Dr. Anna Marie Prentiss is an archaeologist specializing in the prehistory of the Great Plains, Pacific Northwest, and Western Arctic regions of North America and Chilean Patagonia. She has a methodological specialty in lithic technology and theoretical interests in the evolution of hunter-gatherer societies and emergent inequality. She also has extensive experience in cultural resource management, particularly in the northwestern Great Plains region.
Dr. Prentiss is actively engaged in a long term study of the evolution of complex hunter-gatherer societies on the interior of British Columbia. The current focus of this research is a multi-year excavation at the Bridge River archaeological site. Bridge River is one of several exceptionally large and well preserved ancient housepit villages, located near the town of Lillooet, British Columbia. The site was initially occupied between 1800 and 1100 years ago and then during the past 500 years. With funding from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Prentiss, along with her students and colleagues conducted major excavations during 2008 and 2009 to examine socio-economic and political changes that occurred during the occupation span of the village. Current Bridge RIver research is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and focuses on excavation of Housepit 54, occupied briefly during the Fur Trade period and most intensively at dates spanning approximately 1200-1450 years ago. It provides an exceptional opportunity to examine proceses of demographic, socio-economic, and political change in a complex fisher-forager context.
Dr. Prentiss remains an active scholar in Montana archaeology. During 2006 and 2007, Dr. Prentiss directed archaeological excavations in the Bear's Paw Mountains of Montana with sponsorship from the Water Resources Department of the Chippewa-Cree tribe. The focus of these studies was to collect data from prehistoric sites, threatened by reservoir construction. Results of the research provide significant new insight into ancient land use practices of aboriginal groups in north-central Montana, spanning the past 6000 years. Current research is centered on investigations of the Kevin Rim locality, located near Shelby, Montana.
Collaborating with Dr. Francisco Mena of the Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas Patagonicos (CIEP) of Coyhaique, Chile, Dr. Prentiss directed excavations at the stratified rockshelter site, Rio Ibanez 6 (RI6) during January 2012. She is currently planning field research at RI6 for January 2014.
Dr. Prentiss is currently developing a long-term field research project in the Bristol Bay area of southwestern Alaska. This work is expected to emphasize paleoecology and change foraging practices and social relationships in ancestral Yup'ik villages during the past 2000 years.
Dr. Prentiss teaches courses on lithic technology, proposal preparation, and the archaeology of hunter-gatherers in the greater Pacific Northwest, Great Plains, and Arctic regions. She supervises graduate students conducting research into such topics as archaeological stratigraphy and radiocarbon dating, spatial analysis, lithic technology, zooarchaeology, and tribal history in the Great Plains and Pacific Northwest regions. Her former students are now employed in universities, federal and state agencies, and private consulting firms.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Field Of Study:
Archaeological method and theory, evolutionary theory, hunter-gatherers, lithic technology, prehistory of the Great Plains, northwestern North America, North Pacific Rim, Chilean Patagonia
Bridge River Report 2009 - Lithics: Access Database (zipped)(NSF Grant #0713013)
Bridge River Report 2009 - Lithics: [Access Database (zipped)(NSF Grant #0713013)
Report of the 2008 Investigations of the Bridge River Archaeological Site (EeRl4): [PDF] (NSF Grant #0713013)
Bridge River Archaeological Report 2008:[ Access Database (zipped)(NSF Grant #0713013)
ANTY 101 Introduction to Anthropology
ANTY 251H Foundations of Civilization
ANTY 351H Archaeology of North America
ANTY 454 Lithic Technology
ANTY 457 Archaeology of the Pacific Northwest
ANTY 458 Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers
ANTY 459 Archaeology of the Arctic and Subarctic
ANTY 553 Seminar in Evolutionary Archaeology
ANTY 601 Proposal Preparation and Research Design
BA Anthropology, University of South Florida
MA Anthropology, University of South Florida
Ph.D. Archaeology, Simon Fraser University
Society for American Archaeology
Alaska Anthropological Association
Archaeology; Lithic technology; Cultural resource management; Evolution in hunter-gatherer societies; Great Plains and Pacific Northwest
Dr. Prentiss is actively involved in archaeological research in British Columbia, Canada. She has also developed collaborative research in Patagonian Chile.
Recent Books and Monographs
Prentiss, Anna Marie, 2012. Field Seasons: Reflections on Career Paths and Research in American Archaeology. The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
Prentiss, Anna Marie and Ian Kuijt, 2012. People of the Middle Fraser Canyon: An Archaeological History. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver.
Mack, Cheryl A., James C. Chatters, and Anna M. Prentiss, 2010. Archaeological Data Recovery at the Beech Creek Site (45LE415), Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington. Heritage Program, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, USDA Forest Service, US Government.
