Third Sunday Archeology: Why Are Archaeological Sites Where They Are?

Dave May, Professor of Geology

Dave May, professor of geology, recording soil profile in backhoe trench.

Event Details


Date: February 17, 2019

Times: 2 p.m.

Location: Froiland Science Complex 113A/B

Ticket Info: Free and open to the public


February's installment of Augustana's Third Sunday Archeology Program will feature Dave May, professor of geography at the University of Northern Iowa, on "Geoarchaeology: Why Are Archaeological Sites Where They Are?" at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, in the Froiland Science Complex room 113A/B.

The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a question/answer session. Refreshments will be served.

The distribution of archaeological sites is a function of the deposition of cultural materials, the preservation of the sedimentary deposits in which they are encased, and finally, exposure by natural and artificial processes that makes it possible to discover them.  The erosion of sediments encasing cultural deposits is referred to as the geologic filter.  Examples of geologic filtering processes from Nebraska and Iowa will illustrate how variable preservation of archaeological sites can be and how common to rare exposure can be across the landscape..

David May, mapping sedimentAbout speaker Dave May

Dave May is Professor of Geography at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. He earned an M.A. in Geography from the University of California-Davis and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include Paleoindian geoarchaeology in the U.S. central Great Plains and Midwest, and Holocene (post-glacial) climate changes and their impacts on vegetation, sediment-delivery to rivers, and river landforms.

May is widely published in professional journals such as U.S.A. Quaternary International, American Antiquity, Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, Current Research in the Pleistocene, and Physical Geography. He has collaborated with archaeologists on numerous edited volumes on early man sites published by the University of New Mexico Press, University of Alabama Press, and University of Oklahoma Press.


This program is funded in part by the David B. Jones Foundation, Augustana University’s Mellon Fund Committee, Augustana’s Archeology Laboratory and the Sioux Falls Chapter of the South Dakota Archaeological Society.

Up Next

In March, Dr. Scott Anfinson, state archaeologist of Minnesota (retired), will speak on "The End Of Prehistory: A Midcontinental Archaeological Perspective on the European Invasion of North America," at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, in Froiland Science Complex room 113A/B.


L. Adrien Hannus
Director, Archeology Lab
Augustana University
605.274.5493
adrien.hannus@augie.edu