Free Public Anthropology Lecture
Monday, Sep. 23, 2013
Utah State University’s Museum of Anthropology offers an illustrated lecture by archaeologist Tim Riley Friday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. Riley, a guest of USU’s museum, is the curator of archaeology at the Prehistoric Museum at USU Eastern in Price, Utah.
The title of Riley’s presentation is “Understanding Prehistoric Nutrition and Plant Use: Case Studies from Texas and the Colorado Plateau.” The lecture is presented in Old Main, Room 225 and is free and open to everyone.
Riley’s research focuses on paleoethnobotany, or the study of past human use of plants for subsistence and other aspects of material culture. His lecture provides an overview of the research process by which archaeologists study coprolites, or preserved fecal matter, to determine nutrition and diet choice in past societies. Each coprolite represents the undigested remains of a small number of meals. This allows for the reconstruction of the menus behind these meals. The lecture introduces the incredible range of analyses possible on coprolite specimens followed by two case studies, one from Texas and one from the Colorado Plateau.
“Many people think that the greatest archaeological discoveries come from tombs and buried cities,” said Elizabeth Sutton, Museum of Anthropology curator. “However, archaeologists are making fascinating discoveries by analyzing mundane artifacts such as preserved human excrement using the full array of modern scientific testing techniques. We are, after all, what we eat.”
The lecture is the first in the USU Museum of Anthropology’s lecture series. The museum will host prominent anthropologists from around the nation for public lectures during the academic year. All lectures are free and open to the public. Funding for the Anthropology Lecture Series is provided in part by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The USU Museum of Anthropology is open to the public during the operating hours of Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 .pm., and the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The USU Museum of Anthropology is on the USU campus in the south turret of the historic Old Main building, Room 252. For more information on this event, call museum staff at (435) 797-7545 or visit the museum website.
Source: Museum of Anthropology
Contact: USU Museum of Anthropology (435) 797-7545