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Karen A. Stevens


M.A., Anthropology, University of Kentucky, 2016. 

B.A., Anthropology, concentration in Archaeology, Appalachian State University, 2011.

B.S., Chemistry, Secondary Education, Appalachian State University, 2011.


My research focuses on Archaic period hunters and gatherers in the Green River Valley of Kentucky. These sites are commonly referred to as the Green River Shell Mound Archaic (SMA), although many contain little to no shell. Many of these sites were initially excavated during the WPA era in the 1930s and 1940s by William S. Webb and others. I am interested in taking these collections and implementing isotope chemistry to further study the paleoenvironment. Currently I am looking at unexcavated shell middens in Henderson County, Kentucky. I am also interested in further examining gender and sex relations as related to subsistence strategies in the egalitarian hunter-gatherer groups, focusing mainly on hunting, fishing, and shellfish gathering, by looking at secondary indicators such as human-dog pair burials and the presence of auditory exostoses. 

Graduate Training

Department of Anthropology, University of Kentucky, Advisor: George Crothers

Selected Publications:

Stevens, Karen A. (2011) Determination of Burial Chronology at the Kirkland site using Fluoride Dating. Unpublished Honors Thesis, Department of Anthropology, Appalachian State University, Boone.

Selected Presentations:

2016     Auditory Exostoses as Indicators of Mobility and Sexual Divisions of Labor in the Green River Valley, Kentucky. Poster to be presented at the 81st Annual Society for American Archaeology Meeting, Orlando, Florida.

2016     Preliminary Fieldwork at Several Archaic Shell Middens in the Lower Green River Archaeological Region. Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Kentucky Heritage Council Archaeology Conference, Pineville, Kentucky.

2014 Prevalence of Auditory Exostoses in the Green River Archaic: A Gendered Analysis of Subsistence and Mobility Related Behaviors. Poster presented at the 71st Annual Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Greenville, South Carolina. Online PDF
2014 Looting in Kentucky: A Regional Perspective, A Digital Approach. Paper presented at the 31st Annual Kentucky Heritage Council Archaeology Conference, Burkesville, Kentucky. Online PDF
2011 Determination of Burial Chronology at the Kirkland site using Fluoride Dating. Paper presented at the 2011 National Conference of Undergraduate Research, Ithaca, New York and the 14th Annual Celebration of Student Research and Creative Endeavors, Boone, North Carolina.