Presented by Dr. Ashley Lemke, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas in Arlington and Chair of the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology
The phrase “underwater archaeology” conjures notions of shipwrecks, ships lost at sea, and the dramatic catastrophes that sank them; however, the discipline can also reveal details about ancient landscapes that contain the record of past human occupations. Many of these sites are on the earth’s continental shelves where vast stretches of shallow, coastal lands were exposed at the end of the last Ice Age. These once dry landscapes supported life for plants, animals, and humans for thousands of years. In this lecture, Dr. Lemke will outline how research on submerged landscapes is becoming an increasingly important part of archaeology, focusing on a specific study in the Great Lakes, where 100 feet of water has preserved a virtually intact 9,000-year-old landscape with rooted trees, peat bogs, hunting sites, and artifacts.