PhD in Archaeology 2020

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Current CV
Areas of Interest
Anthropological archaeology, human dispersals, geoarchaeology, archaeological science, soil micromorphology, portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometry, site formation processes, Paleoindian and Paleolithic Archaeology, Planetary Geoarchaeology.
Excavation and Fieldwork
Kelly Forks Paleoindian site, Idaho (Assistant Director)Connley Caves Paleoindian site, Oregon (Geoarchaeologist)Stelida Naxos Archaeological Project, Greece, (Geoarchaeologist)Genevieve Lykes Duncan (GLD) Paleoindian site (Geoarchaeologist)
Representative Publications
Holcomb, J. A., Mandel, R. D., Otárola-Castillo, E., Rademaker, K., Rosencrance, R. L., McDonough, K. N., Miller, S., Wygal, B. (2022). Does the Evidence at Arroyo del Vizcaíno (Uruguay) Support the Claim of Human Occupation 30,000 Years Ago? Paleoamerica.McDonough, K. Kennedy, J., Rosencrance, R., Holcomb, J. A., Jenkins, D., Puseman, K. (2022) Expanding Paleoindian Diet Breadth: Paleoethnobotany of Connley Cave 5, Oregon, USA. American Antiquity.Holcomb, J. A., Wegmann, K., and Runnels, C. (2021) Deposit-Centered Archaeological Survey and the Search for the Aegean Palaeolithic in the Aegean: A Geoarchaeological Approach. Quaternary International, 550, 169-183.Carter, T., Contreras, C. Holcomb, J. A., Mihailović, D., Karkanas, P., Guérin,G., Taffin, N., Athanasoulis, D., and Lahaye, C. (2019) Earliest occupation of the Central Aegean, Greece: Implications for multiple hominin dispersals. Science Advances, 5(10), eaax0997.Holcomb, J. A. and P. Karkanas (2019). Elemental Mapping of Micromorphological Block Samples using Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (pXRF): Integrating a Geochemical Line of Evidence. Geoarchaeology. Vol 34 (5), pp. 613-624. Holcomb, J. A., Runnels, C., Howitt-Marshall, D., and E. Sachperoglou (2018). New Evidence for the Palaeolithic in Attica, Greece. Journal of Lithic Studies, 5(1).Jenkins, D. L., Holcomb, J. A., & McDonough, K. N. (2017). Current Research at the Connley Caves (35LK50): Late Pleistocene/early Holocene Western Stemmed Tradition Occupations in the Fort Rock Basin, Oregon. PaleoAmerica.
What have you been doing since you’ve graduated?
Following my graduation in May 2020 until June 2021, I was a Postdoctoral Researcher within the Wolfson Geoarchaeological Laboratory directed by Dr. Lisa-Marie Shillito at Newcastle University. At Newcastle, I worked as a Project Geoarchaeologist on the Terraces as Sustainable Agriculture (TerraSaGE) project, which focused on the origin and development of agricultural terracing across the Mediterranean. I am currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Kansas Geological Survey directed by Dr. Rolfe D. Mandel. Here I am working as a geoarchaeologist on a Clovis-aged site in the Big Bend National Park region. We are reconstructing Paleoindian lifeways to shed light on the early peopling of the Americas.
How did your experience in the program shape your professional and personal life?
BU Archaeology was instrumental in my development as an anthropological archaeologist by teaching me to “think big”. While I was focused on learning cutting edge analytical techniques, I was guided by faculty to apply those methods to address broader anthropological questions, such as human mobility, movement, and migration.
What interactions with members of the Archaeology faculty did you value most during your time in the program?
Weekly meetings with my advisor, Curtis Runnels, will always be cherished. It’s in those times that I learned how to be a good advisor, scholar, and thinker. Most importantly, Curtis taught me how to think like a scientist.
If you could give a piece of advice to your past self, what would it be?
Take on one thing at a time; one paragraph at a time.