Victor D Thompson

Victor D Thompson
University of Georgia | UGA · Department of Anthropology

Anthropology

About

130
Publications
18,436
Reads
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1,652
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - present
University of Georgia
Position
  • Managing Director
August 2009 - present
The Ohio State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (130)
Article
Full-text available
Meaningful collaborations between archaeologists and descendant communities and nations is a necessary component of archaeological practice in the 2020s and beyond. While calls for decolonising the social sciences and humanities have become a common refrain, practical methodologies for supplanting settler-colonial research practice have been less a...
Article
Full-text available
The Florida Keys are currently experiencing unprecedented loss of lifeways, biodiversity, and cultural heritage due to sea-level rise, catastrophic storm events, unsustainable traditions of resource exploitation, and land development. Yet, these islands have a long history of human occupation and socioecological systems underlying their current sus...
Article
Democratic cooperation is a particularly complex type of arrangement that requires attendant institutions to ensure that the problems inherent in collective action do not subvert the public good. It is perhaps due to this complexity that historians, political scientists, and others generally associate the birth of democracy with the emergence of so...
Article
Full-text available
The goal for many PhD students in archaeology is tenure-track employment. Students primarily receive their training by tenure-track or tenured professors, and they are often tacitly expected—or explicitly encouraged—to follow in the footsteps of their advisor. However, the career trajectories that current and recent PhD students follow may hold lit...
Article
Full-text available
Historical ecology has revolutionized our understanding of fisheries and cultural landscapes, demonstrating the value of historical data for evaluating the past, present, and future of Earth’s ecosystems. Despite several important studies, Indigenous fisheries generally receive less attention from scholars and managers than the 17th–20th century ca...
Article
Full-text available
Circular shell rings along the South Atlantic Coast of North America are the remnants of some of the earliest villages that emerged during the Late Archaic (5000-3000 BP). Many of these villages, however, were abandoned during the Terminal Late Archaic (ca 3800-3000 BP). We combine Bayesian chronological modeling with mollusk shell geochemistry and...
Article
At European contact, the Calusa of southwestern Florida were the most complex society in Florida. For staple sustenance they relied not on agriculture, but on aquatic resources harvested mainly from shallow inshore bays. We summarize recently discovered physical evidence on Mound Key of mound-building, monumental architecture, large-scale food proc...
Article
Full-text available
Defining and examining democracy in non-Western contexts is a conceptual challenge. This is largely because scholars of contemporary political systems outside of anthropology can envision no alternative pathways other than Western expressions of democracy. Such thinking inhibits our understanding of past, and indeed future, democratic systems. In t...
Article
The Pineland Site Complex, 8LL1902, is a large archaeological complex of middens, mounds, and other topographic features located in coastal, southwestern Florida. It was occupied from approximately AD 50 and was a major Calusa town at European contact. We combine extant research from this well-preserved site complex with new chronological and zooar...
Preprint
Full-text available
Circular shell rings along the Atlantic Coast of southeastern North America are the remnants of some of the earliest villages that emerged during the Late Archaic Period (5000 – 3000 BP). Many of these villages, however, were abandoned during the Terminal Late Archaic Period (ca 3800 – 3000 BP). Here, we combine Bayesian chronological modeling with...
Article
This report presents findings from recent systematic surveys and excavations at the site of Finley’s Pond (9CH204) to evaluate craft production (e.g., shell beads) and settlement expansion on Ossabaw Island, Georgia, within the context of larger social, political, and economic changes that occurred along the Georgia coast over the last millennia. S...
Article
Full-text available
Migration was embraced as a general phenomenon by cultural historical archaeologists in the Eastern Woodlands, subsequently rejected by processualists, and recently invoked again with greater frequency due to advances in both method and theory. However, challenges remain in regard to establishing temporal correlations between source and host region...
Article
Economics – the socially instituted ways of managing how people value, make, exchange, and consume goods – is a major part of human culture. Yet there is comparatively little study of the economies of the pre-sixteenth-century Southeast, in spite of revealing written comments by the earliest European observers and the fact that cross-culturally in...
Chapter
The “historical turn” in the archaeology of the Woodland period Gulf Coast of the Southeastern United States began several decades ago, as archaeologists began to move beyond relatively static regional cultural histories to develop detailed chronologies of several of the region’s most prominent sites, demonstrating in fine detail the manner in whic...
