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Caleb Vance Haynes, Jr.
Born February 29, 1928 (1928-02-29) (age 82)
Spokane, Washington, United States
Residence Tucson, Arizona
Fields Archaeology
Institutions University of Arizona
Southern Methodist University
Alma mater Colorado School of Mines
Doctoral advisor Terah L. Smiley
Paul E. Damon
John F. Lance
Spencer R. Titley
Known for Sandia Cave

Caleb Vance Haynes, Jr. (born February 29, 1928), known as Vance Haynes or C. Vance Haynes, Jr., is an archaeologist, geologist and author who specializes in the archaeology of the American Southwest. Haynes "revolutionized the fields of geoarchaeology and archaeological geology."[1] He is known for unearthing and studying artifacts of Paleo-Indians including ones from Sandia Cave in the 1960s, work which helped to establish the timeline of human migration through North America. Haynes coined the term "black mat" for a layer of 10,000-year-old swamp soil seen in many North American archaeological studies.[2]

Haynes was elected in 1990 to the National Academy of Sciences. From 1996 to 2004, Haynes worked to keep the Kennewick Man discovery available for science. Currently an emeritus Regents' professor at the University of Arizona, Haynes is still active in the School of Anthropology.[3]


Early life

Caleb Vance Haynes, Jr., was born in 1928 on February 29, Leap Day, in Spokane, Washington. He was the only child of his parents, Marjory McLeod and Caleb Vance Haynes, an air officer, commander of a military airfield, who would later rise to the rank of major general in the United States Air Force (USAF).[4]

One of Haynes's grandfathers was Caleb Hill Haynes, Jr., a Democrat in the North Carolina General Assembly.[5] Haynes's most famous great-grandfather was Chang Bunker, a twin of the first pair of conjoined twins to be called "Siamese Twins".[4]

Like his father, Haynes entered the USAF; he served for three years 1951–1954.[1] During this time, he was posted to air bases in Fairbanks, Austin and in Albuquerque. At each station he indulged his interest in archaeology, and sought contact with some of the early researchers studying Paleoindian traces.[2] He was interested in rocketry and guided missiles, and was posted to special weapons units, including a stint at Sandia Base adjoining Albuquerque. In the Albuquerque area on his days off, he explored early human settlement sites with his retired father. Following his tour of duty, Haynes enrolled in the Colorado School of Mines, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in geology and archaeology in 1956.[1]


Attracted by the school's program in geochronology, Haynes entered the University of Arizona at Tucson for graduate study. As well, he was drawn by the Paleoindian research being performed by Emil Haury. Under Haury, Haynes and fellow student George Agogino began in 1960 to gather charcoal samples from many sites of ancient human activity in the Great Plains, returning to the university's new radiocarbon dating equipment to process the samples and establish as narrow a time range as possible. From this work, Haynes established the first reliable dates for the Folsom tradition and the Clovis culture.[2]

He earned his PhD in 1965, and joined in archaeological digs at Hell Gap and Sister's Hill in Wyoming.[2] Fred Wendorf invited Haynes to join the High Plains Paleoecology Project (HPPP), an association which led to his first work at the Clovis archaeological dig, Blackwater Draw Locality 1. His careful dating of Clovis and Hell Gap carbon traces provided Haynes with one of the most significant advances in the understanding of early human activity and migration in North America.[2]

Haynes has primarily been interested in determining how the New World was populated by humans. Other interests of his include studies of the Quaternary extinction event, the PleistoceneHolocene transition in which megafauna died off in great numbers. Haynes has studied both modern and historic climate change, human occupation of the Sahara, and battlefield archaeology.[6]

Haynes has studied the disappearance from Earth of its largest animals approximately 11,000–10,900 years ago. Using contrary evidence, he challenges the theorists who say that humans killed off the large mammals by predation, as well as the theorists who look to an asteroid impact. Haynes notes that the extinction period could have been as short as one century—he concludes that too little is known, and more research must be undertaken to achieve complete understanding.[7]

In 1997, Haynes co-authored a memorial of his teacher Emil Haury, an article written with Raymond Harris Thompson and James Jefferson Reid which appeared in Biographical Memoirs, Volume 72, of the National Academy of Sciences.

