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Christopher Carr

Biography

Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

SHESC Themes: Culture, Heritage and Identity

Field Specializations: Archaeology, Eastern North American Prehistory, Method and Theory; Small-Scale Societies, Social and Political Organization, Religion, Ethnohistory, Mortuary Practices, Art, Style Analysis, Materials Analyses.

Regional Focus: Eastern North America

Curriculum Vitae

Education

Ph.D., University of Michigan

Bio

Christopher Carr is an archaeologist with primary interest in the prehistory of eastern North America, especially the social organizations, rituals, and religions of tribal peoples of the Midwest from about 1000 B.C. to Contact. To reconstruct these aspects of their lives, he focuses on their mortuary practices and art. His research makes strong use of anthropological theories about the causes of development of tribal and rank social organization from simpler social systems. It also has involved the development of archaeological theory about how mortuary practices and artistic style reflect social and political structures and processes.

Within this range of subjects, Carr's work over the past decade has aimed particularly at revealing the nature of Hopewell society, ritual and religion in the Ohio area, between 50 B.C. and A.D. 350. He and a team of colleagues (Carr and Case 2005; Case and Carr 2008) have made very fine-grained descriptions of the social and religious lives of Hopewell peoples.  Some key aspects include their diverse and complementary forms of leadership, sacred shaman-like and secular power bases, and their formalization over time; clan organization including the relative sizes, prestige, and leadership qualities of different clans; variation in kinship structures among Hopewell societies; several sodalities, which had complementary ritual functions;  gender differences in roles, prestige, work loads, and health; community organization; intercommunity alliances consolidated through joint mortuary practices; and interregional travels of Hopewell peoples in quest of powers in nature, healing, tutelage in knowledge and rituals, and pilgrimage.

Carr also is making extensive reconstructions of the religious ideas and rituals of Adena and Hopewell peoples of the Ohio area, with continuities and changes in them over time into the Mississippian and Historic periods. Artwork and mortuary practices have been the empirical bases for this research.  Some fundamental aspects of  religion of Ohio Hopewell peoples that Carr has inferred include their cosmological ideas about the structure of the universe, its extraordinary beings, and journeys to varying afterlives; their ontological notions of personhood; and their ethics of cooperation.

Carr works extensively with the analytical technologies of material science in studying the art and artifacts of Hopewellian peoples in order to infer their social and religious lives.  He has played a leading role in adapting some technologies to archaeology. The techniques and materials include electron microprobe, X-radiography, petrography and AMS carbon dating of ceramics; EDX spectrometry, microprobe, and Raman microspectrometry of metals and pigments; and color and infrared digital imaging and image enhancement of art works. He has spent considerable time renewing the details of portraits of Hopewell leaders and images of creatures that Hopewell artists patinated on copper artifacts.

 

Selected Publications

Case, D. Troy, and Christopher Carrr (2008, 2011).  The Scioto Hopewell and Their Neighbors: Bioarchaeological Documentation and Cultural Understanding.  Springer, New York.

Carr, C. & Case, D. T. (2005, 2006). Gathering Hopewell: Society, Ritual, and Ritual interaction. Kluwer Academic Press and Springer, New York.

Carr, Christopher, and Anna C. Novotny (2014).  Arrangement of Human Remains and Artifacts in Scioto Hopewell Burials:  Some Dramatic Rituals and Ritual Dramas.  In Redefining Death:  The Ritual Use of Bone, edited by  E. Hargrave.   University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Carr, Christopher, and Robert McCord (2013, 2014).  Ohio Hopewell Depictions of Composite Creatures:  Part 1 -- Biological Identification and Ethnohistorical Insights.  Part 2 -- Archaeological Context and a Journey to an Afterlife.   Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, vol. 38(1):5-82; vol. 39: in press.

Cotkin, S. J. & Carr, C. (1999). Analysis of slips and other inorganic surface materials on woodland and early fort ancient vessels. American Antiquity, 64(2), 316-343.

Carr, C. (1995). Mortuary practices: Their social, philosophical-religious, circumstantial, and physical determinants. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 2(2), 105-200.

Carr, C. & Komorowski, J. C. (1995). Identifying the mineralogy of rock temper in ceramics with x-radiography. American Antiquity, 60(4), 723-749.

Carr, Christopher & Jill E. Neitzel, J. E. (1995). Style, Society, and Person: Archaeological and Eethnological Perspectives.  Plenum Publishing Corporation, New York.

Publications
  • Continuing Education of Christopher Carr in digital image processing. Photoshop, Basics. (2012).
Research Activity
  • Carr,Christopher*. Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant: Estimating Midewiwin Antiquity with Radiocarbon Dates from Canadian Shield Rock Paintings. NSF-SBE(8/1/2007 - 7/31/2010).
  • Carr,Christopher*. DOCTORAL DISSERTATION IMPROVEMENT GRANT: MODELING SOMERSET MONONGAHELA VILLAGE ORGANIZATION WITHIN A CHRONOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK DEVELOPED. NSF-SBE(9/1/2002 - 6/30/2005).
  • Carr,Christopher*. DEVELOPMENT OF HIGH-RESOLUTION, DIGITAL, COLOR AND INFRARED PHOTOGRAPHIC METHODS FOR PRESERVING IMAGERY ON HOPEWELLIAN COPPER ARTIFACTS. DOI-NPS-NCPTT(9/1/2000 - 6/30/2003).
  • Carr,Christopher*. RECONSTRUCTING THE COSMOLOGY OF PREHISTORIC OHIO HOPEWELL PEOPLES, & ITS ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUPRALOCAL LEADERSHIP. WENNER-GREN FDN(7/1/1996 - 1/20/1998).
  • Carr,Christopher*. MODELING ALLIANCE STRATEGIES. WENNER-GREN FDN(2/8/1989 - 9/30/1990).
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 584Internship
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 584Internship
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 484Internship
ASB 484Internship
ASM 493Honors Thesis
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASM 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 191First-Year Seminar
ASB 330Thinking Through Archaeology
ASM 484Internship
ASB 484Internship
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASM 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASM 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASM 493Honors Thesis
ASB 497Honors Colloquium
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 558Mortuary Pract & Culturl Analy
ASB 580Practicum
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASB 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 330Arch Method and Theory
ASM 484Internship
ASB 484Internship
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASM 493Honors Thesis
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASB 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 484Internship
ASB 484Internship
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASM 493Honors Thesis
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASM 592Research
ASB 592Research
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2012
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 484Internship
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASM 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASM 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASM 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASM 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASM 790Reading and Conference
ASM 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASM 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation