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Central Mississippi Valley Archeological Society presents 'Riders in the Sky'

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, this meeting has been re-scheduled for Thursday, March 13.

Feb. 25, 2008 -- March is Arkansas Archeology Month, and in honor of the month-long celebration of archeology in the Natural State, the Central Mississippi Valley Archeological Society (CMVAS) is offering a special presentation on Thursday, March 6, at 7 p.m., in the ASU Museum, Room 182. This presentation is free and open to the public.

The presentation, an illustrated lecture by Dr. George E. Lankford, professor emeritus, Lyon College, will offer an interpretation of the design seen in 33 known examples of a specific style of shell gorget made by Mississippian-period artisans. A gorget is a relatively large flat or gently curving ornamental object of polished stone, shell, or metal, with holes for suspension. A gorget might have been suspended on a cord and worn around the throat or worn over the chest attached to clothing.

Lankford will discuss clues about the role of these special objects in the 14th century in the southeastern United States. He will consider the lack of artistic variation, the restricted distribution, largely limited to a few areas in Alabama and Tennessee, and the peculiar occurrence of three examples found in a mound at the Apalachee Indian site at Lake Jackson in Florida.

Dr. Lankford is a long-time member of the Arkansas Archeological Society. He taught folklore, anthropology, and religion for 25 years at Lyon College, a private liberal arts college in Batesville, before retiring in 2001. He is the author of numerous articles, as well as several books, including "Bearing Witness," (University of Arkansas Press, 2003/2006), "Reachable Stars," (University of Alabama Press, 2007), and "Looking for Lost Lore," (University of Alabama Press, 2008).

For details about Arkansas Archeology Month, Lankford's presentation, or the Central Mississippi Valley Archeological Society, contact Dr. Julie Morrow at ext. 2071.

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