Researchers

 

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Dr. Jennifer Birch is an archaeologist who specializes in the Archaeology of Eastern North America. Her current research is concerned with the development of organizational complexity and diversity in eastern North America. Ongoing projects in northeastern North America include geophysical investigations of Late Precontact Iroquoian villages, regional synthesis of data on Iroquoian settlement patterns, social network analysis, and chronological modelling. Ongoing projects in southeastern North America include the Singer-Moye Archaeological Settlement History Project (SMASH). 

 

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Jake Lulewicz is an archaeologist working primarily in the Southeastern United States. His interests are rooted in the construction of social histories as a means to investigate the transformation of social landscapes as they are constituted in the meshwork of intra-community dynamics and small-scale local networks of interaction. Broadly, his work seeks to track changes to the fundamental social structures that constitute the broader institutional phenomena archaeologists seek to understand, and especially how these changes articulate with the emergence of sociopolitical complexity in small-scale societies.

Jake’s dissertation research is concerned with broad scale cultural change and continuity across Southern Appalachia between A.D. 600 and 1300. This work takes a bottom-up approach to the emergence of sociopolitical complexity in the region that is rooted in changes to everyday practices and interpersonal relationships. In order to investigate changes to community and network patterning across this historical landscape, he draws from a variety of methodological applications including archaeometry (especially ceramic petrography and optical mineralogy), network analysis and spatial statistics, geophysical and geochemical prospection, Bayesian analysis of radiometric dates, and traditional ceramic analysis. 

 

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Megan Anne Conger is a graduate student who specializes in the archaeology of Northeastern and Southwestern North America.  Her research interests are centered upon understanding how regional shifts in social and political interactions are driven by village and household-level processes of exchange, production, and consumption. 

Her current research investigates the nature of late prehistoric-era, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) networks of indigenous exchange, and how Native leverage and manipulation of those networks affected the regional political and economic relationships which developed during and after European contact in what is now central New York State. She is especially interested in craft production, subsistence, and how involvement in exchange networks prompted the prioritization and rearrangement of those activities.  Her methodological interests include zooarchaeology and lithic (ground-stone) analysis.

 

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Travis Jones is an archaeologist and archaeological materials scientist. His research interests include organizational complexity, materials analysis (isotopic and elemental), conflict, village dynamics, and chronological modeling. His dissertation research studies the multiscalar effects organizational strategies employed by small-scale village communities have on cycles of inter-group conflict. Specifically, this research focuses on these relationships within the context of early Plains Village communities along the Middle Missouri River in North and South Dakota. To contextualize these processes within the individual lived experiences of Middle Missouri villagers, he is also creating a high-resolution radiocarbon chronology of village settlement in the region. Currently, Travis’ research is funded through the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Grant. Though he is currently working on the Northern Plains, Travis has field experience in multiple regions of North America, including the Canadian Rockies, Northern Plains, and Southeast.

 

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Jonathan Micon is a graduate student studying anthropological archaeology at the University of Georgia. His research interests involve the relationship between violence and community structure, particularly in formulating social institutions and ritual practice. He is fascinated by the ability of violence to create widespread multiscalar change, as well as the manner in which violence can promote maladaptive practices. His experiences have led to work in places such as the American Bottom in south-east Illinois and Petersburg National Battlefield in central Virginia. His current work investigates patterns of conflict among Late Woodland ancestral Wendat communities living in southern Ontario. Using ethnohistoric records and geophysical methods, he hopes to situate early communities within a regional context that provides new insights on the motivations and rationalities behind active and passive forms of violence.