Justin Cramb

Justin Cramb, Assistant Professor, PhD, University of Georgia, 2020.

Phone: 907 474-5911Cramb 2022
Office: Bunnell Building 305B
Lab: Zooarchaeology Lab Bunnell Building 408
Email: jecramb@alaska.edu



Zooarchaeology, Ethnohistory, Historical Archaeology, Cultures of Island Oceania, Radiocarbon Dating, Socioecological Resilience and Collapse, Environmental Archaeology, Historical Ecology, Animal Translocation



I am trained primarily as an archaeologist and zooarchaeologist with a strong foundation in archaeological science. I also engage heavily with ethnohistoric and ethnographic research. I am very interested in the interactions between people and their environments in the recent past. I am particularly fascinated by the factors that contribute to socioecological persistence or collapse. My primary research sites are located on the remote coral atolls of Manihiki and Rakahanga, in the Northern Cook Islands of East Polynesia. Over the past five years, using a multi-proxy archaeological, historic, and ethnographic data set, I constructed the first archaeologically informed timeline of cultural change on Manihiki and Rakahanga, identified securely-dated evidence of domestic animals in the Northern Cook Islands, and demonstrated how the local creation of environmentally-informed cultural institutions articulates with environmental changes, population growth, and European contact. My continuing body of scholarship contributes to discussions on human-environmental interactions, long-term sustainability in marginal environments, and animal translocations. I am currently working with historical and zooarchaeological data to explain long-term patters of human-animal interaction in Oceania. This includes identifying region-wide patterns of dog introduction and loss as well as fish-use patterns on coral atolls.

I joined the UAF Department of Anthropology in the fall of 2020, where I manage the zooarchaeological comparative collection housed in BUNN 408. I am also expanding my regional foci to include the Alaskan Interior where I am working to understand the historical and environmental factors associated with site abandonment.  

I am also a former co-administrator for the Society for American Archaeology’s Zooarchaeology and Island and Coastal Archaeology Interest Groups.


Courses Offered:

  • Introduction to Anthropology (ANTH 101X)
  • Ancient Civilizations (ANTH 111)
  • Fundamentals of Archaeology (ANTH 211X)
  • World Prehistory (ANTH 214)
  • Zooarchaeology and Taphonomy (ANTH 415/628)
  • Archaeological Field School (ANTH 490)
  • Seminar in Archaeology (ANTH 492/692)

Recent Media:

The Kia Orana Podcast - 2023

The Tel - 2022

Speaking of Anthropology - 2022

KUAC Radio Lab - 2021

Selected Works:

Cramb, Justin, Brandon T. Ritchison, Carla S. Hadden, Qian Zhang, Edgar Alarcón-Tinajero, Xianyan Chen, KC Jones, Travis Jones, Katharine Napora, Matthew Veres, and Victor D. Thompson
2022 The Changing Profile of Tenure-Track Faculty in Archaeology. Advances in Archaeological Practice 0:1-11. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2022.8

Cramb, Justin and Victor D. Thompson
2022 Dynamic Sustainability, Resource Management, and Collective Action on Two Atolls in the Remote Pacific. Sustainability 14(9):5174. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095174

Cramb, Justin
2021 The Dogs of Remote Oceania: An Archaeological and Ethnohistorical View of Domestic Dog Introduction and Loss in the South Pacific. Archaeology in Oceania 57(1):1–11. https://doi.org/10.1002/arco.5252 

Cramb, Justin and Carla Hadden
2020 From Land and Sea: Overcoming the Challenges of Directly Dating Dog Remains on Polynesian Islands. Radiocarbon 62(6):1651-1665. https://doi.org/10.1017/RDC.2020.80

Cramb, Justin
2020 Manihiki and Rakahanga: The Historical Ecology of a Dual Atoll Cluster. PhD Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Georgia, Athens. Proquest (2411108331).

Speakman Robert J., Carla S. Hadden, Matthew H. Colvin, Justin Cramb, K.C. Jones, Travis W. Jones, Isabelle Lulewicz, Katharine G. Napora, Katherine L. Reinberger, Brandon T. Ritchison, Alexandra R. Edwards, and Victor D. Thompson
2018 Recent Hiring Trends and Trajectories in Anthropology Faculty Positions. PLOS ONE: e0202528.

Speakman, Robert J., Carla S. Hadden, Matthew H. Colvin, Justin Cramb, K.C. Jones, Travis W. Jones, Corbin L. Kling, Isabelle Lulewicz, Katharine G. Napora, Katherine L. Reinberger, Brandon T. Ritchison, Maria Jose Rivera-Araya, April K. Smith, and Victor D. Thompson
2018 Choosing a Path to the Ancient World in a Modern Market: The Reality of Faculty Jobs in Archaeology. American Antiquity 83(1):1-12.

Thompson, Victor, Chester DePratter, Jacob Lulewicz, Isabelle Lulewicz, Amanda Thompson, Justin Cramb, Brandon Ritchison, and Matt Colvin
2018 The Archaeology and Remote Sensing of Santa Elena’s Four Millennia of Occupation. Remote Sensing 10(2):248-278.

Lulewicz, Isabelle, Victor Thompson, Justin Cramb, and Bryan Tucker
2017 Oyster Paleoecology and Native American Subsistence Practices on Ossabaw Island, Georgia, U.S.A. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 15:282-289.

Thompson, Victor D., Thomas J. Pluckhahn, Matt Colvin, Justin Cramb, Katherine Napora, J. Jacob Lulewicz, and Brandon Ritchison
2017 Plummets, Public Ceremonies, and Interaction Networks during the Woodland Period in Florida. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 48:193-206.

Cramb, Justin
2016 The Darrah Creek Site (20MC78): An Archaeological Investigation and Collection Analysis. The Michigan Archaeologist 57:33-58.