UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History offers archaeology lecture series

EUGENE, Ore. -- (October 7, 2011) - Acclaimed archeological author Jean Auel will lead off a three-part lecture series on archeology over the next month sponsored by the University of Oregon's Museum of Natural and Cultural History. The lectures will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday evenings, Oct. 14, 21 and Nov. 4, and will feature three key speakers.

Auel, a bestselling author, begins the series with a lecture on "Neanderthals, Archaeology, and Fiction" on Oct. 14 in 100 Willamette Hall on the UO campus. Auel combines scientific and historical data with a literary style that has engaged millions of people to travel back to a fascinating time in human history. She will speak about her journey from archaeological research to fiction. Auel is best known for the Earth's Children series that began with "Clan of the Cave Bear." The books have sold over 45 million copies worldwide

Bryan Hockett, Associate State Archeologist of the Bureau of Land Management from the Nevada state office will speak about the Oregon Paisley Caves in the second lecture on Oct. 21 in Room 175 in the Knight Law Center. Hockett's lecture, "Uncovering 14,500 Years of Habitation," will explore one of the earliest human occupation sites in the Americas.

"The conclusions stemming from the Paisley Cave excavations challenge previously held beliefs about early human occupation in North America," Hockett says.

Although initially met with some skepticism, Hockett will present the latest archeological research from Paisley Caves, which have since garnered international attention.

Brian O'Neill and Paul Baxter, staff archeologists at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, will present the final lecture in the series on Nov. 4 in Room 175 in the Knight Law Center. They will share their findings from excavations at Harris Homestead, one of several homesteads caught up in a retaliatory strike during the Rogue Valley Indian Wars, in their lecture "Lost and Found: The Search for a Rogue Valley Indian War Battle Site." Their research shines a light on how early Oregonian settlers struggled to establish their homesteads during a turbulent time in Oregon's history.

All three lectures are free to the public.

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

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Judi Pruitt, assistant director visitor and member services, 541-346-1671, judip@uoregon.edu

SOURCE: natural-history.uoregon.edu and facebook.com/oregonnaturalhistory