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The University of Tennessee has a long history of archaeological research in the Tennessee Valley, beginning before construction of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoirs. Over the years the large projects allowed UT archaeologists to develop basic interpretations of past Native American and early Euro-American lifeways in the region. In addition, the TVA/UT archaeology program led to the establishment of the Department of Anthropology in the 1940s and the Frank H. McClung Museum in 1960. The extensive archaeological collections resulting from nine decades of field investigations by UT archaeologists are curated by the Department and the Museum and continue to be an invaluable resource for professional and student research, and for public programs and exhibits.

The Archaeology program at UT continue this tradition of research in the Southeast and beyond.


The Anthropology Department and archaeology community mourns the passing of Dr. Charlie Faulkner.

We welcome Dr. Alison Damick, who will be serving as head of the Lab for Environmental Archaeology and Associate Curator of Environmental Archaeology at the McClung Museum.

Recent Publications

Anderson, David G., & D. Shane Miller (2022) Ethical Considerations in the Development and Maintenance of Large Research Databases: The PIDBA (Paleoindian Database of the Americas) Example. In The American Southeast at the End of the Ice Age, ed. D. Shane Miller, Ashley Smallwood, and Jesse Tune, pp. 351-371. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Hollenbach, Kandace D., & Stephen B. Carmody (2022) Stalking the Most Predictable Prey: Early Gatherers in the Eastern Woodlands. In The American Southeast at the End of the Ice Age, ed. D. Shane Miller, Ashley Smallwood, and Jesse Tune, pp. 230-249. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Janzen, Anneke, & B. Upex (In press) Insights into Herd Management among East Africa’s Earliest Pastoralists: Combining Zooarchaeological and Stable Isotope Data. Quaternary International DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2022.05.018

Pritchard, A. J., M. Silk, S. Carrignon, R.A. Bentley, N.H. Fefferman (2022). Balancing timeliness of reporting with increasing testing probability for epidemic data. Infectious Disease Modelling 7(2): 106-116. DOI: 10.1016/j.idm.2022.04.001

Ritchson, Brandon T., & David G. Anderson (2022) “Vacant Quarters” and Population Movements: Legacy Data and the Investigation of a Regional Abandonment and Emigration Event from the Savannah River Valley to the Georgia Coast. In Following the Mississippian Spread: Using Biological and Archaeological Evidence to Measure Migration and Climate Change, edited by Robert A, Cook and Aaron R. Comstock, pp. 257-299. Springer, New York.

Simek, Jan F. (2022)A Dark Pathway: Precontact Mud Glyph Cave Art from 1st Unnamed Cave, Tennessee. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press.

Simek, Jan F. (2022)Ancient Americans made art deep within the dark zones of caves throughout the Southeast.American Cave Conservation Association News Summer 2022: 4-7.

Simek, Jan F., S. Alvarez, & A. Cressler (2022) Discovering Ancient Cave Art Using Three-Dimensional Photogrammetry: Precontact Native American Mud Glyphs from 19th Unnamed Cave, Alabama, USA. Antiquity 96 (387): 662–678. DOI:

White, Andrew A., & David G. Anderson (2022) A Large-Scale Appraisal of Paleoindian Spatial Demography in the Eastern Woodlands. In The American Southeast at the End of the Ice Age, edited by D. Shane Miller, Ashley Smallwood, and Jesse Tune, pp. 335-350. University of Alabama Press.