Prentiss, Anna Marie, Ian Kuijt, and James C. Chatters (editors), 2009. Macroevolution in Human Prehistory: Evolutionary Theory and Processual Archaeology. Springer,
Recent Journal Articles
Prentiss, Anna Marie, Thomas A. Foor, Guy Cross, Lucille E. Harris, and Michael Wanzenried, 2012. The Cultural Evolution of Material Wealth Based Inequality at Bridge River, British Columbia. American Antiquity 77:542-564.
Prentiss, Anna Marie, 2011. Introduction to this Special Issue on Evolution of Material Culture. Evolution: Education and Outreach 4:374-378.
Prentiss, Anna Marie, Randall R. Skelton, Niles Eldredge, and Colin P. Quinn, 2011. Get Rad! The Evolution of the Skateboard Deck. Evolution: Education and Outreach 4:379-389.
Prentiss, Anna Marie, James C. Chatters, Natasha Lyons, and Lucille E. Harris, 2011. Archaeology in the Middle Fraser Canyon, British Columbia: Changing Perspectives on Paleoecology and Emergent Cultural Complexity. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 35:143-174.
Prentiss, Anna Marie, Guy Cross, Thomas A. Foor, Dirk Markle, Mathew Hogan, and David S. Clarke, 2008. Evolution of a Late Prehistoric
Prentiss, Anna Marie, Natasha Lyons, Lucille E. Harris, Melisse R.P. Burns, and Terrence M. Godin, 2007. The Emergence of Status Inequality in Intermediate Scale Societies: A Demographic and Socio-Economic History of the Keatley Creek Site,
Recent Chapters in Edited Books and Encyclopedias
Prentiss, Anna Marie, 2013. Bridge River and Keatley Creek: Complex Hunter-Gatherer Villages of the Middle Fraser Canyon. Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, Springer, New York. (In Press).
Prentiss, Anna Marie, 2013. The Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers. Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, Springer, New York. (In Press).
Prentiss, Anna Marie, Nathan B. Goodale, Lucille E. Harris, and Nicole Crossland, 2013. The Evolution of the Ground Slate Tool Industry at the Bridge River Site, British Columbia. In Lithic Technological Systems: Stone, Evolution, and Behavior, edited by Nathan B. Goodale and William Andrefsky Jr. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (In press).
Prentiss, Anna Marie and David S. Clarke, 2013. Stone Circle Sites on the “Big Flat” Area of the Western Bighorn Mountains. In The Medicine Lodge Creek Site, Wyoming, Vol. 2, edited by G.C. Frison. University of Wyoming Press, Laramie (In press).
Chatters, James C., Steven Hackenberger, Brett Lenz, Anna M. Prentiss, and Jayne-Leigh Thomas, 2012. The Paleoindian to Archaic Transition in the Pacific Northwest: In Situ Development or Ethnic Replacement. In On the Brink: Transformations in Human Organization and Adaptation at the Pleistocene-Holocene Boundary in
Prentiss, Anna Marie, 2012. The Winter Village Pattern on the Plateau of Northwestern North America. In The Oxford Encyclopedia of North American Archaeology, edited by Timothy Pauketat, pp. 173-184. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Prentiss, Anna Marie, 2011. Social Histories of Complex Hunter-Gatherers:
Prentiss, Anna Marie, Nicole Crossland, and Stellin Tosh McKetta, 2010. Mass Analysis of the Beech Creek Site Lithic Debitage. In Archaeological Data Recovery at the Beech Creek Site (45LE415), Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington, by Mack, Cheryl A., James C. Chatters, and Anna M. Prentiss, Appendix C. Heritage Program, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, USDA Forest Service, US Government.
Prentiss, Anna Marie, Ian Kuijt, and James C. Chatters, 2009. Introduction: Macroevolution in Human Prehistory: Evolutionary Theory and Processual Archaeology. In Macroevolution in Human Prehistory: Evolutionary Theory and Processual Archaeology, edited by A.M. Prentiss, I. Kuijt and J.C. Chatters, pp. 1-22. Springer,
Prentiss, Anna Marie, 2009. Emergence of New Socio-Economic Strategies in the Middle and LateHolocene Pacific Northwest Region of
Prentiss, Anna Marie and Michael Lenert, 2009. Cultural Stasis and Change in
Kuijt, Ian and Anna Marie Prentiss, 2009. Niche Construction, Macroevolution and the Late Epipaleolithic of the
Prentiss, Anna Marie and David S. Clarke, 2008. Lithic Technological Organization in an Evolutionary Framework: Examples from
Goodale, Nathan B., Ian Kuijt, and Anna M. Prentiss, 2008. Demography of Prehistoric Fishing-Hunting People: A Case Study of the