People at MAPA

People at MAPA

Director: Dr. Matthew Sanger

My interests revolve around questions of mobility, landscape, heritage, and community formation within Native American societies. I address these topics through archaeological research, largely in the American Southeast, where I study ancient coastal hunter-gatherers. My research is heavily dependent on American Indian philosophies, oral histories, and collaborative research with descendant communities as I strive to understand how cosmological worldviews and ecological conditions influenced societal development.

My research influences my position as Co-Director of the MA Public Archaeology program, where I train students to work within the public sphere, including archaeological firms, museums, state and federal agencies, and historical societies. As such, the MA program prepares students to find employment at the intersection between archaeology and various invested communities, including descendant groups.

Technology plays a critical role in my research as I use remote sensing in my fieldwork, including resistivity, magnetometry, and ground penetrating radar. I also bring technology into my analyses, particularly the use of radiography and three-dimensional scanning to investigate how objects were formed and used by past peoples.

My upcoming work includes surveys and excavations at the Sea Pines Shell Ring, a site located just north of Savannah, Georgia, that is more than three thousand years old and contains some of the earliest evidence for village formation, pottery manufacture, and regional polity creation in the United States.


Dr. Randall McGuire and Dr. Ruth VanDyke aiding migrants on the US/Mexican border

Co-Director: Dr. Randall McGuire

Randall McGuire is an archaeologist whose principal interests lie in the development of power relations in the past. He has carried out most of his field work in the U.S. Southwest and currently is conducting a long-term field project in northwest Mexico. He has also done historical archaeology and oral history research in the northeastern U.S. In 2010, he completed a project investigating the 1913-1914 coal strike in southern Colorado. He is starting research in contemporary archaeology on the U.S. – Mexican border around Nogales, Arizona. In addition to historical archaeology, history and ethnology, his interests include quantitative methods, social theory, cultural resource management and archaeomagnetic dating.


Dr. Nina Versaggi with the Community Archaeology Program (CAP) kids

Director of the Public Archaeology Facility (PAF): Dr. Nina Versaggi

Nina Versaggi’s research centers on the archaeological history and prehistory of the people who once lived in the present-day New York state and Pennsylvania. Particular interests include research on how pre-contact hunter-gatherers used the landscape, interacted with each other and produced the material culture recognized by archaeologists today. The Late Archaic, Transitional and Early Woodland periods form the core of her research, especially a critical evaluation of traditional chronological constructs and their potential for masking regional variability in cultural groups. She is active in presenting the results of archaeological research to the public and engaging communities in the interpretation of their heritage. She works with Native American groups on various consultation projects in New York.


MAPA Graduate Assistant: Paula Hertfelder

Paula Hertfelder is a MA/PhD student interested in GIS analysis, public archaeology and federal archaeology. While her PhD work is focused on the site of Cerro de Trincheras in Sonora, she has worked throughout North America and the Caribbean. Prior to attending Binghamton University she received a Fulbright Fellowship to research GIS and prehistoric site conservation in Trinidad and Tobago. She has also worked as an archaeological technician for the US Forest Service. This summer, she began work as a Pathways Archeology Intern at the Six Rivers National Forest, CA.


Angela Kristin VandenBroek, Anthropologist & Web Developer

Angela Kristin VandenBroek, Anthropologist & Web Developer

MAPA Webmaster: Angela Kristin VandenBroek

Angela is a freelance web developer and an anthropology PhD student at Binghamton University. Drawing on her career as a professional web developer, she is preparing a dissertation project that will ask: “What is the nature of web design as a creative and innovative practice in light of the socio-technical challenges of the field?”


Please contact us at: msanger(at)binghamton(dot)edu