2015-2016 Lecture Series

Welcome back everyone!

We are excited to announce our upcoming lecture series which will run from November to April at the Main Library.  Our meeting dates and speakers are as follows:

November 12th, 2015 7:00 pm – “MMO Gaming Culture – an Online Gaming Family” by Michael A. Perez, MA

December 3rd, 2015 7:00 pm – “TBA” by Robert Carr, MA

January 21st, 2016 7:00 pm – “Who Made The Everglades?” by Dr. Michele Williams

February 18th, 2016 7:00 pm – “The Old Vero Man Site and Paleoindian Archaeology in Florida” by Dr. Andrew Hemmings

March 17th, 2016 7:00 pm – “Meet the Family! Human Evolution for Everybody!” by Dorothy Block, MA

April 21st, 2016  7:00 pm – “The People of the Cloud Forest: Settlement Pattern Analysis and Landscape Signature of Manteño Occupation in the Upper Ayampe River Valley, Ecuador” by Andres Garzon-Oechsle

Location: Palm Beach County Main Library
3650 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach, 33406

April Lecture

April 16th, 2015  7pm

“The Diseases Bones Reveal and the Stories They Hide”

Tony Chamoun, M.A.

With the appropriate context, human skeletal remains offer us direct lines of evidence into past people’s life ways, subsistence strategies, diets, migration patterns, health trends, work activities, interpersonal interactions, social identity, and much more. When we encounter skeletal remains, we literally look into the face of the past. In this talk, we will come face-to-face with past people’s diseases, specifically in South American antiquity. Mr. Chamoun will look at how these diseases impacted how people were treated in the past and what this can say about how they understood themselves and others.

Location: Palm Beach County Main Library
3650 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach, 33406

5th Annual Archaeology Festival


March 21st, 2015  11am-4pm

South Florida Science Center and Aquarium

4801 Dreher Trail N., West Palm Beach, 33405

We are proud to be partnering with the South Florida Science Center this year to bring you our 5th Annual ArchFest!! There will be flint-knapping demonstrations, atlatl throwing, shipwrecks, and much more!

Enjoy Egyptian-themed crafts and their “Afterlife: Tombs and Treasures of Ancient Egypt” exhibit.  This family-friendly event also includes a side of education via presentations from the Historical Society of Palm Beach County and PBCAS.

The event is included with paid admission; all PBCAS members will receive a 20% discount on admission price.

March Lecture

March 12th, 2015 7pm

“Alligators with Ears?: Theodore de Bry’s 1591 Engravings of Florida Timucua Indians”

Dr. Jerald Milanich

If you have ever visited a museum exhibit or read a book featuring Florida Indians it is certain you have seen one of Theodore de Bry’s engravings of Florida Timucua Indians first published in 1591. The engravings have long thought to have been based on paintings done by Jacques le Moyne, a French colonist who lived near Jacksonville in 1564-1565.

But are they? Or did de Bry, whose book company published 27 illustrated volumes on the Americas, Africa, and Asia, simply make up the engravings, basing them on his imagination, written accounts, and borrowings from previously published images? It is a 420-year old mystery, one involving Sir Walter Raleigh, English investors, a dead French artist, a live English artist, a prolific British promoter, the lost Roanoke colony, two French noblemen (one murdered, the other deceased), and ancient Picts from the British Isles. The events surrounding the mystery were played out across two continents, from Florida to London and Frankfurt. In his illustrated presentation Dr. Milanich will solve the mystery (though undoubtedly not to everyone’s liking).

Location: Palm Beach County Main Library
3650 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach, 33406

February Lecture

February 19th, 2015 7pm

“Bones in My Backyard: The Forgotten Dead of South Florida”

Presented by Andrew Ramsey

Few people realize that Palm Beach County has a plethora of burial mounds that were utilized by past ancient peoples.  Mr. Ramsey will be presenting on these local burial mounds, with a particular focus on some of the recent re-analysis of the Highland Beach Burial Mound.  These mounds, excavated in the 1950s, offer a window into past peoples understanding of death and their burial practices.

Location: Palm Beach County Main Library
3650 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach, 33406

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