LDS Church History Department curator to speak at BYU on March 27

The LDS Church History Department is going high tech when it comes to research and excavation at sites important in Church history. Remote-sensing technologies including specially-trained canines and ground-penetrating radar have made discoveries at the Priesthood restoration site in Pennsylvania; in Nauvoo, Ill.; at Hawn’s Mill and Far West, Mo.; and at the Provo Tabernacle.

Dr. Benjamin Pykles, the historical sites curator in the LDS Church History department, will speak about using technology at Church history sites on Friday, March 27, at 7 p.m., in B190 of the Joseph Fielding Smith Building at BYU. Pykles is giving the Quey Hebrew Memorial Lecture, presented by the BYU Department of Geological Sciences.

Pykles has worked as a professor of anthropology at the State University of New York at Potsdam and is the author of Excavating Nauvoo: The Mormons and the Rise of Historical Archaeology in America, which won the Best First Book Award from the Mormon History Association in 2011.

During his years as an archeologist, Pykles has utilized his passion for LDS Church archaeology in order to bring to light valuable, historic Church sites, including the ghost town Iosepa, historic Nauvoo, and the original Provo Tabernacle.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints operates 23 historic sites in the continental United States and Great Britain,” said Pykles. “These sites are crucial to the Church’s mission, serving as tangible, three-dimensional witnesses of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”