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What does an archaeologist do?

James R. Jones III
James R. Jones III,
State Archaeologist

James R. (Rick) Jones III has been the State Archaeologist of Indiana since 1991 in the IDNR, DHPA. He has worked for the agency since 1987.

As an undergraduate at the University of New Mexico, Jones gained archaeological field experience at the Tijeras Pueblo site east of Albuquerque, and graduated with his B.A. degree with a double major in Anthropology and English. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology, with specialization in archaeology, at Indiana University. His dissertation research included work on French and Indian sites in northwest Indiana, specifically sites occupied by Weas, Kickapoos, and Mascoutens. He has conducted research and fieldwork at prehistoric and historic archaeological sites in the southwest, southeast, and midwest, ranging from Paleoindian to the early twentieth century in date.

His responsibilities include helping preserve and save information from the past by protecting and preserving information from archeological sites. His duties include maintenance of the state database which contains information on nearly 47,000 archaeological sites. Jones insures that projects under federal or state laws avoid or recover information from archaeological sites in Indiana, promotes public education about the state's important archaeological sites and heritage, and conducts archaeological research in Indiana. He serves as Secretary of the Native American Council, an advisory council to Indiana government regarding issues and concerns of Native Americans.

Amy L. Johnson
Amy L. Johnson,
Research Archaeologist

Amy L. Johnson is Research Archaeologist for the IDNR, DHPA. She has been with the DHPA since 1991.

Johnson received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees in anthropology with a specialization in archaeology from Ball State University. She took numerous college classes in archaeology, anthropology, history, Native American studies, and other sciences related to the study of the past. Her masters thesis study was about a type of prehistoric pottery which has so far only been discovered at two sites in Indiana. Her main research interests include Early and Middle Woodland cultures, ceramics studies, archaeological public outreach, and cemetery studies.

At the university, she worked in the archaeology lab in order to gain experience in excavation, laboratory work, and prehistoric and historic analyses. She has worked in the private sector as an archaeologist.

Johnson's main duty is to review proposed coal mining projects to make sure they will not damage archaeological sites. She conducts research, answers the public's questions about archaeology, and gives presentations to school groups. She also coordinates Indiana's annual Archaeology Week and works on other public education projects. She often helps investigate sites when someone accidentally discovers buried artifacts or human remains.