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Lunch and learn with University's maritime archaeologist

September 4, 2009

Did you ever wonder about old shipwrecks, how they met their fate, were discovered, studied and preserved? Join Cheryl Ward, an internationally recognized maritime archaeologist who specializes in the study of ancient ships, at a series of "Lunch and Learn" brown bag discussions on Tuesdays at Coastal Carolina University's Waccamaw Higher Education Center in Litchfield.

The sessions, which are free and open to the public, are from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and feature Ward, professor of maritime archaeology at Coastal Carolina University. She was recently involved in rebuilding an ancient ship and sailing it on the Red Sea, a feat recorded in a French documentary film that will be featured on a PBS "Nova" episode early next year.

"Pyramids" is the topic of the Sept. 8 lunch, followed by discussions on "Ancient perfumes" on Sept. 15.

"How ancient people saw 'the other'" will be the lunch discussion on Tuesday, Sept. 29. An evening discussion will center on "Sailing with the Pharoahs how to build a 4,000-year-old ship" at 6 p.m. on the same day.

There will be no session on Sept. 22, and the series will continue in October with different topics. Participants are invited to bring their own lunch to the discussion.

In addition to community outreach programs, Ward is working to establish Coastal Carolina University's new Center for Archaeology and Anthropology, which will promote the research and study issues of the Lowcountry, including the Gullah culture.

She earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in bioarchaeology from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London, a master's degree in anthropology from Texas A&M University and a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Texas Tech University.

Ward founded and co-directed the Institute of Nautical Archaeology in Egypt and has served as a national speaker for the Archaeological Institute of America.

The Center is located at 160 Willbrook Blvd. off U.S. 17 in Litchfield.

For more information on the Lunch and Learn series, call the Waccamaw Higher Education Center at 843-349-4030.