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Romance and Reality in the Mythical Mission Past: How We Found the Long-lost Spanish Mission on St. Catherines Island

Dr. David Hurst Thomas, American Museum of Natural History
Thursday, October 19, 2017
12:00-1:00 PM
Room 2009 Ruthven Museums Building Map
Nostalgia and romance have long surrounded the Franciscan and Jesuit missions of America’s Spanish Borderlands, in the process coloring how we all perceive the surviving archaeological record. From San Francisco (California), through the American Southwest to St. Augustine (Florida), a mainstream national narrative has constructed and perpetuated an idealized, romanticized version of the Spanish mission in America – complete with Mission Revival architectural styles, reconstructed archaeological sites that sometimes resemble Hollywood stage sets, and last year’s controversial sainthood of Fr. Junipero Serra. This illustrated talk draws upon the speaker’s most recent archaeological evidence from across the Spanish Borderlands—including the four decades of (still on-going) excavations on St. Catherines Island (Georgia)—to suggest more historically-appropriate perspectives on America’s mission heritage.
Building: Ruthven Museums Building
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Anthropology, Archaeology
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, Department of Anthropology