A picture of Amy Margaris
  • Associate Professor of Anthropology


  • Bachelor of Arts, Oberlin College, 1996
  • Master of Arts, University of Arizona, 2000
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University Arizona, 2006


I am an anthropological archaeologist interested in hunter-gatherer ecology, and especially the technological adaptations of foragers living in marine and cold climates. My most recent research with archaeological collections has taken me to beautiful Kodiak, Alaska, home of Native Alutiiq peoples whose recent ancestors practiced a rich coastal economy. My work on skeletal technologies blends collections analysis with ethnohistory and materials science to better understand the links between technological choices (and change) and raw material properties.

I am also interested in museums and the history of ethnological collecting.  Oberlin College houses a unique 19th century ethnological collection that contains roughly 1600 objects acquired by missionaries and naturalists from a variety of regions, including southern Africa, Micronesia, Thailand, and the North American Arctic. The following website/database provides background on the collection, images of its contents, and research resources: http://www.oberlin.edu/library/digital/ocec/

I have published on these and related topics in such journals as Museum Anthropology, Ethnoarchaeology, and the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory.

At Oberlin I teach courses on hunter-gatherers, colonialism, introductory archaeology, and human evolution.