Euskal Herria

Euskal Herria (Basque Country)

by Prof. Bruce Bradley (University of Exeter)

 

For several years I have been involved with the Basque heritage organization Jauzarrea and have participated in several congresses where a panel of international scholars have met in Euskal Herria (Basque Country) to interact with and make presentations to public audiences (http://www.jauzarrea.com/en). These gatherings have been sponsored through the organization and involved scientists, heritage enthusiasts and First Nations scholars, primarily from Euskal Herria and Canada but also from the US and UK.

 

As a follow-up to the earlier conferences I was invited, with Dr. Stephen Oppenheimer (author of Out of Eden and the Origins of the British) to make presentations to public audiences in February 2016 (http://www.jauzarrea.com/en/peopling-america-bay-biscay-during-last-glacial-maximum-20000-years-ago). These presentations were focused on Basque interest in their history of interactions with native groups in northeastern Canada in the historic period but also seek to understand the possible early colonization of North America from the Basque Country during the Last Glacial Maximum 22-17,000 years ago (Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture).

 

Dr. Oppenheimer and I presented together at two well-attended presentations (290 people between the two) about this hypothesis; with him detailing the genetic evidence and I explaining the archaeological evidence. Both audiences were very receptive and while comprised of members of the public there were many eminent Basque scholars, academics and scientists in attendance. There were long Q&A sessions following both presentations and much follow-on discussion after the formal meetings. This interaction demonstrates how archaeological theory and evidence, combined with other sciences and disciplines, can make a significant contribution to the development and enhancement of a national heritage.

 

 

Bruce is a Professor of Prehistory and Director of the Experimental Archaeology Masters Programme and has extensive experience with Stone Age technologies and experimental archaeology. He is also active in bringing his archaeological and anthropological interests to the public through presentations, teaching, interaction with Native American communities and participation in documentaries.

 

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