Location: Bowdoin / Scott MacEachern

Sociology and Anthropology

Scott MacEachern

Professor of Anthropology

Contact Information

Sociology and Anthropology

Adams Hall - 205

Teaching this semester

AFRS 2500/ANTH 2500. Landscapes of Boko Haram: Border Violence and Wealth Creation in Africa

Examines the ways in which populations in the southern Lake Chad Basin in Central Africa think about and work within frontier landscapes, which are seen as spaces of danger and violence but also arenas for wealth creation and cultural innovation. Investigates the modern violence associated with the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram, and compares those actions to historical activities on these borderlands—slave-raiding, banditry, smuggling, etc.—through the last millennium. Explores the ambiguous role of state elites in these activities and considers the implications for “rule of law” in border regions, with some comparison to cases beyond Africa.

ANTH 1103. Introduction to World Prehistory

An introduction to the discipline of archaeology and the studies of human biological and cultural evolution. Among the subjects covered are conflicting theories of human biological evolution, debates over the genetic and cultural bases of human behavior, the expansion of human populations into various ecosystems throughout the world, the domestication of plants and animals, the shift from nomadic to settled village life, and the rise of complex societies and the state.

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.

 Searching for Book Haram: a history of violence in Central Africa. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York.Many of my papers are available at http://bowdoin.academia.edu/ScottMacEachern

2018    Searching for Boko Haram: a history of violence in Central Africa. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York.

Wright, David, Scott MacEachern, Jean-Marie Datouang Djoussou, Jungyu Choi, Jeong-Heon Choi and Carol Lang
2017     Iron Age landscapes of the Benue River Valley and uplands, Cameroon. Journal of Field Archaeology 42 (5): 394-407.

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: