Ph.D. in Anthropology, Indiana University-Bloomington, 1989
B.S. in Chemistry, Purdue University, 1977
Research and Teaching Interests
Archaeology, archaeological chemistry, stable isotope analysis, geophysical survey, Late Prehistoric/Protohistoric, Eastern N. America
Mark Schurr is an anthropological archaeologist who primarily works in eastern North America. He has conducted fieldwork and published articles on Native American and Euro-American sites. An early interest in chemistry led to a B.S. in Chemistry and a continuing interest in archaeometry- the application of scientific methods to archaeology. He has used stable isotopes to study prehistoric weaning behavior, the relationships between agricultural intensity and social organization, and human adaptations to climate change. Prof. Schurr is always trying to come with creative ways to blend scientific methods with archaeology. He has conducted chemical studies on materials from all over the globe, and from all periods of the Holocene era. He has also conducted geophysical surveys at many sites in the Midwest.
He is currently conducting a field research program through the Kankakee Protohistory Project in collaboration with Dr. Madeleine McLeester (Dartmouth University). The field program is investigating changes in human adaptation to the Kankakee Marsh environment that once dominated northwestern Indiana and northeastern Illinois. Their work seeks to reconstruct human activities and the environment they occurred in during the Protohistoric period (the time when Native Americans and Europeans were first coming into contact). The period coincides with a cold period known as the Little Ice Age, so understanding the effects of climate change are essential. Remote sensing, geophysical surveys, excavations, and analysis of artifacts at the Middle Grant Creek site at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie are providing new insights into this important but little known time period.