ADRIAN PRAETZELLIS - my little home on the web


photo of Adrian PraetzellisADRIAN PRAETZELLIS, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology
Director Emeritus, Anthropological Studies Center

Department of Anthropology
Sonoma State University
1801 E. Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, California
USA 94928

adrian DOT praetzellis AT sonoma DOT edu

Bienvenue ! Welcome !



I am happy to announce that Dr. Tom Whitley has accepted the position of Associate Professor of Anthropology. He is now Director of the Anthropological Studies Center!

Dr. Whitley has a Ph.D. in Anthropology (Archaeology) from the University of Pittsburgh and specialties in GIS and probabilistic modeling, remote sensing, historical and prehistoric archaeology, and perishable artifact analysis. He has worked for the Zuni tribe and has many years in senior management in a CRM company, as well as serving as Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the MA in Professional Archaeology at the University of Western Australia. Welcome, Tom! You will like it here.

I'll be at ASC part-time until May 2017. After that I'll be consulting at ASC as needed. All this sounds good to me. After all, how many people get to make their living as an archaeologist? My mum wouldn't have believed it.

Want to organize a retirement celebration for me? Do me a favor... and don't.  Sorry if this sounds grumpy, but I really, really _don't _want a retirement party or any other recognition (really). My ideal last day as a faculty human is simply to do my job, pack up my closet/office, and leave. That would feel good. Presumtuous? Maybe. But on the off-chance that anyone would want to organize such an event, thanks for the kind thought but...


Spring  Semester  2017

My academic calendar is empty and won't be filled! Most mornings will find me at ASC.

But I'm working half-time these days so my schedule is unpredictable. Want to meet?

Send me an email and we'll set up an appointment.


My cool new-ish book!
Here's the cover of my latest effort. And, yes, I did the illustrations too.
The only reviewer on absolutely **hated** it. Check out his/her comments right here.
If you disagree, then tell the world. If you think it stucks, too... well, just keep your opinions to yourself!



My first archaeological experience was in the summer of 1969 when I spent six weeks shoveling gravel for Margaret "MUJ" and Tom Jones (and famous dog, Reject) at an Anglo Saxon site called Mucking. While still at school I worked summer holidays at the Roman site of Usk for Bill Manning, and learned the ancient art of baulk bashing from experts. In 1972, my professional career began when I started working full-time on Roman and medieval sites on the British archaeology circuit for organizations including the York Archaeological Trust, the Oxford Archaeology Unit (now Oxford Archaeology), and lots of others. Later, I worked on prehistoric and 18th-19th-century archaeological sites in Williamsburg, Virginia, the Great Basin, and California. At the urging of Jim Deetz, UC Berkeley eventually gave me a Ph.D. and now I won't give it back. I started teaching archaeology at Sonoma State University in 1983 and was Director of the Anthropological Studies Center, a University research institute, from 1992 to 2016. Click this link for a pdf of the gantzeh megillah (i.e., my vitae), admittedly a bit out of date.  

Since the late 1970s, I have specialized in urban archaeology (both prehistoric and historical) and have been Principal Investigator for numerous archaeological research projects. Among these was the 1993-2004 Cypress/West Oakland project, one of the largest pieces of urban historical archaeology ever undertaken in the American West. I have written on the archaeology of African Americans, Chinese/Chinese Americans, and Jews in the American West amongst other stuff.

One of my favorite things is teaching archaeology and cultural resource management to Native American tribes to give them the legal tools to manage their own heritage resources. [Editorial ahead!! Beware!] Too many California archaeologists don't seem realize that the previous millenium is over and tribes not archaeologists are in the driver's seat. We may not like all their decisions (I don't) but that's how it is. Perhaps if there'd been more true cooperation in the past things would be a different. Now's the time to drop the attitude and show that we're grown-ups.

In 2013 I was appointed to the State Historical Resources Commission "...a nine-member State review board, appointed by the Governor, with responsibilities for the identification, registration, and preservation of California's cultural heritage." I'm chair of the Commission's Archaeological Resources Committee and Information Center Procedural Advisory Committee, which goes to show what happens when no one else is willing to take on the job.

Picture of a trowel



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