Chandler Burchfield

PhD Student

Picture of Chandler Burchfield




B.A., Anthropology, University of Alabama


Thomas Pluckhahn


I am interested in how the scale and pace of mound construction relates to environmental trends and settlement patterns during the prehistoric period of the coastal Southeast. By researching shell terraforming in mound construction, I hope to understand why the mounds were constructed and for what purpose. I am specifically focused on researching shell mounds that are the most severely threatened by rising sea levels, and applying cultural, biological, and ecological perspectives to understand their function in prehistoric society while still apart of the contemporary landscape.

My years of archaeological experience has taught me the importance of taking an interdisciplinary approach to resource conservation through a historical processualism lens. I am applying this framework to addressing climate change and human development that are currently affecting the environment and impacting important sites along the coast in the Southeast. The ability to recover data from threatened shell mounds before the information is lost has inspired me to further pursue salvage archaeology.