Unearthing History: The discovery of a 12,500 year old Paleo-Indian site along the Farmington River in Avon. Join us for a virtual series of lectures, sponsored by a grant from the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Committee that will cover the archaeology, genetics, ice age mammals, trade routes and food ways of early life along the Farmington River, with a focus on the Brian D. Jones Paleo-Indian discovery in Avon, Connecticut.
This 2022 VIRTUAL HISTORY SERIES is sponsored by Avon Historical Society, Avon Free Public Library and Avon Senior Center, in partnership with the Avon Land Trust, Farmington River Watershed Association, and the Institute of American Indian Studies in Washington, CT.
Times are EST: Eastern Standard Time. Events are free to attend. Webinars will be recorded; links appear at the end of this post and are available on the Avon Library’s YouTube Channel.
Saturday, June 25, 2022, 1:00-4:00 pm. In-Person Event: Artifact Identification Day. Bring your artifacts for identification! Free event, open to the public.
Presented by staff and volunteers of the Institute of American Indian Studies, Washington, CT. Paul Wegner, Co-Director; Craig Nelson, Member and Secretary of the Board of Trustees; Nancy Najarian, Collections Volunteer. The Institute will have selected items, from various time periods, on display for viewing. Event held at the Avon Senior Center, 635 West Avon Rd., Avon, CT 06001. ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Click here to register.
Thursday, September 15, 2022, 7:00 pm. Looking into the Past with Ancient DNA. Presented by Christina Balentine and Samantha Archer, PhD candidates and research scholars at the UConn Dept. of Anthropology. They will present a broad overview of ancient DNA (aDNA) research past and present, discuss the ethical considerations of working with priceless aDNA samples, and highlight their own dissertation research using aDNA. Register here
Thursday, October 13, 2022, 7:00 pm. Update on the scientific analysis of the Brian D. Jones site in Avon, CT since its discovery in 2019. Presented by David Leslie, PhD, Senior Prehistoric Archaeologist, Archaeological and Historical Services, Storrs, CT. Read the latest article about the site (1/2022) here. He will present new findings based on artifacts and new analysis techniques. October is Connecticut Archaeology Month! Register here
Questions? Email Terri Wilson, President Avon Historical Society, firstname.lastname@example.org
View the full Paleo 2022 FLYER
Completed 2022 programs:
Thursday, April 7, 2022, 7:00 pm. Ice Age Animals of New England presented by Dr. Sarah Sportman, CT State Archaeologist & Dr. Nathaniel Kitchel, Dept. of Anthropology, Dartmouth College. They will present the Pope Mastodon (found in Farmington, CT on the grounds of Hill-Stead Museum) and the Mount Holly (VT) Mammoth, among other animals of the Ice Age. Watch the recording here
Thursday, March 10, 2022, 7:00 pm. What Genetics Teaches Us About the Peopling of North America by Dr. Jennifer Raff, anthropological geneticist at the University of Kansas. Presentation is based on her May 2021 Scientific American cover story “Journey into the Americas” and her new book, Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas being released Feb. 2022. Watch the recording here
Thursday, May 12, 2022, 7:00 pm. Paleo-Indian Peoples in the Northeast: Survival in the Ice Age and After, presented by Dr. Jonathan Lothrop, Curator of Archaeology, The New York State Museum. His focus is on the Pleistocene (Ice Age) into the Holocene period where Natives colonized 11,000-8,000BC. His research is on their technology, settlement and subsistence. He is a consultant on the Brian D. Jones site analysis.
According to Dr. Lothrop, the earliest indigenous peoples of the glaciated Northeast migrated into the region shortly after 13,000 years ago, while this landscape remained in the grip of the last Ice Age. Today, their ancient campsites are marked by small scatters of fluted points and other flaked stone artifacts. This scant material record of these first peoples – known to archaeologists as Paleoindians – testifies to an amazing story of ingenuity and perseverance in the face of daunting challenges as they spread across the eastern Great Lakes and New England-Maritimes. How and when did that peopling process happen? How did these people survive on this late glacial landscape? And how did they interact with each other across these subarctic regions? In this presentation, we’ll review current evidence from recent and ongoing archaeological research that helps to answer some of these questions. Finally, with the end of the Ice Age roughly 11,600 years ago, we’ll examine tentative indicators for how this abrupt climate change event may have affected these early peoples. Watch the recording here