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Jennifer Birch

Associate Professor
Undergraduate Coordinator

Contact Info

105J Baldwin Hall
Phone Number:
Curriculum Vitae:
Jennifer Birch's CV (242.89 KB)

My work is underpinned by the desire to understand the relationship between long-term human history and the lived experiences of individuals and communities. The major impacts of my research have been on understandings of the nature of organizational complexity and diversity in Pre-Columbian Eastern North America. I have accomplished this through reconstructing socio-cultural processes associated with the occupational histories of communities and regions, redefining inter- and intra-regional interaction networks, and reconstructing the dynamics associated with the realignment of discrete populations into chiefdoms and confederacies. The theoretical frameworks I employ draw upon concepts of historical process and contingency, theories of practice, and a broadly-conceived materialism. These perspectives necessitate multi-scalar research designs that interrogate the recursive interactions between top-down and bottom-up processes, structure and agency, institutions and individuals. My most current research projects employ a range of methodologies including integrative analyses of settlement data, geophysical prospection, social network analysis, and radiocarbon chronology-building.


PhD, Anthropology, McMaster University, 2010

Research Areas:
Research Interests:
  • Archaeology of eastern North America
  • Settlement patterns
  • Archaeology of households and communities
  • Organizational complexity
  • Archaeology of warfare
  • Multi-scalar analyses
  • Social network analysis
  • Radiocarbon dating and chronological modeling
  • Geophysics
  • Social theory
  • Heritage
  • Cultural resource management
Selected Publications:

Manning, S.W., J. Birch, M.A. Conger, M.W. Dee, C. Griggs, C.S. Hadden, A.G. Hogg, C. Bronk Ramsey, S. Sanft, P. Steier, and E.M. Wild. (2018). Radiocarbon Re-dating of Contact Era Iroquoian History in Northeastern North America. Science Advances 4: eeav0280

Birch, J., & Hart, J. P. (2018). Social Networks and Northern Iroquoian Confederacy Dynamics. American Antiquity, 83(01), 13-33. doi:10.1017/aaq.2017.59

Birch, J. and V.D. Thompson, eds. (2018). The Archaeology of Village Societies in Eastern North America. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. 211 pp.

Articles Featuring Jennifer Birch

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - 11:17am

The Dating Iroquoia project is co-directed by Dr. Jennifer Birch and is made up of researchers at Cornell University, New York State Museum, and the University of Georgia, including Research Assistant, Megan Conger. The Conversation published an…

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 11:38am

UGA Department of Anthropology's Jacob Holland-Lulewicz, Megan Conger, Travis Jones, Dr. Jennifer Birch, and Dr. Stephen Kowalewski published a recent paper in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 8:46am

The University of Georgia has joined the Universities Studying Slavery Consortium to facilitate scholarly exchange and academic collaboration. 

Monday, October 14, 2019 - 1:01pm

Title: Dating Iroquoia in American Antiquity

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 11:11am

UGA’s Jennifer Birch and Cornell University’s Sturt Manning are investigators for a National Science Foundation grant, “Establishing a High-Resolution Framework for Age Determination.” A team including graduate assistant Megan Anne Conger works to date Northern…

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