David Hurst Thomas
Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 1971 "Computer Simulation and Archaeological Fieldwork Relating to Great Basin Shoshone Indians"
Dr. Thomas recently completed 30 years of archaeological research on St. Catherine's Island, off the Atlantic Coast of Georgia. Using remote sensing technology, his team discovered the long-lost site of the Franciscan mission St. Catalina de Guale (1566-1680) and conducted major excavations there for a dozen years. With fieldwork completed, the team is preparing publications about its discoveries.
Recently, Dr. Thomas and his team have been excavating the ruins of the Spanish Mission (1620-80) located about 20 miles south of Santa Fe. The archaeologists are using a sophisticated array of remote sensing technologies to map the subsurface structure of the site, then excavating significant architectural features in the church and convent area. This project includes a unique intern program involving high-school-age members of the local descendant (Hispanic and Pueblo Indian) communities.
Dr. Thomas's scholarly research focuses on redefining the relationship between Native American and anthropological communities. A recent book, Skull Wars, traces the development of the current tensions in these relationships over the past two centuries, while seeking ways to build bridges between the groups' diverse perspectives.
He has organized and directed more than 100 archaeological excavations, including the discovery of the Gatecliff Shelter in Nevada, the deepest archaeological rock shelter in the Americas.
Recent Significant Publications
Thomas, D.H. 2008. Forward. In C. Colwell-Chanthaphonh and F.J. Ferguson (editors), Collaboration in Archaeological Practice. Landham, M.D., AltaMira Press.
Thomas, D.H., C.F.T. Andrus, G.A. Bishop, E. Blair, D.B. Blanton, D.E. Crowe, DePratter, B. Chester, J. Dukes, P. Francis, D. Guerrero, R.H. Hayes, M. Kick, C.S. Larsen, C. Licate, D.M. Linsley, J.A. May, J. McNeil, D.M. O'Brien, G. Paulk, L.S.A. Pendleton, E.J. Reitz, H.B. Rollins, M. Russo, M. Sanger, R. Saunders, A. Semon. 2008. Native American Landscapes of St. Catherines Island, Georgia. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 88 (1-3), 1-1136.
Thomas, D.H. 2007. American archaeology in the twenty-first century: back to the future? In T.W. Killion (editor), Opening Archaeology: Repatriation's Impact on Contemporary Research and Practice, 57-78. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press.
Bishop, G.A., R.H. Hayes, B.K. Meyer, H.E. Rollins, F.J. Rich, D.H. Thomas, and R.K. Vance. 2007. Transgressive barrier island features of St. Catherines Island, Georgia. In F.J. Rich (editor), Fieldtrips of the 2007 Annual Meeting, Southeastern Section, Geological Society of America, 39-86. Statesboro, Georgia Southern University.
Thomas, D.H. 2007. Deep-site excavation at Gatecliff Shelter, Nevada. In S.W. Neusius and G.T. Gross (editors), Seeking Our Past: 343-354. New York, Oxford University Press.
Thomas, D.H. 2006. Finders keepers and deep American history: some lessons in dispute resolution. In J.H. Merryman (editor), Imperialism, Art and Restitution, 218-254. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Thomas, D.H. 2005. The feeling of working completely in the dark. In L.S. Cordell and D.D. Fowler(editors), The Uncertain Foundations of Southwestern Mission Archaeology [James E. Ivey and DHT] in Current Views on the American Southwest: 204-219. Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press.
Thomas, D.H. 2005. Forward: some personal observations on 'partnering up.' In B. Gonzalez, R. Cast, T.K. Perttula, and B. Nelson (editors), A Rediscovering of Caddo Heritage: The W. T. Scott Collection at the American Museum of Natural History and other Caddo Collections from Arkansas and Louisiana. Springer.
Thomas, D.H. 2005. Thomas Jefferson's conflicted legacy in American archaeology. In D. Seefeldt, P. Onuf, and J. Hantman (editors), Across the Continent: Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and the Making of America: 84-131. Charlottesville, University of Virginia Press.
Thomas, D.H. 2004. The Kennewick Man dispute: courts of last resort? Before Farming: The Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-gatherers: 2: 5-7.
Other Professional Honors