Amy Margaris ’96

  • Associate Professor of Anthropology
  • Chair of Archaeological Studies


  • 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.

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

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

Fall 2022

Introduction to Archaeology — ANTH 203
Senior Project — ACHS 300
Practicum in Anthropology — ANTH 391F
Practicum in Anthropology — ANTH 391H
Internships in Teaching — ANTH 415F
Internships in Teaching — ANTH 415H
Museum Anthropology — ANTH 460
Museum Anthropology — ANTH 460OC

Spring 2023

Senior Project — ACHS 300
Practicum in Anthropology - Full — ANTH 391F
Practicum in Anthropology - Half — ANTH 391H
Internships in Teaching - Full — ANTH 415F
Internships in Teaching - Half — ANTH 415H


Amy Margaris publishes

October 2, 2020

Amy Margaris published an article with Inupiaq activist Rosemary Ahtuangaruak on revitalizing Oberlin's historic Arctic ethnography collection in the Alaska Journal of Anthropology vol. 18, no. 1 (2020). 

Jason Haugen and Amy Margaris Present

January 8, 2020

Jason Haugen, associate professor of anthropology, and Amy Margaris, associate professor of anthropology, presented at the 2020 Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America in New Orleans, LA. Their poster was titled, “Faculty placements into Linguistics PhD programs across the US and Canada: Market share and gender distribution.”