On Thursday, September 19, Lauren Pratt and Julian E. Schultz, both graduate students in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, 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 share the results of her research at the caves of Chachapoyas, Peru. In the Chachapoyas cultural area of northern Peru, caves and rockshelters remain in regular use by local agriculturalists. Previous work in the region (Church 1996) suggests that in some cases modern use of these caves provides useful analogs to prehistoric behavior. Pratt will discuss the caves and rockshelters she surveyed in July of this year, the modern human activities she observed, and possible analogies to the past.

Schultz will share some of the results of Florida State University’s 2016 excavations at a Swift Creek/Weeden Island ring-midden, where he completed his undergrad. He analyzed the mollusk remains from three shell units and found a steep decline in the prevalence of a key resource (the eastern oyster) as the site’s occupation waned. He will discuss this decline, the factors that may have caused it, and how it might relate to the site’s eventual abandonment. He will also explore how this statistical feature situates Mound Field in the prehistoric landscape.  

The Museum’s Brown Bag Lecture Series is free and open to the public.