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Central Mississippi Valley Archeological Society celebrates 11th anniversary with special lecture by Dr. David Dye

Oct. 6, 2009 -- The Central Mississippi Valley Archeological Society (CMVAS) will present a special lecture to celebrate the organization’s 11th anniversary on Thursday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m., ASU Museum, Room 182. The ASU Museum is located at 110 Cooley Drive, Jonesboro. The special lecture, “The Great Serpent and the Old Woman Who Never Dies,” will be presented by Dr. David Dye, assistant professor of earth sciences from the University of Memphis. The presentation is free, and the public is welcome.

Native American sacred narratives speak of great supernatural beings who gave humanity life-sustaining gifts, and the necessary rituals for renewing the world. An important component of Mississippian religion was the cycling of souls from the world of the living to the realm of the dead, and back again to the living. This presentation will discuss two important Mississippian deities, the Great Serpent and the Old Woman Who Never Dies, along with the roles they played in the renewal of life. Late prehistoric eastern Arkansas ceramic art depicts these two supernatural beings in detail, suggesting that world renewal and soul recycling rituals were important aspects of Mississippian religious beliefs.

For more information, call Dr. Julie Morrow, ASU’s Arkansas Archeological Survey station archeologist, (870) 972-2071, or e-mail


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