Anthony P. Graesch

Anthony P. Graesch, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Joined Connecticut College: 2010

B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Archaeological anthropology
Household archaeology
Complex hunter-gatherer-fishers of North America
Pacific Northwest Coast
Urban ethnoarchaeology
Experimental archaeology

Curriculum VitaePublications

Contact Anthony Graesch:

"Archaeological theory and method stand to be improved - and even made relevant to the study of present-day society - with a renewed attention to the intersection of material culture, language, and social interaction. Similarly, research in other anthropology subfields and social sciences stands to be enriched when the socially mediating roles of objects are taken into consideration. To this end, I teach students how to pursue methodologically rigorous archaeology but also how to apply ethnographic and distinctly mixed-methods approaches to the study of recent and contemporary human behavior."

Anthony P. Graesch is a four-field-trained anthropologist whose research and teaching focus on the archaeology of North America, including the study of aboriginal and colonizing societies in both past and present settings, as well as anthropological studies of modern material culture.  He is an ardent supporter of cross-disciplinary and mixed-methods approaches in the social sciences, particularly those that illuminate the role of objects and built space in the shaping of everyday experience. 

At Connecticut College, Professor Graesch offers survey courses addressing the practice and theory of archaeological anthropology (e.g., Material Legacies, Archaeology of North America) as well as intensive seminars that explore the relationship of contemporary urbanites to their material worlds (Urban Ethnoarchaeology), the methodological foundations of scientifically rigorous field- and laboratory-based archaeology (Laboratory Methods in Archaeology, Experimental Archaeology), and the study of colonialism (Archaeology of Recent and Contemporary Societies). 

Professor Graesch is the 2013 recipient of the Helen Mulvey Faculty Award, presented to an assistant professor who regularly offers classes that challenge students to work harder than they thought they could and to reach unanticipated levels of academic achievement.

Graesch is also a Member of the Board of Directors for the Institute for Field Research (IFR), a non-profit academic entity dedicated to hosting rigorous programs in research-centered, field-based learning.  The IFR is founded on the premise that there is no cognitive substitute for applied, field?based learning and that the most meaningful instruction emerges when students participate in fieldwork pursued within an active research program, are guaranteed one-on-one time with instructors, and have confidence that pedagogy is a priority.


One Professor's current lines of research (2002-present) is situated in western North America and addresses the organization of Stó:lô-Coast Salish settlements and households during the last 600 years. Much of this research has focused on Welqámex, a large, island-based settlement in the upper Fraser Valley of southwestern British Columbia. Welqámex was home to upwards of 250-300 people in the mid-nineteenth century and fluoresced into a regional center of aboriginal political and economic activities following early British settlement in the Pacific Northwest. Current and recent studies of archaeological materials are/have focused on variability in residential and non-residential architecture, the organization of ancient cooking techniques, tool-making traditions, and the methods by which archaeologists generate and interpret household-level data. This project represents a direct collaboration with Chawathil First Nation and the Stó:lô Research and Resource Management Centre. Publications resulting from this research have been featured in top-ranked archaeology journals and peer-reviewed edited volumes.

Professor Graesch is also currently collaborating with Professor Chung and students of the Computer Science Deparment at Connecticut College in the development of a browser-based application for smartphones that allows Indigenous communities to freely dissimenate cultural heritage on their own terms and in their own voice.  Labeled Camel Tours, this project is intended to help decolonize heritage management and create a medium for local communities to selectively share information about landscapes, sites, and features, among other tangible and intangible attributes of culture.

Some of Professor Graesch’s other lines of research blur traditional scholarly boundaries in anthropology, archaeology, and other disciplines. For example, working with a team of inter-disciplinary scholars on a project addressing dual-income families in Los Angeles, he has examined how the built spaces of contemporary family homes reflect historical changes in American middle-class household economy and simultaneously affect daily social interaction among family members. This research, originally based in the Center on Everyday Lives of Families at UCLA, has been highlighted in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, in radio interviews, and in video, among media outlets. More recently, Graesch has turned his attention to the study of material culture in the public spaces of cities, with an emphasis on how everyday trash indexes or refracts social identity on the urban landscape.  Graesch is currently directing an ethnoarchaeological investigation into the ways that variability in assemblages of cigarettes smoked and discarded at drinking establishments reflects differences in the social character of bar spaces found in New London, Connecticut.


