Adovasio named to top lecture post

Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute Director Dr. James Adovasio is one of five top North American scholars invited to deliver the Doris Z. Stone New World Archaeology Lectures, an endowed series of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Adovasio will speak at the University of Albany on Oct. 14 and the University of Central Florida on March 30. His topic, The Invisible Sex: Some Thoughts on the Role of Women in Prehistory, is based on his book, “The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory,” published in 2007 by Smithsonian Books.

It was Adovasio’s highly successful excavations at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Washington County, Pa., from 1973 to 1978 that gained him an international reputation and formed the basis of his landmark book, “The First Americans: In Pursuit of Archaeology’s Greatest Mystery.”

During his distinguished career, he has specialized in the analysis of perishable material culture (basketry, textiles, cordage, etc.) and the application of “high tech” methods in archaeological research, particularly in closed site contexts (i.e. caves and rockshelters). In recent years, he has led maritime expeditions in the Gulf of Mexico in search of cultural evidence of early human occupation along the now inundated Florida shorelines.

Adovasio came to Mercyhurst College in 1990 and has built the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute (MAI) into a world-renowned center for archaeological studies and research. Besides directing theMAI, he is dean of the Zurn School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the college’s first provost.
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