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Benjamin Steere - Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, NC, US

Benjamin Steere

Associate Professor | Western Carolina University


Ben Steere's primary areas of interest for research and teaching include Southeastern archaeology and Cherokee archaeology.



Benjamin Steere Publication



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Mountains, Mounds, Townhouses and Stories: Ancestral Cherokee Landscapes in WNC What Mounds Mean The Archaeology of the Cherokee Heartland of Western North Carolina




Ben Steere is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Western Carolina University. His primary areas of interest for research and teaching include Southeastern archaeology, Cherokee archaeology, household archaeology, indigenous archaeology, and regional settlement pattern studies. Ben has worked on collaborative archaeological research and preservation projects with the Tribal Historic Preservation Office of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians since 2011, and he served as Director of the Cherokee Studies Program from 2017 to 2022.

Industry Expertise (3)

Writing and Editing



Areas of Expertise (6)

Indigenous archaeology

Household Anthropology

Cherokee Archaeology

Archaeology of Eastern North America

Household Archaeology

Regional Settlement Pattern Studies

Accomplishments (1)

Excellence in Teaching Liberal Studies (professional)

2022 Western Carolina University

Education (2)

University of Georgia: Ph.D., Anthropology 2011

Wake Forest University: B.A., Anthropology 2003

Affiliations (1)

  • Southeastern Archaeology : Editorial Board

Languages (2)

  • English
  • Spanish

Media Appearances (5)

Faculty, staff honored at annual awards event

WCU Stories  online


Steere, an associate professor and director of Cherokee Studies, motivates his students to be critical thinkers and global citizens. He is skillful at linking challenges and changes that were experienced by people thousands of years ago with things students may be seeing or experiencing today.

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Black History Month gets underway at WCU

WCU Stories  online


Among the many events will be a free community webinar about race and ethnicity in the mountains on Monday, Feb. 7, beginning at 4 p.m. The panel includes Ben Steere, WCU director of Cherokee Studies; Sophia Enriquez, assistant professor of ethnomusicology at Duke University; Joe Trotter Jr., professor of history and social justice at Carnegie Mellon University; Neema Avashia, civics and ethnic studies teacher at Boston Public Schools; and Trey Adcock, director of American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

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Cherokee Studies Program’s endowed scholarship renamed for T.J. Holland

WCU Stories  online


“T.J. was a treasured colleague,” said Ben Steere, Cherokee Studies Program director. “We hope to honor his memory with a scholarship that will encourage and support the next generation of scholars to carry on his work.”

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Students Uncover The Ancient History Under Western Carolina’s Campus

Blue Ridge Public Radio  online


They are digging just behind Norton Dorm on Western Carolina’s campus. Dr. Ben Steere is the director of the Cherokee Studies Program at the university. He says the school has been doing similar digs since the 1990s.

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Debunking The Origins Of The Ancient Nikwasi Mound

Blue Ridge Public Radio  online


There have also been reports that the mound was built by the “Mississippians.” But Mississippian is actually a period of time spanning between 1000 and 1600 A.D. and not a tribe says Ben Steere, who directs the Cherokee Studies program at Western Carolina.

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Event Appearances (1)

The Fire Yet Burns in These Great Mounds: Archaeology and Resilience in the Cherokee Heartland

Western North Carolina Historical Association  


Articles (3)

Mississippian Communities and Households from a Bird's-Eye View

Reconsidering Mississippian Communities and Households

2021 In the years since the publication of Rogers and Smith’s (1995) important volume on Mississippian communities and households, much has changed in the way archaeologists think about houses and households in the Mississippian world.

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Collaborative Archaeology as a Tool for Preserving Sacred Sites in the Cherokee Heartland

Indigeneity and the Sacred: Indigenous Revival and the Conservation of Sacred Natural Sites in the Americas

2017 Archaeology has the potential to play an important role in the preservation of sacred sites in North America. In certain cases, locations that are thought to be sacred by Native American communities can be identified using archaeological methods.

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Revisiting platform mounds and townhouses in the Cherokee heartland: a collaborative approach

Southeastern Archaeology

2015 This article describes the development and initial results of the Western North Carolina Mounds and Towns Project, a collaborative endeavor initiated by the Tribal Historic Preservation Office of the Eastern Band of Cherokee and the Coweeta Long Term Ecological Research Program at the University of Georgia.

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