Students got an opportunity to learn about 3000-year-old archaeological marvels from the film "Song of the Drum: The Petroglyphs of Maine," which was screened in Smith Auditorium in Sills Hall on Wednesday.
The film's writer, Mark Hedden, a specialist in prehistoric archeology and the leading authority on petroglyphs in the state of Maine, was the first to discover the petroglyphs—or "picture rocks"—of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at the mouth of the Kennebec River.
He led a discussion following the film and his lecture illustrated these relics' cultural and spiritual significance.
The petroglyphs, explained Professor of Russian Jane Knox-Voina, "were a way to record a story before writing. They establish the identity and heritage of one of Maine's oldest indigenous people."
Knox-Voina herself has done fieldwork examining petroglyphs in Russian and she invited Hedden to campus with hopes that students in her class Russia's Others would realize the similarities between the subject matter of Hedden's work and her own.
"This will bring knowledge to the community about ties between indigenous people of Siberia and Maine through the stories told in these petroglyphs," she said.
The Eurasian and east European studies program within the Russian department sponsored the screening.