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Anthropology Faculty

Matthew Sanger  Matthew C. Sanger

   Assistant Professor of Anthropology
   Co-Director Public Archaeology Program

   PhD, Columbia University, 2015
   Science 1, Room 229

Research Interests

Matthew Sanger's interests revolve around questions of mobility, landscape, heritage, and community formation within Native American societies. He addresses these topics through archaeological research, largely in the American Southeast, where he studies ancient coastal hunter-gatherers. His research is heavily dependent on American Indian philosophies, oral histories, and collaborative research with descendant communities as he strives to understand how cosmological worldviews and ecological conditions influenced societal development.

Sanger's research influences his position as Co-Director of the MA Public Archaeology program, where he trains students to work within the public sphere, including archaeological firms, museums, state and federal agencies, and historical societies. As such, the MA program prepares students to find employment at the intersection between archaeology and various invested communities, including descendant groups.

Technology plays a critical role in his research as he uses remote sensing in his fieldwork, including resistivity, magnetometry, and ground penetrating radar. He also brings technology into his analyses, particularly the use of radiography and three-dimensional scanning to investigate how objects were formed and used by past peoples.

His upcoming work includes surveys and excavations at the Sea Pines Shell Ring, a site located just north of Savannah, Georgia, that is more than three thousand years old and contains some of the earliest evidence for village formation, pottery manufacture, and regional polity creation in the United States.


In preparation - The Making of Place in the Archaic Coastal American Southeast. In preparation and under contract. American Museum of Natural History. New York, NY.

2015  Determining depositional events within shell deposits using computer vision and photogrammetry. Journal of Archaeological Science 53: 482-491.

2013  Ever-shifting Landscapes: tracking changing usage along coastal Georgia. In Life among the Tides: recent archaeology on the Georgia Bight. Edited by Victor Thompson and David Hurst Thomas, pp. 211-234. American Museum of Natural History. New York, NY.

2012  Fibrous Twists and Turns: early ceramic technology revealed through computed tomography. Applied Physics A: 11(3): 829–839. Matthew C. Sanger, James Thostenson, Morgan Hill, Hannah Cain.

2010  Trend, Tradition, and Turmoil: what happened to the southeastern Archaic? American Museum of Natural History. New York, NY. David Hurst Thomas, Matthew C. Sanger, editors.

Last Updated: 1/17/18