On Thursday, April 4, Lauren Pratt and Martin Menz, both archaeology graduate students at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, will speak in the Whitney Auditorium (Room 1315, School of Education Building) at noon as part of the UMMAA Brown Bag Lecture Series.
Pratt will discuss using behavioral ecology to understand mobility among prehistoric Andean hunter-gatherers. Todd Surovell, author of the monograph Toward a Behavioral Ecology of Lithic Technology (2009), models mathematically the economics of prehistoric hunter-gatherers’ production, use, and discard of lithic technologies. Although there is great potential in Surovell’s models to extend our understanding of hunter-gatherer mobility patterns and landscape use, Pratt points out that they have received little empirical testing. She describes the application of one subset of his models—those that use proportions of the lithic assemblage to estimate site occupation length—to a diachronic study of Cunchaicha, a stratified, multi-component prehistoric rock shelter of the Peruvian Andes.
Menz will discuss research on Florida’s Letchworth Mounds. Despite containing the tallest mound in the State of Florida, Letchworth Mounds has been largely ignored in regional syntheses. Letchworth is a prime example of the Woodland ceremonial center in the American Southeast, but little is known about the nature of its occupation or the subsistence base that permitted aggregation. Menz will describe the history of archaeological investigations at the site by the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research and outlines goals for future research.
The Museum’s Brown Bag Lecture Series is free and open to the public.