Shannon Tushingham

Shannon Tushingham
Washington State University | WSU · Department of Anthropology

PhD, University of California, Davis

About

79
Publications
26,222
Reads
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555
Citations
Citations since 2017
47 Research Items
493 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
Introduction
I am an anthropological archaeologist, Associate Professor at Washington State University (WSU), and Director of the WSU Museum of Anthropology. My research is broadly directed at improving the health and well-being of descendant communities and global understandings of the past. I employ archaeological science, evolutionary ecology, and TEK frameworks, to explore human autonomy, deep time-scale human-environmental relationships, and complex hunter-gatherer food systems.
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - June 2016
Washington State University
Position
  • Managing Director
August 2013 - November 2017
Washington State University
Position
  • Managing Director
Education
September 2002 - August 2009
University of California, Davis
Field of study
  • Anthropology
September 1998 - April 2000
The University of Memphis
Field of study
  • Public Archaeology
September 1986 - June 1991
University of Connecticut
Field of study
  • Anthropology

Publications

Publications (79)
Article
Full-text available
Chemical analysis of residues contained in the matrix of stone smoking pipes reveal the first direct biomolecular record of ancient tobacco (Nicotiana) smoking practices in the North American interior northwest (Plateau), in an area where tobacco was often portrayed as a Euro-American–introduced postcontact trade commodity. Nicotine, a stimulant al...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper we describe innovative research at Shin-yvslh-sri~ (CA-DNO-14), a pre-contact Tolowa village and shell midden site on the north coast of California. The research involves a collaborative historical ecology approach-an explicitly multidisciplinary cooperative effort between Tribal communities, a Federal agency, cultural resource manage...
Article
This paper provides a theoretical treatment of hunter-gatherer diet and physiology. Through a synthesis of nutritional studies, informed by northeastern Pacific Rim ethno-archaeological data, we examine the risk of protein-rich diets for human survival, and how this militates against the widely held notion of a cultural “specialization” on dried sa...
Article
Full-text available
One of the greatest archaeological enigmas is in understanding the role of decision-making, intentionality and interventions in plant life cycles by foraging peoples in transitions to and from low-level food production practices. We bring together archaeological, palaeoclimatological and botanical data to explore relationships over the past 4000 ye...
Article
Full-text available
Geophytes are a critical food staple for many hunter-gatherer societies across the world. Despite recognition of their importance in the archaeological record, geophyte handling has often been portrayed in simplistic terms and the important processing, storage, and social components of their handling have not been fully realized. We present a case...
Chapter
Well known for its relatively mild climate, productive fisheries, agriculture, and dense human settlements, California is being devastated by climate change. Drought, warming temperatures, and other processes are fueling intense fires and water shortages, while increased El Niño Southern Oscillation and other changes pose threats to marine ecosyste...
Preprint
In this study, we take a broad-spectrum approach to biodiversity science through ancient DNA identification of fish bone. We address biases inherent in conventional sampling strategies, which tend to center on studies of certain fish families/ species, analysis of previously identified fish bone, and vertebrate remains. We analyzed a total of 63 sp...
Article
Full-text available
Earth ovens, hearths, and middens are common archaeological features in western North America that contain the residues of everyday activities. Ethnographic and archaeological research indicates that these in-ground food preparation features were frequently reused over many months and years. These quotidian features therefore can be productively th...
Article
Full-text available
Biocultural heritage preservation relies on ethnobotanical knowledge and the paleoethnobotanical data used in (re)constructing histories of human–biota interactions. Biocultural heritage, defined as the knowledge and practices of Indigenous and local peoples and their biological relatives, is often guarded information, meant for specific audiences...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biocultural heritage preservation relies on ethnobotanical knowledge and the paleoethnobotanical data used in (re)constructing histories of human-biota interactions. Biocultural heritage, defined as the knowledge and practices of Indigenous and Local peoples and their biological relatives, is often guarded information, meant for specific audiences...
Preprint
Full-text available
Earth ovens, hearths, and middens are common archaeological features in western North America that contain the residues of everyday activities. Ethnographic and archaeological research indicates these in-ground food preparation features were frequently reused over many months and years. These quotidian features therefore can be productively thought...
Chapter
Full-text available
