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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

AMP to host presentation on slings and slingstones

Robert and Gigi York, former curators at the CNMI Museum of History and Culture, will be presenting their research on slings and slingstones and introducing their newly published book on the subject at the AMP Visitor’s Center Theater on Wednesday, Oct. 3, starting 6pm.

For most of us, our knowledge of slings and slingstones begins and ends with the biblical tale of David slaying Goliath. Scholars and archaeologists have told us that slings like the one David employed were common in the Old World, used not just for shepherd boys to kill giants, but for protecting herds, hunting, and combat. However, few scholars have addressed the function slings have occupied outside of Eurasian civilizations, especially their use in Oceania and the Americas.

Robert and Gigi York examine the history of Oceania and the Americas to unveil the significant role slings and slingstones played in developing societies. They present new evidence that suggests that unlike David, who plucked rounded pebbles from a stream, inhabitants of the Marianas and other Pacific Islands deliberately fashioned sling missiles out of coral, stone, and clay, into uniquely deadly shapes. They also show that the use of slings in the Americas was more pervasive and inclined to variability than previously recognized.

Robert and Gigi York, fellows of the University of Wyoming’s Frison Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, share some 60 years of professional experience in the fields of archaeology, museum collections and cultural resources management.

Limited numbers of "Slings and Slingstones" are on sale at the CNMI Museum of History and Culture and the AMP Gift Shop. The Yorks will be on-hand to sign copies of their books prior to and after the presentation. The presentation, made possible in part through a grant from the NMI Humanities Council and through assistance from the CNMI Museum and the American Memorial Park, is free to the public and everyone is invited. (PR)

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