Katie Kirakosian (Ph.D. UMass Amherst) My research interests include Native archaeology in southern New England, especially the Woodland and Post-Contact period usage of marine shellfish by Native people throughout coastal Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. My dissertation focused on a history of shell midden archaeology, for which I conducted archival research throughout New England and New York state. Here I also conducted interviews with professional and avocational archaeologists to better understand the history and usage of the shell midden site type in New England.
Current projects on which I am working include research into the broader history of archaeology in Massachusetts, with a special focus on social networks; research on the importance of archival research by archaeologists; and a project on Native shell beads in southern New England both before and after European Contact. Since late 2016 I have also been involved in an oral history pilot project funded through the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) aimed at interviewing senior professional and avocational archaeologists.
A second strand of my research includes archaeology and pedagogy. I have presented for several years on this topic and in 2015, I became the founding co-chair of the Society for American Archaeology’s (SAA) Teaching Archaeology’s Interest Group (TAIG). I am currently working on publications related to the ways in which experiential learning opportunities lead to deeper knowledge.
I have been a proud Executive Board member for the Tomaquag Museum in my home state of Rhode Island since 2014. I am also on the Editorial Board for the newly founded Journal of Archaeology and Education.
Link to my professional website: https://sites.google.com/site/katiekirakosian/