Thursday, April 21 Meeting is Online— Tennessee Archaeology, Kevin E. Smith

RCAS APRIL MEETING: Online Presentation by Kevin E. Smith

In lieu of an in-person meeting this month, we are happy to announce a live online presentation sponsored by the Tennessee Division of Archaeology. The TDOA has created a new virtual lecture series for 2022(Third Thursdays, April-October).

The inaugural presentation is on Thursday, April 21 at 6:00pm CDT.

Archaeologist Dr. Kevin E. Smith(MTSU) will present “Exploring Native American Foodways in Ancient Tennessee: More Than Just Corn, Beans, Squash.“

The presentation is free utilizing Zoom and you may sign up at

After signing up, you will be contacted by the TDOA with links on how to access the presentation. Please direct any questions to State Archaeologist Phil Hodge at

Abstract of Presentation, by Dr. Kevin E. Smith

Explorers of Tennessee’s Cumberland River valley in the 1700s reported forests of American bamboo miles in diameter and so dense only children could squeeze through them. Archaeologists have usually assumed that this now critically endangered ecosystem developed in the 1600s after indigenous people abandoned the area. For ancient Nashville between about AD 1200 and 1500, I will examine some exciting new research about the antiquity of these Cumberland Valley bamboo forests – and how they intersect with the history, culture, traditions – and food – of indigenous people. Along the way, I will also explore the relationship of beaver ponds and maize fields, tame deer herds, and a continent-wide trade network of useful plants beyond maize, beans, and squash.

RCAS note: We hope you join us for this special presentation of some of the early Native American lifeways in Tennessee and the environment in which the people lived and interacted.