Some Recent Publications in Archaeological Anthropology and Ethnoarchaeology

  • ** Graesch, A. P., T. DiMare, G. Schachner, D. M. Schaepe, and J. Dallen. (2014). Thermally modified rock: the experimental study of "fire-cracked" byproducts of hot rock cooking. North American Archaeologist 35(2): in press.
  • Arnold, J. E., A. P. Graesch, E. Ragazzini, and E. Ochs. (2012). Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, Los Angeles.
  • Graesch, A. P., J. Bernard, and A. Noah. (2010). A cross-cultural study of colonialism and Indigenous foodways in western North America. In Across the Great Divide: Continuity and Change in Native North American Societies, A.D. 1400-1900, edited by L. Scheiber and M. Mitchell, pp. 212-238. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
  • Graesch, A. P. (2009). Fieldworker experience and single-episode screening as sources of data recovery bias in archaeology: A case study from the Central Pacific Northwest Coast. American Antiquity 74(4):759-779.
  • Graesch, A. P. (2009). British colonization of the Northwest Coast and interior drainages. In Archaeology in America: An Encyclopedia, Volume 4: West Coast and Arctic/Subarctic, edited by F. McManamon, L. Cordell, K. Lightfoot, and G. Milner, pp. 180-184. Greenwood Publishing, Westport, CT.
  • Lepofsky, D., D. M. Schaepe, A. P. Graesch, M. Lenert, P. Ormerod, K. Carlson, J. E. Arnold, M. Blake, P. Moore, and J. Clague. (2009). Exploring Stó:lô-Coast Salish interactions and identity in ancient houses and settlements in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia. American Antiquity 74(4):595-626.

Some Recent Publications in Mixed-Methods Social Science Research

  • Graesch, A. P. (2013). At Home. In Fast-Forward Families: Home, Work, and Relationships in Middle-Class America, edited by E. Ochs and T. Kremer-Sadlik, pp. 27-47. University of California Press.
  • Saxbe, D. E., A. P. Graesch, and M. Alvik. (2011). Television as a social or solo activity: Understanding families' everyday television viewing patterns. Communication Research Reports 28(2):180-189.
  • Saxbe, D. E., R. Repetti, and A. P. Graesch. (2011). Time spent in housework and leisure: Links with parents' physiological recovery from work. Journal of Family Psychology 25(2):271-281.
  • Graesch, A. P. (2009). Material indicators of family busyness. Social Indicators Research 93(1):85-94.
  • Klein, W., A. P. Graesch, C. Izquierdo. (2009). Children and chores: A mixed methods study of children’s household work in Los Angeles dual-earner families. Anthropology of Work Review 30(3):98-109.
  • Campos, B., A. P. Graesch, R. Repetti, T. Bradbury, and E. Ochs. (2009). Opportunity for interaction? A naturalistic observation study of dual-earner families after work and school. Journal of Family Psychology 23(6):798-807.

Some Recent Conference Presentations

  • ** 2013 (w/(w/J. Blagg, C. Chung, A. Kinha, D. Kerr, and J. Proft) Exploring Cultural Heritage with Digital Strata: An Application of Open-Source Mediated Reality (MR) in Southwestern British Columbia, Canada. Poster presented at the Society for American Archaeology 78th Annual Meetings, Honolulu, April 3-7.
  • ** 2013 (w/T. DiMare) Fire-Affected Rock: Advances in Household and Experimental Archaeological Approaches to the Study of Indirect Cooking and Foodways. Poster presented at the Society for American Archaeology 78th Annual Meetings, Honolulu, April 3-7.
  • 2011 (w/D. M. Schaepe, and L. Dojack) Relations of Built Space and Political Authority in Residential Architecture at Welqámex in the Upper Fraser Valley, Central Northwest Coast. Invited symposium paper presented at the Society for American Archaeology Annual Meetings, Sacramento, March 30-April 3.
  • 2011 (w/D.M. Schaepe, M. T. Blake, S. Formosa, D. Lepofsky, and A. McHalsie) Exploring Xelhálh as a Place of Centralized Power among the Stó:lo-Coast Salish. Invited symposium paper presented at the Society for American Archaeology Annual Meetings, Sacramento, March 30-April 3.
  • 2011 (w/D. M. Schaepe) Collaborative Archaeology at Xelhálh and Welqámex: Findings From Our 2008-2010 Fieldschools. Paper presented at the People of the River Conference, Stó:lo Research and Resource Management Centre, Chilliwack, British Columbia, May 1.

** publications & presentations with Connecticut College students

Visit the anthropology department website, including the archaeological labs page.