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Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

I am an archaeologist who specializes in analyzing plant remains. Throughout my career, a major focus of research has been late prehistoric and colonial-era (roughly AD 900-1700) Indian and European communities of the American South. In particular, I am interested in how and when people altered their foodways in the face of social or political reorganization or disruption.

My earliest research and writing has been devoted to investigations of foodways within the Moundville polity. I examined changes in the agricultural economy as the polity developed, the provisioning of Moundville itself from rural communities, and the social deployment of food to mark social identities and political events. I also addressed the nature of the earliest residential community at Moundville and its reorganization as part of a planned mound-and-plaza complex in the 13th century AD.

My southeastern U.S. research is not confined to the Mississippian world. I am also interested in colonial-era foodways. I have examined adjustments Spanish colonists made to their foodways as they settled environments unsuited to raising traditional Iberian foodstuffs and interacted with southeastern Indians, who introduced them to new foods. This work emphasized the role of native communities in shaping the Spaniards’ new food practices as well as the Spaniards’ reluctance to forego their familiar staples. Currently, with other UNC colleagues, I am examining change and stability in foodways among Piedmont North Carolina Indian communities as they engaged in various ways and with varying degrees of intensity with English traders and settlers.

In 2002, I began collaborating with Donald Haggis (UNC-CH Department of Classics) and Margaret Mook (Iowa State Classical Studies) and Rodney Fitzsimmons (Trent University) on a completely new research program at Azoria (ca. 600-500 BC), an early urban center on the island of Crete in the Greek Aegean. Our Azoria research is a multi-stage, 20-year project designed to investigate changes in the agropastoral economy on Crete during a critical period of coalescence and city-state formation. Our excavations have revealed a massive civic complex with shrines, assembly halls, public dining rooms, and associated kitchens and storerooms at the heart of the city. In short, we are examining a community in which the public accumulation, display, and consumption of food is central to the politics and identities of its citizens.

Select Publications

(many available on

2017 • VanDerwarker, Amber M., Dana N. Bardolph, and C. Margaret Scarry. Maize and Mississippian Beginnings. In Mississippian Beginnings: Variability, Inequality, and Interaction in the Southeast and Midwest, G. Wilson (ed.), pp. 29-70. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

2016 • Jackson, H. Edwin, C. Margaret Scarry, and Susan Scott. Domestic and Ritual Meals in the Moundville Chiefdom. In Rethinking Moundville and its Hinterland, V. Steponaitis and C. M. Scarry (eds.), pp. 187-233. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

2016 • Scarry, C. Margaret, and Vincas P. Steponaitis. Moundville as a Ceremonial Ground. In Rethinking Moundville and its Hinterland, V. Steponaitis and C. M. Scarry (eds.), pp. 255-268. University of Press of Florida, Gainesville.

2016 • Steponaitis, Vincas P., and C. Margaret Scarry (editors). Rethinking Moundville and its Hinterland. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

2015 • Hutchinson, Dale L., Lynette Norr, Theresa Schober, William H. Marquardt , Karen J. Walker, Lee A. Newsom, C. Margaret Scarry. The Calusa and Prehistoric Subsistence in Central and South Gulf Coast Florida. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 41:55-73.

2011 • Haggis, Donald C., Margaret S. Mook, Rodney D. Fitzsimons, C. Margaret Scarry, Lynn M. Snyder, and William C. West. Excavations in the Archaic Civic Buildings at Azoria in 2005-2006. Hesperia 80:1-70.

2011 • Scarry, C. Margaret, and Richard A. Yarnell. Native American Husbandry and Domestication of Plants in Eastern North America. In The Subsistence Economies of Indigenous Narth American Societies: A Handbook, B. Smith (ed.), pp. 483-501. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington D.C.

2008 • Reitz, Elizabeth J., C. Margaret Scarry, and Sylvia Scudder (editors). Case Studies in Environmental Archaeology. Second edition. Springer, New York.

2008 • Scarry, C. Margaret. Crop Husbandry Practices in North America’s Eastern Woodlands. In Case Studies in Environmental Archaeology, second edition, E. Reitz, C. Scarry, and S. Scudder (eds.), pp. 391-404. Springer, New York.

2007 • VanDerwarker, Amber M., C. Margaret Scarry, and Jane M. Eastman. Menus for Families and Feasts: Household and Community Consumption of Plants at Upper Saratown, North Carolina. In The Archaeology of Food and Identity, K. Twiss (ed.), pp. 16-49. Center for Archaeological Investigations, Occasional Paper No. 34, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

2005 • Scarry, C. Margaret, and John F. Scarry. Native American “Garden Agriculture” in Southeastern North America. World Archaeology 37(2):258-273.

2003 • Scarry, C. Margaret. Patterns of Wild Plant Utilization in the Prehistoric Eastern Woodlands. In People and Plants in Ancient Eastern North America, P. Minnis (ed.), pp. 50-104. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C.

1999 • Hart, John P., and C. Margaret Scarry. The Age of Common Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the Northeastern United States. American Antiquity 64(4):653-658.

1998 • Scarry, C. Margaret. Domestic Life on the Northwest Riverbank at Moundville. In Archaeology of the Moundville Chiefdom, V. Knight and V. Steponaitis (eds.), pp. 63-101. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C.

1997 • Scarry, C. Margaret, and Vincas P. Steponaitis. Between Farmstead and Center: The Natural and Social Landscape of Moundville. In People, Plants, and Landscapes: Studies in Paleoethnobotany, K. Gremillion (ed.), pp. 107-122. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

1995 • Welch, Paul D., and C. Margaret Scarry. Status-Related Variations in Foodways in the Moundville Chiefdom. American Antiquity 60(3):397-419.

1994 • Scarry, C. Margaret. Variability in Late Prehistoric Corn from the Lower Southeast. In Corn and Culture in the Prehistoric New World, S. Johannessen and C. Hastorf (eds.), pp. 347-368. Westview Press, Boulder.

1993 • Scarry, C. Margaret (editor). Foraging and Farming in the Eastern Woodlands. Ripley P. Bullen Monographs in Anthropology and History, University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

1993 • Scarry, C. Margaret. Agricultural Risk and the Development of the Moundville Chiefdom. In Foraging and Farming in the Eastern Woodlands, C. Scarry (ed.), pp. 157-181. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

1993 • Scarry, C. Margaret. Variability in Mississippian Crop Production Strategies. In Foraging and Farming in the Eastern Woodlands, C. Scarry (ed.), pp. 78-90. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

1993 • Scarry, C. Margaret. Plant Production and Procurement in Apalachee Province. In The Spanish Missions of La Florida, B. McEwan (ed.), pp. 357-375. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

1985 • Reitz, Elizabeth J., and C. Margaret Scarry. Reconstructing Historic Subsistence with an Example from Sixteenth Century Spanish Florida. Special Publication Series No. 3. Society for Historical Archaeology.