Dispelling the Myth: The Archaeology of Kentucky's Ancient People


Preservation Kentucky celebrated Archaeology Month with a webinar that featured the rich archaeological record of our native inhabitants with prehistoric archaeologist Gwynn Henderson, PhD, whose research has corrected the mistaken narrative that Native peoples never lived permanently in Kentucky, when, in fact, they did.

Native peoples have lived in what we know as Kentucky beginning around 9,500 B.C. and they are still citizens of the Commonwealth today. Drawing from many diverse archaeological records, this webinar reviews what archaeologists have learned and inferred about their diverse lifeways, technologies, settlements and ritual sites prior to the arrival of Europeans.

Dr. Gwynn Henderson is Staff Archaeologist/Education Coordinator at the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Anthropology at the Univ. of Kentucky. Dr. Henderson has conducted field research in Kentucky. Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia and Mexico. She is particularly interested in researching the lifeways of prehistoric farming cultures in the Ohio Valley and the history of mid-18th century indigenous groups in that region. She has written, presented and published many professional reports and papers describing the results of her research, and with archaeologist David Pollak, PhD, directed the UK undergraduate field school in archaeology from 2009-2011. As an archaeology educator and public archaeologist, Dr. Henderson works with archaeologists, teachers and museum educators to develop content, lessons, booklets, video programs and workshops that make information about Kentucky’s rich archaeological heritage accessible to a wide audience. She serves as State Coordinator for Kentucky Project Archaeology; her book for adult literacy students, Kentucky Before Boone, is used in elementary school classrooms; and she has published several nonfiction articles in dig, an award winning archaeology magazine for children ages 9-14. Dr. Henderson is a member of the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission. A Delaware native, she has lived in Kentucky since 1977, when she joined an excavation in Jefferson County directed by University of Kentucky archaeologists.

Seven (7) handouts from this webinar are on our website at www.preservationkentucky.org. Take these steps from the menu bar at the top: Resources—Publications–Other Publications–Archaeology — all articles on that page are listed in alphabetical order.


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