Anthropology Department

Dr. Andrew White

Visiting Assistant Professor

Office: 226a Lake Michigan Hall
Phone: 616-331-8212



I am an anthropological archaeologist with interests in hunter-gatherers, lithic technology, human evolution, and complex systems theory.  My approach to prehistory combines archaeological methods and theory with ethnographic data and computational modeling to try to develop new ways to push the boundaries of our understanding of the social, cultural, and evolutionary aspects of the human past. 

Eastern North America is my primary research area.  My doctoral work at the University of Michigan (PhD 2012) combined archaeological data, ethnographic data, and computational modeling to explore the social networks of Paleoindian and Early Archaic peoples in Midcontinental North America.  Understanding the social systems of these early hunter-gatherers is a key part of explaining the profound changes that unfolded over the next ten thousand years of prehistory in eastern North America. 

Some of my current work focuses on understanding how marriage, demography, subsistence, family structure, and the characteristics of social networks are related in hunter-gatherer societies.  I am using computer modeling to try to understand both how those things are inter-related in living societies and how we may link changes in social systems to the direct evidence of the past: stones, bones, house features, etc.  For my work in eastern North America, I am particularly interested in explaining the long-term transformation of the “simple” hunter-gatherer societies of the Archaic period into the “complex” societies of the Woodland. 

I am an advocate for open access to scientific information. I recently launched the Eastern Woodlands Household Archaeology Data Project to compile and make available data on prehistoric houses from eastern North America.   I publish my raw data when possible, and I make available the code of the models that I create and use.



My Academia.edu page:  publications, CV, etc.

My external  page:  where I try to explain my work and say things that probably make some people mad.

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Page last modified August 28, 2014