Grant Stauffer

Graduate Student of Archaeology

Research Interests

As an anthropologist, I am interested in a holistic approach toward analyzing past and present cultures.  As for archaeological research, I have been engaging in field efforts at Cahokia (IL), Etowah (GA), and Lake Jackson (FL).  I oriented my thesis research toward understanding the chronology of the Lake Jackson site in relation to Mississippian period ceremonial centers throughout the American Southeast.  My research contributed to the current understanding of time phase distinctions for culturally distinct behaviors associated with mound building, ceremonialism, and interaction at the Lake Jackson site in Florida.  I also have interests in long-lived practices that have significant implications for our current understanding of cultural interactions among groups that occupied southeastern sites in general, such as warfare, trade, agriculture, distinctive art traditions, and mass population movements.  More recently, I have shifted my attention toward the Cahokia site, where many widespread Mississippian practices are believed to have originated.  Analyzing the iconography of artifact assemblages from four auspicious ceremonial centers in the Mississippian period (Etowah, Moundville, Spiro, and Cahokia) has been a critical part of my recent efforts.  In terms of ethnographic research, I hope to identify common patterns described in the historical documentation of Muskogean speaking cultures that are observable in contemporary ceremonies.  Among the contemporary Muskogean tribes that I am investigating, the Creek are of particular interest. I hope that by conducting research in this fashion, I can help elucidate the complex relationships between art, agriculture, warfare, and ritual in the prehistoric contexts of the American Southeast.  Additionally, I hope that these contributions to anthropology will demonstrate that contemporary Native American cultures exemplify common aspects of our shared human condition.

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
  • CB 1114
  • One Brookings Drive
  • St. Louis MO 63130
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