Monday, March 23, 2009

Foster to Speak on Native Americans March 24 in Carrollton

Dr. Thomas Foster, director of the Antonio J. Waring Jr. Archaeological Laboratory, will present a Lunch and Learn program titled, “Spanish Soldiers, English Traders and the Formation of the Creek Confederacy,” on Tuesday, March 24, at the Ingram Library. The monthly series begins at noon and the community is invited to attend.

Foster, also an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, has researched and authored books and articles on the complex native societies that the Spanish and English encountered in the Chattahoochee Valley during their settlement attempts in the region.

In addition to discussing the many ways European contact impacted Southern Native Americans, Foster will give special attention to the often misunderstood historical development of these societies and the formation of what became commonly known as the Creek tribe. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

Foster’s most recently written book, “Archaeology of Lower Muskogee Creek Indians, 1715-1836,” was published in 2007. A museum exhibit developed by Foster and the associate curator of history at the Columbus Museum, “The Chattahoochee Valley: Colonial Frontier at the Columbus Museum” recently won the Historic Preservation Award from the Historic Columbus Foundation.

Foster joined the UWG faculty last summer and is the first endowed professor of anthropology at UWG through the Waring endowment. A $1 million gift from Henrietta Waring in memory of her late husband, Antonio J. Waring, Jr., funded the Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Anthropology Endowment and distinguished the university as one of a handful in the country that offers an endowed undergraduate anthropology program.

The endowment and a second gift made possible the endowed professorship, a thriving Waring Archaeological Laboratory, the Waring Distinguished Lecture Series and funding for an undergraduate anthropology degree program.

The Waring Laboratory curates nationally important collections from all over the southeast. Located on campus, the laboratory is the only facility of its type in Georgia and is specifically designed to meet both academic needs and federal standards for the curation of prehistoric and historic archaeological collections.

A native of Georgia, Foster earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Georgia and his master’s and doctorate at Pennsylvania State University. Foster enjoys being an ambassador for education, archaeology and research with his passion focused on the study of Creek and Southeastern Native Americans, how they lived and the impact of Europeans upon their culture.

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