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 The Prehistoric Mound Builders of the North American Eastern Woodlands:

Myth and Reality

Guest Speaker: Martin Byers PhD

When:   Thursday, October 20, 2016, from 19:30 to 21:00

Where:  Centennial Hall

             288 Beaconsfield Blvd, Beaconsfield, H9W 4A4

Lecture in English followed by a bilingual question period.

W 033386

The Spanish, French, and English who arrived and penetrated into North America from the 1500s on encountered great, indeed, monumental earthwork locales that for the most part had long been unoccupied. W 033387We now know that the earthwork tradition is very ancient in this region but that it particularly exploded during two periods. The first explosion occurred about 100 BC and continued to about 400 BC, contemporaneous with the Mediterranean Roman Empire, and the second occurred about 1000 AD and terminated about 1400 AD, paralleling the European Middle Ages. European scholars and archaeologists have proposed many theories about the societies and histories that were responsible for building and using these great earthworks. Many of them are currently rejected by most North American archaeologists and referred to collectively as the Mound Builder mythology.

This lecture examines examples of monumental earthworks of both periods and briefly explores the myths and realities that they embody and express.

Q 01084z 1Martin Byers was born in Fort William, now Thunderbay, Ontario in 1937 but grew up in Montreal. He graduated from McGill, BA and MA in history/anthropology, gained a PhD in anthropology/archaeology from New York State University at Albany (New York). He taught anthropology and humanities at Vanier College, Montreal, from 1970 to 1998. Martin Byers is a research associate in the Department of Anthropology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has authored numerous articles in scholarly journals and has published 3 books.