Article
The Georgia Coast of the eastern United States boasts some of the largest and spatially complex Late Archaic sites in North America, with the most famous of these being shell rings. The shell ring village phenomenon and its larger ceremonial landscapes did not, however, last throughout the Late Archaic. Climate shifts that led to local relative sea...
Article
Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon ( ¹⁴ C) dates in North American archaeology is increasing, especially among archaeologists working in deeper time. However, historical archaeologists have been slow to embrace these new techniques, and there have been only a few examples of the incorporation of calendar dates as informative priors in Bayesian models...
Article
Hernando de Soto's expedition through the southeastern United States between 1539 and 1543 is often regarded as a watershed moment for the collapse of Indigenous societies across the region. Historical narratives have proposed that extreme depopulation as a result of early contact destabilized Indigenous economies, politics, networks, and tradition...
Article
Full-text available
The eastern oyster ( Crassostrea virginica ) is an important proxy for examining historical trajectories of coastal ecosystems. Measurement of ~40,000 oyster shells from archaeological sites along the Atlantic Coast of the United States provides a long-term record of oyster abundance and size. The data demonstrate increases in oyster size across ti...
Article
Full-text available
In 1566, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés arrived at the capital of the Calusa kingdom. During that same year Menéndez issued the order to construct Fort San Antón de Carlos, which was occupied until 1569. This fort was also the location of one of the first Jesuit missions (1567) in what is now the United States. We now can confirm what archaeologists and...
Article
Full-text available
In the 16th century, the Calusa, a fisher-gatherer-hunter society, were the most politically complex polity in Florida, and the archaeological site of Mound Key was their capital. Based on historic documents, the ruling elite at Mound Key controlled surplus production and distribution. The question remains exactly how such surplus pooling occurred...
Chapter
This review of the preceding chapters highlights their commonalities and differences, and discusses the extent to which they advance the understanding of the Atlantic Coast of North America as a region of study for archaeologists, particularly for maritime archaeology and historical ecology
Chapter
This chapter synthesizes and evaluates settlement and subsistence patterns in relation to landscape change for Native American occupations of the Georgia coast in the southeast USA. Dynamic coastal processes of the region have altered the topography and distribution of resources, including those important to humans. These processes were neither uni...
Chapter
The productive woodlands, estuaries, and coastlines of the Middle Atlantic region of North America have been home to Native Americans from the Paleoindian period to the modern day. Inhabitants of this region adapted to broad environmental changes, including the emergence of Chesapeake Bay when rising seas drowned the Susquehanna River valley around...
Chapter
From the icy shores of Labrador to the warm mangroves of the Florida Keys, North America’s Atlantic Coast was a magnet for human subsistence and settlement for millennia. North America’s Atlantic Coast is a land of diversity united by rich coastal and terrestrial ecosystems that were home to a wide variety of Native American societies and distinct...
Chapter
The Florida Keys are a small island chain along the Atlantic coast that preserve unique data on human-environmental interactions in prehistory, overlooked in earlier research but now the focus of new investigations. These investigations were spurred in part by the threat of sea level rise and the need to better understand human adaptations to chang...
Article
RADIOCARBON PRETREATMENT COMPARISONS OF BALD CYPRESS (TAXODIUM DISTICHUM) WOOD SAMPLES FROM A MASSIVE BURIED DEPOSIT ON THE GEORGIA COAST, USA – ERRATUM - Katharine G Napora, Alexander Cherkinsky, Robert J Speakman, Victor D Thompson, Robert Horan, Craig Jacobs
Article
The American Southeast saw the development of large ceremonial village centers, the coalescence of households, and monumental architecture integrated into village layout during the Middle Woodland period (ca. AD 1–600). These shifts toward more sedentary lifeways occurred independently of, and prior to, the domestication of plants across the Southe...
Article
We sampled individual growth rings from three ancient remnant bald cypress ( Taxodium distichum ) trees from a massive buried deposit at the mouth of the Altamaha River on the Georgia Coast to determine the best technique for radiocarbon ( ¹⁴ C) dating pretreatment. The results of our comparison of traditional ABA pretreatment and holocellulose and...
Article
Formally established in the fall of 1947, the Laboratory of Archaeology at the University of Georgia is an archaeological research and collection repository. It is considered one of the premier institutions for curation of archaeological collections from the American Southeast. For over 70 years, the Laboratory has served as a repository for object...
Article
Full-text available
In coastal and island archaeology, carbonate mollusk shells are often among the most abundant materials available for radiocarbon (14 C) dating. The marsh periwinkle (Littorina irrorata) is one of these such species, ubiquitously found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States in both modern and archaeological contexts. This paper pre...
