Native American ‘trash heaps’ topic of Sept. 10 lecture at Burpee

• Dr. James L. Theler to discuss ‘What Archaeology at Ancient Shell Middens Can Tell Us’

Staff Report

Dr. James L. Theler, professor emeritus of sociology and archaeology with the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin—La Crosse, will speak about the biogeography of native mussels along the Upper Mississippi River and their utilization by Native Americans at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St., Rockford.

Theler’s presentation is part of a “Mussel Roundtable” sponsored by the Kishwaukee River Ecosystem Partnership and the Smeja Family Foundation. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Theler will speak on the topic “What Archaeology at Ancient Shell Middens Can Tell Us.” Theler is an expert on shell middens, or ancient trash heaps left by Native Americans where they camped next to rivers, and has studied shell middens at Macktown Settlement near Rockton, Ill., and other archaeological sites in the Midwest. He will participate in a roundtable discussion Sept. 11 about the health of native mussel populations in northern Illinois, sponsored by the Kishwaukee River Ecosystem Partnership.

The Kishwaukee River Ecosystem Partnership is a coalition of open-space agencies and conservation groups that promote the protection and restoration of the Kishwaukee River. The Smeja Family Foundation is a private foundation created to preserve the Indian Hill Manor and Farm and to support educational activities related to historic preservation, land conservation, agriculture, archeology and local history.

From the Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2013, issue

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