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Adam S. Watson

Adam S. Watson

American anthropologist
Adam S. Watson
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American anthropologist
Is Anthropologist Researcher
From United States of America
Type Academia Social science
Gender male
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia Doctor of Philosophy 2008-2012
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia M.A. (-2007)
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York B.A. (-2000)
Peoplepill ID adam-s-watson
The details


Adam Watson is an American anthropologist and researcher working with the American Museum of Natural History in New York. His research explores human ecology and social organization among transegalitarian societies of pre-Columbian North America.

Specializing in zooarchaeology and GIS, Watson has led numerous archaeological excavations and surveys in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico (a US National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site), and works extensively with museum collections.

His has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Richard Gilder Graduate School & American Museum of Natural History, the American Philosophical Society, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.


After receiving his B.A. from Cornell University in 2000, Watson went to the University of Virginia, where he obtained his M.A. in 2007 and Ph.D. in 2012.

Selected Publications

  • 2017 Stephen Plog, Carrie Heitman, and Adam S. Watson. Key Dimensions of the Prehistoric Cultural Trajectories of Chaco Canyon. In Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the American Southwest, edited by Barbara Mills and Severin Fowles. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • 2017 Douglas J. Kennett, Stephen Plog, Richard J. George, Brendan J. Culleton, Adam S. Watson, Pontus Skoglund, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Kristin Stewardson, Logan Kistler, Steven A. LeBlanc, Peter M. Whiteley, David Reich & George H. Perry. Archaeogenomic Evidence Reveals Prehistoric Matrilineal Dynasty. Nature Communications 8:14115.
  • 2016 Kenneth Barnett Tankersley, Nicholas P. Dunning, Jessica Thress, Lewis A. Owen, Warren D. Huff, Samantha G. Fladd, Katelyn J. Bishop, Stephen Plog, Adam S. Watson, Christopher Carr, Vernon L. Scarborough. Evaluating soil salinity and water management in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 9:94-104.
  • 2016 Adam S. Watson. Long-distance wood procurement and the Chaco florescence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113(5):1118-1120.
  • 2016 Adam S. Watson and Matthew A. Gleason. A comparative assessment of texture analysis techniques applied to bone tool use-wear. Surface Topography: Metrology and Properties 4(2):024002.
  • 2016 W. James Stemp, Adam Watson, and Adrian A. Evans. Surface analysis of stone and bone tools. Surface Topography: Metrology and Properties 4(1):1-25.
  • 2015 Adam S. Watson, Stephen Plog, Brendan J. Culleton, Patricia A. Gilman, Steven A. LeBlanc, Peter M. Whiteley, Santiago Claramunt and Douglas J. Kennett. Early procurement of scarlet macaws and the emergence of social complexity in Chaco Canyon, NM. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(27):8238-8243.
  • 2015 Bones as Raw Material: Temporal Trends and Spatial Variability in the Chacoan Bone Tool Industry. In Chaco Revisited: New Research on the Prehistory of Chaco Canyon, NM, edited by Steve Plog and Carrie Heitman, pp. 132-161. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
  • 2015 R. Gwinn Vivian and Adam S. Watson. Reevaluating Agricultural Potential in the Chaco Core. In Chaco Revisited: New Research on the Prehistory of Chaco Canyon, NM, edited by Steve Plog and Carrie Heitman, pp. 30-65. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
  • 2014 Ritual, Cuisine, and Commensal Politics at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. In Animals and Inequality in the Ancient World, edited by Benjamin Arbuckle and Sue Ann McCarty, pp. 145-166. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
  • 2013 Adam S. Watson and Stephen Cox Thomas. The Lower Great Lakes Fur Trade, Local Economic Sustainability and the Bone Grease Buffer: Vertebrate Faunal Remains from the Eighteenth Century Seneca Iroquois Townley-Read Site. Northeast Anthropology 79-80: 81-123.
  • 2012 Stephen Plog and Adam S. Watson. The Chaco Pilgrimage Model: Evaluating the Evidence from Pueblo Alto. American Antiquity 77(3):449-477.
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