Archaeologist’s View of Global Climate Change Topic of Annual Beckwith Lecture


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Feb. 23, 2010 — “An Archaeologist’s View of Global Climate Change” will be the topic of the annual Beckwith Memorial Archaeology Lecture March 3 at Southeast Missouri State University.

Dr. Kit Wesler, professor of archaeology and director of the Mid-America Remote Sensing Center at Murray State University, will present the lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center at Southeast’s River Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

In the last decade or so, archaeologists, geologists and climate scientists have achieved a comprehensive global view of climate change that provides a well-rounded perspective on what’s happening with modern trends, Wesler said. Although some current warming logically results from human action, natural climate cycles also play a part, he said. Several warming and cooling cycles of varying length have been affecting human cultures and particularly the more advanced societies in very important ways. Wesler says the long-term perspective of archaeology is crucial to understanding the full context of current climate trends and the debates about global warming.

Wesler holds a bachelor of arts degree in which he graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and master of arts and doctoral degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He has served as a Fulbright lecturer and researcher at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. He has conducted archaeological research at the Wickliffe Mounds in Kentucky, Ste. Genevieve in southeast Missouri, and numerous other sites in the central Mississippi Valley and the Middle Atlantic region, Nigeria and Jamaica.

The Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum and the Department of Foreign Languages and Anthropology at Southeast sponsor the annual Beckwith Lecture, which honors Thomas Beckwith, who donated his sizeable collection of Mississippian artifacts to the University in 1913. Select pieces from the collection are on permanent display in the Crisp Museum.

The Crisp Museum is located in the Cultural Arts Center at the River Campus, 518 S. Fountain St., Cape Girardeau, Mo. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 1 to 4 p.m. on the weekends. For additional information, visit  or call (573) 651-2260.