Colin P. Quinn

Lecturer of Anthropology

ABD University of Michigan
MA 2006 Washington State University
BA 2004 University of Notre Dame

Office Address: 349F Anne Belk Hall
Phone: 828-262-6412
Fax: 828-262-2982

Areas of Research/Interest
Origins of social inequality, mortuary archaeology, bioarchaeology, landscapes, signaling theory, metal procurement and sustainable mining, public scholarship, prehistory of Europe (Romania and Ireland) and Near East (Jordan)

Our Primate Heritage

Colin Quinn is a broadly trained four-field anthropologist interested in the development of social inequality in human prehistory. His research in prehistoric Europe and Southwest Asia uses a comparative approach to the political economic foundations of social inequality and how communities use material culture and mortuary rituals to effect social change. His recent fieldwork focused on the development of institutionalized inequality in Bronze Age mining communities in the Apuseni Mountains of southwest Transylvania, Romania. His ongoing and future research projects include (1) a bioarchaeological and landscape investigation of identity and inequality in Early Bronze Age Transylvania, (2) a multiscalar examination of the dynamics of population aggregation in early Transylvanian towns, (3) an exploration of the roles of cremations and ritual performance in social change in prehistoric Ireland and Romania, and (4) community-engaged research designed to understand how archaeology and cultural heritage can be used as an advocacy tool for peoples threatened by transnational gold mining projects in Transylvania.

Representative Publications
Kuijt, I., C.P. Quinn, and G. Cooney (2014)  Transformation by Fire: The Archaeology of Cremation in Cultural Context. Amerind Series at the University of Arizona Press: Tucson.

Quinn, C.P. and J. Beck (2016) Essential Tensions: A Framework for Exploring Inequality through Mortuary Archaeology and Bioarchaeology. Open Archaeology 2(1):18-41.

Quinn, C.P.  (2015) Returning and Reuse: Diachronic Perspectives on Multi-Component Cemeteries and Mortuary Politics at Middle Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Tara, Ireland. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 37:1-18.

Quinn, C.P.  (2015) Signals in Stone: Exploring the Role of Social Information Exchange, Conspicuous Consumption, and Costly Signaling Theory in Lithic Analysis. In Lithic Technological Systems and Evolutionary Theory. N. Goodale and W. Andrefsky (eds.). pp. 198-222. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Quinn, C.P. and I. Kuijt (2013) The Tempo of Life and Death During the Early Bronze Age at the Mound of the Hostages, Tara. In: Tara: From the Past to the Future. M. O‚ÄôSullivan (ed.). pp. 154-164. Wordwell and UCD School of Archaeology: Bray, Co. Wicklow.

Please consider donating to the Department by selecting "Other" and designating your gift for one of the following funds:

Anthropology Speaker Series
Anthropology Loucks Fund
Anthropology Weller Fund 
Anthropology Keefe Fund
Anthropology Foundation 

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Physical Location

The Department of Anthropology is located in Anne Belk Hall. The administrative office is located in Room 342 and all of the faculty offices, classrooms, and labs are located on the 3rd floor.

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