Promoting public interest and engagement in cultural heritage requires confronting the exploitation of communities by academies and industries. Anthropology/archaeology and related disciplines within land-grant institutions carry a unique responsibility in this regard—while land-grant institutions were historically built on and continue to profit f...
Chapter
Full-text available
Public science communication is widely recognized as an expected and essential part of the scientific enterprise. Numerous skills and strategies are necessary to effectively communicate science and engage with multiple audiences (e.g., Mercer-Mapstone and Ketchell 2015), yet such competencies are often inadequately taught or absent in academic trai...
Article
Full-text available
Smoking pipes discovered in archaeological contexts demonstrate that Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest of North America have practiced smoking for over 4,500 years. Archaeometry and ancient residue metabolomics provide evidence for the association of particular plants with these artifacts. In this article, we synthesize recent research on...
Article
Full-text available
A particular type of miniature ceramic vessel locally known as “veneneras” is occasionally found during archaeological excavations in the Maya Area. To date, only one study of a collection of such containers successfully identified organic residues through coupled chromatography–mass spectrometry methods. That study identified traces of nicotine li...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeological research in Oregon's Warner Valley has provided a major focal point for understanding the evolution of human-environmental relationships in the northern Great Basin from Paleo-Indian to Late Archaic times. Settlement-subsistence models pose hypotheses involving upland land-use patterns, but have been difficult to evaluate due to data...
Chapter
Full-text available
Edited by Heather B. Thakar and Carola Flores-Fernandez; U. Florida Press Society and Ecology in Island and Coastal Archaeology Series (Fall 2021).
Article
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By the very early C.E. in the U.S. Upland Southwest, blankets or robes relying on turkey feathers as the insulating medium began to replace those made with strips of rabbit fur. Feather blankets would have been important possessions of most members of Ancestral Pueblo communities. Analysis of a 99 X 108 cm feather blanket dating approximately to th...
Article
Full-text available
Residues from ancient artifacts can help identify which plant species were used for their psychoactive properties, providing important information regarding the deep-time co-evolutionary relationship between plants and humans. However, relying on the presence or absence of one or several biomarkers has limited the ability to confidently connect res...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter investigates the changing face of Great Basin anthropology from 1954 to 2018. We tackle a basic yet fundamental question: Who has written and who currently writes (or, as it were, rewrites) the past? In other words, which individuals are not only doing archaeology, but also interpreting and presenting research results, thereby becoming...
Chapter
Full-text available
The appearance of plank house villages throughout the Pacific Northwest has been linked to the emergence of household-based social systems and intensive storage economies, marking a major regional shift from generalized foraging to collector-type strategies, sedentism, and village organization. On the southern Pacific Northwest coast two explanator...
Poster
Full-text available
Tattoo traditions of Native North America are integral aspects of Indigenous cultural expression, which have been long undervalued by Western scholars. Iconographic evidence suggests tattoo practices dated to as early as AD 1000 in the southwestern United States. However, few tattoo tools have been identified in the archaeological record to date. T...
Book
Full-text available
The editors of the Journal of Northwest Anthropology invited twenty-five colleagues to share their perspectives on anthropological writing and publishing in an essay format. The purpose was to collect experiences, insights, and suggestions from experienced authors to assist other professionals in writing and publishing their own research. Nineteen...
Article
Full-text available
Equity and the dissemination of knowledge remain major challenges in science. Peer-reviewed journal publications are generally the most cited, yet certain groups dominate in archaeology. Such uniformity of voice profoundly limits not only who conveys the past, but also what parts of the material record are narrated and/or go untold. This study exam...
Article
Full-text available
How people decorate their bodies provides insight into cultural expressions of achievement, group allegiances, identity, and status. Tattooing has been hard to study in ancient societies for which we do not have tattooed mummies, which adds to the challenge of placing current body modification practices into a long-term global perspective. Historic...
Article
