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The Gault Site and the Peopling of the Americas

Presented by Dr. D. Clark Wernecke

  • Executive Director The Gault School of Archaeological Research
  • Project Director for the Prehistory Research Project at the University of Texas at Austin

More about the lecture

For over 400 years we have accepted the idea that the first peoples in the Americas walked here from Asia. We took the original idea and refined it as new data/ideas came to light and finally, after much struggle, decided that the event must have happened around 10-13,000 years ago. There was also some grudging agreement that Clovis technology, existing roughly 12,700-13,500 years ago, must be representative of those people. Parts of this hypothesis never made sense, but those inconsistencies were ignored and a story of the peopling of the Americas developed that we still teach our children. New information in the form of sites older than Clovis, dating of other events, environmental data and challenges to the inconsistencies of the hypotheses have shown that the old story we were all taught is wrong and new hypotheses are being suggested. The Gault Site in Central Texas, an Archaeological Conservancy property, is a very important contributor to these discussions.

About the presenter

Dr. Clark Wernecke is the Project Director for the Prehistory Research Project at the University of Texas at Austin and Executive Director of the Gault School of Archaeological Research, a nonprofit dedicated to research and education regarding the earliest peoples in the Americas.

Dr. Wernecke started his academic career with a degree in history from SMU followed by an MBA from Northwestern University, an M.A. in Anthropology from Florida Atlantic, and finally his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. He came back to archaeology after a career in business and has worked in the Middle East, Mesoamerica, the American Southeast and Southwest, and Texas. Dr. Wernecke’s primary specialty is that of archaeological project management, but he has also written extensively on architecture and Paleoindian art.

Free For Everyone

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For questions about the event or how to register, please contact Susan Bowdoin ([email protected]) or Sarah Webber ([email protected]).