Thursday, April 5, 2012

"The First Americans - An Ice Age Mystery Story" - Tuesday, May 1

“During and After the Ice: The First Americans - An Ice Age Mystery Story” will be presented by Eugene J. Boesch, Ph.D. on Tuesday, May 1st from 6:30pm – 7:30pm at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center. The presentation is sponsored by the NYS “Speakers in the Humanities” lecture series and is FREE to the public to attend.

Despite decades of digging into the origins of humans in North America, archeologists are still uncovering new evidence that is overturning old ideas. This lecture covers the latest discoveries, which are overturning long-held ideas about the identity of the "First Americans." 

It has long been believed that prehistoric Eurasians, who migrated to North America between 15,000 and 16,000 years ago over a land bridge crossing the Bering Strait, were the first "Paleoindians." However, finds by archeologists over the past two decades offer evidence that Paleoindians were in the Americas as far back as 50,000 years ago.

Scientists also surmised that the Eurasian migrants caused the extinction of large ice age mammals in North America. But there's also evidence that a natural disaster caused these animals to die out -- and may have led to the demise of the Paleoindian culture as well. 

Dr. Boesch received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from New York University, specializing in Native American cultures and adaptations in the Eastern Woodlands of North America. He has operated a cultural resource firm in the Hudson Valley for over twenty years and has taught at various area colleges and universities. A concern for local historic preservation issues has led him to serve as a member of the Westchester County and Putnam County Historic Preservation Advisory Committees.

The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center is located at 345 Broad Street in downtown Waverly, NY. There is no admission fee for this event and doors will open at 5:30pm to allow visitors to also tour the SRAC Exhibit Hall filled with thousands of local Native American artifacts as well as the current Ted Keir/SRAC Fossil and Sea Life Exhibit or shop in the SRAC Gift Shop.

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