Professor of Archaeology, University Archaeologist
B.S., James Madison University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Sherwood is on research leave 2021-2022


I am an Anthropological Archaeologist with a specialty in Geoarchaeology. On the Southern Cumberland Plateau, I am specifically interested in prehistoric land use change over time and site formation processes of sandstone rockshelters. Beyond the Plateau, I study the geoarchaeology of prehistoric earthworks and mounds and how they were built. In the Midsouth, I am particularly interested in Middle Woodland and Mississippian Period monumental architecture. In Eastern Europe, I primarily work in Romania and Serbia on “urban” tells where Neolithic and later Bronze Age people congregated. My focus there is on stratigraphy and the anthropogenic sediments that reveal daily activities and spatial organization, primarily using soil/sediment micromorphology. On Easter Island, I am part of the Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) focusing on the geoarchaeology of the moai quarry of Rano Raraku. These various research projects are carried out in collaboration with my Sewanee students, regional graduate students, and my archaeology and geology colleagues.

As the University Archaeologist at Sewanee I work with the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability to manage the cultural resources on the University’s 13,000 acres. We are committed to the study and protection of this rich and diverse archaeological record that includes rock art, caves, rockshelters and other interesting historic and prehistoric sites.


I teach ANTH 106: Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Archaeology, ANTH 318: North American Archaeology, ANTH/ENST 350: Environmental Archaeology, ARCH/ENST 332: Archaeological Policy and Heritage Management Every other summer we teach a 6-week Archaeological Field School (ANTH/ENST 357) through the Sewanee Environmental Institute.


Sherwood, SC, JA Van Tilburg, CR Barrier, M Horrocks, RK Dunn, JM Ramírez-Aliaga, 2019. New Excavations in Easter Island’s Statue Quarry: Soil Fertility, Site Formation and Chronology, Journal of Archaeological Science, 111: 10494. j.jas.2019.104994

Sherwood, S.C., J.D. Windingstad, A.W. Barker, J.M. O’Shea, W.C. Sherwood, 2013. Evidence for Holocene aeolian activity at the close of the Middle Bronze Age in the Eastern Carpathian Basin: Geoarchaeological Results from the Mures River Valley, Romania. Geoarchaeology: An International Journal. 28(2): 131-146. doi: 10.1002/gea.21434

Sherwood, S.C, J.H. Blitz, and L.E. Downs, 2013. An Integrated Geoarchaeology of a Late Woodland Sand Mound. American Antiquity 78(2): 344-358.

Sherwood, S.C. and T.R. Kidder, 2011. The DaVinci’s of Dirt: Geoarchaeological Perspectives on Native American Mound Building in the Mississippi River Basin. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 30: 69-87. doi:10.1016/j.jaa.2010.11.001

Sherwood, S.C., 2008. Increasing the Resolution of Cave Archaeology: Micromorphology and the Classification of Burned Deposits at Dust Cave. Chapter in Cave Archaeology in the Eastern Woodlands: Papers in Honor of Patty Jo Watson, edited by David Dye, pp.27-47, University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Goldberg, P. and S.C. Sherwood, 2006. Deciphering Human Prehistory through the Geoarchaeological Study of Cave Sediments. Evolutionary Anthropology 15:20-36. doi:10.1002/evan.20094

Sherwood, S.C., B. Driskell, A. Randall, and S.C. Meeks, 2004. Chronology and Stratigraphy at Dust Cave, Alabama. American Antiquity. 69(3):533-554.


Geoarchaeology, Southeastern US Prehistory, Earthen Monuments, Cave and Rockshelter Archaeology, Cultural Resource Management.