Winter Lecture Series March 11

“Copper Working in the Eastern Woodlands of North America From the Prehistoric to the Early Contact Period” by Kathleen Ehrhardt, Ph.D.

The final installment of the 2018 Winter Lecture Series will take place March 11, 2 PM in the Interpretive Center Auditorium.  This is a free event.  Space is limited.

Native groups of the Eastern Woodlands of North America have been using copper for nearly 7,000 years.  When Europeans arrived, they eagerly accepted foreign-derived copper and brass.  For many Eastern Woodlands groups, copper was an exotic and valued raw material, serving practical, but primarily social and symbolic purposes.  It figured prominently in long distance trade and exchange, mortuary and ritual ceremonialism, and as personal adornment and status markers.  In this presentation, Ehrhardt focuses on how native copper was used by the Old Copper Complex, Havana and Scioto Hopewell, Mississippian cultures.  She will examine the objects, technologies, and uses of copper, how archaeologists source the copper, and understanding how and in what contexts it was used.  She will also consider its importance as a European trade commodity in the early years of native-European interaction.

Kathy Ehrhardt, earned her MA in anthropology from Montclair State University and her PhD in anthropology from New York University.  She has done significant archaeological field work in the New York City area, the Illinois River Valley, in southwestern France, and the Illiniwek Village in northeast Missouri, which was the basis for her dissertation.  Her work has broadened to include copper use in late prehistory and in the Mississippian and she is now focusing on Mississippian copper working and ritual use.