The 2023-2024 AnthroGuide is the last print version. Edits for graduate programs are due July 31, 2023.

Bonnie Pitblado

Primary Field
Professor of Anthropology
Professor/Bell Endowed Chair & Executive Director, Oklahoma Public Archaeology Network, University of Oklahoma, Department of Anthropology
Knowledge / Expertise
Interest/Specialty Areas Peopling of the Americas & Rocky Mountains, hunter-gatherer archaeology, lithic technology, community archaeology, public education

I am an archaeologist with interests in the initial peopling of the New World more than 13,000 years ago, and particularly in the initial peopling of the Rocky Mountains. I have spent more than 25 years exploring when, why, and how people began using the high altitude environments of the Rockies, with most of my field work focused on the Gunnison Basin (Colorado). Contrary to most thinking when I began my research, I have learned that early people made something of a beeline for our nation’s backbone, and once in the Rockies, used them extensively (and sometimes intensively) and for a wide range of interesting reasons. Since joining the OU faculty in 2012, I have expanded my research interests to include Oklahoma’s upland areas, terminology that may strike some as an oxymoron but is anything but. Oklahoma has six mountainous regions—all quite different from one another (and certainly very different from the Rockies)—and yet all intriguing in terms of how prehistoric people may have used them. In addition to these research interests, I am passionate about and strongly committed to community archaeology and to finding ways to share what I do with diverse members of the public. I therefore founded and direct the Oklahoma Public Archaeology Network (OKPAN), which sponsors a wide range of statewide programs, including our annual “archaeology month” each October, a biennial “Oklahoma Archaeology Conference,” curricula development for K – 12 classrooms, an archaeological skills workshop series, and more.  For details, visit

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Geographic Areas of Expertise United States
Geographic Areas of Expertise International
Western Hemisphere