Pre-Columbian Society of Washington DC

The Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. (PCSWDC), is an educational organization dedicated to furthering knowledge and understanding of the peoples of the Americas before the time of Columbus. Founded in 1993, the Society provides a forum for the exchange of information regarding these pre-Columbian cultures between academic professionals and interested members of the public.

  Clovis     Point

 Clovis     Point

     Folsom             Point

    Folsom             Point




In 1908, the African American cowboy George McJunkin discovered an archaeological site near Folsom, New Mexico containing the remains of extinct giant bison. Recognizing the significance of the discovery, he left the site undisturbed and alerted archaeologists. In 1927, archaeologists Harold Cook and Jesse Figgins discovered a distinct form of fluted projectile point at the site, now known as a Folsom point, in direct association with the giant bison, which went extinct at the end of the last Ice Age. This discovery indicated that the New World had been inhabited since at least 9000 BC, which was about 7000 years earlier than previously accepted. In the following decade, a new type of fluted projectile point was discovered. These points were best documented between 1932 and 1937 at a site near Clovis, New Mexico, and thus came to be known as Clovis points. Clovis was found to predate Folsom within what became known as the Paleoindian Period. Since the discovery of Folsom and Clovis, many sites have been identified as “pre-Clovis.” Debates regarding their authenticity and antiquity, however, have been highly contentious.

This year’s symposium is on the Peopling of the Americas, which addresses the highly controversial question of when people first arrived in the New World. It also addresses related research questions, however, such as: Was there a single or were there multiple migrations into the New World during the last Ice Age? From where did these people come? Why did they come? How did they get here? Once they arrived, what was the process whereby they populated the New World? Join us in this daylong symposium to hear six renowned scholars present new research and perspectives on these research questions, which are among the most important in pre-Columbian studies today. 


JAMES ADOVASIO, Program Director, Florida Atlantic University,  Perishables and Paleoindians Redux: The Role of Nondurable Technology in the Colonization of the Americas

JON ERLANDSON, Director, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon,  Coast to Coast: The Kelp Highway Hypothesis and the Peopling of the Americas 

KELLY GRAF, Texas A & M University, College Station,  North to Alaska: Peopling of the Americas from the Perspective of Northeast Asian and Beringian Archaeology

DAVID KILBY, Texas State University, San Marcos,  Ice Age Artifact Caches in North America and Beyond

DAVID J. MELTZER, Southern Methodist University,  The Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas: Are We Finally Arriving at Some Answers?

JENNIFER A. RAFF, University of Kansas,  What Does Genetics Tell Us about the Early Prehistory of the Americas?


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    E A R L Y    R E G I S T R A T I O N    I S   N O W   O P E N

   T O  D O W N L O A D   A   R E G I S T R A T I O N  B R O C H U R E,  C L I C K   H E R E

 T O   R E G I S T E R   O N L I N E,   C L I C K   H E R E

T O   R E C E I V E   T H E   $15   E A R L Y   R E G I S T R A T I O N   D I S C O U N T,   Y O U R   R E G I S T R A T I O N

 M U S T   B E   R E C E I V E D   ON   OR   B E F O R E   S E P T E M B E R   7

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Three types of tickets are available. 

MEMBER TICKETS              $90  --  Early registration price

These tickets are available to Individual or Household members of the Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. whose memberships are current as of the day of the symposium.

NONMEMBER TICKETS      $120  --  Early registration price

These tickets are available to people who are neither Individual nor Household members of the Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. as of the day of the symposium.

STUDENT TICKETS             $ 25  --   Early registration price

These tickets are available to students enrolled in an accredited academic institution as of the day of the symposium. Students must be prepared to present active, valid student photo ID at the door.



This one-day symposium will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2018. The meeting begins promptly at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 5:45 p.m. Doors open at 8:15 a.m.


U.S. Navy Memorial & Naval Heritage Center

701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (between 7th and 9th Streets)

Washington, D.C.



PUBLIC TRANSIT--The ARCHIVES/NAVY MEMORIAL STOP on the Green and Yellow lines is the closest  METRO station.

PARKING NEAR THE NAVY MEMORIAL--Check this site two weeks before the symposium for the latest parking location and price information.


Following the symposium the Society will host a reception at Teaism restaurant, located at 400 8th Street, N.W. Join speakers and others for drinks (cash bar) and a buffet dinner from 6-9 p.m. You need not attend the symposium to attend reception. Reception dinner tickets are $36 each. To purchase reception tickets, click HERE.


This year's two types of T-shirts will be available--one featuring a Clovis projectile point and the other a Folsom projectile point. Both T-shirts are a soft olive green color made of 100% cotton with a two-color design and lettering. Each shirt comes in 5 sizes and sells for $20. To purchase T-shirts, click HERE.

 Note: Online T-shirt orders must be made on or before September 1. Thereafter, only a limited selection will be available for sale at the door; all sizes and types of shirts cannot be guaranteed.



To join or rejoin the Pre-Columbian Society and enjoy the benefits of membership, including the lower membership price for your symposium ticket, click HERE. For the complete list of membership benefits, click HERE.


The Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. is a 501(c)(3) organization and greatly appreciates your tax-deductible donations. If you care to make a contribution to the Society, when you have completed your symposium purchases, please return to the HOME page and click the DONATE button on the left. We apologize for this inconvenience, but we are required to keep purchases for products and services separate from tax-deductible contributions.  



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