Geoarchaeology in the Semirech'ye Region, Eastern Kazakhstan

Lab members are involved in a long-term project exploring the geoarchaeology and landscape archaeology of pastoral peoples within the Byan-zhuyek Valley. This is part of the larger Dzhungar Mountain Archaeology Project (DMAP) coordinated by Professor Michael Frachetti. Our research focuses on understanding site formation processes and their relation to landscape evolution.

Geoarchaeology at Cahokia, Illinois

Qin Zhen (on left) and Ed Henry taking soil micromorphology samples from the 2012 North Ramey Field anomaly complex excavation unit.

The Geoarchaeology Lab at Washington University in St. Louis is involved in ongoing research into the organization of the human built and modified landscape at Cahokia, a UNESCO World Heritage site east of St. Louis.

Geoarchaeology at Jaketown

Toward the end of the Archaic Period in eastern North America (approximately 3800-3000 years ago), earthen mound construction, extensive long-distance trade, technological developments, and elaboration of lapidary arts reached unprecedented scales among the hunter-gatherers of the Poverty Point culture, centered on the Poverty Point site in northeast Louisiana.

Lower Illinois Valley

Investigating Early Woodland Environmental Change and Population Movement in the Lower Illinois Valley

A long tradition of archaeological research in the lower Illinois River Valley (LIV) has contributed to a rich understanding of the region's prehistory. However, the Early Woodland period (ca. 600-50 B.C.) remains understudied, leaving a critical gap in the regional chronology.  Intensive surveys of the LIV indicate Early Woodland settlement and mortuary traditions differed greatly from Late Archaic adaptations, suggesting a significant cultural discontinuity occurred at the Archaic/Woodland boundary. 

Poverty Point

Geoarchaeology of Earthen Mounds and Built Environments: Excavations at Poverty Point

We have been working at the Poverty Point site since the late 1990’s—first mapping and then doing coring and excavation. Research has been devoted to exploring the chronology, history, and social context of the earthworks at Poverty Point.

The Sanyangzhuang Project: China

Holocene Climate Change, Landscape Evolution, and Human Response in the Lower Yellow River Floodplain, Henan Province, China

The Yellow River valley is the cradle of Chinese civilization and has been a major focus of recent archaeological research. A good deal of recent geoarchaeological research has been directed towards the early episodes of China’s history during the Neolithic and Bronze ages. The Sanyangzhuang project, however, is focused on understanding floodplain evolution and its relation to flooding and culture history during the last 3500 years in the Central Plains.