Hyatt and Cici Brown Professor of Florida Archaeology
Ph.D., Anthropology, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1991
M.A., Public-Service Archaeology, Univ. of South Carolina, 1983
B.A., Anthropology, Univ. of Maryland, 1979
After working in South Carolina for 12 years with the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program (1987-98), Ken joined the faculty of the Department of Anthropology, University of Florida in 1998 and began long-term research in the middle St. Johns region of northeast Florida. Research in both regions centers on the culture history of ancient hunter-gatherers of the Archaic Period (ca. 11,000-3000 years ago). In 2009 he launched the Lower Suwannee Archaeological Survey on the northern Gulf Coast of Florida to investigate the material realities and cultural interventions of climate change and sea-level rise over the past 5,000 years.
Current Research Projects
As work on a backlog of collections and results from the middle Savannah and St. Johns valleys continues, Ken has re-directed his interest in coastal archaeology towards the history of Atsena Otie, the 19th-century ancestral town of the modern town of Cedar Key. A hurricane in 1896 destroyed two timber mills and many of the homes of this now-abandoned island town, but its physical vulnerability to tropical storms is only part of a complex history that explains why it was unable to endure as a place of industry and community. Parallel research on the hurricane histories of other Gulf-coastal towns (Mexico Beach, Galveston, Indianola) aims to understand how memories about past storms vary under different material, cultural, and political conditions.
- Pauketat, Timothy R., and Kenneth E. Sassaman. 2020. The Archaeology of Ancient North America. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Sassaman, Kenneth E., Meggan E. Blessing, Joshua M. Goodwin, Jessica A. Jenkins, Ginessa J. Mahar, Anthony Boucher, Terry E. Barbour, and Mark C. Donop. 2020. Maritime Ritual Economy of Cosmic Synchronicity: Summer Solstice Events at a Civic-Ceremonial Center on the Northern Gulf Coast of Florida. American Antiquity 85:22-50.
- Barbour, Terry E., Kenneth E. Sassaman, Angelica Maria Almeyda Zambrano, Ben Wilkinson, and Richard Kanaski. 2019. Rare Pre-Columbian Settlement on the Florida Gulf Coast Revealed through High-Resolution Drone LiDAR Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116:23493-23498.
- Goodwin, Joshua M., Kenneth E. Sassaman, Meggan E. Blessing, and David W. Steadman. 2019. Birds of Summer Solstice: World-Renewal Rituality on the Northern Gulf Coast of Florida. Cambridge Archaeological Journal.
- Gilmore, Zackary I., Kenneth E. Sassaman, and Michael Glascock. 2018. Geochemical Sourcing of Fiber-Tempered Pottery and the Organization of Late Archaic Communities in the American Southeast. Journal of Archaeological Science 99:35-46
- Sassaman, Kenneth E., and Samuel O. Brookes. 2017. Situating the Claiborne Soapstone Vessel Cache in the History of Poverty Point. American Antiquity 82:781-797.
- Sassaman, K. E., N. J. Wallis, P. M. McFadden. G. J. Mahar, J. A. Jenkins, M. C. Donop, M. P. Mones, A. Palmiotto, A. Boucher. J. M. Goodwin, C. I. Oliveira. 2017. Keeping Pace with Rising Sea: The First Six Years of the Lower Suwannee Archaeological Survey. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 12:173-199.
- Randall, Asa R., and Kenneth E. Sassaman. 2017. Terraforming the Middle Ground in Ancient Florida. Hunter-Gatherer Research 3:9-29.
- Sassaman, Kenneth E. 2016. A Constellation of Practice in the Experience of Sea-Level Rise. In Knowledge in Motion: Constellations of Learning across Time and Space, edited by Andrew Roddick and Ann Stahl, pp. 271-298. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Copies of other publications by Ken Sassaman are available on Academia.edu