Monday, May 21, 2012

Lecture Series (Thurs., May 24, 7-8:30PM, A.W. Buckbee Center)/ David Johnson: "What Are We Missing At Our Archaeological Sites?"

David Johnson, President of the Incorporated Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Society will speak at the A.W. Buckbee Center, Thursday, May 24, 7-8:30. The lecture, “What Are We Missing Are Our Archaeological Sites?”, invokes existing indigenous cultures and the material culture connected with it as a critical lens to understand more thoroughly the remains of Native American culture in our own backyard.

After decades of anthropological and archaeological study, Dr. Johnson has come to believe that there has been a great injustice served to a rich cultures like Algonquin-speaking Lenape because the considerable and ephemeral material culture of those cultures has been less accessible and often lost to time. We have only and traditionally focused on the projectile points, pottery shards and shell beads which remain to draw our conclusions about what was.

In contrast, the present-day evidence of arguably similar indigenous cultures offers us a more complete inventory of the material culture which existed at places like Mistucky. It provides evidence of its undeniable complexity. Designs for utility were often adopted and repeated for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years, and may be continued to this day by those who necessitate their function.

Human beings stick with what works, and things like the design of the atlatl, an arrow delivery device, were repeated for countless generations. A point in fact that illustrates the misconception that bows and arrows were a greater part of the timeline of human habitation here in Orange County than more accurately the last chapter in a 14,000 plus year presence.

Dr. Johnson will present considerable material culture, including African Masai spears and other weaponry from South American indigenous cultures, to illustrate these arguments. This lecture is engaging and a recommended must. Members: free, Non-members:$5. Refreshments served.

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