I grew up near Biloxi, Mississippi, and I can always remember having a deep interest in history and the ancient past. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in college, when I was able to spend two weeks working on excavations at a historic house site, that I learned one could actually be a professional archaeologist right here in the southeastern United States. Since then, I have had the good fortune to participate in fieldwork at a number of fascinating archaeological sites in Mississippi, Alabama, and North Carolina. Prior to my arrival at the University of Mississippi, I was a member of the Anthropology Department at East Carolina University (2008-2015). Before then, I was a Senior Project Manager for Coastal Environments, Inc. (2005-2008) in Biloxi where I was responsible for developing and directing cultural resources management projects. Much of my work during that time focused on federal recovery projects following Hurricane Katrina. I received a Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina in 2005, a M.A. from the University of Alabama in 1997, and a B.A. from Mississippi State University in 1994.
Although my fieldwork and research experiences have included a broad range of topics and temporal periods, much of my work has focused on late prehistoric and Contact period Native American societies of the southeastern United States, especially complex societies of the Mississippian and Late Woodland periods. I am interested in what public and domestic architectural differences can tell us about ancient communities and how social groups interacted to create and maintain communities that persisted for long periods of time. Investigating the construction, use, and evolution of public architecture—especially in the form of earthen monuments such as platform mounds—has been particularly important in my work. Methodologically, my research has involved the use of ceramic, architectural, and mortuary datasets. GIS has provided an invaluable set of analytical tools for organizing these data, and I anticipate that GIS will continue to figure prominently in my research. Although I have little direct experience with remote-sensing applications, I am impressed by their extraordinary potential, and, I look forward to learning about and applying the remote-sensing resources of the Center for Archaeological Research.
Much of my research since 2000 has focused on the Town Creek site, a Mississippian civic-ceremonial center in central North Carolina. Important themes in my Town Creek research have included using architectural, mortuary, and ceramic data to identify household groups and explore their persistence through time and exploring the nature of the community’s social and political structure through the investigation of domestic and public contexts. Recently, I also have been conducting research in coastal Mississippi at Jackson Landing, an early Late Woodland (A.D. 400-700) site whose public architecture includes a massive earthwork and a platform mound. Investigations at Jackson Landing, which were funded by a grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, indicate that construction and use of the site’s mound occurred during a very brief interval around A.D. 660 when the site was the locus of large-group gatherings that involved moundbuilding and feasting. Recently, I have been collaborating with colleagues to investigate sexual harassment during fieldwork in Southeastern archaeology.
The following is a list of selected publications. A full list of publications is listed on my cv.
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
2013. “Community and Ritual within the Mississippian Center at Town Creek.” American Antiquity 78 (3):483-501. doi:10.7183/0002-73220.127.116.113
2011. “Dating the Construction of Early Late Woodland Earthen Monuments at the Jackson Landing Site in Coastal Mississippi.” Southeastern Archaeology 30 (2):351-364. doi:10.1179/sea.2011.30.2.009
2010. “A Functional Analysis of Mississippian Ceramic Vessels from Town Creek.” Southeastern Archaeology 29 (1): 8-30. doi:10.1179/sea.2010.29.1.002
2007. “A Mississippian Ceramic Chronology for the Town Creek Region.” North Carolina Archaeology 56: 1-57.
Chapters in Edited Volumes
2013. “The Creation of Ritual Space at the Jackson Landing Site in Coastal Mississippi.” In Alice P. Wright & Edward R. Henry (eds.), Early and Middle Woodland Landscapes of the Southeast. University Press of Florida.
2010. “Mound Construction and Change in the Mississippian Community at Town Creek.” In Robert C. Mainfort & Lynne P. Sullivan (eds.), Mississippian Mortuary Practices: Beyond Hierarchy and the Representationist Perspective. University Press of Florida.
2015. Maureen Meyers, Tony Boudreaux, Stephen Carmody, Victoria Dekle, Elizabeth Horton, and Alice Wright. “Preliminary Results of the SEAC Sexual Harassment Survey.” Horizon & Tradition: Southeastern Archaeological Newsletter 57 (1): 19-35.
2011. Archaeological Investigations at Jackson Landing (22Ha515): An Early Late Woodland Mound and Earthwork Site in Coastal Mississippi. Department of Anthropology and Phelps Archaeology Labs, East Carolina University, Greenville. Submitted to Historic Preservation Division, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson.
2009. A Post-Hurricane Katrina Archaeological Site-Assessment Survey along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Coastal Environments, Inc., Baton Rouge. Submitted to Historic Preservation Division, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, and Transitional Recovery Office, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Biloxi.
2004. Archaeological Investigations at the James Lee Love House on the University of North Carolina Campus, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Research Report Number 23, Research Laboratories of Archaeology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (co-authored with R. P. Stephen Davis, Jr. and Brett H. Riggs)
2002. The Fredricks Site: Social Diversity within a Late Contact Period Siouan Community in North Carolina. In The Archaeology of Native North Carolina: Papers in Honor of H. Trawick Ward, edited by Jane M. Eastman, Christopher B. Rodning, and Edmond A. Boudreaux III, pp. 36-45. Special Publication No. 7, Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Biloxi, Mississippi.
2000. Choctaw Agency Natchez Trace Parkway: Archaeological and Historical Investigation, Madison County, Mississippi. Southeast Archeological Center, National Park Service, Tallahassee, Florida. (co-authored with John O’Hear, James R. Atkinson, Jack D. Elliot, and John R. Underwood)
1999. Stone Tools and Debitage from the Claiborne Site: An Analysis of the Mississippi State University Collection. In Raw Materials and Exchange in the Mid-South, edited by Evan Peacock and Samuel O. Brookes, pp. 64-74. Archaeological Report No. 29, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson.