Thomas, David Hurst main content.

David Hurst Thomas

David Hurst Thomas

Curator of North American Archaeology, Division of Anthropology
Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Phone:
212-769-5890
Fax:
212-769-5334
Curriculum Vitae (short version)

Education

  • University of California, Davis, Ph.D., 1971
  • University of California, Davis, Ph.C., 1970
  • University of California, Davis, M.A., 1968
  • University of California, Davis, B.A., 1967

Research Interests

Dr. Thomas continues to direct 40 years of sustained archaeological research on St. Catherines Island, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. Using remote sensing technology, his team discovered the long-lost site of the Franciscan Mission Santa Catalina de Guale (1566–1680) and conducted major excavations there for a dozen years. Recently, Dr. Thomas’s crew returned to the Pueblo surrounding the mission site for further excavations. In addition, his team is preparing several publications about its discoveries. Besides his work at the mission, Dr. Thomas has also focused on long-term subsistence and social change on St. Catherines Island, as well as population growth and increased social complexity at the island’s two Late Archaic shell ring sites.

In addition to his work in the American Southeast, Dr. Thomas and his team have also  excavated the ruins of Mission San Marcos (1620–1680) about 20 miles south of Santa Fe, NM. A sophisticated array of remote sensing technologies was used to map the subsurface structure of the site and then excavate significant architecturalfeatures in the church and convent. This project included a unique intern program with high-school-age members of the local descendant (Hispanic and Pueblo Indian) communities.

Dr. Thomas currently resumes his research in the Great Basin region, finishing a lengthy scientific monograph that tackles topics including radiocarbon dating and paleoclimatic change versus social change throughout the Basin.

Dr. Thomas's scholarly research also focuses on redefining the relationship between the Native American and anthropological communities. His 2001 book, Skull Wars, traces the development of the existing 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 Gatecliff Shelter in Nevada, the deepest archaeological rockshelter in the Americas.

Publications

Recent and Major Publications
2019.  A Shoshonean prayerstone hypothesis: ritual cartographies of Great Basin incised stones. American Antiquity, published online 27 December 2018. https://doi.org/10.1017/aaq.2018.73.

n.d.     Missionizing the 16th-century Georgia coast: amiable anarchists and soldiers of Christ. In 500th Anniversary of Santa Elena, South Carolina, edited by Chester B. DePratter. Beaufort, SC: Santa Elena Historical Society [in press].

2018.  Early life stress at Mission Santa Catalina de Guale: an integrative analysis of enamel defects and dentin incremental isotope variation in malnutrition.  Bioarchaeology International 2(2): 75-94 [by Carey J. Garland, Laurie J. Reitsema, Clark Spencer Larsen, and David Hurst Thomas] 

2018.  Archaic exchange: long-distance movement of copper and mortuary practices in the Eastern Woodlands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 115(33): 7672-7679 [by Matthew C. Sanger, Mark Hill, Gregory D. Lattanzi, Brian D. Padgett, Clark Spencer Larsen, Brendan J. Culleton, Douglas J. Kennett, Laure Dussubieux, Matthew F. Napolitano, Sébastien Lacombe, and David Hurst Thomas]

2018. Thomas, D.H. Deep history of the Georgia coast: a view from St. Catherines Island. In: P. Sutter and P.M. Pressly (editors), Coastal nature, coastal culture: 57-90. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press.

2018. Thomas, D.H. Franciscan Florida in Pan-Borderlands perspective: adaptation, negotiation, and resistance. In: J.M. Burns and T.J. Johnson (editors), Proceedings of the Second Flagler Franciscan Conference: 1–16. Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press.

2018. Thomas, D.H. Social agency in the Spanish Mission Borderlands. In: J.M. Burns and T.J. Johnson (editors), Proceedings of the Second Flagler Franciscan Conference: 17–34. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.

2017. Kelly, R.L., and D.H. Thomas. Archaeology. 7th edition. New York: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 402 pp.

2017. Springs, L.C., C.S., Larsen, D.H. Thomas, A.M. Semon, and D.A. Bolnick. Investigating the genetic impacts of Spanish Missionization in the Guale of St. Catherines Island, Georgia. Poster presented at the Association for Physical Anthropology meetings, New Orleans, March 21, 2017.

2017. Thomas, D.H. Tales of a modern mountain man. In T. Taylor, On the trail of the mountain shoshone sheep eaters: a high-altitude archaeological odyssey, by Tory Taylor, 7–8. Dubois, WY: Wind River Publishing.

2017. Thomas, D.H. Materiality matters: colonial transformations spanning the Southwestern and Southeastern Borderlands. In: J.G. Douglass and W.M. Graves (editors), New Mexico and the Pimería Alta: The Colonial Period in the American Southwest: 379–414. Boulder, Colorado: University of Colorado Press.

2017. Thomas, D.H. Foreword. In: J.G. Douglass and W.M. Graves (editors), New Mexico and the Pimería Alta: the Colonial Period in the American Southwest: xv–xxi. Boulder, Colorado: University of Colorado Press.

2017. Thomas, D.H. Tweaking the conventional wisdom in Southwestern archaeology.
In: D.J. Seymour (editor), Fierce and indomitable: the protohistoric non-Pueblo world in the American Southwest: 301–314. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

2017.  Kelly, R.L., and Thomas, D.H. Archaeology, 7th edition. New York: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 402 pp.

2017. Thomas, D.H. Franciscan Florida in Pan-Borderlands perspective: adaptation, negotiation, and resistance. In T.J. Johnson and G. Melville (editors), Proceedings of the Second Flagler Franciscan Conference: 1–16. Oceanside, CA: The Academy of American Franciscan History.

2017. Thomas, D.H. Social agency in the Spanish Mission Borderlands. In T.J. Johnson and G. Melville (editors), Proceedings of the Second Flagler Franciscan Conference: 17–34. Oceanside, CA: The Academy of American Franciscan History.

2017. Thomas, D.H. Stepping back into the deep human past. In R. Adams and B.M. Loner (authors), World prehistory coloring book: iv–v. Dubuque, IA: Kendall
Hunt Publishing Co.

2016. Thomas, D.H. and R.L. Kelly. Archaeology, 7th Edition. New York: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 402 pp.

2016. Thomas, D.H. Ethics of Exhibition. Nature 531:302-303.

2015. Thomas, D.H. Bilocating the American Mission Borderlands with Saint Serra. Boletin: Journal of the California Mission Studies Association 31(1): 5-34.

2015. Thomas, D.H. Engineering Alta Toquima: Social Investments and Dividends at 11,000 Feet. In L.L. Scheiber and M.N. Zedeño (editors), Engineering Mountain Landscapes: An Archaeology of Social Investment. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. 49–74.

Thomas, D.H. and C.S. Spencer.
2015. (Review) D.W. Owsley and R.L. Jantz, Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton. American Antiquity 80(4):781-789.

n.d. The Archaeology of Mission San Marcos, New Mexico. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History [in prep]. 

n.d. The Archaeology of Monitor Valley: 4. Alta Toquima and the Mt. Jefferson Tablelands Complex. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History [by David H. Thomas and Lorann S.A. Pendleton; in prep]. 

2014. Alta Toquima: Why Did Foraging Families Spend Summers at 11,000 Feet? In Archaeology in the Great Basin and Southwest, edited by Nancy J. Parezo and Joel C. Janetski, pp. 130–148. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

2014. Social Responsibility and Culturally Conscious Approaches to Cremations: New and Old World Perspectives. In Fire and the Body: Cremation as a Context for Social Meaning,edited by Ian Kuijt, Gerald Cooney, and Colin Quinn. Tucson: University of Arizona Press [in review; by Liv Nilsson Stutz and DHT].

2014. Engineering Alta Toquima: Social Investments and Dividends at 11,000 Feet. In Engineering Mountain Landscapes: An Archaeology of Social Investment, edited by Maria N. Zedeño and Laura L. Scheiber. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press [in press].

2014. Archaeology: Down to Earth. 5th Edition, 274 pp. New York: Wadsworth Publishers [by Robert L. Kelly and David H. Thomas].

2013. Archaeology. 6th Edition, 468 pp. New York: Wadsworth Cengage Learning [by Robert L. Kelly and David H. Thomas]. 

2013. Revising the 14C Reservoir Correction for St. Catherines Island, Georgia. In Life among the Tides: Recent Archaeology on the Georgia Bight, edited by Victor D. Thompson and DHT. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 98: 25–46. [by DHT, Matthew C. Sanger, and Royce H. Hayes].

2012. Seasonality and Mobility on the Georgia Bight: Why Should We Care? In Seasonality and Human Mobility along the Georgia Bight, edited by Elizabeth J. Reitz, Irvy R. Quitmyer, and David H. Thomas. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 97: 19–36.

2011. Why this Archaeologist Cares about Geoarchaeology: Some Pasts and Futures of St. Catherines Island. In Geoarchaeology of St. Catherines Island, Georgia, edited by Gale A. Bishop, Harold B. Rollins, and DHT. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 94: 25–66.

2011. St. Catherines: An Island in Time. 2nd Edition with a New Preface. Athens: University of Georgia Press. 92 pp.

2008. Native American Landscapes of St. Catherines Island, Georgia. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum 88 (1-3): 1–1136.

 

Teaching Experience

Faculty Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor, Columbia University (1991–present).
  • Adjunct Member, Doctoral Faculty, The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York (1991–present).
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada,
  • Reno (1979–present).

External Links