Anthropology Headlines


Dr. Phyllis Johnson

Phyllis Johnson, a University Research Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Anthropology in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, was recently named a Southeastern Conference (SEC) Emerging Scholar, established this year by the SEC Provosts. The Emerging Scholars program encourages top scholars, with attention to those from historically underrepresented groups, to seek out employment and mentorship within SEC colleges and universities. The program provides professional development and networking opportunities for current doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers who are considering careers in higher education.

Johnson earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from Vanderbilt University and her master’s degree from the University of Tennessee. She develops and applies innovative computational methods to address difficult questions surrounding ancient economies, site formation processes and social structure. Her current research applies novel machine and deep learning techniques to the examination of stone tool production to illuminate ancient actors, such as commoners and women, who are often rendered invisible in the archaeological record. Johnson is interested in equity issues in research and education. 

Dr. Johnson will be discussing her current research on Friday, October 29, 12-1pm, in 213 Lafferty Hall for the Anthropology Departmental Colloquium. All are welcome to attend.



Dr. J. Scott Jones

Dr. J. Scott Jones, who received his Ph.D. from our department in December 2018, was recently awarded the Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology’s Outstanding Thesis or Dissertation in Tennessee Archaeology Award. Dr. Jones dissertation, Late Pleistocene Adaptation in the Midsouth: The Paleoindian Occupation of the Carson-Conn-Short Site and the Lower Tennessee River Valley, presents new and creative ways of looking at the formation of and activities at large Paleoindian (ca. 13,200 – 10,000 yrs. B.P.) sites in the Midsouth. His research suggests that the availability of a reliable and diverse range of subsistence and lithic resources, combined with the placement of sites in strategic positions relative to transportation and communication routes, made long-term/permanent occupation in the Midsouth possible much earlier than previously thought. Congratulations Scott!

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