“Mythbusting the Belle Glade Culture,” will be presented by archaeologist Catherine Smith on Thursday, April 16, 7 p.m., Building G, Room 101, at the South Florida State College Highlands Campus. The presentation is part of the Kissimmee Valley Archaeological and Historic Conservancy’s (KVAHC) Speaker Series. The public is invited at no cost.

Several assumptions have led to a skewed misrepresentation of the Belle Glade prehistoric culture. Circular reasoning has followed that nothing significant is there to find, so there is no need to look. However, as new investigations have commenced and new sites have been identified over the past decade, the stacking archaeological evidence demands a re-examination of what can be legitimately assumed regarding this population. New evidence and arguments will be presented that “debunk” long held myths regarding the prehistoric culture that made the expanse of the Kissimmee River valley and Lake Okeechobee basin its home. This information is particularly interesting as Blueberry, a significant archaeological site in Highlands County, contains a Belle Glade Village site.

Smith is finishing her Master of Arts specializing in bioarcheology at Florida Atlantic University. Her thesis research has involved a re-examination of Belle Glade Mound (8PB41), type site of the prehistoric Belle Glade Culture, through skeletal analysis. In addition to thesis research, she has worked with collections across south Florida through cultural resource management and her former position as curator of the Lawrence E. Will Museum: A Museum of the Glades. Her research on the Belle Glade Culture will continue as she begins the doctoral program at Indiana University in August of this year.

For more information, contact Anne Reynolds at 863-840-3995.