Contact Info

611 Flanner Hall
Department of Anthropology
University of Notre
Dame Notre Dame, IN 46556

(574) 631-7638

FAX: (574) 631-5760

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Mark R. Schurr


Department of Anthropology
University of Notre Dame

Vita (in PDF format)


Anthro Dept Home Page

Notre Dame Home Page

My research interests take me into the field and the lab.

Field Work:

            My field work has been conducted mainly in northern Indiana since 1991 when I taught my first field school at Notre Dame. Current research topics include:

•  Applications of remote sensing (also known as archaeological prospection).  This summer, I will be spending a few days at the Lawrenz site in the Central Illinois Valley conducting GPR surveys of the mounds at the site with colleagues from IUPUI and IU Bloomington as part of the Warfare and Demography on the Late Pre-Columbian Prairie Plains REU program.

We have lots of nice radargrams what we will process and interpret via soil cores. Here is an initial example.

•  After completing a decade of excavations at the Collier Lodge site, I am working on an article on the faunal remains from the Upper Mississippian occupation in collaboration with Dr. Terrance Martin at the Illinois State Museum and planning a new project with Madeleine McLeester (University of Chicago) that will investigate sites at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in northern Illinois.

For the second year, I will be directing a Summer Scholars course that gives high school students the opportunity to participate in a dig and to learn about college life at Notre Dame. This year's project is called Exploring the Foundations of Notre Dame. We will dig near Old College on the Notre Dame Campus from June 29 to to July 10, 2015. The last time I worked at the site was in 1992. A chapter in the book Beneath the Ivory Tower: The Archaeology of Academia tells what we found that year.



Laboratory Research:

           My lab work makes use of my background in chemistry (I have a B.S. in Chemistry and worked in the chemical industry for several years before going to grad school).   My enduring love of chemistry was originally sparked by a childhood chemistry set, and further nurtured by an excellent high school teacher. I am interested in applying analytical methods to archaeological problems.   This is often called archaeometry.   Methods that I am presently using include:

•  Stable isotopes for understanding prehistoric nutrition, especially to examine changes in weaning behavior (or lack thereof) with the evolution of food production, and the relationship between agricultural intensification and social organization (please see vita, on left). I have recently become very interested in the isotopic ecology of people and the animals they preyed upon or coexisted with. Many of these projects are being done by students.

•  Fluoride dating of bones, with many projects conducted by the Fluoride Dating Service Center.