Christopher Wolff

Christopher B. Wolff

Primary Field
Archaeology
Individual Type
Assistant Professor
Position
Chair, Undergraduate Advisory Committee
http://www.albany.edu/anthro
Assistant Professor of Archaeology, SUNY - Albany
E-mail
vCard
Knowledge / Expertise
Interest/Specialty Areas Northern Cultures and Ecology, Coastal Hunter-Gatherers, Prehistoric Technology, Prehistoric Cultural Interaction, Arctic/Subarctic Drums, The Archaeology of Fear, Peopling of the Americas.
Geographic Area(s) of Expertise Northeastern North America, Newfoundland and Labrador, North American Arctic, Iceland.
Biography

Dr. Christopher Wolff's main research interest is in the interactions between northern prehistoric coastal peoples and their ecosystems. Particularly, he is interested in examining the relationships between multiscalar ecological change and northern coastal hunter-gatherers. He believes a better understanding of the dynamics of climate change, sea conditions, the biogeography of marine and coastal resources, as well as of past northeastern cultures, may have broader implications for modern conservation efforts and environmental policies. The geographic focus of his research has been on the Eastern Subarctic/Arctic coast of Canada, but he also has research interests that span the North American Arctic, Subarctic, and adjacent regions, and the historical relationships between those regions. Since 2008 Dr. Wolff has been conducting collaborative, multidisciplinary research in eastern Newfoundland at the Stock Cove site and on existing collections. This site is a large site with evidence of almost every culture that inhabited the island, beginning as early as 5,000 years ago. He is interested in examining the relationships these various cultures had with the dynamic environment of the Far Northeastern region of North America, as well as with contemporaneous groups living in adjacent regions of the Northeast. This includes examination of the rich lithic technology they created, settlement patterns, subsistence practices, and ecological data. Dr. Wolff also has more northern ranging research interests in the circumpolar north. During the past few years he has been investigating the importance of drums to Arctic and Subarctic cultures. Additionally, he has been investigating the use of caves during the Viking Age in Iceland. Dr. Wolff also has been conducting research and compiling evidence concerning the influence of fear on cultures of the past. Every human group, past and present, has experienced collective and individual fears in some form, and many have devised ways to use it to their advantage against others, for good and evil, or have done what they could to evade it. To believe that fear influence in the ancient world was not as prevalent and powerful as we experience today is to deny the humanity of past societies. Yet, very little attention has been paid by archaeologists to the role of fear in the formation and development of cultural behavior.

Two recent publications by Dr. Wolff include:

2019- Wolff, Christopher B., and Donald H. Holly, Jr.

Sea Ice, Seals, and Settlement: On Climate and Culture in Newfoundland and Labrador. In Human-Environmental Dynamics and the Archaeology of the Atlantic Coast of North America, p.16-43. Edited by Leslie Reeder-Myers, John A. Turck, and Torben Rick, University of Florida Press.

2019- Wolff, Christopher B., Donald H. Holly, Jr., John C. Erwin, Tatiana Nomokonova, and Lindsay Swinarton. 

The Stock Cove Site: A Large Dorset Seal-Hunting Encampment on the Coast of Southeastern Newfoundland. Arctic Anthropology 56(1):77-95.

Read More Read Less
Geographic Areas of Expertise International
Western Hemisphere
Canada
Organizations