Mark C. Griffin
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
San Francisco State University

Mortui vivos docent


Vineyards Site Research Project

The Vineyards site (4CCO548) represents a pivotal occupation and burial site from the Middle Archaic period of Central California. Preliminary analysis of material from the site indicates a relatively ancient prehistoric multi-use site. The chronological data that have been ascertained thus far indicate activities at the site as early as 7550 BC with the most intense habitation between 4350 and 550 BC. The size of the skeletal sample and the age of the site make this a very important site in California prehistory. Current research at SFSU for this site includes the examination of stature change over time (Kathryn Entriken), demography and general health indicators (Mark Griffin), and biological distance (Jessica Snyder). This collaborative project also includes research at University of California, Davis (Jelmer Eerkens and Gina Jorgenson), California State University, Chico (Eric Bartelink and Melanie Beasley), San Jose State University (Dave Grant), Sonoma State University (Jack Meyer), and Holman and Associates Archaeological Consultants (Randy Wiberg and Matthew Clark).

David Davis Farm Site Research Project

The David Davis Farm site (40HA301) was a Late Mississippian village which was occupied for a fifty-year period around AD 1550. The cultural association for this site has been identified as Mississipian Dallas. Middle and Late Mississippian Dallas culture in southeastern Tennessee has been documented at approximately 65 settlements along the Tennessee River and its tributaries. The David Davis Farm site is unique among these sites because of its relatively short duration of occupation and because it is one of the likely stopping points for the De Soto entrada of 1539-1543. The short duration allows researchers to attribute changes to a specific time period rather than generalize over a broadly defined period. Research for sites from this period also contributes to our understanding of the impact of European exploration on Native American populations. Current research at SFSU for this site includes the examination of dental health and biological distance compared to other regional populations. Other researchers on this project include Matthew Williamson (Georgia Southern University), Michaelyn Harle (University of Tennessee), Dave Hally (University of Georgia), and Mary Trudeau (Alexander Archaeological Consultants).

Tidewater Algonquin Project

The Tidewater Algonquin Project is a long term research project examining populations from the Tidewater region of the Atlantic seaboard at a time immediately prior to contact with Europeans. Examination of health status and biological distance indicators allows comparison with populations after contact to assess the impact of this interaction. My research over the last twenty-five years in this region has helped to shed light on this important time period and location.








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