On September 28, 1999, some 90 former students of Haynes converged at the University of Arizona to honor him during a two-day symposium.[8]

The Argonaut Archaeological Research Fund (AARF) was the recipient in Fall 2002 of Haynes's extensive collection of 800 acrylic casts made from Paleoindian weapon and projectile points. The collection is housed at the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona.[9]

In 2003–2004, Haynes submitted arguments to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit with other scientists to challenge various tribal claims to the remains of the Kennewick Man, estimated to be 8,340 to 9,200 years old.[10] The remains in question were ones that Haynes said predated any organized tribes currently known, and as such could not be considered the direct ancestor of any of the tribes who sought to have the bone fragments immediately reburied.[10] Writing to the Army Corps of Engineers on October 3, 1996, Haynes was one of the first scientists to challenge the rights of the several Native American tribes wishing to take possession of the skeleton and to rebury it—he argued that the skeleton should be studied by qualified scientists.[11] In mid-October, he and seven other scientists sued to gain access to the skeleton, and to prevent its "repatriation" with Indian tribes.[12] The court concluded that the Kennewick Man could not be considered "Native American" as defined by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.[10]

Personal life

While stationed with the USAF in Fairbanks, Alaska, Haynes met and married Elizabeth "Taffy" Hamilton (1925–2003). She was previously working as a code breaker for the U.S. Army in California, then moved to Fairbanks to continue her work as a civil servant for the Air Force. In 1955 while living in Denver, the couple produced a daughter, Elizabeth Anne "Lisa" Haynes. In the late 1960s, Taffy Haynes earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Arizona. Taffy Haynes died in 2003, survived by her husband and her daughter, who memorialized her with a leaf tile and a brick paver at the University of Arizona's Women's Plaza of Honor.[13]


  • Haynes, C. Vance, Jr. (August 13, 1982) "Great Sand Sea and Selima Sand Sheet, Eastern Sahara: Geochronology of Desertification." Science, Volume 217, Number 4560, pages 629–633.
  • Haynes, C. Vance, Jr. (September 1985) Mastodon-Bearing Springs and Late Quaternary Geochronology of the Lower Pomme de Terre Valley, Missouri. ISBN 9780813722047
  • Haynes, C. Vance, Jr. and George A. Agogino (1986) Geochronology of Sandia Cave. Smithsonian contributions to anthropology, Number 32. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Haynes, C. Vance, Jr. (1995) General Custer and His Sporting Rifles. Tucson: Westernlore Publications.
  • Haynes, C. Vance, Jr., editor. (February 2007) Murray Springs: A Clovis Site with Multiple Activity Areas in the San Pedro Valley, Arizona. ISBN 9780816525799


  1. ^ a b c Holland, Eric. (2000) Caleb Vance Haynes, 1928–Present. Retrieved on February 3, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e Argonaut (2007) "Paleoindian Studies and Geoarchaeology at the University of Arizona." Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona. Retrieved on February 3, 2010.
  3. ^ Harwood, Lori (December 9, 2009) "New UA School of Anthropology Offers Enhanced Opportunities for Students." UANews, University of Arizona. Retrieved on February 3, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Arlington National Cemetery. Caleb Vance Haynes, Major General, United States Air Force. Retrieved on January 31, 2010.
  5. ^ North Carolina Manual, 1933. Page 184. "Caleb Hill Haynes." Retrieved on January 31, 2010.
  6. ^ Dr. C. Vance Haynes Jr., School of Anthropology, University of Arizona.
  7. ^ Harrison, Jeff (April 22, 2009) "Did a Significant Cool Spell Mark the Demise of Megafauna?" UANews, University of Arizona. Retrieved on February 3, 2010.
  8. ^ Stiles, Lori (September 28, 1999) "Former Students to Honor Vance Haynes at Symposium." UANews, University of Arizona.
  9. ^ The C. Vance Haynes Paleoindian Cast Collection. Argonaut Archaeological Research Fund. University of Arizona, 2007. Retrieved on February 3, 2010.
  10. ^ a b c United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. - 367 F.3d 864. Argued and Submitted September 10, 2003. Filed February 4, 2004. Amended April 19, 2004. Retrieved on February 3, 2010.
  11. ^ Haynes, C. Vance, Jr. "Claims to the Remains." NOVA Online. Mystery of the First Americans. PBS, 2000. Retrieved on February 3, 2010.
  12. ^ Slayman, Andrew (January–February 1997) "Special Report: A Battle Over Bones." Retrieved on February 3, 2010.
  13. ^ Haynes, Vance; Lisa Haynes (October 24, 2006). "Elizabeth Hamilton (Taffy) Haynes". Women's Plaza of Honor. Tucson, Arizona: The University of Arizona. Retrieved February 19, 2010. 

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