Third Sunday Archeology: Our Furry Companions, the Changing (and Changeless) Nature of the Dog-Human Relationship

Archaeological field school at the Humphrey Site in Nebraska

Archaeological field school at the Humphrey Site in Nebraska.

Event Details


Date: March 15, 2020

Times: 2 p.m.

Location: Froiland Science Complex 113A

Ticket Info: Free and open to the public

March's installment of Augustana's Third Sunday Archeology Program will feature Dr. Matthew E. Hill, Jr., associate professor of anthropology from the University of Iowa, who will speak on "Our Furry Companions: The Changing (and Changeless) Nature of the Dog-Human Relationship," at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, in Froiland Science Complex room 113A.

The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a question/answer session. Refreshments will be served.

Dogs have been our constant companions for thousands of years. They have played an intimate part in human lives from the time hunter-gatherers first entered the Americas to the present-day. While it seems that dogs have always been by our side, their physical form and their relationships with us have changed over time.

The talk will present current ideas on the origins of native North American dogs and describe their roles in our lives over thousands of years. This will highlight how both modern and past people used dogs for transportation, as a source of fiber, as spiritual beings, and occasionally as sources of food. By looking back and forward in time, we can see how these furry companions have become so important in our lives.

About speaker Matthew Hill

Matt HillMatthew E. Hill, Jr. is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. He earned an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. His archaeological research examines human-environment interactions on the scale of the landscape.

He explores long-term land use and subsistence practices, from the end of the last Ice Age to the colonial period in Native North America, and how these practices change in response to changing climates, introduction of new technologies, and shifts in human demographic and social organization across various environmental settings such as the Great Plains grasslands, Rocky Mountains and U.S. Southwest.

Hill has also conducted ethnoarchaeological fieldwork in the Philippines and India. His teaching and research has focused extensively on dog-human relationships to better understand how, why, and when dogs became so connected to our social, economic, political, and spiritual lives.


This program is funded in part by the David B. Jones Foundation, Augustana University’s Mellon Fund Committee, Augustana’s Archeology Laboratory and the Sioux Falls Chapter of the South Dakota Archaeological Society.


L. Adrien Hannus
Director, Archeology Lab
Augustana University
605.274.5493
adrien.hannus@augie.edu