My research for the last 30 years has focused on aspects of geoarchaeological science in concert with lithic technology mainly in the North American Southwest. I directed the National Science Foundation sponsored Geoarchaeological XRF Laboratory at Berkeley training many undergraduate and graduate students in the application of geoarchaeological science, x-ray fluorescence spectrometry in archaeology, and field practice in archaeological petrology in the Departments of Anthropology and Earth and Planetary Science until retirement in 2011. I continue the Geoarchaeological XRF Laboratory in New Mexico serving many of those same students who have gone on to careers in academia, government, and the private sector.
In 2019 The Society for American Archaeology bestowed the Fryxell Medal (Physical Science) "for distinguished interdisciplinary contributions to archaeology through interdisciplinary research" through "pioneering work in obsidian studies in the American Southwest", and in 2011 the Society bestowed the Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis "For his integrative approaches in analytical, scientific, and technological lithic studies, including their applications to social organization of procurement, trade, and exchange, and his broad-ranging contributions to scholarship in the New and Old World"
My research focus is still the North American Southwest, but continue collaborations with colleagues in Mexico, Europe and Africa, including work in Neanderthal contexts in the Russian Caucasus, and early hominid sites in Ethiopia with my former colleague Tim White at Berkeley and his students and post-doctoral researchers. further information(link is external)
After serving eight years in the U.S. Marines as an ordnance maintenance officer, I received my B.A. in Anthropology and Geological Science at San Diego State University, my M.A. in Anthropology at SDSU, and my Ph.D. in Anthropology at Arizona State University. I came to Berkeley in 1990 at first in the Lowie Museum, now the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, and later as faculty in the Department of Anthropology
REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICATIONS Shackley, M. Steven
2021 Distribution and sources of secondary deposit archaeological obsidian in Rio Grande alluvium, New Mexico, USA. Geoarchaeology 36:808-825.
2019 The Patayan and Hohokam: A View from Alta and Baja California. Journal of Arizona Archaeology 6:83-98.
2019 Natural and Cultural History of the Obsidian Butte Source, Imperial County, California. California Archaeology 11:21-43.
2011 (Ed.) X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRF) in Geoarchaeology. Springer, New York.
- An Introduction to X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry for Archaeologists, pp. 7-44.
2005 OBSIDIAN: Geology and Archaeology in the North American Southwest. University of Arizona Press, Tucson. Currently (2022) preparing second edition.
2004 (Ed.) The Early Ethnography of the Kumeyaay: E.W. Gifford, Leslie Spier, and T.T. Waterman.Classics in California Anthropology, Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology. University of California Press. With Steven Lucas-Pfingst, Kumeyaay, Lucas Ranch.
1998 (Ed.) Archaeological Obsidian Studies: Method and Theory. Advances in Archaeological and Museum Sciences 3, Springer/Plenum Publishing Corporation, New York.
2018 Shackley, M.S., L.E. Morgan, and D. Pyle, Elemental, isotopic, and geochronological variability in Mogollon-Datil Volcanic Province archaeological obsidian, southwestern USA: solving issues of inter-source discrimination. Geoarchaeology 33:486-497.