Barton County Historical Society will host “Kansas BC,” a presentation and discussion by Donald Blakeslee, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 27, in the Schulz Library at the Historical Society Museum. Barton County Historical Society is located just south of the Arkansas River Bridge at Great Bend on U.S. 281.
Members of the community are invited to attend the free program. Contact the Historical Society at 620-793-5125 for more information. The program is made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council.
Beverly Komarek, executive director of the museum, said Blakeslee will be available to help identify artifacts that the audience will bring. “This is a great opportunity for us to appreciate what we may have gathered,” she said.
His presentation will look at Kansas in the era before Columbus. The prehistoric inhabitants of Kansas traveled widely – even to central Mexico. They traded with the Pueblo people of the Southwest, included people interested in such arcane subjects as meteors and meteorites, and were part of a continent-wide intellectual tradition.
Blakeslee is an expert on prehistoric and early historic Plains life and professor of anthropology at Wichita State University. He has done fieldwork throughout the Great Plains and is the author of four books and numerous articles in anthropology.
“Consider what was not here: No cities, no roads, no mechanization, no domestic animals other than the dog,” said Blakeslee. “It is easy to imagine that the small human communities that occupied Kansas for thousands of years would have existed in relative isolation, focused on hand-to-mouth existence – but nothing could be further from the truth.”
“Kansas BC” is part of the Kansas Humanities Council’s Humanities Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and discussions that examine our shared human experience – our innovations, culture, heritage, and conflicts.