You are here: Home / People / Christyann M. Darwent

Christyann M. Darwent

Christyann M. Darwent

Associate Professor, PhD University of Missouri-Columbia, 2001

Chair, Anthropology Museum

Editor, Arctic Anthropology

320 Young Hall Department of Anthropology
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue

Davis , CA 95616

Office Hours for Winter 2017 :

  • Office Hours Tuesdays 10-12; and by appointment
  • Open Lab Hours for Zooarchaeology Tuesdays 1-4


  1. B.Sc. in Archaeology, University of Calgary, Canada (1992); M. Anne Katzenberg, honor's advisor
  2. M.A. in Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Canada (1995); Jonathan C. Driver, master's advisor
  3. Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA (2001); R. Lee Lyman, doctoral advisor


Zooarchaeology Lab

Inglefield Land Archaeology Project


Research Interests

My interests primarily are in animal skeletal remains from archaeological sites and how these remains can shed light on past human subsistence economies and past environments. I have spent the past 20+ years conducting fieldwork and laboratory research on archaeological faunal material, and the past 20+ years applying this knowledge to remains from the North American High Arctic. For the past four summers, John Darwent, myself, and graduate students at UC Davis have been working in collaboration with the community of Shaktoolik, Alaska to investigate archaeological sites in this part of Norton Sound.

From 2004-2012 I hav, 2016 been co-investigator of the Inglefield Land Archaeology Project with Dr. Genevieve LeMoine (Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum) in collaboration with Dr. John Darwent of UCD and Hans Lange of the Greenland National Museum in Nuuk. This project has been funded by the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs (International Polar Year) and also received funding through National Geographic. We recorded over 1500 new archaeological features (winter houses, tent rings, long houses, meat caches, fox traps, kayak stands, and human burials) ranging from the earliest Paleoeskimo occupation (ca. 2000 BC) to recent times. In 2006, excavation of two Inughuit sod-block winter houses at the site of Iita (Etah) was undertaken to investigate technological and subsistence changes with outside contact. This site is well-known as the place where Robert Peary launched his polar expeditions. In 2008, excavation of three Thule winter houses, a Thule fall/spring house, a Late Dorset mid-passage (summer) structure and midden, and an early Paleoeskimo (Independence I) midpassage dwelling was undertaken at Cape Grinnell, which was first documented by arctic explorer Elisha Kent Kane. In 2009, we excavated four Thule winter houses at Qaqaitsut in Paris Fjord, and one at Glacier Bay. In 2012 and 2016, we returned to Iita to investigate buried Paleoeskimo deposits threatened by active erosion.

In collaboration with project PIs, Drs. John Hoffecker and Owen Mason of INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Boulder, I am a senior researcher and zooarchaeologist on the Cape Espenberg Thule Origins Project (NSF - International Polar Year) to understand the Thule transition and the advent of whaling in northwestern Alaska. Excavations at Cape Espenberg on a series of beach ridges at the southwestern extend of Kotzebue Sound began in 2009, and continued in 2010 & 2011 with a collaborative UCD & Paris-Sorbonne undergraduate and Inupiat high-school student archaeological field school.

Graduate Students:

(2016), PhD Student

Jason Miszaniec (2014), PhD Student (Fishing economies in the Shaktoolik region, Alaska)

Joshua Noyer (2014), PhD Student (GIS modeling of past landscapes in Mongolia and Alaska; co-advised with Dr. Nicolas Zwyns)

Chelsea Smith (2013), PhD Student (Canid ancient DNA and stable isotopes; Southern California)

Kelly Eldridge (2012), PhD Candidate (Qasgiq/Kargi "men's house" structures; Alaska); current position: Archaeologist, US Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District, Anchorage, AK

Jeremy Foin (2009), PhD Candidate (Zooarchaeology, household analysis; Arctic); current position: NAGPRA Assistant, US Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region, Sacramento, CA

Past Grad Students/Post-Docs:

Andrew Tremayne (2010-2015) The Origin and Development of Maritime Foraging Systems in Northern Alaska; current position: Regional Archaeologist, National Park Service, Anchorage, AK

Sarah Brown (2011-14), Post-Doctoral Scholar (Ancient DNA, next gen sequencing; Arctic, California); current position: Genetics Laboratory, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, WA

Trine B. Johansen (2004-2012) A Zoorchaeological and Ethnographic Investigation of Subsistence Change through Time at Iita, Northwest Greenland; current position: adjunct faculty, Los Rios Community College District, Sacramento


See my ACADEMIA.EDU page for recent publications:

Make a Gift

Giving matters at UC Davis. For more than a century, donors have been helping the university address the issues that matter most to California, the nation and the world.  The Department of Anthropology is dedicated to achieving excellence. Your gift can help.

Make a Gift

Dept. of Anthropology

328 Young Hall
One Shields Ave.
University of California
Davis, Ca 95616-8522

Ph.  530-752-0745
Fax. 530-752-8885