Ben Curry

Ranching in Spanish Colonial California

Ben Curry’s research focuses on the role of cattle and sheep ranching in the Spanish colonization of western North America, particularly the colonization of California. Specific topics include the effects of ranching on ecological systems, and ranching’s role in economic, sociocultural, political, and land use systems. Zooarchaeology, GIS analysis, and network and agent base modeling are all a part of this research; which seeks to make use of both the archaeological and historical record. Curry’s experimental work focuses primarily on the analysis of butchery patterns in zooarchaeological assemblages, particular variant forms of bone fracturing, and on analyzing various natural taphonomic processes.


Luke Kaiser

Hosting and Toasting in Early Minoan Society

Why do we host banquets or drink socially? In prehistory, feasting promoted local identity in a wider regional context. By analyzing the Prepalatial ceramic assemblages of Mochlos, the social, political, and economic relationships between feasting and state development is investigated.


Erana Loveless

Quantifying the Effects of Historical Indigenous Burning and Bison on Mountain Valley Forest Structure and Fire Regimes near Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Erana's project aims to map, quantify, and explain how indigenous burning historically created habitats supporting substantial bison populations in the Rocky Mountains near Banff National Park (BNP) in Canada. Further, she will investigate the implications of these landscape transformations and their disappearance for the management of forests, fire, and fauna today. Across public and tribal lands in the United States and Canada, a large number of projects are currently undertaking or considering the reintroduction of bison after the near extinction of the species in the late 1800s. These reintroduction projects often use the historical presence of bison populations to inform their planning. However, after bison and traditional indigenous land management were removed from these places, the landscapes themselves changed. It is thus crucial for land managers and bison reintroduction programs to understand how and where indigenous peoples once created and managed their landscapes with fire.

Stephanie Martin

Plinian Eruptions and Population Movements

During the LBA Plinian eruption of the island of Thera (Santorini), the city of Akrotiri was entirely abandoned, leaving thousands of refugees displaced. Regional damage extents and social networks are the two major contributing factors for decisions of resettlement locations. In order to identify possible resettlement locations of the displaced Therans, I compare social ties and damage extents to determine communities who were both willing and able to provide aid.


Jay Stephens

Provenance, Practice, and Archaeometry

My research is focused on applying archaeometric techniques to study material provenance and deconstruct the practices used to make archaeological objects. Currently, I focus on the Iron Age landscape of Southern Africa, which was host to a number of state formation events and became significantly entangled with large trade networks. I use archaeometallurgical, isotopic, and chemical analyses on copper based artifacts to investigate the ties between core and periphery sites on this landscape, and also how ties to the massive Indian Ocean network impacted this relationship. I am also working on projects which use this focus to better understand the Iroquois pipestone industry, Roman tile production, and Greek ceramics and metals during the Late Bronze Age – Early Iron Age transition.  


Alena Wigodner

As the Roman Empire expanded its borders, how did those living within the Empire but far from Rome express their identities? My research focuses on how gender dynamics articulated with colonial culture change in the western region of the Roman Empire; how did women make lives for themselves and their families by negotiating between Roman and indigenous culture in their daily activities? I am currently studying these issues through analysis of representational and anatomical healing votives (votive objects shaped to look like the dedicator or part of the dedicator’s body)  from sanctuaries in Roman Gaul.






Katie MacFarland

To analyze the subregions of Iron Age (ca. 1000-100 BCE) central Eurasi, density distribution maps of Scythian, Saka, and Xiongnu artifacts with ungulate decoration (e.g., ram, cattle, deer, moose) will be combined with spatial data on location of sites, archaeometallurgical technologies, and the paleoenvironment (Ph.D. Thesis completed 2017).


Andrew Stewart

Clovis to Folson Technology

The transition from Clovis to Folsom technology is important to consider when seeking to understand choices hunter-gatherers made in relation to projectile point strength, functionality, curation and economic multipliers. Paleoindian tool transitions can be seen as adaptations to environment and subsistence. This research explains these questions through behavioral ecology.