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Christopher Morgan

In Mongolia, Summer 2016

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
Faculty, Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology

Ph.D., University of California, Davis 2006
Ansari Business Building Room 510
(775) 682-8992


Hunter-gatherer archaeology, human and behavioral ecology, lithic technology, GIS, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, cultural resource management, quantitative methods


My research focuses on the hunter-gatherer archaeology of the American West, China, Mongolia, and the southern Andes, with an emphasis on behavioral adaptations to high-altitude, desert and other marginal environments. I am particularly interested in the ways mobility, storage and settlement patterns relate to paleoenvironmental change and the evolution of different degrees of hunter-gatherer sociocultural complexity. In the America West, I study the spread of Numic-speaking peoples across and beyond the Great Basin, the evolution of Archaic lifeways, and the different ways hunter-gatherers in the region exploited mountain environments. In China, I focus on more fundamental evolutionary questions: Lower to Upper Paleolithic transitions, the arrival or evolution of modern humans and human behavior in the region, and the forager to farmer sequence between the Yellow and Wei rivers. In Mongolia, I'm currently collaborating with the University of Pittsburgh and the National Museum of Mongolia on projects tracking the origins of pastoral economies and the northeast Asian microblade adaptation.  In the southern Andes, I've recently become involved in a collaborative project with the San Rafael Natural History Museum looking at the ways the region's hunter-gatherers adapted to high altitude settings.

Results of my research are available on ResearchGate and on  I am also part of a collaborative group of American and Chinese scholars interested in Quaternary climate change and human behavioral evolution.

I am always looking for graduate students with a strong undergraduate education and experience in archaeology. If you are interested in these or other related research topics and would like to pursue either a Master’s or Ph.D. at UNR, please contact me and be sure to visit our graduate program webpages in the appropriate embedded hyperlinks above.


  • Anth 202 Archaeology
  • Anth 440a/640a Archaeology of North America
  • Anth 441A/641A Archaeology of the Old World
  • Anth 443/643 Environmental Archaeology
  • Anth 448a/648a Field School in Archaeology
  • Anth 455/655 Archaeological Theory
  • Anth 493R/693R Research Design & Quantitative Methods
  • Anth 706 Seminar in Anthropological Problems: GIS and Archaeology
  • Anth 706 Seminar in Anthropological Problems: Geoarchaeology
  • Anth 706 Seminar in Anthropological Problems: Prehistoric Economies

Selected Publications

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