Archaeological Lecture Series

The Office of State Archaeology will host speakers each month throughout the year on the many great aspects of archaeology. Topics will center on recent investigation or research conducted in North Carolina. All lectures are free and open to the public. Join us for these fascinating events!

Upcoming educational lectures:


Conserving Our Underwater Cultural Heritage: An Introduction

Presented by: Sarah Watkins-Kenney

Conservator cleans canon at QAR lab

Since the early 1960s, North Carolina’s Office of Archives and History has been striving to implement public laws and policies for the protection, preservation, and investigation of underwater archaeological sites in the state. There are many thousands of known underwater sites, constituting part of our “underwater cultural heritage”. Since the 1970s, heritage conservation has expanded in scope and complexity beyond just concern with technical preservation of tangible remains to also aim to preserve intangible aspects. Concepts, attitudes, and expectations for conservation are continually changing.  More than one conservation strategy may be possible for a site or find but could have very different consequences for use of those remains in the present and future. Please join us as Sarah Watkins-Kenney, QAR Lab Director and Chief Conservator, introduces some of the concepts, challenges, and choices available for the conservation of underwater archaeological sites and finds, both in situ and ex situ. Various approaches and choices made will be described and illustrated, including those that have been and are being applied in North Carolina.

North Carolina State Library and Archives | 109 East Jones Street, Raleigh, NC

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 11:30 am
View the flyer (pdf)



Late Archaic Residency in the Appalachian Summit Region: Excavations at the Weatherman Site (31CY31) in Yancey County, North Carolina

Presented by: Matthew Jorgenson, Peter Sittig, and Daniel Cassedy

Archaeologists excavate a site in Yancey County

Excavations completed by AECOM for the North Carolina Department of Transportation at the Weatherman Site (31YC31) on the floodplain of the South Toe River documented deeply stratified Archaic deposits.  The most intensive was a Late Archaic component dominated by hearth remnants and numerous broken and whole Savannah River projectile points made primarily of local quartzite.  A summary of findings at this site, with particular attention to spatial organization and lithic resource utilization, is presented here and compared with other Savannah River sites in the Appalachian Summit.  These Summit Region sites are contrasted to other Late Archaic Sites in the neighboring regions of the Piedmont and Ridge and Valley provinces.  Finally, a summary of other Late Archaic cultural manifestations across the Greater Southeastern region is presented.  We suggest that the inhabitants of the Appalachian Summit region during the Late Archaic shared some cultural ideologies with the broader region, but by and large were participating in their own version of a Late Archaic system of lifeways.

North Carolina State Library and Archives | 109 East Jones Street, Raleigh, NC

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 11:30 am

View the flyer (pdf)