Anthropology Scholar Will Present a Lecture on the Peopling of the Americas on April 20

April 18, 2016
Michael WatersMichael Waters photo courtesy of Texas A&M

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WACO, Texas (April 18, 2016) – The Baylor Institute of Archaeology will host Michael Waters, Ph.D., professor of anthropology and geoarchaeology and director for the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University, for a lecture at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, in Marrs McLean Science Building Room 301.

“In his lecture, ‘Archaeological and Genetic Evidence for the Late Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas,’ Dr. Waters will discuss data from archaeological sites in North and South America providing empirical evidence that people occupied the Americas 15,000 years ago,” said Sara Alexander, associate professor of anthropology and director of the Institute for Archaeology. “This evidence indicates that the 80-year-old Clovis First model no longer explains the exploration and settlement of the Americas by humans at the end of the last ice age.”

Studies conducted of modern and ancient genomes have confirmed this new age estimate, informing researchers about the lives of these early inhabitants.

“Not too long ago, Dr. Waters led the excavations on the Friedkin Site near Salado, where he and his team discovered and described the earliest known archaeological culture in Texas and possibly in North America (the Buttermilk Creek Complex),” said Garrett Cook, Ph.D., interim chair of anthropology at Baylor. “His current work to be reported in this lecture relates the very oldest known archaeological sites in the Americas to genetic evidence about the peopling of our continent.”

Waters is known for his expertise in First American studies and geoarchaeology. He focuses on understanding when the first people arrived to the New World during the last ice age, where they came from, how they adapted to the environments they encountered, and how they ended up in the Americas. He is involved in the study of Clovis and Pre-Clovis archaeological sites across the country and authored “Principles of Geoarchaeology: A North American Perspective.” He is co-author of “Redefining the age of Clovis: Implications for the peopling of the Americas.”

The lecture is free and open to the public. Marrs McLean Science Building is located at 1214 S. Fourth St.

For more information, contact Sara Alexander.

by Bethany Harper, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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