Photo of Amy Margaris ’96
  • Associate Professor of Anthropology
  • Chair of Anthropology
  • Chair of Archaeological Studies

Education

  • BA, Oberlin College, 1996
  • MA, University of Arizona, 2000
  • PhD, 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 1,600 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.

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

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

News

Reunifying Oberlin’s Natural History Collection

August 29, 2017
Associate Professor of Anthropology Amy Margaris ’96 along with other faculty and staff members on campus are working to digitize the college’s many “dangling collections”—objects and specimens spread across various campus buildings that at one time had a home in the college’s natural history museum.