gap, Hudson-Meng, Lindenmeier, Lubbock Lake, Meadowcroft, Mesa, Midland, Mountaineer, Nall, Olsen-Chubbuck, Plainview, Red Smoke, Sandia, Topper & Wilson Leonard -- /Austria/ Willendorf -- /Britain/ Barnham, Beeches Pit, High Lodge, Lynford Quarry, & Warren Hill -- /France/ Combarelles, Cro-Magnon, Font-de-Gaume, Lascaux (the original), Madeleine, Moustier, Regourdou, Rouffignac, Teyjat, & Villars -- /Germany/ Neanderthal, Schöningen -- /Hungary/ Vértesszölös -- /Italy/ Atella, Cala, Camerota, Castelcivita, Della Serratura, Isernia, Molare, Notarchirico, Paglicci, & Poggio -- /Spain/ Altamara Museum, El Buxu, Cueva Benito, El Pindal, & Tossal del La Roca -- /Canada/ Charlie Lake -- /Mexico/ Lake Chapala.(Click highlighted ones for an image.)

Details -- The reader has deduced that archaeology is my avocation. My father, Ele Baker, was an archaeologist who got his start as a kid hunting arrowheads with his father "Uncle" Bill Baker on the denuded plains of Oklahoma and Texas in the 30's. I became interested in archaeology, especially Paleoindian, in the 60's. With my father as the mentor, the two of us collected and assembled one of the larger collections of Paleoindian material in New Mexico. This collection has provided, and still is providing, information and data for Ph.D. dissertations.

There was a hiatus in my archaeological activities in the 70's. In the 80's I returned to graduate school to obtain my Masters. It was during those graduate school years, sometimes only taking one class a semester, that I became a member of the SAA. In 1992, all SAA members received an invitation to travel to Russia and interface with Russian archaeologists. I accepted the invitation and made the trip with 30+ other SAA members. Little did I know this trip would change my entire outlook on archaeology and my beliefs in the peopling of the New World.

Prior to the trip, I believed strongly that Clovis were the first occupants of the New World. In Russia I learned that there were no antecedents to the Clovis lithic technology in the Upper Paleolithic in Siberia or for that matter, anywhere in Russia. (I know some of you will disagree with this statement and I will not attempt to defend it here. If you want to discuss this subject then please email me at tabaker@ele.net.) The closest lithic technology to Clovis was the Solutrean in France, which I immediately attempted to study in the English literature. However, I could not find answers to the questions I had, so I ultimately planned and made a trip to France to see the Solutrean and the Upper Paleolithic. I returned from France, believing in a pre-Clovis and to be specific, believing the first lithic technology to arrive in the New World was the Middle Paleolithic. This was my position until my trip in 1997 to Italy and the 13th Congress of Prehistory and Protohistory Studies. In Italy I attended the pre-Congress tour focusing on the Middle Paleolithic. This one-week tour of sites and museums has softened my belief in pre-Clovis and I am currently reassessing my position. Check out my Clovis First / Pre-Clovis Problem page for more information.

More Details -- I retired in February of 1999 and have started a second career (unpaid) in archaeology. For the year of 1999 I spent the majority of my time working with Finite Element Analysis and attempting to understand the Folsom Fluting process. This interest was precipitated by the two Folsom Workshops, in which I have participated.

All the above was written 10/10/99 or earlier.


Comments as of 7/20/01

During the summer of 2000 I had the opportunity to participate in an archaeological survey on the North Slope of Alaska organized by Mike Kunz of the BLM. The same opportunity became available in 2001 and I again took it. This is an image of me napping (not knapping) on the Slope during the summer of 2000.

These two pedestrian surveys (duration of about 8 weeks) have altered my opinion on the peopling of the New World. I still believe the New World native populations are the result of migrations across the Bering Strait. However, my opinion that there was a Solutrean-Clovis connection has changed. I now believe the Clovis lithic technology is "home grown". Believing Clovis technology evolved in the New World requires a Pre-Clovis population to develop it, so, I must believe in Pre-Clovis. However, I also believe the Pre-Clovis manifestation was small and it will be very difficult to find, if it can be found at all. For all intents and purposes, Clovis was first.


Comments as of 7/22/07

Over the last six years, since my previous comments, I have continued to participate in BLM archaeological surveys on the North Slope. This image was taken in early July 2007. I am standing on the north side of the Brooks Range with the divide in the background.

My position on the Clovis/Pre-Clovis subject remains the same as in my webpage Clovis First / Pre-Clovis Problem--Revisited 2004.

In January 2004 I made my first visit to the British Museum, which perked my interest in the Lower and Middle Paleolithic. As a result, I expanded my research to include these and have produced several webpages on the Acheulean Handaxe.

In the Fall of 2006 I encountered another fork in my life. By mistake, I audited a freshman poetry writing class at the University of Denver. I had never written a poem before this time. I thought I was taking a non-fiction prose class. The teacher said, "if the author says it's a poem, it's a poem." So, leon-antoine.net is now my poetry webpage and the stuff there are poems as defined by me.

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