Strong to speak on the origin of Mill Creek pottery in Coe presentation

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or

2018-03-02 06:51:37 - General

Loralee Songer
Cindy Strong
Professor of Chemistry,
Cornell College

Cornell College Professor of Chemistry Cindy Strong will present "X-Rays and Archaeology: Tracing the Origin of Mill Creek Pottery Using Chemistry" in an upcoming lecture at Coe College. The presentation will be held on Wednesday, March 14, beginning at 4 p.m. in Kesler Lecture Hall of Hickok Hall. Sponsored by the Coe College's chemistry and anthropology programs, the event is open to the public at no charge.

Strong's current research involves the study of archaeological artifacts using chemical techniques. The chemical composition of fragments of pottery can help determine whether or not the fragments were produced from a common clay source. In collaboration with the Office of the State Archaeologist of Iowa at the University of Iowa, she is using X-ray fluorescence and other methods to determine the concentrations of trace metals in pottery fragments from archaeological sites in Iowa and South Dakota. The goal of the research is to shed light on the origin and possible exchange of pottery between cultures that existed approximately 1100 - 1250 A.D.

In her lecture, Strong will share her study of a set of pottery fragments from the Mill Creek culture in northwestern Iowa. The researcher will discuss how chemical and archaeological information can be combined to better understand the origin of the pottery fragments, and the extent of trade between the Mill Creek people and other cultures.

Strong earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and has been at Cornell since 1989, where she teaches courses in analytical and inorganic chemistry.