Lauren Ritterbush, PhD
Associate Professor of Archaeology
Waters Hall 17
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
Lauren W. Ritterbush is an archaeologist specialized in the prehistory and ethnohistory of the Great Plains . An Associate Professor, she holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Kansas (1990). Prior to coming to Kansas State University, she served as Research Assistant Professor with the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Kansas where she directed archaeological research and contract projects in Kansas, North Dakota, and Oklahoma, curated museum exhibits, and served as interim public education coordinator. She has also provided expertise in archaeology, collections inventory and care, exhibit research, and heritage planning as a private consultant.
Highly regarded as a mentor and teacher, Dr. Ritterbush was honored with the 2005 William L. Stamey Award for Teaching by the College of Arts and Sciences. Her teaching experience started as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Instructor of Anthropology at the University of Kansas and continued through the teaching of archaeology and cultural anthropology courses at the University of Minnesota at Morris and the University of Missouri at Kansas City . At Kansas State University , she regularly teaches the introductory course in archaeology and world prehistory as well as advanced courses on North American and European archaeology and prehistory. She also offers courses in critical interpretation of claims about our human past, archaeological field and laboratory methods, and ethnohistory of the Northern Plains. She has also co-taught archaeological geology, a course developed through the Peer Review of Teaching Project, a nationwide, award-winning faculty-development project to improve undergraduate stu dent learning, and has served as a faculty mentor with the Developing Scholars Program.
Much of Dr. Ritterbush's research focuses on identifying prehistoric migration in the archaeological record and understanding culture change associated with population movements. Currently, she is researching the migration of Oneota peoples from the Midwest into the Central Plains during the Late Prehistoric period (ca. AD 1000-1500), the resultant adaptations of these Oneota migrants, and impacts on native populations in the Central Plains (Central Plains tradition). Recent findings have drawn her into the study of late prehistoric contact and interaction between culturally diverse peoples across the Plains and beyond. She also conducted ethnohistoric research on the adaptation of indigenous migrants into the Plains during the early fur trade period of the northeastern Plains and adjacent grasslands, parklands, and woodlands. Other regions in which she has conducted archaeological research include the Middle Missouri region of the Great Plains , the American Southwest, and Central Europe . Dr. Ritterbush's research has been funded by grants from the Smithsonian Institution, National Science Foundation (EPSCoR), the Nebraska State Historical Society, the National Park Service, the Kansas Humanities Council, and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.
Since the early 1990s, Dr. Ritterbush has authored and co-authored numerous reports and articles, including among others "Oneota Interaction and Impact in the Central Plains" in Plains Village Archaeology: Bison Hunting Farmers in the Central and Northern Plains , eds. Stanley A. Ahler and Marvin Kay (U Utah Press, 2007); "Late Prehistoric Oneota in the Central Plains" in Kansas Archaeology , eds. Robert J. Hoard and William E. Banks, pp. 151-64 (U Kansas Press, 2006); "White Rock Oneota Chipped Stone Tools" in Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology Vol. 30, No. 2 (2005), pp. 259-97 (with M.J. Padilla); "Critical Thinking in Geology and Archaeology: Interpreting Scanning Electron Microscope Images of a Lithic Tool" in Journal of Geoscience Education Vol.. 53, No. 2 (2005), pp. 166-72 (with K. Nicolaysen); " Drawn by the Bison: Late Prehistoric Native Migration in the Central Plains" in Great Plains Quarterly Vol. 22, No.4 (2002), pp. 259-70; "Leary Site Revisited: Western Oneota and Central Plains Tradition Occupation along the Lower Missouri" in Plains Anthropologist Vol. 47, No. 182 (2002), pp. 251-64; "Plains Archaic" in Encyclopedia of Prehistory , Volume 6: North America, eds. Peter N. Peregrine and Melvin Ember, pp. 410-431, Human Relations Areas Files and Plenum/Kluwar Academic, 2001 (with Brad Logan); "Late Prehistoric Oneota Population Movement into the Central Plains" Plains Anthropologist Vol. 45, No. 173 (2000), pp. 257-272 (with B.Logan); "Fur Trade Posts at Pembina: An Archaeological Perspective of North Dakota's Earliest Fur Trade Center" in Centennial Anthology of North Dakota History , eds. Janet Daley Lysengen and Ann Rathje. State Historical Society of North Dakota (1996); "Late Prehistoric Cultural Dynamics in the Lower Kansas River Basin " Central Plains Archaeology Vol.4, No.1 (1994), pp. 1-25 (with B. Logan); "Fur Trade Posts at Pembina: An Archeological Perspective of North Dakota 's Earlies t Fur Trade Center " North Dakota History Vol. 59, No.1 (1992), pp. 16-29