The Virgin Branch Culture of Southern Nevada, with Professor Karen Harry, University of Nevada, Las Vegas – History Live! Durango

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Presented by San Juan Basin Archaeological Society
Location: Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies Lyceum or via Zoom (link at SJBAS.org)
Contact: Janice C. Sheftel, janicesheftel@gmail.com

Professor Harry specializes in the study of ceramic technology, production, and distribution and the archaeology of the North American southwest. An area of ongoing research deals with understanding ceramic technology and use among sedentary hunter-gathers. For more than a thousand years, the Moapa Valley of southern Nevada was home to people participating in the westernmost expression of Puebloan lifeways. Appearing in the archaeological record at about AD 200, these individuals were members of what archaeologists refer to as the Virgin Branch Puebloan culture. This culture did not appear and progress in a vacuum, however, but developed and changed in response to changing environmental and social conditions. This talk covers the origin, development, and decline of the Lowland Virgin Branch culture while also exploring how the local cultural context affected how this trajectory unfolded.

Since joining the UNLV faculty in 2001, Karen has obtained more than $1.6 million in external funding, which has provided stipends and research opportunities for numerous graduate and undergraduate students. She has authored and co-authored two books and regularly publishes in peer-reviewed books and journals, including American Anthropologist, American Antiquity, Journal of Archaeological Science, and Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. Karen received her Ph.D, from the University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology.

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