Article
Santa Elena, located on Parris Island along the coast of South Carolina, was the first capital, and northernmost permanent settlement, of Spanish La Florida. Over two decades of occupation (ad 1566–1587), five forts were successively built while by ad 1569 a burgeoning Spanish settlement of over 200 people, complete with artisans, farmers, and Jesu...
Article
Few researchers have investigated shell midden sites in western Ireland. Here, we discuss the geoarchaeological approach undertaken at an Atlantic Ocean-facing dunefield shell midden site in County Sligo, Connacht. Ground penetrating radar, magnetic susceptibility, and apparent electrical resistivity were used to map subsurface features and identif...
Article
In honor of Ethnohistory's sixtieth anniversary, this paper compiles data on the journal and analyzes patterns and trends throughout the publication. We divided observations into four categories: (1) authorship of each article, particularly focusing on gender in authorship and coauthorship, (2) the region represented in each article, (3) the topic,...
Article
Few historical archaeologists working on sites that postdate A.D. 1500 employ radiocarbon dating throughout the course of their research. We argue that historical archaeologists underutilize radiocarbon dating, and present the case for its use and Bayesian modeling of the dates. We illustrate these methods with a simulated hypothetical example and...
Article
This essay is a perspective on Paleoindian research examining the nature of this body of scholarship and how it is perceived by outside scholars. The discussion revolves around three different tropes in Paleoindian literature: (1) chronology and settlement research; (2) technology studies; (3) behavioral and ecological theory. While the studies tha...
Article
Between 1985 and 2014, the number of US doctoral graduates in Anthropology increased from about 350 to 530 graduates per year. This rise in doctorates entering the work force along with an overall decrease in the numbers of tenure-track academic positions has resulted in highly competitive academic job market. We estimate that approximately79% of U...
Data
Summary statistics for ranking and placement averages by subdiscipline for programs listed in S2–S4 Tables. (DOCX)
Data
US anthropology doctoral recipients by year relative to numbers of US anthropology doctorates who obtained anthropology faculty positions. (DOCX)
Data
Summary of biological anthropology market share divided into 10-year increments beginning with 1974. (DOCX)
Data
Summary of sociocultural anthropology market share divided into 10-year increments beginning with 1974. (DOCX)
Data
Summary of Anthropology department (all subfields) market share divided into 10-year increments beginning with 1974. (DOCX)
Data
Summary of archaeology market share divided into 10-year increments beginning with 1974. (DOCX)
Article
Our work at Mound Key, the Capital of the Calusa Kingdom, identifies a large structure on top of Mound 1 that likely was associated with a powerful long-lived lineage. The rise to power for this group coincided with a significant amelioration of the shallow-water estuarine environment of Estero Bay during the Warm Medieval Period. We interpret this...
Article
Full-text available
There are many examples of colonial entanglements resulting in shifts in religions, practices, subsistence, and political structures, largely linked to inequalities between the colonized and the colonizers. However, there are also examples in which practices, particularly among Native American societies, persisted in the context of social situation...
Book
This volume explores how native peoples of the Southeastern United States cooperated to form large and permanent early villages, using the site of Crystal River on Florida's Gulf Coast as a case study. Crystal River was once among the most celebrated sites of the Woodland period (ca. 1000 B.C. to A.D. 1000), consisting of ten mounds and large numbe...
Chapter
Phase 4, the final phase of occupation at Crystal River and Roberts Island, started sometime between around AD 780 and 870 and ended between 900 and 980, spanning the transition between the Late Woodland period and Mississippian period, and the beginning of the Medieval Warm period. Occupation at the former site waned during this interval, while Ro...
Chapter
Recent archaeological work suggests that people began moving away from Crystal River in Phase 3, which probably began between around AD 500 and 600 and lasted until sometime between AD 650 and 750, during the Late Woodland Period. Nevertheless, the site seems to have continued to serve as a ceremonial center. The village contracted to the area nort...
Chapter
The pattern and historical process of early village development at Crystal River are contextualized with regard to regularities that might be typical of this transition on the Gulf Coast, focusing particularly on a handful of sites where archaeological investigations provide sufficient spatial and temporal control to reconstruct the lived experienc...
Chapter
Current radiocarbon evidence suggests that monument construction at Crystal River began sometime around 1000 BC, based on dating of human remains excavated from the circular embankment of the Main Burial Complex. Construction of the two burial mounds began a few centuries later, but likewise predates the earliest occupation of the village. Thus, th...