The Niles-Wolford Mound (33Pi3) was a conical Adena burial mound located along the Scioto River in Jackson Township, Pickaway County, Ohio. Excavations conducted in 1955 by the Ohio History Connection resulted in the discovery of a subfloor tomb with three burials. A tubular pipe found in association with one of the burials contained charred organi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Online supplementary tables and text for the article: In the Footsteps of Amelia Brown: Collaborative Historical Ecology at Shin-yvslh-sri~, a Tolowa Village on the North Coast of California By Shannon Tushingham, Justin Hopt, Colin Christiansen, Me'-lash-ne Loren Bommelyn, John Green, Michael Peterson, Suntayea Steinruck, Crista Stewart In Pr...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we describe recent work designed to build a synthetic research program through the creation of a geospatial database of archaeological collections curated at the Washington State University Museum of Anthropology. Over the past several years, faculty, staff, and students have been engaged with significant rehabilitation work on lega...
Article
The bulk storage and mass capture of small forage fish has played a primary role in the cultural traditions and subsistence practices of many ancient and modern indigenous communities throughout the world. Archaeologists are improving their recognition of human interaction with these fisheries through the application of fine-mesh screening techniqu...
Article
Dental calculus has been shown to be a repository of a variety of exogenous organic materials, including bacterial DNA, proteins, phytoliths, and starch grains. Here we show that certain alkaloids, nicotine in this case, can also be trapped and preserved in ancient dental calculus. We present Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometr...
Article
Full-text available
Storage has long been recognized as critical to understanding the behavior and cultural evolution of hunting and gathering communities living at mid-latitudes throughout the world. Storage is a complex and powerful strategy, with profound results for human behavior and evolutionary consequences such as sedentism and population growth, increased soc...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have repeatedly demonstrated that women continue to be underrepresented in publication output in the sciences. This is true even in female-rich fields such as archaeology. Since most gender-related publication studies rely on data from peer-reviewed journals, it would be instructive, though challenging, to also track publication output...
Data
Text A. Journal Summaries; Table A. National Archaeological Society Members, CRM firms, and PhD Programs from California and Great Basin States; Table B. Gender Composition of SCA Members (1967–2016); Table C. Gender representation of SCA membership categories, 2011 and 2016; Table D. Gender Composition of SCA Annual Meeting Contributors, 2011 and...
Article
Full-text available
The late adoption of pottery technology in the North American Arctic between 2,500 and 2,800 years ago coincides with the development of a specialized maritime economy. Arctic pottery technologies present an excellent case study for examining possible correlations between hunter-gatherer pottery and aquatic resource use. Review of the timing and di...
Article
Full-text available
In this research files article, Shannon Tushingham and Richard Brooks discuss collaborative research on the history of human use of the Hiouchi Flat area near the north bank of the Smith River in California. The authors met in 2003 when Tushingham was conducting archaeological research as a graduate student. Through her research and archaeological...
Article
Full-text available
At the global scale, conceptions of hunter-gatherer economies have changed considerably over time and these changes were strongly affected by larger trends in Western history, philosophy, science, and culture. Seen as either “savage” or “noble” at the dawn of the Enlightenment, hunter-gatherers have been regarded as everything from holdovers from a...
Article
Full-text available
The Manila site (CA-HUM-321) is a stratified prehistoric midden site with a long history of use by the Wiyot people. The site is located on Humboldt Bay on the North Coast of California, a major estuary system of the Pacific Northwest, and is unique for its excellent preservation, depth and integrity of deposits, and its strategic location, with re...
Book
This volume presents the most recent archaeological, historical, and ethnographic research that challenges simplistic perceptions of Native smoking and explores a wide variety of questions regarding smoking plants and pipe forms from throughout North America and parts of South America. By broadening research questions, utilizing new analytical meth...
Chapter
Full-text available
Tobacco (Nicotiana sp.) is a powerful plant intoxicant and was widely used by contact period indigenous peoples throughout the North American west. Until recently, however, evidence of its prehistoric use has remained elusive. Recent advances in residue extraction and chemical identification techniques employing gas chromatography-mass spectrometry...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this concluding chapter, we discuss the important difference between theories that focus on consequences and ones that focus on processes. Most theories in anthropology rest on generalizations about consequences and, as such, cannot be reconciled with the natural sciences or a Darwinian approach to hunter-gatherers. The neo-Darwinian theories pr...
Chapter
Cultural transmission theory—sometimes called dual inheritance theory—is the focus of this chapter. The neo-Darwinian models presented here treat cultural transmission and reproduction as extrasomatic rather than simple biological analogs. This leads to predictions about behavior that differ fundamentally from those that follow from the genetic mod...
Chapter
Neo-Darwinian theories explain macro-level phenomena as the cumulative consequence of explicitly defined processes acting on a micro level, specifically on reproductive individuals. There are currently three schools of neo-Darwinian thought in anthropology: evolutionary archaeology, human behavioral ecology, and cultural transmission theory (someti...
