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Faculty Publications

McKillop Library supports and promotes the scholarship and research of faculty through its faculty lecture series and through this virtual and ongoing display of recent faculty publications. The display of faculty publications is updated biannually.

Heather M. Rockwell, Ph.D.

Heather Rockwell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor | Cultural and Historic Preservation & Cultural, Environmental and Global Studies

Dr. Rockwell’s research focuses on Paleoindigenous Communities, the earliest indigenous people of New England and the Canadian Maritimes. Her current field research is in northern Maine at the Munsungun Quarries site, a quarry and campsite utilized by indigenous people for thousands of years. This location serves as both scientific research station and classroom as she strives to create hands-on learning opportunities for her students by including them in her field work. In addition, Dr. Rockwell has developed a local field project which invites students to investigate the history of Aquidneck Island through archaeological projects on campus. 

Featured Fall 2023

Preliminary results on the applicability of neutron activation analysis (NAA) to identify cherts from the Munsungun Lake Formation, Maine, USA

Nathaniel R. Kitchel, Brandi L. MacDonald, Matthew T. Boulanger, Heather M. Rockwell

Abstract:   Red chert attributed to the Munsungun Lake Formation, Maine, USA is common in late Pleistocene fluted-point-period archaeological sites located throughout the New England states and Quebec, appearing more frequently than any other material type in the region. Despite the assumed association between red Munsungun chert and fluted-point-period sites, until recently, it was not possible to link red chert artifacts from these sites to a specific source area within the Munsungun Lake Formation because outcrops of this material associated with direct evidence of past use were not documented. Here, we report the first results of a neutron activation analysis (NAA) study of red Munsungun chert from two quarry areas within the Munsungun Lake Formation. These results suggest that NAA can distinguish between chert source areas within the Munsungun Lake Formation and lookalike materials from the wider region. Additional analyses are required to include more comparative samples and evaluate the efficacy of less destructive geochemical techniques in characterizing cherts from the region. Despite the need for additional research, these results suggest that NAA will be useful for re-evaluating past identifications of chert from the Munsungun Lake Formation, providing an important foundation for additional geochemical research in the region.

Geoarchaeology, 38(5), 2022.

Abstract Only:   
DOI 10.1002/gea.21969
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