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Dr. David La Vere, an award-winning author and professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, will discuss "Looting Spiro Mounds: An American King Tut's Tomb" in a public lecture Monday [OCT. 8] at East Central University.

He will speak at 7 p.m. in the Estep Multimedia Center in the University Center. The lecture is sponsored by ECU's Hayes Native American Studies Center. 

La Vere's topic is the title of his latest book which was published this year by the University of Oklahoma Press. Copies will be available for $24.95. The Spiro Mounds site in eastern Oklahoma is considered one of the most important archeological discoveries in North America. In the 1930s a group of treasure hunters sold artifacts to collectors all over the world.

La Vere, who teaches American Indian History at UNCW and is the graduate coordinator for its master of arts program in history, also will speak to a history class on Tuesday.

Born in New Orleans, he served a hitch as a Marine Corps infantryman. He earned a bachelor's degree from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La., and later received his Ph.D. in history from Texas A&M University. He came to UNC Wilmington in 1993.

Two of La Vere's five books on American Indian History have won awards. "The Texas Indians" (Texas A&M University Press, 2004) won the 2005 Best Book Award given by the Philosophical Society of Texas and the 2004 T.R. Fehrenbach Award for Best Book on Texas History given by the Texas History Commission.

His "Contrary Neighbors: Southern Plains and Removed Indians in Indian Territory" (University of Oklahoma Press, 2000) won the 2001 Oklahoma Book Award for Best Non-Fiction Book on Oklahoma History. Copies of that book also will be available for $24.95.

His other books are "Life Among the Texas Indians" (Texas A&M University Press, 1998); and "The Caddo Chiefdoms" (University of Nebraska Press, 1998).

La Vere is working on a sixth book, tentatively titled "Forging the Lost Colony: Searching for Virginia Dare's Tombstone."

He has written numerous articles for Our State North Carolina magazine and has been a contributing author to two Our State Press publications: "North Carolina's Shining Moment: World War II in North Carolina" and "North Carolina Churches: Portraits of Grace."

La Vere often gives talks about the history of North Carolina Indians. He also was invited to the March 2006 Oxford Round Table at Oxford University in England to discuss diversity in society.



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