Jacob Lulewicz

Lecturer in Archaeology
PhD, University of Georgia
research interests:
  • Southeastern/Midwestern ethnohistory and archaeology
  • Long-term Indigenous histories
  • Indigenous-colonizer dynamics
  • Social networks and sociopolitics
  • Kinship and social relatedness
  • Chronometric dating and Bayesian modeling
  • Archaeological geophysics
  • GIS and spatial analyses
  • Ceramic analysis
  • Archaeological sciences
  • Collections-based research
    View All People

    contact info:

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
    • CB 1114
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis MO 63130
    image of book cover

    Research Interests

    Southeastern/Midwestern ethnohistory and archaeology; long-term Indigenous histories; Indigenous-colonizer dynamics; social networks and sociopolitics; kinship and social relatedness; chronometric dating and Bayesian modeling; archaeological geophysics; GIS and spatial analyses; ceramic analysis; archaeological sciences; collections-based research

    As an anthropologist, I am most concerned with how societies reorganize themselves, especially in the context of heightened social, political, and economic uncertainty. My expertise is in the archaeology of eastern North America with a particular focus on the societies of the midwestern and southeastern United States between roughly 250 BC and AD 1750. Using a range of analytical approaches including formal network analyses, high-resolution chronological modeling, traditional ceramic analysis, and archaeological geophysics, I explore long-term sociopolitical histories, especially with regard to how major ruptures in these histories articulated with the reorganization of social networks across large regions and among diverse populations.

    I am particularly committed to destabilizing the use of archaeologically constructed categories that continue to contribute to the homogenization, simplification, and erasure of Indigenous histories. More specifically, my current work seeks to bridge the artificial conceptual divide between pre- and post-contact Indigenous peoples. In this context, I leverage high-precision chronological modeling and formal network analyses of large archaeological and ethnohistoric datasets to move beyond the use of chrono-historical units of time (e.g., archaeological phases) and top-down sociopolitical models (e.g., chiefdom).

    I am currently working to develop the North American Peach Pit Project (NAPPP) which is designed to explore continental-scale Indigenous networks at the time of European colonization. This project is rooted in the development of a comprehensive database of early colonial era (1540-1670) Indigenous and European artifacts (and ethnohistoric accounts) contextualized by a high-resolution, high-precision radiocarbon chronology for the purpose of evaluating the scale, structure, and dynamics of Indigenous networks across North America at the time of, and immediately after, European encroachment. Because peaches (Prunus persica) could not have been introduced before the establishment of St. Augustine in 1566, and spread almost exclusively (and rapidly) through Indigenous networks, they are a prime source for establishing an independent chronological framework and thus for elucidating the scale, structure, and historical dynamics of Indigenous networks compared to the use of materially-derived chronologies based on essentialized ceramic or trade-good typologies.

    The most substantive outcome of NAPPP will be a tangible platform on which to build collaborative, interdisciplinary relationships between archaeologist, ethnohistorians, plant biologists, ecologists and descendant communities with the goal of more broadly addressing the multi-faceted (e.g., social, political, ecological, biological) foundations and contexts of the diffusion and adoption of peaches across North America. Future collaborative work will focus on the analysis of carbon and nitrogen isotopes from peach pits to understand Indigenous management practices across diverse environmental niches. Pending the condition of preserved peach pits, I plan to explore (through collaboration) the application of aDNA to 1) understanding modes of cultivation (e.g., planting peach stones v. grafting), 2) determining whether or not ecologically (or culturally) distinct practices led to the development of unique landraces of peaches (e.g., re-domestication), and 3) to elucidate how far west peaches from eastern settlements spread compared to how far east peaches from southwestern Franciscan missions spread, lending valuable insight into the extent and scale of Indigenous social networks across North America.


    Lulewicz, Jacob, Megan Conger, Jennifer Birch, Stephen Kowalewski, and Travis Jones

    n.d.      (Under Review for the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology) An Institutional Approach for Archaeology.


    Lulewicz, Jacob, Victor Thompson, Mark Williams, James Wettstead

    n.d.      (Under Review for American Antiquity) Enduring Traditions and the (Im)materiality of Early Colonial Encounter in the Interior Southeastern United States.


    Lulewicz, Jacob and Lynne Sullivan

    n.d.      (Under Review) Gendering Networks: Politics and Personhood in Eastern Tennessee. In Mississippian Women, edited by Rachel Briggs, Lynne Sullivan, and Michaelyn Harle. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.


    Lulewicz, Jacob

    2019    The Social Networks and Structural Variation of Mississippian Sociopolitics in the Southeastern United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116(14):6707-6712.


    Lulewicz, Jacob

    2019    A Bayesian Approach to Regional Ceramic Seriation and Political History in the Southern Appalachian (Northern Georgia) Region of the Southeastern United States. Journal of Archaeological Science 105:1-10.


    Lulewicz, Jacob, Victor D. Thompson, and Chester B. DePratter

    2019    Mapping Spanish Settlement at Santa Elena, 1566-1587: An Integrated Archaeogeophysical Approach. Archaeological Prospection https://doi.org/10.1002/arp/1737.


    Riehm, Grace E., Robbie Ethridge, Lydia Brambalia, Brittany A. Brown, Lauren K. Collins, Danielle N. Effre, Stephen A. Kowalewski, Jacob Lulewicz, Morgan J. Lyon, Caitlin F. Plesher, Brandon T. Ritchison, Colleen N. Smith, Amanda J. Sutton, and Victor D. Thompson

    2019    What is Ethnohistory?: A Sixty-Year Retrospective. Ethnohistory 66(1):145-162.


    Lulewicz, Jacob and Adam Coker

    2018    The Structure of the Mississippian World: A Social Network Approach to the Organization of Sociopolitical Interactions. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 50:113-127.


    Thompson, Victor D., Chester B. DePratter, Jacob Lulewicz, Isabelle Lulewicz, Amanda Roberts Thompson, Brandon Ritchison, Justin Cramb, and Matthew Colvin

    2018    The Archaeology and Remote Sensing of Santa Elena’s Four Millennia of Occupation. Remote Sensing 10(2):248-277.


    Lulewicz, Jacob

    2018    Radiocarbon Data, Bayesian Modeling, and Alternative Historical Frameworks. Advances in Archaeological Practice 6(1):1-14.


    Introduction to GIS for Anthropologists

    Social Networks and Anthropology

    Archaeology of North America

    Ceramic Analysis

    The Archaeology of Time

    Archaeologies of Sex and Gender