Kurt A. Jordan

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


After receiving his Ph.D in 2002, Kurt has spent the majority of his academic career teaching at Cornell University in  Ithaca, NY.  Currently he is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies in the Department of Anthropology.  Kurt instructs both undergraduate and graduate students in course on Approaches to Archaeology, Political Economy in Archaeology, and Historical Archaeology of Indigenous Peoples. His teaching interests in the archaeology of North American Indians has led Kurt to his current fieldwork at the 1715-1754 Seneca Townley-Read site near Geneva, New York. 1 2

Education 1 2

  • Columbia University, Anthropology (Archaeology), Ph.D., 2002
  • Columbia University, Anthropology (Archaeology), M.A., 1994
  • Cornell University, B.A., Anthropology and Government, 1988

Research Focus 2

His research centers on the archaeology of Iroquois  peoples. Specifically emphasizing on settlement patterns, housing, and political economy of seventeenth- and eighteenth- century Senecas. Kurt’s perspective is that evidence provided by archaeology can do much to combat inaccurate narratives of American Indian decline and powerlessness that pervade scholarly and popular writing about Native Americans.

Iroquois Archaeology and History; Historical Archaeology of Indigenous Peoples; Political Economy; Colonialism, Cultural Entanglement, and Indigenous Autonomy; Relations between Archaeologists and Indigenous Communities; Shell Bead Wampum; Red Pipestone and Red Slate

Current Research Interest

Kurt is currently leading excavations of domestic areas at the 1688-1715 Seneca White Springs village site, also located near Geneva, New York.  Their excavations and surface collections are conducted in collaboration with the Seneca Nations of Indians, commenced in 2007 and is still ongoing.

Selected Publications 2


2008      The Seneca Restoration, 1715-1754: An Iroquois Local Political Economy. Gainesville: University Press of Florida and the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Articles and Book Chapters

In press      Pruning Colonialism: Vantage point, Local Political Economy, and Cultural Entanglement in the Archaeology of post- 1415 Indigenous Peoples. In Neal Ferris, Rodney Harrison, and Michael Wilcox, editors:  The Archaeology of Colonized and its Contribution to Global Archaeological Theory.  Under contract with Oxford University press; publication expected 2012.

2011          Christopher N. Matthews and Kurt A. Jordan. Secularism as Ideology: Exploring Assumptions of Cultural Equivalence in Museum Repatriation. In Reinhard Bernbeck and Randall McGuire, editors: Ideologies in Archaeology. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, pages 212-232.

2010       Not Just ‘One Site Against the World’: Seneca Iroquois Intercommunity Connections and Autonomy, 1550-1779. In Laura L. Scheiber and Mark D. Mitchell, editors: Across the Great Divide: Continuity and Change in Native North American Societies, 1400-1900. Amerind Seminar volume 4. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, pages 79-106.


Colonies, Colonialism and Cultural Entanglement: The Archaeology of Postcolumbian Intercultural Relations. In Teresita Majewski and David Gaimster, editors: International Handbook of Historical Archaeology. New York: Springer, pages 31-49.

Regional Diversity and Colonialism in Eighteenth-Century Iroquoia. In Laurie E. Miroff and Timothy D. Knapp, editors: Iroquoian Archaeology and Analytic Scale. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, pages 215-230.

2004     Seneca Settlement Pattern, Community Structure, and Housing, 1677-1779. Northeast Anthropology 67: 23-60.

2003     An Eighteenth Century Seneca Iroquois Short Longhouse from the Townley-Read Site, c. A.D. 1715-1754. The Bulletin: Journal of the New York State Archaeological Association 119: 49-63.

2002     Christopher N. Matthews, Mark P. Leone, and Kurt A. Jordan. The Political Economy of Archaeological Cultures: Marxism and American Historical Archaeology. Journal of Social Archaeology 2(1): 109-134.

Contact Information

Kurt Jordan
Associate Professor,
Anthropology and
American Indian Studies
210 Mc Graw Hall


1. Jordan, Kurt
2012    Kurt Jordan Cornell Biograpgy. Electronic document, accessed April 1, 2012.

2. Jordan, Kurt A.
2012    Anthropology and American Indian Studies Biographgy: Kurt A. Jordan. Electronic document, accessed April 1, 2012.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s