Rachel Most

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs & Professor

Ph.D. Arizona State University (Anthropology)
MA, Arizona State University (Anthropology)
BA, Temple University (Anthropology)


Lithic analysis; quantitative methods; Southwestern archaeology; North American archaeology; prehistoric economic systems; foraging societies.

My primary research interests are concerned with the study of change over time in prehistoric economic and settlement systems. I am particularly concerned with the study of spatial and technological organization of prehistoric foraging societies, the impact of the adoption of agricultural strategies by foraging societies, and the role of hunting in emergent complex societies. My avenue into the study of these processes has been the systematic study of stone tool procurement, production, and use. My field research has been primarily in the Southwestern United States, where I worked in the Mogollon Rim (Pinedale/Snowflake) and southern desert areas of Arizona. Prior to my research in Arizona, I was involved in historic and prehistoric archaeological research in the northeastern United States, and spent one year on the staff of the South Carolina Institute for anthropology and Archaeology. Since coming to Virginia I have also become involved in historical archaeology, serving as a statistical and computer consultant to the archaeological program at Monticello, and compiling and editing two books on historic archaeology. I am presently the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Selected Publications

1990 - Earth Patterns: Archaeology of Early American and Ancient Gardens and Landscapes. (With William Kelso, ed.). Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.

1989 - Interpreting Settlement Hierarchies: A Reassessment of Pinedale and Snowflake Settlement Patterns. In The Sociopolitical Structure of Prehistoric Southwestern Societies. S. Upham, K. G. Lightfoot, and R. A. Jewett, eds. Pp. 389-418. (With Kent G. Lightfoot). Boulder: Westview Press.

1986 - Felsite Procurement in the Picacho Mountains: The Tucson Aqueduct Quarry Sites. In Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers of South Central Arizona: The Picacho Reservoir Archaic Project. Pp. 191- 217. Arizona State University Anthropological Field Studies, 13.

1985 - Hunting Strategies and Lithic Variability: Inferring Patterns of Puebloan Economic Diversity.  In Papers from the Second Annual Mogollon Conference. S. Upham, F. Plog, and D. Batcho, eds. Pp. 1-12. (With Jeffrey Hantman). Las Cruces: New Mexico State University Press.

1982 - Computerized Data Sharing: The SARG Example of Cooperative Research.  Conference on Computer Applications in Archaeology 19-32.  (With Sylvia W. Gaines).