Adria LaViolette headshot

Adria J. LaViolette

Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Anthropology
Office location and address
Brooks Hall, B010
1702 University Ave
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Ph.D. Washington University 1987

I am an archaeologist with active research in Africa and a particular interest in medium-range and large-scale societies over the last two millennia. My earliest research was in West Africa where I conducted an ethnoarchaeological study of craft production in Jenne, Mali with implications for early urbanism in the Inland Niger Delta. Since 1987 I have been working on the East African coast, conducting survey and excavation in several regions on the mainland and on Pemba Island, Tanzania, on sites at the intersection of archaeology, ethnology, and history. At the Swahili centers of Pujini, Chwaka, and Tumbe, and at smaller village sites, I am exploring such topics as household organization, political economy, the changing practice of Islam and its effects on social and cultural life, the interface of regional domestic economy with long-distance Indian Ocean trade networks, and the transformations in social structure within the contexts of urbanism and colonialism. I have made a research priority the integration of village-dwelling and non-elite coastal peoples into Swahili historiography. I maintain long-term collaborative relationships with colleagues in Africa, the US, and Europe. With Neil Norman, I am developing a project in the Zanzibar countryside concerning the effects of Portuguese colonialism. I am also the Editor-in-Chief of the African Archaeological Review, a premier journal of our discipline with wide-ranging theoretical, topical, and geographic coverage of the continent and beyond.

African Archaeological Review Editorship
Source: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
November 07, 2008 – December 31, 2018
AS-ANTH Julia Haines Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement
Source: U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)
August 01, 2015 – January 31, 2017
ANTH 2800: Introduction to Archaeology
Credits: 3
Topics include alternative theories of prehistoric culture change, dating methods, excavation and survey techniques, and the reconstruction of the economy, social organization, and religion of prehistoric societies.
ANTH 2810: Human Origins
Credits: 3
Studies the physical and cultural evolution of humans from the initial appearance of hominids to the development of animal and plant domestication in different areas of the world. Topics include the development of biological capabilities such as bipedal walking and speech, the evolution of characteristics of human cultural systems such as economic organization and technology, and explanations for the development of domestication.
ANTH 3590: Social and Cultural Anthropology
Credits: 3
Topics to be announced prior to each semester, dealing with social and cultural anthropology.
ANTH 3885: Archaeology of Europe
Credits: 3
A survey of European archaeology beginning with the Neanderthal debate, and including interpretations of Upper Paleolithic cave painting, the spread village farming from the Near East, the role of megalithic monuments, the interaction of Rome and the `Barbarians', the growth of urban centers, the Iron Age, and the Viking expansion.
ARCY 3993: Independent Study
Credits: 3
An Independent Study in Archaeology. Subject to be determined by student and instructor.
ANTH 4993: Independent Study in Anthropology
Credits: 1–6
Independent study conducted by the student under the supervision of an instructor of his or her choice.
ARCY 4998: Undergraduate Thesis Research
Credits: 3
Research for a thesis of approximately 50 written pages undertaken in the fall semester of the fourth year by archaeology majors who have been accepted into the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Distinguished Majors Program. Prerequisite: acceptance into Archaeology DMP
ARCY 4999: Undergraduate Thesis Writing
Credits: 3
Writing of a thesis of approximately 50 written pages undertaken in the spring semester of the fourth year by archaeology majors who have been accepted into the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Distinguished Majors Program. Prerequisite: acceptence into DMP program
ANTH 5589: Selected Topics in Archaeology
Credits: 1–6
Seminars in topics announced prior to each semester.
ANTH 5885: Archaeology of Colonial Expansions
Credits: 3
Exploration of the archaeology of frontiers, expansions and colonization, focusing on European expansion into Africa and the Americas while using other archaeologically-known examples (e.g., Roman, Bantu) as comparative studies. Prerequisite: For undergraduates, ANTH 4591 senior seminar or instructor permission.
ANTH 7060: Dissertation Research Proposal Workshop
Credits: 3
A workshop for graduates preparing dissertation proposals and writing grant applications. Each student prepares several drafts of a proposal, revising it at each stage in response to the criticisms of classmates and the instructor.
ANTH 8998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.
ANTH 8999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For master's thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.
ANTH 9010: Directed Readings
Credits: 1–12
Directed Readings
ANTH 9020: Directed Readings
Credits: 1–12
Directed Readings
ANTH 9998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
ANTH 9999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.