Anthropology Alumnus Co-Authors Paper on World Heritage Site

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Anthropology Department alumnus Seth B. Grooms (B.A. 2016), currently a Ph.D. student in archaeology at Washington University in St. Louis, has co-authored a paper in the journal Southeastern Archaeology on the Poverty Point World Heritage Site in Pioneer, Louisiana. The article documents the speed and skill with which native North American foraging populations in the area three millennia ago could construct massive and lasting changes to their physical environment in the form of earthworks. “One of the most remarkable things,” Tristam Kidder, the study’s lead author says, “is that these earthworks have held together for more than 3,000 years with no failure or major erosion. By comparison, modern bridges, highways and dams fail with amazing regularity because building things out of dirt is more complicated than you would think. They really were incredible engineers with very sophisticated technical knowledge.”