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Department of Anthropology


Joanna L. Casey

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-6700
Office: Gambrell Hall 413
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Joanna Casey

Dr. Joanna Casey will not be considering applications for Fall 2023 from graduate students wishing to work with her.


Joanna Casey is an Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department. She got her BA and MA in Archaeology from Simon Fraser University and her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Toronto in Canada. She has undertaken archaeological and ethnoarchaeological field research in Canada, the US, Ghana and Ethiopia. Her areas of interest are in lithics, early agriculture, household economics and trade.


ANTH 101:    Primates People and Prehistory

ANTH 161:    Human Origins

ANTH 205:    Panorama of Prehistory

ANTH 225:    Archaeology in Film and Popular Culture

ANTH 291:    Sex and Gender in the Prehistoric Past

ANTH 320:    Archaeology Theory

ANTH 550:    Archaeological Laboratory Techniques

ANTH 591L:  Lithic Technology

ANTH 720:    Development of Anthropological Archaeology


Dr. Casey’s research has primarily been on understanding the consequences of sedentism. Her earlier work looked at the Kintampo Complex (LSA 3000-4000) in Ghana, the earliest known sedentary complex in Sub Saharan West Africa. She has done a long term ethnoarchaeology project in northern Ghana looking at the use of wild resources in the farming economy, household economics and women’s businesses and trade. Her most recent research studies the place of small scale trade in household and village economies, and marginalized specialist traders in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Representative Publications 


Casey, Joanna

2000 The Kintampo Complex: The Late Holocene on the Gambaga Escarpment, Northern Ghana.  Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology No. 51; BAR International No. 906.  Oxford: Archaeopress.

Journal Articles and Chapters

Lyons, Diane, Jeffrey Ferguson, Diana Harlow and Joanna Casey
2018  Marginalized Potters and Ceramic Compositional Groups: Neutron Activation Analysis of Contemporary Pottery from Tigray, Northern Highland Ethiopia.  African Archaeological Review 35(4):567-595.

Lyons, Diane and Joanna Casey
2016  It’s a Material World: The Critical Value of Long-term Ethnoarchaeology Projects in Understanding Variation, Change and Materiality. World Archaeology 48(5): 609-627.

Owen, J. Victor, Joanna L. Casey, John D. Greenough and Dorothy I. Godfrey-Smith
2013  Mineralogical and Geochemical Constraints on the Sediment Sources of Late Stone Age Pottery from the Birimi Site, Northern Ghana.  Geoarchaeology 28(4):394-411.

Casey, Joanna
2013  The Stone to Metal Age in West Africa.  In The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology edited by Peter Mitchell and Paul Lane. Pp.  603-614.  Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press.

Casey, Joanna
2013  Fearless Archaeologist: Susan Kent’s Vision for Ethnoarchaeology. Ethnoarchaeology 5(2):119-139.

Casey, Joanna
2010  Between the Forest and the Sudan: The Dynamics of Trade in Northern Ghana.  West African Archaeology: New Developments, New Perspectives edited by Philip Allsworth-Jones. Pp. 83-92.  British Archaeological Reports International Series No. 2164. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Casey, Joanna and Rachele Burruss
2010   Social Expectations and Children’s Play Places in Northern Ghana.  Ethnoarchaeology 2(1):49-72.

Casey, Joanna
2009  Shea Butter, Dawadawa and the Gendered Economy in Northern Ghana.  Que(e)rying Archaeology edited by Susan Terendy, Natasha Lyons, and Michelle Jansen-Smekal. Pp, 83-89.  Calgary: University of Calgary Press.

Casey, Joanna
2008  Early Holocene Foragers of the Forest and Savanna.  Encyclopedia of Archaeology Vol. 1, pp. 93-96.  London: Elsevier Press.

Casey, Joanna
2005  Holocene Occupations of the Forest and Savanna.  In  African Archaeology: A Critical Introduction edited by Ann B. Stahl.  Pp. 225-248. London: Blackwell. 

Casey, Joanna
2003  The Prehistory of West Africa from the Pleistocene to the Mid-Holocene.  Under the Canopy: Rainforest Hunter-Gatherers in Prehistory.  Edited by Julio Mercader. Pp. 35-63  New Brunswick: RutgersUniversity Press. 

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