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Mark Plew

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Mark G. Plew
Professor, Graduate Program Coordinator
Phone: (208) 426-3444
Office: Hemingway Building, Room 51
View Mark Plew’s Curriculum Vita
View Mark Plew’s Publications



Ph.D., Anthropology, Indiana University
M.A., Archaeology, Indiana University
B.A., Anthropology, Indiana University


Dr. Mark G. Plew is Professor of Anthropology at Boise State University where he also serves as the department’s Graduate Program Coordinator, Coordinator of the Center for Applied Archaeological  Science (CAAS), and Director of the Desert Studies Institute (DSI). During the past thirty years he has conducted numerous archaeological and ethnographic projects in the Americas and in Australia. He has worked in Indiana, Illinois, North Dakota, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, Utah and Arizona and extensively throughout Idaho. In South America he has experience in Brazil, Columbia and Guyana, and outside the Americas in Western Australia. For the past twenty years he has worked extensively in Guyana where he serves as a member of the national Scientific Advisory Board of the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology,  as an Associate Editor of the national journal, the Journal of Anthropology and Archaeology and Archaeological Director of the newly created Denis Williams School of Anthropology.  He has received numerous grants and contracts in support of his research and has published over 340 works that include books, journal articles, monographs and technical reports that have appeared in more than 30 different state, national and international series and have been abstracted widely including Abstracts of the Royal Anthropological Society.  Major recent books include The Archaeology of the Snake River Plain (2000) and The Archaeology of Guyana (2005), both of which received outstanding reviews. Dr. Plew’s  primary research focus, however, and greatest interest over many years has been the archaeology of the Snake River Plain. His interest in the archaeology of the Owyhee country began when he conducted his doctoral dissertation research in the Owyhee Uplands. Between 1975 and 1985 he conducted numerous archaeological surveys and test excavations in Owyhee County resulting in his dissertation and Archaeological Investigations in the Southcentral Owyhee Uplands, Idaho (1980). At present he serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Archaeological Survey of Idaho and for the past 22 years as editor of the Idaho Archaeologist, the journal of the Idaho Archaeological Society. In addition, he works closely with indigenous peoples. In Idaho he has participated in the “Wings and Roots” tribal consultation program and has served as a consultant to the Shoshoni-Paiute tribes on matters relating to cultural issues. In 2001, he provided expert witness in the Spirit Cave Mummy repatriation case, testifying on behalf of the Fallon Paiute before the National NAGPRA Board at Harvard Law School


Archaeology of Western North America, particularly the Great Basin; South American archaeology; Northeastern Brazil, Guyana. Theoretical and methodological interests include: hunter-gatherers, human ecology, ethnobiology, optimality theory, diversity/organizational studies, lithic and ceramic analysis


  • General Anthropology (undergraduate)
  • Physical Anthropology (undergraduate)
  • Cultural Anthropology (undergraduate)
  • Idaho Archaeology (undergraduate)
  • History of Anthropology (undergraduate)
  • African Prehistory (undergraduate)
  • Geoarchaeology (undergraduate)
  • Old World Prehistory (undergraduate)
  • Museum Methods (undergraduate)
  • Hunter-Gatherers  (undergraduate)
  • Indians of North America (undergraduate)
  • Prehistory of Mexico (undergraduate)
  • Human Variation Methods of Archaeological Data Collection and Analysis (undergraduate)
  • Archaeology of North America (undergraduate)
  • Archaeology of South America (undergraduate)
  • Archaeology of Mesoamerica (undergraduate)
  • Human Evolution (undergraduate)
  • Senior Practicum-Portfolio (undergraduate)
  • South American Culture History (undergraduate)
  • Introduction to Archaeology (undergraduate)
  • Introduction to Archaeology (undergraduate)
  • Indians of South America (undergraduate)
  • Archaeological Field School (undergraduate/graduate)
  • European Prehistory (undergraduate)
  • Hunter-Gatherer Ethnoarchaeology (graduate)
  • History and Theory in Anthropology (undergraduate/graduate)
  • Latin American Prehistory (undergraduate)
  • Geoarchaeology (undergraduate)