Dr. Dillian has ongoing archaeological field projects in North America and in Kenya. In the laboratory, she uses geochemical techniques, specifically X-ray fluorescence, to determine the composition of prehistoric materials. These data can then be used to determine the original geologic source of objects made of pottery, stone, and metals, which can help trace trade and exchange and population movements in the past. Her work has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and an edited volume on trade and exchange.
Lowcountry Prehistory - Waties Island, South Carolina
Upon arriving in South Carolina in 2010, Dr. Dillian began research into the lives of the prehistoric Native American inhabitants of South Carolina's Lowcountry. She is directing the archaeological investigation of Waties Island, along the South Carolina coast, where Native American people used local resources like shellfish, aquatic species, and terrestrial plants and animals as food sources. She involves students in field and laboratory investigations through her summer field school at CCU, as well as laboratory courses offered during the academic year. If you are interested in joining Dr. Dillian in the field or laboratory, please email her for more information.
The Origins of Pastoralism - Koobi Fora, Kenya
Since 2006, Dr. Dillian has been working with George Washington University's Koobi Fora Field School and the National Museums of Kenya on a project along the northeastern shore of Lake Turkana in Kenya to investigate the transition from hunting-gathering-fishing subsistence practices to pastoralism during the Holocene. Specifically, she is examining the stone tools recovered from these sites to determine if changes in raw material selection can reflect migration of new populations or in-situ changes in subsistence strategies, and subsequently, changes in mobility and exchange networks. This work has been published in the edited volumeTrade and Exchange: Archaeological Studies from Prehistory and History, and a peer-reviewed journal article in Archaeometry. Dr. Dillian also brings students to Kenya as part of the Koobi Fora Field School. If you are interested in attending KFFS, please email Dr. Dillian for more information.
History of Archaeology - Mid-Atlantic, U.S.A.
Dr. Dillian also conducts museum research, specifically focusing on the life and research of Dr. Charles Conrad Abbott, an archaeologist and naturalist who lived and worked in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the late 1800's and early 1900's. This archival and museum research is designed to correlate Dr. Abbott's archaeological collections at Harvard's Peabody Museum with his field notes and journals, housed at Princeton University. This project is in collaboration with Charles Bello (FEMA), and is funded by a New Jersey Historical Commission Minigrant, the Princeton University Grants in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Archaeological Society of New Jersey. Publications resulting from this research have included peer-reviewed articles in the journal Archaeology of Eastern North America, and a chapter in the edited volume Historical Archaeology of the Delaware Valley.