John W. Arthur

Dr. John W. Arthur



Office: Davis 240 (St. Petersburg Campus Davis Hall, SW stairwell through Reception 287 doors)
Lab: STG 216 (St. Petersburg Campus)


Dr. John W. Arthur has recently been awarded the USFSP Frank E. Duckwall Florida Studies Professorship (2020-2022) and was named a fellow in the illustrious Explorers Club. Dr. Arthur is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He has worked in Ethiopia since 1995 conducting ceramic ethnoarchaeological and Holocene archaeological research. Recently, he was part of a NSF sponsored research project that discovered a human burial dating to 4,500 years ago and led to the extraction of ancient DNA, sequencing for the first time an African ancient genome. This discovery was published in the premier journal Science. Dr. Arthur also has worked with the Gamo community in southern Ethiopia understanding the importance of beer in their daily and ritual lives. While investigating household ceramic assemblages in Gamo, he discovered how to interpret beer production in the ancient past, which has been documented in places such as Ethiopia, Sudan, United Kingdom, France, Greece, and Mexico. He is currently finishing a book, Beer: A Global Journey through the Past and Present under contract with Oxford University Press. Dr. Arthur has been invited to give talks in Japan, France, and Germany as well as prominent American institutions such as Rice University, Stanford University, and New York University. In addition to his Ethiopian research, Dr. Arthur has been excavating the shell mound at the Weeden Island site in Pinellas County, Florida. Dr. Arthur also serves as the President of the non-profit organization, Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Florida
  • M.A., Anthropology, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • B.A., Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin


Introduction to Anthropology, North American Indians, North American Archaeology, Seminar in Method and Theory of Archaeology, Coastal Archaeology, Florida Archaeology, African Archaeology


African Archaeology, North American Archaeology, Ethnoarchaeology, Ceramic Technology, Craft Specialization, and Archaeology of Beer.