March 11, 2009

Archaeologist to discuss Native American rock art

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- If it is Native American art and is painted on a rock somewhere in Illinois, Mark Wagner probably knows about it.

Wagner, an archaeologist with the Center for Archaeological Investigation at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is an expert on Native American rock art. Beginning at 7 p.m. on March 18, he will share his expertise with a discussion of “Exploring Native American Rock Art in Southern Illinois” at the University Museum Auditorium in Faner Hall. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Wagner will talk about some of the rock shelters, caves and bluff faces that bear painted or carved images of people, animals and supernatural creatures as rendered by Native American artists more than 1,000 years ago.

Wagner’s research focuses on the prehistory and early history of Illinois and the lower Ohio River Valley. His studies include both Native and European immigrant culture, particularly where the two intersected.

The museum discussion is part of area events marking the grant-funded “We Shall Remain” project on WSIU and other regional partners of PBS and WGBH Boston. The “American Experience” broadcast of the five-part “We Shall Remain” series shows on WSIU-TV at 8 p.m. on Mondays beginning April 13.

WSIU notes that the goal of the series and area events “is to deepen public understanding of Native history and culture, with a special emphasis on our region’s connection to the Trail of Tears, the path taken by the Cherokee and other Native peoples during their federally enforced migration from the southeastern United States to Oklahoma.”

For more information about broadcast series and other area events, visit and click on the “We Shall Remain” spotlight, or contact Vickie Devenport at 618/453-6148 or at

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