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Athabasca University

Dr. Sheila Greaves

Adjunct Professor



Hello. Welcome to my AU web page. I am an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at Athabasca University, and part of the Centre for Social Sciences.

I have taught “at a distance” since 1991, when I joined Athabasca University as an anthropology tutor. Although I specialize in archaeology, I also tutor courses in cultural anthropology and physical anthropology.

I left university in 1970 with a B.A. in French literature and an intention to pursue a career in librarianship. In the late 1970s, I found myself in Calgary and ready for a shift in focus. I started my studies in archaeology at the University of Calgary, and developed an interest in how ethnicity was represented in the stone tool technology of ancient aboriginal cultures of western Canada. I continued my academic work in the PhD program at the University of British Columbia, and wrote my dissertation on the organization of microblade technology in precontact aboriginal cultures of the Interior Plateau of central B.C. Although I completed 2 years of course work on campus, I moved back to Calgary in 1983, and finished my dissertation while “at a distance”. I have been involved in fieldwork projects in the plains and boreal forests of Alberta, the interior plateau of British Columbia, the Valley of Oaxaca in Mexico, Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic, and the Rocky Mountain national parks.

Since I first came to AU, I have written two new courses: ANTH 318 (Ancient Civilizations of the Americas), and ANTH 376 (Alberta Archaeology: Prehistoric Lifeways). At present, I am working on two new introductory courses in archaeology and physical anthropology, ANTH 277 (Archaeology of Ancient Peoples) and ANTH 278 (Human Evolution and Diversity), to replace ANTH 276 (Physical Anthropology and Archaeology). For more information on our program, please review the information on our website, and e-mail or phone me with your questions and comments.

At AU, I also continue to carry out research in the areas of stone tool technology, environment, and gender. For the past 5 years, I have been working on stone tool collections from a series of unique housepit village sites in Banff National Park. Large semisubterranean houses, known as pithouses, are common in the British Columbia Interior Plateau, where they were built and occupied during the winter months by Salishan-speaking peoples. The sites in the mountains are similar to the British Columbia pithouse sites, but there are also some marked differences, and, at present, it is unclear who exactly built and used these houses and why. Presently, I am analyzing the stone tools and debris from these mountain sites in an effort to understand the lifeways and origins of the people who used them.

Updated January 27 2014 by Student & Academic Services

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