Heather A. Wholey, Ph.D.

Professor of Anthropology


Research and Publications


Middle Atlantic Prehistory

I am an archaeologist with a specialization in the prehistory of the Eastern Woodlands. My interests are in modeling the population ecology of Archaic Period (ca. 10,000 - 3,000 years ago) hunter-gatherers; environmental archaeology and the application of earth sciences to archaeological problems, and; the integration of geography, place and landscape into archaeological interpretation. I enjoy working with students in the classroom, field and lab and regularly provide opportunity for guided student research. Students can gain sound methodological training through my summer archaeological field school and through my archaeological lab methods class. Experiences gained in these classes expose students to real world archaeological problems and research, while hopefully cultivating a sense of stewardship and a profound respect for our collective cultural heritage.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Archaeology
  • Artifacts and Culture
  • Archaeology of Central America
  • Archaeology of Ancient North America
  • Archaeological Lab Methods
  • Archaeology and the Environment
  • Archaeological Field Techniques
  • Archaeological Field School
  • Advanced Archaeological Field School
  • Senior Seminar

Areas of Specialization

  • Archaeology of the Eastern Woodlands
  • Human Population Ecology
  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Field Methods

Archaeological Curation

The WCU Department of Anthropology and Sociology presently houses several archaeological collections generated through long-term field investigation, private donations, or institutional loans. These collections represent the past 8,000 years of the human past in southeastern Pennsylvania. On-going work with these collections involves their documentation and curation. Several research grants have provided opportunity for student internships related various facets of this work. Prehistoric artifcact collections presently curated within the Department:
  • The Harry Wilson Collection
  • The Hepner Collection
  • The Lester Olin, Sr. Collection
  • The Calvin Smoker Collection

Samples from these West Chester University Digital Archaeology Collections are available for viewing here.

Current Positions Held

  • Society for American Archaeology Climate Change and Archaeological Resources Committee

Past Positions Held

  • Society for American Archaeology Committee on Curriculum
  • President, Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference
  • Executive Board, Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference
  • Executive Board, Pennsylvania Archaeological Council

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