Dr. Janet Rafferty

Image of Dr. Janet Rafferty

Emerita Professor

North American Archaeologist

  • B.A. in Anthropology, University of Washington, Seattle 1969
  • Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Washington, Seattle 1974

Dr. Rafferty's career in field archaeology began in the state of Washington but her doctoral research was on the archaeology of the eastern woodlands in Kentucky. Her dissertation was a study of the development of Fort Ancient, a prehistoric agricultural tradition centered in the Ohio River Valley. She taught at the University of Washington and at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale before coming to Mississippi State University in 1977. She is currently Professor Emerita of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures at MSU. Dr. Rafferty's main research interests focus on settlement pattern studies. In the late 1970s and 1980s she conducted archaeological research in the Tombigbee River Valley prior to construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. In 1990 and 1991 she directed work at Owl Creek Mounds, a large Mississippian period (A.D. 1000-1500) mound group in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. During her career she has also conducted field work at numerous other sites across northeast Mississippi, including archaeological survey in Lee, Union, Pontotoc, Lowndes, and Oktibbeha counties. Her main goal has been to learn more about settlement pattern change in the region's uplands and tributary valleys. She has been engaged in mitigating sites in the immediate environs of MSU and the city of Starkville, through a series of contracts with the Mississippi Department of Transportation, as well as completing a major survey project done for North American Coal Corporation in Kemper and Lauderdale counties. She is a member of the Society for American Archaeology, the Register of Professional Archaeologists, the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, the Mississippi Archaeological Association, and the Mississippi Association of Professional Archaeologists.

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