David G. Anderson, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology at UTK, will present the second lecture of the Southern Appalachian Studies Series.
Anderson will focus on the culture, lifestyle, and customs of the original, indigenous people as found in the archaeological record, including pre-Columbian and Native American History of the Southeastern Woodland populations.
Before Europeans arrived and disrupted their way of life, there was a thriving population of native peoples in these Southern Appalachian mountains. Topics of discussion will include:
- Mound Building and other human societies
- Origins of agriculture
- Reaction to climate
Attend this presentation on March 28, 2016 at 7 p.m in the Sharon Lawson Room of Blount County Public Library.
From the Library’s Press Release (March 22, 2016)
Anderson says, “A wide range of exciting discoveries have occurred in Southeastern archaeology in recent years, and the region is in the forefront of research on a host of important research questions. Fieldwork is contributing to our understanding of when and how people first came to the Americas during the last ice age upwards of 15,000 years ago. We now also know that complex mound building societies were present in the region more than 5000 years ago, long before similar kinds of monumental architecture appeared in other parts of the continent.”
These studies also help scientists develop an understanding of the development of agriculture because the Southeast is one of only a few places on earth where plants growing in the wild were domesticated and used as crops.
“The region also saw the rise and fall of complex societies long before contact with the Old World began in earnest in the 16th century, and helps us understand why these changes took place. We have learned that the mounds occurring widely over the landscape were built with great care and ceremony, that caves in the region hosted remarkable artwork, and that people were living on the now-submerged continental shelf long before the modern era,” according to Anderson. “Revolutionary developments in data collection and information management are allowing us understand when and where people were living on the landscape, and what they were doing.”
He adds, “We are learning that with remote sensing procedures we don’t need to dig to have a good idea of what exists below the ground surface in many places, although we still need to dig to truly understand what we are seeing with these technologies.”
Finally, he will discuss how early humans reacted to changes in climate and environment which contributes to the understanding of climate change in our current civilization.
David G. Anderson’s research interests are in Eastern U.S. prehistoric and historic archaeology, archaeological method and theory, heritage resource management/public archaeology, development of cultural complexity, colonization and migration.
He earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan, M.A. from the University of Arkansas and B.A. from Case Western Reserve University.
Selected recent publications include these books Recent Developments in Southeastern Archaeology: From Colonization to Complexity, Climate Change and Cultural Dynamics: A Global Perspective on Mid-Holocene Transitions, and Archaeology, History and Predictive Modeling: Research on Fort Polk 1972-2002.
Free and open to the public, the program is sponsored by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville. For further information about library programs or services, call the library at (865)982-0981 or visit the library website.