North American Archaeology

A man in an office looking at the camera with shelves of books and a medium-size globe behind him.
Dr. David Thomas, Curator of North American Archaeology

Dr. David Hurst Thomas is Curator of North American Archaeology in the Division of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and the City University of New York.

Over the past 40 years, his research interests have focused on aspects of Americanist archaeology. He has worked to understand human adaptations to the relatively harsh Great Basin area of the western U.S., concentrating geographically on the state of Nevada and temporally on the Holocene post-glacial period, as well as the Southeastern U.S. from early Spanish contact through the past 4000 years. In addition, over the past two decades, David Hurst Thomas and his colleagues have conducted extensive environmental archaeology studies on St. Catherines Island, Georgia. Recently, he has been exploring the implications of new paleoenvironmental evidence suggesting that two major droughts struck the western U.S. within the last millennium.