Winter Speaker Series

2023-2024 Zoom Speaker Series

Archaeology from Swamps & Caves

Becca Peixotto
Field Archaeologist

Wednesday, January 10, 2024, 7:00 pm

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Becca Peixotto

Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s (FOMB) fourth presentation of their 27th annual Winter Speaker Series, Archaeology from Swamps and Caves features Dr. Becca Peixotto, field archaeologist. Winter Speaker Series presentations are again being held via Zoom and are accessible via hyperlink at the top of the this page. This event takes place Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at 7 pm.

What connects the impossibly narrow passages of a cave in South Africa, an impenetrable swamp in southern Virginia, and other challenging locations?  For archaeologist Dr. Becca Peixotto, the answer is the search for new understandings of our shared human history, and a sense of adventure.  Join Becca as we explore the Rising Star Cave in South Africa where, in 2013, scientists uncovered 250,000 year old fossils of an ancient human relative now known as Homo naledi, and venture into the Great Dismal Swamp in southern Virginia to glimpse the remnants of the remarkable resistance communities who once sought refuge there.  Becca shares her own winding path to archaeology as well as the spirit of curiosity, exploration, and risk taking that lead to ground-breaking discoveries and personal ones and let us ask new questions.

Becca Peixotto currently serves as a Project Archaeologist for the Henry M Jackson Foundation in support of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Her graduate work focused on historical archaeology and resistance landscapes of the Great Dismal Swamp. She embraces scientific methods in order to address theoretical, social and historical questions about landscapes, material culture, ideas of wilderness, and public engagement with the past. Becca is involved in several projects outside of the Dismal Swamp including the National Geographic/Wits University Rising Star Expedition which excavated the fossils of Homo naledi and the Maryland Historic Trust/Archaeology Society of Maryland Biggs Ford project investigating Middle and Late Woodland villages. She also actively supports efforts to encourage women and girls in science as an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador. Becca is an experienced outdoor educator (Outward Bound) with expertise in wilderness expeditions in mountain and desert environments, including backpacking and rock climbing, for youth, adults and returning veterans. She holds a B.A, from U. of Alabama, Huntsville in Slavic Area Studies and Mathematics, a Masters from Universiteit van Amsterdam in Discourse and Argumentation, and from American University, another M.A., this one in Public Anthropology with an Archaeology specialization; also the area of her Ph.D studies at American U.

FOMB hosts their Winter Speaker Series October-May, on the second Wednesday of each month. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic and ability for participants to attend from out of the area, the series continues via Zoom. The FOMB February 14th presentation: Dam Removals on the Kennebec River features John Burrows, Executive Director of U.S. Operations for the Atlantic Salmon Federation. This event takes place at 7:00 pm with the Zoom registration link available at a week or so prior to the presentation.

Speaker Series presentations are free, open to the public. Visit to see speaker biographies, full event schedules, video recordings of past presentations, become a member, and learn more about how you can help protect beautiful Merrymeeting Bay and the Gulf of Maine.

For more information contact FOMB at 207-666-3372 or


Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler