Kelly Dixon, an associate professor of anthropology at the Unive

Kelly Dixon, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Montana, discusses the project of documenting markings left in Pictograph Cave State Park's Ghost Cave by original excavation teams.

JAMES WOODCOCK/Billings Gazette

Archaeologist Kelly Dixon will discuss how the stories revealed by her work in the Old West have relevance today during the next installment of the Provost’s Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series at the University of Montana.

Dixon, a UM anthropology associate professor, will present “Archaeology, Global Change and the Modern World: Tales From the American West” at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the University Center’s North Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

Dixon will describe a handful of archaeological case studies about how people living in – or traveling through – the American West faced issues relevant to life in the modern world, including vulnerability, risk and adaptation.

“The way people responded to these challenges in the past can help us address present challenges such as environmental planning, sustainability and preservation of the world’s natural and cultural heritage,” she said.

Her lecture will feature archaeological examples from the American West, with an emphasis on places in Montana.

Dixon is co-editor and contributing author of “An Archaeology of Desperation: Exploring the Donner Party’s Alder Creek Camp,” which won the Society for Historical Archaeology’s 2013 James Deetz Book Award. She earned her doctorate from the University of Nevada and has taught archaeology at UM since 2003.

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