‘Swordfish Hunters’ signing, author talk

Dec 04, 2012
Bruce Bourque

Rockland — Bruce Bourque, Maine State Museum Chief Archaeologist, will be at Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. to sign and talk about his new book, “The Swordfish Hunters: The History and Ecology of an Ancient American Sea People.”

Published by Bunker Hill Publishing, “The Swordfish Hunters” explores the story of the Red Paint People, with whom Bourque has been intrigued throughout his career. They lived by the sea and hunted swordfish. They buried their dead in large, orderly cemeteries that included graves filled with a brilliant red powder known as ocher, along with stone tools and bone ornaments of exquisite beauty and craftsmanship. After 500 years, they mysteriously vanished.

“Interwoven with the story of the Red Paint People is one of scientific growth and evolution,” said Bourque. “Archaeologists have adopted new research models in collaboration with a broad range of natural sciences to flesh out the story of a remarkable prehistoric culture, centered exclusively in Maine.”

In addition to his work at the Maine State Museum, Bourque teaches anthropology at Bates College in Lewiston. Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands is located at 9 Water St. and may be reached by calling 594-0600.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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