Chapter
The village at Crystal River expanded greatly in size and permanence in Phase 2, which began sometime between around AD 200 and 300 and ended by around AD 500. This growth may have owed partially to a rise in sea level associated with the warmer temperatures of the Roman Warm Period, which might have made life on the seaward islands more difficult....
Chapter
In the archaeology of the American Southeast, the Woodland period (from around 1000 B.C. to A.D. 1050) is not conventionally understood as an interval marked by significant “firsts.” But it was marked by a dramatic change in the way people related to one another, as indicated by the earliest widespread appearance of sedentary villages, often associ...
Chapter
The importance of the archaeological site of Crystal River has been known since at least 1859, but it was excavations in the site’s burial mounds by C.B. Moore in the early twentieth that made the site famous among archaeologists. Later, Ripley Bullen provided additional insight on several of the other mounds and the village at Crystal River, and h...
Chapter
Radiocarbon dates from the lowermost levels in midden excavations suggest that people began to live at Crystal River sometime in the first century AD, during the Middle Woodland period. Phase 1 was relatively short, probably lasting only a century or two. Evidence from features and GPR suggest that the village was comprised of a scatter of small ho...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we present the results of a comprehensive, landscape-scale remote sensing project at Santa Elena on Parris Island, South Carolina. Substantial occupation at the site extends for over 4000 years and has resulted in a complex array of features dating to different time periods. In addition, there is a 40-year history of archaeological r...
Article
We examined the shell size of 3262 eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) to assess diachronic patterns in shellfish exploitation on Ossabaw Island, Georgia. These measurements taken on shell size and morphology were compared between a Late Archaic shell ring, a Late Woodland shell-filled pit, and a Late Mississippian midden-mound to evaluate chan...
Article
Research at Crystal River and Roberts Island Shell Mound Complex, on the western coast of Florida, USA, offers a quantitative assessment of the temporality of shell deposit construction, Native subsistence practices, and mobility patterns through stable oxygen isotope data from eastern oyster (C. virginica). The δ¹⁸Owater values of oysters vary syn...
Article
Full-text available
We consider the history, present, and future of radiocarbon dating in the American Southeast. We point out some of the past and present flaws related to archaeological research and dating. Our approach to this review is rooted in the perspective that each radiocarbon date collectively adds to our knowledge of the region and not just a particular si...
Article
Over the past 30 years, the number of US doctoral anthropology graduates has increased by about 70%, but there has not been a corresponding increase in the availability of new faculty positions. Consequently, doctoral degree-holding archaeologists face more competition than ever before when applying for faculty positions. Here we examine where US a...
Chapter
Winkler and colleagues investigate the relationship between social status and well-being among the Guale from St. Catherines Island in Spanish Florida (A.D. 1607–1680). Specifically, they examine stress through dental caries, linear enamel hypoplasias, tooth size, and long bone length. Their analysis of mortuary data identifies postcontact social s...
Article
Full-text available
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the founder and first governor of La Florida, established several outposts in what is now the southeastern United States. One was at the now famed city of St. Augustine (1565) and another in 1566 at the former French outpost of Charlesfort, now known as Santa Elena, marking the first Spanish occupation of the locale that w...
Article
This paper addresses fisher-hunter-gatherer settlement and subsistence variability of the Georgia Coast during the Archaic-Woodland transition, framed within ideas derived from Resilience Theory, and focusing on systemic shifts, or “collapse.” A critical examination of these shifts is needed to understand how communities experience change different...
Article
Full-text available
Across the world’s seas and oceans, archaeological research focused on islands has generally privileged those that are larger in size. Explanations for this phenomenon range from the (mis)perception by scholars that prehistoric peoples were more attracted to the presumed greater number and diversity of resources typically available on larger island...
Article
Full-text available
Across the world’s seas and oceans, archaeological research focused on islands has generally privileged those that are larger in size. Explanations for this phenomenon range from the (mis)perception by scholars that prehistoric peoples were more attracted to the presumed greater number and diversity of resources typically available on larger island...
Data
Corrected and modeled probability distributions for all AMS and conventional radiocarbon dates for Mound Key. Marine dates were calibrated using Marine13 with a Delta R of -5 +/-20 and all terrestrial dates were calibrated using IntCal13 curve [65] in a simple phase model in OxCal [66]. All provenience information is provided in the first column an...