University co-hosting Plains Anthropological Conference

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University co-hosting Plains Anthropological Conference

74th annual meeting of Great Plains anthropologists begins Wednesday in downtown Lincoln

The 74th Plains Anthropological Conference will convene Oct. 12 in Lincoln, as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln serves as co-host of the meeting of more than 300 anthropologists from throughout the Great Plains and beyond.

On-site registration opens at 4 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Holiday Inn Lincoln Downtown, 141 N. 9th St. Registration will be available each day for anyone who wants to attend the conference. The meeting, which runs through Oct. 15, is being co-sponsored by the National Park Service-Midwest Archeological Center, the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“Over the span of three and a half days, conference attendees will be immersed in all things anthropological and archaeological,” conference co-organizer Jay Sturdevant, of the National Park Service Midwest Archeological Center, said. “This conference has been an important part of Great Plains anthropology and archaeology since the 1930s and has its roots right here in Lincoln.”

The keynote speaker of the conference is Simon Holdaway of the University of Auckland in Auckland, New Zealand. His talk on Oc. 14, “Determining Indigenous Land Use from Archaeological Remains: An Alternative View from Down Under,” will offer insights on Great Plains archaeology from his work in Australia. Holdaway has conducted archaeological research around the world and is the co-author of four books and numerous articles.

Additional conference sessions will cover early occupation of the Great Plains by Native Americans, a memorial tribute to the late Kansas State University archaeologist Donna Roper, and history and contemporary issues in Great Plains anthropology. One session is devoted to the pioneering work of the National Park Service, which is celebrating its 100th year in 2016.

Two workshops on careers in anthropology and archaeology also will be offered. The Plains Anthropological Society Student Affairs Committee is sponsoring “How to Get a job in Archaeology” on Oct. 13 over the lunch hour. On Oct. 14 lunchtime, the UNL Anthropology Alumni and Friends Advisory Board will sponsor “Anthropology-based Careers in the Private Sector.”

“The Plains Anthropological Society is a very welcoming group,” LuAnn Wandsnider, chair of the department of anthropology at Nebraska and co-organizer of the conference, said. “It fosters a nurturing environment and the conference exposes students to the professional presentation of challenging ideas.”

Conference information is online and questions can be directed to

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