Wednesday, January 29, 2020

John Hale: "From Mastodon Hunters to Moundbuilders: The Peopling of North America" and "Viking Longships: Wolves of the Sea"

The Great Serpent Mound, Ohio

Friday, February 28, 2020 at 6pm: “From Mastodon Hunters to Moundbuilders: The Peopling of North America,” in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall at Macalester College

Beginning with the pioneering excavation of a prehistoric mound by Thomas Jefferson, researchers have brought to light thousands of ancient sites and artifacts that shed light on the lives – and deaths – of the first Americans.  Nomadic hunting groups first reached North America during the Ice Age, more than 10,000 years ago. They brought their dogs with them, and left behind the weapons they used to kill mastodons and other Pleistocene “megafauna”. In later millennia, these tribes began to exploit local flint deposits, explore caves and waterways, and establish settlements from the Arctic Circle all the way south to the mineral springs of Florida.  Once women had succeeded in domesticating corn, beans and squash, extensive villages were built to accommodate the booming populations. At sites like Serpent Mound in Ohio and Cahokia in Illinois, extraordinary effigy mounds and other earthworks bear witness to the beliefs and the artistic genius of these first Americans.

This event is free and open to the public; co-sponsored by the Macalester Anthropology Department and the Archaeological Institute of America

Oseberg Ship

- Vikings talk is SOLD OUT: there will be first-come, first-served overflow seating in the Wells Fargo room at Mia

Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 11am: “Viking Longships: Wolves of the Sea,” in the Pillsbury Auditorium at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Viking ships are among the most remarkable artifacts in the entire realm of archaeological discovery, dominating European history for the three centuries between 800 and 1100 AD.  As warships they terrorized coasts from Scotland to the Mediterranean; as trading craft they ventured down the rivers of Russia to Byzantium, and as vessels of exploration and colonization they crossed the open Atlantic to Ireland, Iceland, Greenland and ultimately America.  Yet all these amazing achievements were accomplished by open, undecked ships with a few oars and a single square sail.

The 19th century witnessed dramatic finds of royal Viking ships in Norwegian burial mounds along Oslo fjord.  More recently, underwater archaeologists have recovered virtually intact Viking ships from harbors in Denmark.  The most ambitious project in the field of experimental archaeology has involved the reconstruction and sea trials of many Viking ship types.  John Hale has traced the ancestry of Viking ships all the way back to sewn-plank canoes of the Scandinavian Bronze Age, and shows the links between these remarkable ships and the watercraft of the Pacific and central Africa.

This event is free but all Mia talks are now ticketed – available Jan. 29 -  - call 612-870-6323 or online; co-sponsored by the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Archaeological Institute of America.

Dr. John R. Hale has more than 35 years of archaeological fieldwork experience and serves as Director of the Liberal Studies Program and the “Individualized Major” in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.

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