Chapter
Hunter-gatherer theory is fundamentally comparative, materialist, and evolutionary, and these ideas have very ancient roots. Two distinct general models of hunter-gatherers are introduced: the developmental model, which historically emphasized progressive social evolution and saw hunter-gatherers as a basal or low point in progressive evolutionary...
Chapter
This chapter, the second of two detailing historical approaches to hunter-gatherers, centers on American schools of thought from approximately 1600 to 1960. We describe the continuing influence of progressive social evolutionary theory as anthropology became a formal discipline and generally forward-thinking policy-makers were forced to confront “t...
Chapter
Optimal foraging theory is a logical extension of the materialist perspective described in previous chapters, and viewed by some as an alternative to middle-range theory that is both more solidly grounded in formal theory and more directly related to the basic materialist concerns of subsistence and settlement that have traditionally dominated anth...
Chapter
Neo-Marxism is an alternative general theory available to hunter-gatherer researchers that views classes, class interest, and class conflict as providing the context for discussing social theory. In Marxist thought, objectivity is a myth, and hunter-gatherers were the original egalitarian communist society: groups where classes do not exist, capita...
Chapter
The tradition of middle-range theory that dominated the discipline by the 1980s sought to assign meaning to the archaeological record by linking the static (archaeological facts) to the dynamic (human behavior). Importantly, it forced archaeologists to attend to matters of verification and meaning more explicitly. The middle-range program of Lewis...
Chapter
More complex optimal foraging models include those that incorporate a number of interactive elements that simpler models overlook. The linear programming model is one that addresses overarching goals or strategic solutions and is designed to incorporate an array of currencies and constraints. Models incorporating resource variability and risk inclu...
Book
Full-text available
http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/anthropology+&+archaeology/book/978-1-4899-7580-5
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a synthesis of fish-bone data from archaeological sites located in southwestern Oregon and northwestern California to further a better understanding of indigenous fishery use during the Late Holocene. The data reveal a focus on mass-harvested smelt (osmerids) at coastal sites in Humboldt Bay and Del Norte County. Other sites rev...
Article
Full-text available
California archaeologists routinely use ethnography as a source of analogy for interpreting the archaeological record. In the past, many have cautioned against the uncritical use of the ethnographic record. In this paper we test the validity of ethnographic descriptions of village layout collected by Gould. Specifically, we test the notion that pre...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the enormous potential of anadromous fish, foragers do not mass extract and store salmonids until very late in the archaeological record of California. Acorns, by contrast, were intensively used quite early in the record. Salmon are traditionally viewed as a low cost, high ranking resource, and acorns as a high cost, low ranking resource. T...
Article
Full-text available
Richard Gould's classic 1966 monograph, Archaeology of the Point St. George Site and Tolowa Prehistory, provided an important source of infor-mation on settlement and subsistence systems on the north coast of California. This article provides a quantitative assessment of two key ideas set forth in the study: (1) that there was profound variation in...
Article
Full-text available
Chemical analysis of residue extracted from stone pipes and pipe fragments excavated at sites in the southern Pacific Northwest Coast of North America demonstrate that hunter-gatherers smoked the psychostimulant tobacco (Nicotiana sp.) by at least AD 860. Non-farming ethno-historic Native Americans throughout the west gathered and sometimes cultiva...
Article
Full-text available
Beach spawning smelt are a small fish that were mass harvested and dried for storage at temporary summer camps by native Californians north of San Francisco Bay. Despite the importance of smelt in the ethnographic diet, we have much to learn about its prehistoric use. Archaeological recognition of smelt camps can be problematic due to a number of c...
Article
Full-text available
Three pipes were recovered during excavations at CA-ALA-554. Ethnographically, Native Californians smoked a range of plants, the most common of which is tobacco, in pipes. In order to determine the specific uses of these pipes, we extracted organic residues from the pipes and identified compounds using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. Results...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Early historic accounts document widespread use of a purgative known as "the black drink", a caffeinated ceremonial tea famous for its use in purification rituals by elite males. The beverage was prepared from roasted leaves and twigs of yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria), an evergreen shrub native to the southeastern coastal plain. Prehistoric use is p...

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