Museum's annual Archaeology Lecture Series set to bring past alive

EUGENE, Ore. — (Oct. 1, 2012) — The Museum of Natural and Cultural History (MNCH) at the University of Oregon will launch its annual Archaeology Lecture Series on Friday, Oct. 5. Among the guest speakers in the series, which runs for three consecutive Fridays, will be Anna Roosevelt of the University of Illinois at Chicago, whose discoveries in South America have shed light on the early peopling of the Americas.

Each lecture begins at 5:30 p.m. in Room 175 of the William W. Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate St. Admission is free. The annual series is offered in partnership with the Oregon Archaeology Celebration 2012.

Jon Erlandson, MNCH executive director, will kick off the series Oct. 5. His illustrated lecture "Connecting the Dots: Coastlines, Crescents, the Pacific Flyway, and the Peopling of the Americas" will address new ideas and evidence for understanding early stone tools along the Pacific Rim. His research targets the human colonization of the Americas, the evolution of the Pacific Flyway and connections between Paleoindians of the Great Basin and California's Channel Islands.

On Oct. 12, Scott Fitzpatrick, professor of anthropology at the UO, will speak on "Archaeology in Palau, Micronesia: 3000 years of Life and Death in the Chelechol ra Orrak Rockshelter." Over the millennia, people used this island site in the western Pacific Ocean for human burials, as a campsite and as a quarry for stone money. Fitzpatrick will present a variety of evidence that illuminates a fascinating story of continuity and change over time.

On Oct. 19, the museum's lecture series concludes with Roosevelt's talk on "New Light on the Peopling of South America." Roosevelt, an anthropologist and great-granddaughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, is credited with rediscovering the Monte Alegre site along the Amazon River. The site, dating to more than 10,000 years ago, included cave paintings and tools. She will discuss the implications of new archaeological evidence and the latest analysis of previously known sites.

"We are honored to present these three highly regarded scholars and make their research available to the community," said Ann Craig, MNCH associate director of public programs. "October is a time to reflect on our collective heritage and consider ways we can steward these resources."

All lectures will be available afterward as podcasts on the MNCH website.

About the Museum of Natural and Cultural History
The Museum of Natural and Cultural History, 1680 E. 15th Ave. in Eugene, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and youths 17 and under, and $8 for families (two adults and up to four youths). Museum members are admitted free. Guided tours are offered each Friday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Media Contact: Judi Pruitt, Museum of Natural and Cultural History,, 541-346-1671

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