Mercyhurst to be well represented at pivotal First Americans conference


Mercyhurst University will be well represented at the highly anticipated “Paleoamerican Odyssey, a Conference Focused on the First Americans Archaeology,” slated for Oct. 16-19 in Santa Fe, N.M. The conference brings together leading experts in the field of First Americans archaeology to discuss the evidence for the Ice Age colonization of the Americas.

Mercyhurst will send James Adovasio, Ph.D., director of the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute, who achieved world acclaim in the 1970s with his excavation of Meadowcroft Rockshelter, widely recognized as the earliest well-dated archaeological site in North America; and C. Andrew Hemmings, Ph.D., research associate professor of anthropology and one of the leading Paleoindian underwater archaeologists in North America. Also present will be Mercyhurst Trustee Tom Dillehay, Ph.D., distinguished professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University whose excavation at Monte Verde in Chile has, like Adovasio’s work at Meadowcroft, contributed volumes to the highly controversial Pre-Clovis/Clovis debate.

Though known best as the principal excavator of Meadowcroft, where coincidentally he returned just last month to re-excavate a section damaged by flooding, Adovasio is generally considered the world’s leading authority in the arena of perishable artifact analysis. Since 1970, he has published more than 400 books, book chapters, manuscripts and technical papers. These notably include The First Americans (with Jake Page) and The Invisible Sex (with Olga Soffer and Jake Page).

His conference presentation is titled “The Ones that Still Won’t Go Away” (with David Pedler, editor, writer and illustrator with the Mercyhurst Archaelogical Institute).

The historic conference, to be held at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, marks the largest such gathering since the “Clovis and Beyond Conference” held in 1999. The event is organized by The Center for the Study of the First Americans, Department of Anthropology, Texas A & M University; and the Southeastern Paleoamerican Survey in cooperation with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

PHOTO: Recent excavation at Meadowcroft Rockshelter
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