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Victor Thompson

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Professor, Director, Laboratory of Archaeology

I am an archaeologist who specializes in the application of archaeological science to the study of collective social formations and the historical ecology of wetland and coastal environments. In this work I strive more and more to connect to issues related to community archaeology and the descendent communities whose ancestral lands that I study. I engage globally with scholars who share research interests in archaeological science, as well as island and coastal archaeology. Broadly, my research utilizes approaches derived from collective action, cooperation, political ecology, and historical ecology. Specifically, I seek to understand Native American histories and how these histories experienced ruptures and continuities at the moment of European contact and colonialism. I employ a number of methods in my research including the analysis of monumental architecture, radiocarbon analysis, shell midden archaeology, stable oxygen isotopes, remote sensing, and Geographic Information Systems. As Director of the Laboratory of Archaeology, I am engaged with NAGPRA (Native American Graves and Repatriation Act, to make sure that ancestors cared for by UGA are treated respectfully and repatriated to the their descendent communities.  


Ph.D. University of Kentucky, Anthropology

M.A. University of Kentucky, Anthropology 

B.A. University of Georgia, Anthropology

Research Areas:
Research Interests:

Research Areas: Colonial Period; Native American Archaeology; Bayesian Modeling; Radiocarbon; Oxygen Isotopes; Monumentality; Early Villages; Shell Midden Archaeology; American Southeast/Caribbean; Islands, Coasts, and Wetlands; Geoarchaeology and Geophysics; Landscape Archaeology; Social Theory 

Selected Publications:

Thompson Victor D., Torben Rick, Carey J. Garland, Karen Y. Smith, David Hurst Thomas, Matt Sanger, Bryan Tucker, Isabelle Lulewicz, Anna M. Semon, John Schalles, Christine Hladik, Clark Alexander, Brandon T. Ritchison (2020) Ecosystem Stability and Native American Oyster Harvesting along the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Science Advances 6:eaba9652

Thompson, Victor D., William H. Marquardt, Michael Savarese, Karen J. Walker, Lee A. Newsom, Isabelle Lulewicz, Nathan R. Lawres, Amanda D. Roberts Thompson, A. R. Bacon, C. Walser (2020) Ancient Engineering of Fish Capture and Storage in Southwest Florida.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117(15):8374-8381.

Thompson, Victor D., William H. Marquardt, Karen J. Walker, Amanda Roberts Thompson, Lee A. Newsom. (2018) Collective Action, State Building, and the Rise of the Calusa, Southwest Florida. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 51:28-44.


2021       $78,694. NAGPRA Consultation Grant, Evaluating UGA’s Existing Holdings. National Park Service. Victor Thompson (P.I.), co-P.I. Amanda Roberts Thompson.

2019       $81,981. UGA, Laboratory of Archaeology, NAGPRA Consultation Grant. National Park Service. Victor Thompson (P.I.), co-P.I. Amanda Roberts Thompson.

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