Jessi Halligan, “Why underwater? The importance of submerged landscape research for understanding Pleistocene peoples in the New World”

About the lecture:

Perhaps most people think of shipwrecks when underwater archaeology is mentioned, but numerous formerly-terrestrial sites have survived drowning in our freshwater lakes and rivers and on our continental shelves. These sites can even be better preserved than their dry counterparts, and in some cases they can help us answer some of the most pressing questions about people in the past. Thousands of Pleistocene artifacts have been discovered in Florida’s rivers and springs, along with some of the best preserved early sites in the Americas. These sites are challenging archaeological models for the peopling of the Americas, and are providing us with informaƟon about the lifeways of early Indigenous peoples in the New World.

About the speaker:

Dr. Jessi Halligan, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Florida State University, specializes in geoarchaeology and underwater archaeology. She focuses on the initial peopling of the Americas through an active research program in submerged Paleoindian sites in Florida. This focus leads to complementary foci in hunter-gatherer societies, geoarchaeology, sea level rise and submerged landscape studies, including underwater field methods. She has more than two decades of field and lab experience, having conducted research and/or worked on Cultural Resource Management projects all over the Northeastern United States, the Northern Plains, Texas, and the Southeast. Other major interests include climate change during the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene, coastal site preservation, and human adaptation to major climate change.