The UMMAA is pleased to present David Watt, graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at Tulane University, who will speak on Friday, November 5, 12-1 p.m., as part of the online UMMAA Brown Bag Lecture Series.

Watt's lecture, One by One Beneath the Waves: Cultural Resource Management, Interdisciplinary Research, and Community Engagement in the Mississippi River Delta, discusses archaeology in the Mississippi River Delta (MRD), a dynamic environment affected by diverse forces of change, including long-term trends driven by patterns in climate and riverine activity, as well as shorter-term trends driven by sea level fluctuations and anthropogenic drivers that are directly impacting coastal cultural resources. These archaeological sites are crucial sources of information and represent the unique heritage of coastal Louisiana. Ongoing independent and collaborative research discussed in this presentation focuses on the archaeology of Indigenous settlement patterns in the MRD, and an interdisciplinary approach to understanding relationships between people and place and the cycles of settlement and abandonment in landforms shaped by sedimentation and inundation. This includes the investigation of the transformation of the eastern Lafourche, Mississippi, and St. Bernard deltaic lobes of the MRD during the Woodland (800 BC- AD 1200) and Mississippi (AD 1200-1700) periods into livable spaces. In partnership with the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana and other tribal communities, an interdisciplinary team of archaeologists, climate scientists, geologists, and engineers from Louisiana State University, Tulane University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the National Park Service comprise the Mississippi River Delta Archaeological Mitigation Project (MRDAM). The project team assesses climate change vulnerabilities and is developing plans for the impending loss of these irreplaceable cultural resources. The team works with tribal and coastal communities in cultural resource management (CRM) planning to advise resource managers and stakeholders for actionable science and outreach that is accomplished through consultations, workshops, reconnaissance, site monitoring, vulnerability assessment, and development of appropriate climate adaptation measures. 

Zoom Link:

The Museum’s Brown Bag Lecture Series is free and open to the public.