University of Vermont


Chair and Associate Professor

504 Williams Hall, (802) 656-3884


JAMES B. ("Jim") PETERSEN is an associate professor of anthropology and currently the Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Vermont (UVM). He holds a B.A. in anthropology and environmental studies from UVM (1979) and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh (1983), with a specialty in archaeology. His field and laboratory work has included research in various northeastern North American settings and Michigan, Mississippi and Montana, the Brazilian Amazon, as well as different islands in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, among other areas. Of these, the Amazon, Caribbean and northeastern North American research is still ongoing. Along with various colleagues, Jim's Amazonian research was recently featured in an article published in the journal Science (August 7, 2002) and an hour-long documentary video, The Secret of El Dorado, broadcast by the BBC (December 2002).

Before joining the anthropology faculty at UVM, Jim was the founding Director of the Archaeology Research Center and a member of the faculty of the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Maine at Farmington (1983-1997) and the Graduate Faculty at the University of Maine (Orono) (1986-1997). He is currently a Research Associate in the Section of Anthropology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (1986-present) and the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology (1994-present). Jim is the past President of the Eastern States Archeological Federation (1998-2000) and the Vermont Archaeological Society, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Caribbean Archaeology (2001-present) and the Vermont Archaeological Society (1997-present). He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Center for Research on Vermont (2000-present) and the Vermont Advisory Council for Historic Preservation (1999-present).

Jim teaches courses in prehistoric archaeology, historic archaeology, hunter-gatherer cultures, people and cultures of the Caribbean, and Native Americans/Amerindians of New England, North America, and South America. He has been involved in various facets of the analysis of indigenous Amerindian and Afro-Caribbean material culture, including pottery and fiber perishables, among others. Jim has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and another 45 non-peer reviewed articles, book reviews, etc., in various journals and books. Jim is also the sole author of the monograph, Archaeological Testing at the Sharrow Site: A Deeply Stratified Early to Late Holocene Cultural Sequence in Central Maine (1991), and co-editor of the volume, Early Holocene Occupation in Northern New England (1992). Both of these volumes were published jointly by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and the Maine Archaeological Society. Jim also edited the book, A Most Indispensable Art: Native Fiber Industries from Eastern North America, published by the University of Tennessee Press in 1996, and he was the principal author on the monograph, Prehistory of the Bay Springs Rockshelters, Tishomingo County, Mississippi, Volume 4. Prehistoric Ceramic Artifacts, published by the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute in 2000.

Last modified July 15 2003 08:08 AM

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