Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will continue its 2013 Lecture/Film series at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 with a lecture titled "A Snowball's Chance: Climatic Effects on Native Americans during the Protohistoric Era, 1530-1760." Isaac J. Emrick, lecturer and Ph.D. candidate at West Virginia University, will present the free program and the public is invited to attend.
In North America, a period known as the Little Ice Age reached its first peak in the 1500s. Archaeologists have determined that this climate change coincided with the boom and bust cycles that affected the prehistoric cultures who lived in the Middle Ohio River Valley. Emrick's presentation combines the most up-to-date climate information with archaeological and historical records to examine the role of climate in these cultural boom and bust cycles.
Emrick teaches U.S. and American Indian history at WVU, where he is completing his doctoral
dissertation titled "To Abandon so Beautiful a Dwelling: Indian Connections to the Middle Ohio River
Valley, 1640-1754." His major field of study is Early Native American History and he started his academic career as a cultural anthropologist. One of his many projects was developing a GIS database of colonial period information for the Ohio River Valley.
"Modern technology is allowing research to go into areas never before explored. The application of
technology and climate data has provided fascinating insight into past cultures," said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound.
The series will continue at 7 p.m. March 28, with a talk titled "Paleoethnobotany: The Secret of Seeds" with Amanda L. Valko, archaeology lab manager at Michael Baker Corporation in Beaver, Pa.