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Archeology lecture

Loyola press release - March 30, 2006

The classical studies program at Loyola University New Orleans presents a lecture titled “From Ruin to Respectability in Urban New Orleans: Recent Archaeology in the French Quarter and Warehouse District,” by D. Ryan Gray, an archeologist from Earth Search, Inc. The lecture will be held on Thursday, April 6, 2006, at 7:30 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium, on the third floor of Monroe Hall on Loyola’s main campus.

New Orleans’ archeological heritage is greatly threatened by new development and demolition, especially in the post-Katrina era. Gray, who has many excavations to his credit, will attempt to put this dire situation into perspective. Gray received a bachelor of arts in archaeology from Columbia University. He completed his field school with the Belize River Archaeological Settlement Survey, excavating at the Maya site of El Pilar, and working extensively with collections in the laboratory there. After a hiatus from archaeology, he joined the staff at Earth Search, Inc., in 1999, and has since worked both in the field and in the laboratory on numerous projects. He serves as laboratory coordinator for most ESI projects. Gray’s specialty is historical archaeology, particularly African-American archaeology and the archaeology of urban New Orleans. He has served as field director, co-project manager, or material culture analyst for various widely-reported projects in the city, including data recovery at the St. Thomas Housing Project (the former location of New Orleans' Irish Channel neighborhood), excavations at the Iberville Housing Project (the former location of the Storyville red light district), and, most recently, at 535 Conti Street in the French Quarter. While Gray has presented academic papers on his research in forums such as the annual meetings of the Society for American Archaeology, the Society for Historical Archeology, and the South Central Historical Archaeology Conference, he has also remained committed to presenting information to a more general audience. To this end, he has been a frequent participant in Louisiana Archaeology Week, (with the St. Thomas excavations featured in 2001), with slide lectures and artifact displays. He has also delivered lectures for New Orleans' African-American Heritage Council and for the Archaeological Institute of America, where he was one of the featured speakers on the archaeology of prostitution for the AIA's annual meetings in 2003.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the New Orleans Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Louisiana Landmarks Society. It is free and open to the public. For additional information, please contact Professor of Classical Studies Connie Rodriguez, Ph.D., at 865-2287 or e-mail rodrigue@loyno.edu.