In 1922, at the invitation of J. C. Merriam, and funded by Carnegie Institution, Antevs began to correlate the pluvial histories of lakes Bonneville, Lahontan, and Mono Lake. During this research, Antevs developed an interest in North American archaeology, and in 1934 Edgar B. Howard invited Antevs to study the deposits at Clovis, New Mexico. And in 1936, H.S. Gladwin invited Antevs to Gila Pueblo. Antevs and his wife Ada built a home in Globe, Arizona.
Thereafter, Antevs' research focused on western North America, and on the Southwest in particular. Collaborating with E.B. Sayles, he studied the Naco, Lehner, and other Southwestern sites. In 1938, Antevs determined that Albert and Summer Lakes, Oregon, and Owens Lake, CA, had been dry before 4000 yr, based on the current rate of salt accumulation and the lakes' modern salinity.
In 1939, Antevs received U.S. citizenship.
In 1948, Antevs published the 3-part Neothermal Climatic Sequence based on the Great Basin lake histories and on Great Basin arroyo geomorphology. This chronology preceded Libby's radiocarbon dating, and was based on Swedish Varve Chronology. The term "Altithermal" remains a central feature in Southwestern archaeological chronologies.
Sears was so impressed by Antevs' argument that he changed the name of the journal from "Pollen Analysis Circular" to "Pollen Science Circular." (no. 6, p. 3). However, Antevs argument stimulated other comments in Sears' journal, one of which gave the science its current name.
(Pollen Science Circular. 1944. no. 8, p. 6):
THE RIGHT WORD. - "The question raised by Dr. Antevs: ‘Is pollen analysis the proper name for the study of pollen and its applications?' and his suggestion to replace it by ‘pollen science' interests us very much. We entirely agree that a new term is needed but in view of the fact that pollen analysts normally include in their counts the spores of such plants as ferns and mosses we think that some word carrying a wider connotation than pollen seems to be called for. We should therefore suggest palynology from Greek (paluno), to strew or sprinkle; cf. (palé), fine meal; cognate with Latin pollen, flour, dust): the study of pollen and other spores and their dispersal, and applications thereof. We venture to hope that the sequence of consonants p-l-n (suggesting pollen, but with a difference) and the general euphony of the new word may commend it to our fellow workers in this field. We have been assisted in the coining of this new word by Mr. L. J. D. Richardson, M..A., University College, Cardiff." (H. A. Hyde and D. A. Williams, July 15, 1944. Wales)
During the 1950's Antevs health began to fail and he no longer engaged in active field work. He continued to give lectures and attend scientific meetings, and from 1957 onward he was a Research Associate in the Geochronology Laboratories at the University of Arizona, on Tumamoc Hill.
Ernst Valdemar Antevs died on May 19, 1974 after a long illness. Ted Smiley (1974) eulogized Antevs as "Small in stature but large in ability, this man brought an understanding to the chaotic and complex field of research concerning the depositional history of the late- and post- glacial period in the Southwest."
Smiley, T.H. 1974. Memorial to Ernst Valdemar Antevs, 1888-1974. Bulletin Geological Society of America.
Haynes, C. V. 1990. The Antevs-Bryan years and the legacy of Paleoindian geochronology. GSA Special Paper 242.
E.V. ANTEVS PUBLICATIONS (large file)