NYAS @ WGF 2/27: Water and the Big History of the Pre-Columbian Mississippi Valley

Depiction of what the Moundbuilder society of Cahokia would have looked like at its prime

Join us Monday evening February 27th at 5:45 PM at The Wenner-Gren Foundation for the next great installment of the New York Academy of Sciences Lecture Series. Timothy R. Pauketat, Professor of Anthropology at University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign will be presenting, “Water and the Big History of the Pre-Columbian Mississippi Valley”. Dr. Severin Fowles from Barnard College will act as discussant.

Please note: the lecture begins at 6:30 PM, and while the event is free to attend pre-registry is required for entry into the building.

In rethinking the ontological bases of pre-Columbian North America, water emerges as the primary substance through which people lived their histories. Simplistic climate change and flood-event scenarios aside, the atmospheric water cycle enmeshed peoples in ways that explain Mississippi Valley agriculture, astronomy, religious practice, political development, and historical ties to Mesoamerica. The linchpin of such arguments is the greater Cahokia phenomenon (AD 1000s–1300s). Beginning with new large-scale archaeological excavations and a refined chronology in that region, I trace water-human relationships through local-to-continent-wide genealogies of maize cultivation, mussel shell use, and American Indian sweat lodges and other “water shrines.” There are theoretical implications for how we understand history and humanity.

-PLEASE NOTE EARLIER START TIME FOR DINNER AND LECTURE-

Buffet Dinner at 5:45 pm ($20 contribution for dinner guests / free for students).
Lecture begins at 6:30 pm and are free and open to the public.

Pre-registration is required to attend the lecture.

Missed the lecture? Listen to it here!

 

 

 

 

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