January Lecture

January 15th, 2015  7pm

Çatalhöyük, Turkey : Living with the Dead, Goddess Worship, & Gender Equality

Presented by Meryl Shriver-Rice, phD

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Çatalhöyük was first discovered in the late 1950s and excavated by James Mellaart between 1961 and 1965. The Neolithic site rapidly gained international fame due to its immense size and dense occupation of the settlement, as well as the spectacular wall paintings and venus figurines found at the site.

As an archaeological site, Çatalhöyük is unique in that it has been continually excavated for over 20 years (since 1993) with teams of over 100 archaeologists from multiple countries working in the field and at the on-site laboratories. Dr. Rice will be discussing how the site has gained recognition by contemporary Goddess worshipers and various Pagan organizations from around the world as a sacred space. Çatalhöyük is most known for its unusual burial rites, evidence of gender equality, and lavish mural paintings.

Location: Palm Beach County Main Library

3650 Summit Blvd.

West Palm Beach, 33406

December Lecture

December 11th, 2014  7pm

“Hands, Words, and Brains: What Cognitive Archaeology Can Teach Us About Being ‘Human'”

Presented by Lana Ruck

Archaeology is a broad scientific discipline that lets us study past populations. By studying what people left behind, we can better understand how they lived, what they made, and how they interacted with each other. Cognitive archaeology specifically focuses on what these material remains can teach us about how people thought about the world around them, and how they expressed those thoughts.

Lana Ruck’s research focuses on Lower Paleolithic archaeology, which dates to roughly 2.6 million years ago, long before modern humans existed. Stone tools are the primary archaeological materials that preserve from this time, and through much study, we have learned that stone tool-making was an important step towards “becoming human” for our ancestors.

Cognition, language, and technology are thought of as “uniquely human,” but many of our extinct ancestors thought and spoke like us too! I will be talking about how primitive stone tool-making relates to traits like handedness and language, and discuss how and why these behaviors evolved together over millions of years.

Location: Palm Beach County Main Library

3650 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach, 33406

2014-2015 Lecture Season Continues!

November 6th, 2014  7pm

“An Oyster A Day: A Malacological Analysis of Jupiter Inlet 1″

Presented by Jennifer Green

What can an oyster tell you? The answer is more than you think! Jennifer Green will be discussing the remains of a prehistoric shell midden located at Dubois Park, providing an overview of archaeological investigations and the importance of oysters beyond the dinner plate. Come learn about a local site that holds both historic and prehistoric significance!

 Location: Palm Beach County Main Library

3650 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach, 33406