MTSU professor Dr. Shannon Hodge will now be the featured speaker at the inaugural meeting of the new Rutherford County Archaeological Society.
The group’s first meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Heritage Center, 225 W. College St., in downtown Murfreesboro.
Hodge is replacing Dr. Tanya M. Peres, who was originally scheduled to give a special presentation entitled “Prehistory Beneath Our Feet: Doing Archaeology in Rutherford County, Tennessee.”
Due to unforeseen circumstances, however, Peres will be unable to attend Thursday’s meeting but is scheduled to speak at the group’s February meeting.
Peres is director of the Rutherford County Archaeology Research Program and an associate professor of anthropology at MTSU.
Hodge, an expert bioarchaeologist and an associate professor of anthropology at MTSU, will present “Nashville Zoo Cemetery: Revealing the Unknown Through Bioarchaeology and DNA.” Her work at the zoo was featured in a recent report on WSMV-TV Channel 4 in Nashville.
Hodge specializes in human osteology and paleopathology. Her recent work has focused on interpersonal violence and trophy-taking, African Diaspora populations and Native Americans of the Archaic and Mississippian periods.
“We’re open to anyone interested in archaeology,” archaeologist Laura Fyock Bartel, founder of the group, told NewsRadio WGNS. “Our focus is on the archaeology and cultural heritage of the county, as well as archaeological and anthropological topics in general.”
Bartel is a Murfreesboro resident and anthropology instructor at Motlow State Community College.
WGNS reported that Peres’ presentation will provide an overview of archaeology in Rutherford County, discuss two recently identified prehistoric archaeological sites, including one in Murfreesboro, and share how the public can get involved in order to help document the county’s ancient past before it is lost to growth and development.
For more information on the Rutherford County Archaeological Society, go to facebook.com/groups/RCAS.TN or contact Laura Bartel at firstname.lastname@example.org.