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Jack RossenAnthropologyJack Rossen
The Iroquois and the Neighbors; People, Plants and Culture; and Origins of Agriculture


An archaeologist who has worked and taught throughout South America and the United States, Jack Rossen specializes in studying plant remains and stone tools to determine the organizational structure of ancient cultures. His expertise in archaeobotany and lithic technology was crucial to Tom Dillehay’s paradigm-shattering work at the Monte Verde site in Chile in the 1980s.

Rossen currently focuses on native peoples in Hawaii and the Northeastern United States. His six-week summer field schools allow him and his students to investigate the origins of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy and to study the east shore of Cayuga Lake, the site of 43 Cayuga villages destroyed during the Sullivan Campaign of 1779. A co-founder of the college’s Native American studies minor, he focuses his research on site protection and respecting sacred areas and burial grounds.

Among the courses he teaches are The Iroquois and the Neighbors; People, Plants and Culture; and Origins of Agriculture.

Research Focus

  • Monte Verde, Chile
  • Clovis, New Mexico
  • South American prehistory
  • North American prehistory
  • Hunter gatherers
  • Northeastern Native Americans
  • Ethnobotany
  • Ethnoarchaeology
  • Lithic technology
  • Archaeology
  • Eastern U.S. woodlands
  • 10th century early Cayuga village sites
  • Haudenosaunee
  • Origins of agriculture
  • Iroquois and their neighbors
  • People, plants and culture
  • Archaeology
  • Protecting sacred Native American areas and burial grounds

Curriculum Vitae for Jack Rossen


University of Kentucky
Ph.D., Anthropology, 1991

University of Kentucky
M.A., Anthropology, 1984

University of Massachusetts-Amherst
B.A., Anthropology, 1977