Spiro Mounds Iconography Presidential Seminar

Short Seminar

May 12–14, 2016

Spiro Mounds Iconography Presidential SeminarSpiro Mounds Iconography Presidential Seminar

Chair: F. Kent Reilly III, Professor of Anthropology and Director, Center for the Study of Arts and Symbolism of Ancient America, Texas State University

Spiro Mounds Iconography Presidential Seminar

Chair: F. Kent Reilly III, Professor of Anthropology and Director, Center for the Study of Arts and Symbolism of Ancient America, Texas State University

This SAR Presidential Seminar brought together a dozen prominent archaeologists to reassess the artifacts, symbols, and motifs recovered from the Craig Mound, part of Spiro Mounds archaeological site in eastern Oklahoma, in preparation for an upcoming exhibition titled, Recovering Ancient Spiro. The Spirit Lodge exhibition will reflect on an ancient Native American ritual event that occurred ca. A.D. 1400. That event encompassed both an interment and the establishment of a priestly office, a celebration of millennial significance, and the act of creating a ritual stage that for the people who created it was a permanent and perpetually ongoing ritual performance of cosmic significance. Seminar participants considered the proposition that mortuary goods recovered from the site should be understood as part of the Caddoan Ceremonial Complex (ca. A.D. 1400) and that together the objects functioned as elements of a cosmic drama that represented a cornerstone of Caddoan religious understandings.

The four-day seminar focused on the exhibit layout and catalog organization. The seminar participants agreed that the layout of the exhibition would focus on the interior or hollow chamber and the objects that the chamber originally contained. The centerpiece of the exhibition will be a reproduction of the Hollow Chamber that will house reproductions of the original objects placed as near as possible to their original locations. Native American Artists will create the reproduction of these objects whenever possible.

It is hoped that the participants will be able to meet in Santa Fe (SAR) in 2017 in order to read and discuss authored material and all proposed venues.

F. Kent Reilly III, Chair Professor, Department of Anthropology; and Director, Center for the Study of Arts and Symbolism in Ancient America, Texas State University
Alex W. Barker Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri
James A. Brown Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University
David Dye Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Memphis
David A. Freidel Professor, Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
Elizabeth Horton Station Archaeologist for Toltec Mounds, Arkansas Archaeological Survey, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
John E. Kelly Senior Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
Adam King Research Associate Professor, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina
George Lankford Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, Lyon College
Robert Sharp Museums and Institutions Professional, Retired from the Art Institute of Chicago
Kevin E. Smith Program Director, Department of Anthropology, Middle Tennessee State University

Follow us: