Dr. Brandon T. Ritchison

Profile picture for Dr. Brandon T. Ritchison

Contact Information

109 Davenport Hall
607 S. Mathews Ave.
607 S Mathews
M/C 148
Urbana, IL 61801
Visiting Assistant Professor

Biography

I am an anthropological archaeologist who examines the relationships between mobility, environment, history, and sociopoliticalorganization on the islands and coasts of the Southeastern United States.  My research spans four thousand years and takes me to Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

My research focuses on the relationships between migrations and mobility, climate change, and sociopolitical organizations in the prehistoric Eastern United States. I have been examining the case of the 14th century abandonment of the Savannah River Valley and the effects this abandonment had on the neighboring Georgia Coast. I have demonstrated the occurrence of a large-scale immigration event to the Georgia Coast during the final decades of the 14th century. I employed a multi-scalar approach to examine the response of populations on the Georgia Coast to this event using GIS analysis of regional and intra-site settlement patterns and Bayesian chronological modeling of new and legacy radiocarbon data.

During this project, I have instructed and supervised over 120 students and volunteers in test-unit excavations, shallow geophysical surveys, and a systematic shovel test survey of a 60-ha multi-component site on Sapelo Island, Georgia, supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

I am also involved in many collaborations. I have contributed to a wide array of projects, including research on reconstructing past environments, radiocarbon sampling techniques, and on the state of the anthropology academic job market and the discipline’s ongoing issues in reaching equitable representation.

Research Interests

Archaeology
Bayesian chronological modeling
Community organization
Paleodemography
GIS
Archaeological geophysics
Migration
Spatial analysis
Mississippian archaeology
Monumentality

Education

Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2019