Location: Bowdoin / Scott MacEachern

Sociology and Anthropology

Scott MacEachern

Professor of Anthropology

Contact Information

Sociology And Anthropology

Adams Hall - 205

Teaching this semester

AFRS 2233/ANTH 2533. Peoples and Cultures of Africa

Introduction to the traditional patterns of livelihood and social institutions of African peoples. Following a brief overview of African geography, habitat, and cultural history, lectures and readings cover a representative range of types of economy, polity, and social organization, from the smallest hunting and gathering societies to the most complex states and empires. Emphasis upon understanding the nature of traditional social forms. Changes in African societies in the colonial and post-colonial periods examined, but are not the principal focus.

ANTH 2222. The Rise of Civilization

Archaeology began with the study of the great states of the ancient world, with Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, the Maya, and the Aztecs. Examines the origins of civilizations in the Old and New Worlds using archaeological, historical, and ethnographic data. Reviews the major debates on state formation processes, the question of whether integrated theories of state formation are possible, and the processes leading to the collapse of state societies.

Scott MacEachern


  • B.A. (Prince Edward Island)
  • M.A., Ph.D. (Calgary)

Scott MacEachern specializes in African archaeology and ethnoarchaeology; research involves the study of state formation and ethnicity in Iron Age Central Africa.

Many of my papers are available at http://bowdoin.academia.edu/ScottMacEachern

Field manual for African archaeology/ Manuel de terrain en Archéologie africaine.2017    Livingstone Smith, Alexandre, Els Cornelissen, Olivier Gosselain and Scott MacEachern (editors)   Field manual for African archaeology/ Manuel de terrain en Archéologie africaine. Online Series: Documents de Sciences humaines et sociales. Musée Royale de l’Afrique Centrale, Tervuren. (English- and French-language versions). 

2016   MacEachern, Scott and Jerimy Cunningham.   Ethnoarchaeology as slow science. World Archaeology

2016  O’Brien, John D., Kathryn Lin and Scott MacEachern.  Mixture model of pottery decorations from Lake Chad Basin archaeological sites reveals ancient segregation patternsProceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 283(1827).

Ethnic ambiguity and the African past: materiality, history, and the shaping of cultural identities

2015    African models in global histories. In Theory in Africa, Africa in theory: locating meaning in archaeology, edited by Stephanie Wynne-Jones and Jeffrey Fleisher. Routledge Publishing, London. 

2015     What was the Wandala state, and who are the Wandala? In Ethnic ambiguity and the African past: materiality, history, and the shaping of cultural identities, edited by François Richard and Kevin MacDonald, pp. 172-191. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek CA. 

Wright, David, Scott MacEachern and Jaeyoung Lee
2014     Analysis of feature intervisibility and cumulative visibility using GIS, Bayesian and spatial statistics: a study from the Mandara Mountains, Northern Cameroon. PLoS ONE 9(11): e112191. 

Oxford handbook of African archaeology2013   Genetics and archaeology. Oxford handbook of African archaeology, edited by Peter Mitchell and Paul Lane, pp. 65-76. Oxford University Press, Oxford and London. 

MacEachern, Scott, David Scott, Jean-Marie Datouang Djoussou and Molly Carlson
2013     Iron artifacts from the DGB-1 site, northern Cameroon: metallurgical analysis and ethnoarchaeological analogiesJournal of African Archaeology 11(1): 39-54.

MacEachern, Scott and Nicholas David
2013      Monumental architecture in mountain landscapes: the diy-geɗ-bay sites of northern CameroonAzania: Archaeological Research in Africa 48(2): 241-262.

Big Histories, Human Lives

2013      Time on the timeless continent: history and archaeological chronologies in the southern Lake Chad Basin. In Big histories, human lives: tackling problems of scale in archaeology, edited by Tim Pauketat and John Robb, pp. 123-144. School for Advanced Research Press, Santa Fe.

2012      Wandala and the DGB sites: political centralisation and its alternatives north of the Mandara MountainsAzania: Archaeological Research in Africa 47(2): 272-287.

2012     The Holocene history of the southern Lake Chad Basin: archaeological, linguistic and genetic evidenceAfrican Archaeological Review 29(2): 253-271. 

The prehistory of the northern Mandara Mountains and surrounding plains. In Metals in Mandara Mountains’ society and culture, edited by Nicholas David, pp. 29-67. Red Sea Press, Trenton NJ.2012    The prehistory of the northern Mandara Mountains and surrounding plains. In Metals in Mandara Mountains’ society and culture, edited by Nicholas David, pp. 29-67. Red Sea Press, Trenton NJ.

2012   Rethinking the Mandara political landscape: enslavement, climate and an entry into history in the second millennium AD. In Power and Landscape in Atlantic West Africa, edited by Akin Ogundiran and J. Cameron Monroe, pp. 309-338. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

2011   The concept of race in contemporary anthropology. In Race and ethnicity: the United States and the world, 2nd edition, edited by Raymond Scupin, pp. 34-57. Prentice Hall, New York. 

2011   Enslavement and everyday life: living with slave raiding in the northern Mandara Mountains of Cameroon. In Slavery in Africa: archaeology and memory (Proceedings of the British Academy 168), edited by Paul Lane and Kevin MacDonald, pp. 109-124. Oxford University Press, Oxford and London.

Komé - Kribi: Rescue Archaeology Along the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline, 1999-2004 Monograph Series Volume 42010     Komé – Kribi: rescue archaeology along the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline, 1999-2004/ De Komé à Kribi: archéologie preventive le long le oléoduc Tchad-Cameroun, 1999-2004. With Philippe Lavachery, Tchago Bouimon and Christophe Mbida. Journal of African Archaeology Monograph Series Volumes 4 and 5 (separate English and French versions). Africa Magna Verlag, Frankfurt.  

2010   Seeing like an oil company’s CHM programme: Exxon and archaeology on the Chad Export Project. Journal of Social Archaeology 10(3): 457-476. ( http://jsa.sagepub.com)

Curriculum vita in PDF format PDF»

DGB Archaeological Project. 2008-present – Director of an archaeological research project in northern Cameroon. Fieldwork in 2008, 2010/2011 and 2014.  

Chad Development Project. 1999 - 2011 - Establishment of archaeological research programme, training and archaeological survey along oil pipeline right-of-way for World Bank/ExxonMobil, southwestern Chad/eastern Cameroon.

Project Maya-Wandala1992 -2002  – Director of an archaeological and ethnohistorical research project in northern Cameroon and Nigeria. Fieldwork 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996.

Independent Research. May - July, 1987, August - September, 1991 - Archival research in the French and British colonial archives.

Mandara Archaeological Project. January - August, 1984, January - December, 1986, May - July, 1989 - Associate researcher with Dr. Nicholas David (University of Calgary). Archaeological, ethnoarchaeological and ethnohistorical research in Cameroon.

Scott MacEachern (R), with Bienvenu Gouemgouem (L) and Pierre Kinyock (C)
on a survey in eastern Cameroon, 2001.

More fieldwork photos from: