Some of Our Archaeology Projects




Colorado 2014

Since 2010 the anthropology faculty, have participated in archaeological research each summer in Colorado. This research is part of ongoing culture resource management projects initiated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Montrose, Colorado. Glade Hadden, Archaeologist for the BLM, and Dudley Gardner, archaeologist at Western Wyoming Community College, have invited Lee University anthropology faculty members, Richard Jones, and Murl Dirksen to work at sites in western Colorado.




Eastern Tennessee

Cherokee National Forest 2017

Since 2006, we have conducted summer archaeology field schools under the direction of the USDA Forest Service in the Cherokee National Forest. Forest Archaeologists Quentin Bass and Chris Bassett have made it possible for us to participate each year in important excavations and surveys related to the Cherokee removal period, gold mining in the 1830’s, and prehistoric occupation of Cherokee National Forest in southeastern Tennessee.  These projects include surveys of the Unicoi Turnpike, excavations at Fort Armistead, and survey work in other parts of the Cherokee National Forest.




 Fort Hill Cemetery, Cleveland, TN

Fort Hill Cemetery 2013

In 2013, using ground penetrating radar (GPR) and pedestrian survey techniques, we have done some preliminary work to help the cemetery board of directors to locate burials in some parts of the cemetery where vandalism has moved, or removed, headstones and other markers from their original places. In 2015, we did additional GPR work for the Veteran’s portion of the cemetery.


Lee University Archaeology Research Center

The Archaeology Research Center (ARC) at Lee University provides archaeological support to research projects on both public and private lands in order to better understand and conserve humanity our cultural heritage. Our work is largely volunteer work that involves students at every level of archaeological investigation. The ARC seeks to highlight the service learning emphasis of the university mission statement by providing professional services to various entities of our community, our state, and our country. The ARC also provides our undergraduate students opportunities to work at important archaeological sites in the United States and around the world and to curate important archaeological collections and archives. Such professional experiences will help our students who are interested in careers in anthropology, archaeology, museum science, history, artifact conservation, and related areas by providing networking with others in the field and by creating an awareness of employment and graduate study opportunities. We also encourage high professional standards of ethical and moral behavior in our work and life, believing that Christian values should guide what we do, and how we do it.

Beginning in 2014, we have established a curation facility, a small lab for floral and faunal analyses and preservation work, and an office, for curating and conserving the artifacts and archival materials that are a result of our archaeology field investigations. This facility is located in the Mayfield Annex and activities there provide opportunities for students to learn about archaeological record keeping, storage of artifacts and archival records, and about research using archaeological collections.

Other Projects

We do a lot of small projects as time and resources allow. We have helped to solve a number of archaeological “mysteries” for various people in the community by helping them identify artifacts or features found on their land. We have also mapped small cemeteries on private land, and we are involved with work at local museums, where many of our students have worked as interns.  We have done survey work on farms, and have explored and mapped parts of the storm drain system of Cleveland, Tennessee.  We have also mapped old cemeteries for private landowners and for the Forest Service.