Adrian Praetzellis

Professor Emeritus of Anthropology; Emeritus Director of the Anthropological Studies Center


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley 1991
Registered Professional Archaeologist #10336
Certified in Field Archaeology and Historical Archaeology, 1983


Local history, American material culture, historical archeology, cultural resource management


My archaeological career began in 1972 when I began working full-time on Roman and medieval sites on the British archaeological “circuit.” Later, I worked on prehistoric and 18th-/19th-century archaeology in Virginia, the Great Basin, and California. Since the late 1970s, I have specialized in historical archaeology, especially in urban contexts, where I have acted as Principal Investigator for numerous archaeological research projects.. In 2008 I was appointed to the State Historical Resources Commission’s Archaeological Resources Committee where I am working on Standards and Guidelines for the conduct of archaeology. I was awarded the 2003 T.F. King Award in Cultural Resources Management and the 2011 M.R. Harrington Award for Conservation Archaeology by the Society for California Archaeology for “his long history of contributing to the enhancement of the archaeological record as a public resource and his invaluable and ongoing contribution to the Archaeological Resource Commission white papers and their implementation.”

Selected Publications & Presentations

I have made numerous presentations at professional meetings and to lay groups; taught archaeology to Native American tribes; designed archaeology-oriented museum exhibits; authored many technical studies; published over 60 monographs, reviews, and articles; written and illustrated two archaeology textbooks Death by Theory and Dug to Death (AltaMira Press, (2011 and 2003); I’m a regular pre-publication reviewer for Historical Archaeology and serve on the Editorial Boards of the International Journal of Historical Archaeology and California Archaeology. I’ve been Thesis Committee Chair of over 60 completed MA theses at SSU and external examiner of MA and PhD theses for universities in South Africa, Canada, and Australia.