Craig Smith

UCSB Alumni


  • Andean South America, California
  • Strategies of chiefly and state power
  • Prehistoric colonialism and interregional interaction
  • Collapse and regeneration
  • Migration and ethnogenesis
  • Regional approaches and GIS
  • Bioarchaeology
  • Zooarchaeology


Prior to leaving the Department of Anthropology, Craig’s research focused on processes of colonialism and post-collapse regeneration in the pre-Hispanic central Andes.  More specifically, he explored the ways that the collapse of the Wari Empire at the end of the 1st millennium AD, and a subsequent era of population resettlement and reorganization, shaped the development of Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000-1476) society in the highland province of Lucanas.  Beyond his roughly eight years of research experience in the Andes, Craig has participated on field projects in Belize, China, Germany and Sudan, as well as numerous CRM projects in northern and central California.

Having left academia to pursue a career in law enforcement, Craig has since worked as a Deputy Sheriff-Coroner for the County of Mendocino, and is currently employed as a Police Officer with the University of California Police Department.  As a peace officer, Craig has used his training and experience in bioarchaeology and zooarchaeology to help identify found remains in law enforcement contexts.


Hunting Under Fire: Investigating the Impacts of Chronic Violence on Mississippian Period Subsistence Practices in the Central Illinois River Valley

As a member of the ISL, Craig analyzed archaeofaunal assemblages recovered over two field seasons at the C.W. Cooper site (ISM no. 11Fv47).  This research was supported under Dr. VanDerwarker and Dr. Wilson’s multi-year NSF funded project, Living with War: The Impacts of Chronic Violence on Everyday Life in the Central Illinois River Valley.  The inhabitants of the C.W. Cooper site, as well as those at other settlements within the CIRV, faced difficult challenges in deriving a living under the constant threat of violence, and Craig’s analyses helped elucidate the specific effects of these challenges on hunting practices in the region.



Courses TA’d

ANTH 5: Introduction to Physical Anthropology (UCSB)

ANTH 121: Human Evolution (UCSB)

ANTH 131: North American Indians (UCSB; Lead TA)

ANTH 160: Cultural Ecology (UCSB)

ANTH 100: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (UBC)

ANTH 140: Introduction to Human Origins (UBC)

ANTH 225: Introduction to Physical Anthropology (UBC)

ANTH 232: Ancient Latin America (UBC)

ANTH 305: Theory in Archaeology (UBC)