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Archaeology

Our archaeology faculty engages with both the past and the present as they reconstruct the history of sites and the landscapes they occupied. They actively incorporate both undergraduate and graduate students in research determining conditions prevalent in the past such as the climate, available natural resources, and the agricultural potential of the land to develop histories of the expansion and demise of ancient cultures. In examining the long-term back and forth between ecological and cultural systems our faculty also help illustrate and predict current trends in the human-environment relation. Using airborne remote sensing technologies in combination with magnetic gradient and electrical resistivity surveys they are able to reconstruct entire settlements. Systematic excavation and artifact collection remain an invaluable part of their research and the Laboratory of Archaeology is a repository of materials from over 50,000 archaeological sites in Georgia. In the zooarchaeological research of our faculty, they combine anthropology and biology to study the allometry of animals, fish and shellfish used as human food, and combine DNA and isotopic analysis of mollusk valves and fish otoliths with the taphonomic influences of rodents and carnivores on depositional environments of food remains.

Current research includes

  • Submerged Early Man sites off the coast of Georgia
  • Social and political organization of Mississippian period towns across northeast Georgia
  • Regional landscape and household archaeology of Coixlahuaca, Mexico
  • Woodland Period ceremonial centers in the American Southeast
  • Paleoenvironmental and zooarchaeological studies of chiefdoms located in Coastal Peru and the American Southeast