James M. Collins

Adjunct Research Associate 

B.A. Anthropology, Middlebury College 1976

Research interests: prehistoric and protohistoric archaeology of the Midwest and Plains; the archaeology of settlements and settlement systems; the definition of territories based on social, stylistic, economic, and political parameters; the psychology and structure of complex societies; geoarchaeology; and cultural and natural resource management.

Jim retired from the OSA in 2014, after 26 years working as an archaeologist here. He has been engaged in Midwestern and Plains archaeology since 1974, having worked extensively throughout Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Wyoming. In addition to more than 300 technical reports and more than 50 papers read at professional conferences, contributions include articles in American Antiquity, Illinois Archaeology, Plains Anthropologist, Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, The Minnesota Archaeologist, Journal of the Iowa Archaeological Society, The Wisconsin Archaeologist,  and The Missouri Archaeologist; and chapters in Mississippian Communities and Households (University of Alabama Press, 1995), and Cahokia: Domination and Ideology in the Mississippian World (University of Nebraska Press, 1997). Selected monographs include The Archaeology of the Cahokia Mounds ICT-II: Site Structure (Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 1990), The Iowa River Greenbelt: An Archaeological Landscape (Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist, 1991), Phase III Archaeological Salvage of the Buck Creek Mounds (with Linda Forman, Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist, 1995), The Archaeology of the Dolomite Ridge Site (Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist, 1996) and Prehistoric Archaeology of the Marriott Site (Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist, 1997); and a textbook, Archaeological Survey (with Brian Leigh Molyneaux, Alta Mira Press, 2003). Most recently, his research has focused on the Woodland Tradition of the upper Mississippi River valley and the Iowa River Greenbelt.